Fishing Swivel Sizes Explained

What are Fishing Swivels?

A fishing swivel is a device that is used to keep your line from twisting. They are usually made from two rings connected by a pivoting piece. Twists can weaken fishing line and cause knots. If you’re fishing in a situation where twisting is likely, you should be using a fishing swivel.

Types of Fishing Swivels

There are two common kinds of fishing swivels: ball bearing swivels and barrel swivels. Though you may also come across extreme swivels and finesse swivels, these are not as popular.

Ball Bearing Swivels

These types of swivels are usually made with stainless steel bearings between a spindle and body that allows the swivel to rotate. These kinds of swivels are good because they can often handle heavy loads. They are also ideal for trolling. If you’re fishing for large saltwater fish, a ball bearing swivel is the best option.

Barrel Swivels

Barrel swivels are usually made of a nickel-plated barrel with brass pins. These swivels come in handy when fishing deep water with a drop shot rig where the line might twist when reeling it in. Constant twirling can weaken your line and cause poor hook sets, which nobody wants when you get a potential trophy fish to attack your lure.

What Size Swivel To Use

When choosing the right size, you generally want to use a fishing swivel with a maximum strength that is a little bit heavier than your leader line. You may also go another size larger than the strength of your leader line. A smaller swivel is more stealthy, but when you’re fishing for big game, having a strong swivel is even more important. That’s why it’s best to use something stronger rather than something smaller. 

Fishing Swivel Sizes and Pound Ratings

Fishing Swivel Size Chart

Here the pound ratings of common fishing swivel sizes. It’s important to check with the manufacturer of the swivel because pound ratings may very slightly between different brands.

Fishing Swivel Size and Pound Rating Chart

Fishing Swivel Strength (Lbs) vs. Size

How to Tie a Swivel on Fishing Line

There are a number of ways to tie a swivel on a fishing line or to your fishing hook. The easiest way is to use a simple knot. To do this, all you need to do is fold the fishing line over itself to make a simple loop, then thread the loop through the swivel. Then wrap the loop around the line line and tuck it into the hole created by the fishing line. Then hold the swivel in 1 and and the line in the other and tighten the knot.

This can be something that is hard to explain over text, so if you’re feeling confused on how to tie a swivel, it may be best to head over to youtube and check out some videos on how to tie swivels.