Small swivels the cure for line twist

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Tiny swivels help ease line twist (Jerry Smalley photo)

Few things are more frustrating to spin fishermen than line twist.

Especially when fishing monofilament line, because monofilament line has memory.

In other words, once twisted, the line retains the twist—and forms loops—until untwisted in the opposite direction.

That’s why it’s so important to properly fill the spool without twist; otherwise the line will come off the spool in loops, shortening casting distance.

In worst case scenarios, tight loops wrap around each other forming nasty line messes, often producing “bad” words from the angler’s mouth.

Sound familiar?

Another producer of line twist is fishing lures that spin, without having swivel in the line somewhere between the lure and reel.

Some anglers employ a combination snap-swivel to attach the lure.

Others tie in a swivel a few feet from the lure, but not so far that the swivel gets trapped in the rod’s tip when reeling.

Fly fishers aren’t immune to the bane of line twist.

Large, upright and divided wing dry flies, like Green Drakes and Wulffs, can spin and twist the tippet when cast.

Same for large foam creations with out-sized poly, calftail, and sheet-formed wings.

While spin fishermen regularly employ swivels to eliminate line twist, the very nature of fly fishing would require extremely small, very lightweight swivels to do same.

Cruising through the fishing section of Wal-Mart a couple years ago, I found the tiny swivels in the photo.

Produced by Mustad, the size 12 swivels are rated at 18 pounds test, 30 per pack.

With the annual spawning migration of lake whitefish just weeks away, another use for these tiny swivels is preventing line twist when casting tiny jigs.

Bare jigs don’t spin, but twister-type tails can produce line twist.

Tie in one of these Mustad KVD swivels about 24 inches above the jig and twist-free all day long!

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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