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What type of swivel do you guys use for trolling? Cross lock, snap,ball bearing, stainless, black etc. So many options!! How about split rings, if a Spoon does not come with a split ring do you add one? Or do any of you tie certain baits on and not use swivels?
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I only trust sampo coast locks, I've had way too many lesser swivels fail. I'm sure there are some other good coast lock swivels out there, I just havn't used um. You really do have to spring for the high priced ones, or you may pay for it later. Losing a diver/flasher/fly combo or a fish in a tournament more the makes it a worthwhile investment. As for spoons, I usually run them as is right out of the package, some of the spoons run fine without split rings, in fact they may run worse with one (stingers for example).
 

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When I use a snap for salmon trolling, I use a Duolock snap. It's more rounded at the end to give a freer action to the lure. Coastlock and Cross-lock snaps are slightly more pointed. It's all personal preference, though. The snaps I use are nickel with the best ball bearing I can find. On some spoons without a split ring from the factory I'll put one on, sometimes not. Don't really have any formula to decide why or when. My fishing partner always does. His theory is that any snap attached to the lure will detract from its action. Don't know about that because we catch fish on both setups fairly evenly, so who knows. The snap just makes changing lures easier without having to tie a new knot all the time. Not a big deal really. When using a spoon with a split ring, I run a solid ring ball bearing swivel about 4-5 ft. up. Both my main line and that leader are the same pound test......usually 17# test.
 

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Ditto on the Duolocks. They give better action, and the cheaper crosslocks are brittle and break at the bend alot!

Split rings on the spoons..............most deffinately. Tying directly to the line without a swivel, just asking for trouble, especially if you are rigger fishing!;)
 

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I use Berkley cross-locks. I have never had one fail on a fish. I have had a few break when changing lures. The key is to not bend them open when changing spoons. Bending back and forth makes the brittle metel snap. I bought a gross of cross locks last year. The newer ones are much softer metel. They didnt seem to stay closed as well, because the metel didnt "spring" back. I use spoons pretty much stock out of the package. With or without split rings. Some plugs and stick baits (can anyone say Rapala) come with very cheap split rings. These baits are made for bass and walleye. They do not hold up for kings, and steelhead. Even J-13's wich are big enough to be a salt water, lure need the split rings replaced.
 

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Im a big Sampo fan!! I use really small swivels and had failures when there was big kings in Huron. Mostly my fault using a swivel for too long. I also think that split rings on spoons DO make a difference but just dont have the patience to put them on all of the spoons in the collection.
 

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I like the Duolocks also. High quality is imperative. One I like even better, though a real PITA to use is the Norman Speed clips. Has anyone tried McMahon Swivels? What did you think?
 

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I have switched to the Opti Tackle ball bearing swivels that have stainless double lock snaps. The price is right at $10.99 per dozen for the 30#, and they performed great for me all year last year. You can order them through one of the sponsors of the site at Bob's outdoors

The Opti corkscrews you put on the flashers to easily change flies are great too, make sure you get the one with the biggest snap though. Their stealth snubbers are sweet too. Opti offers some great terminal products.

As far as the split rings I use the stainless ones. I've noticed some spoons come with or without them and I leave it that way. It is a good idea to replace brass split rings on some cranks used for salmon like older Rapalas. I usually replace the hooks at this time as well.
 
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