Can You Use a Swivel For Fly Fishing? Here’s How to Do It!

Have you ever cast out a fishing line with the hope of making an exciting catch? Sadly, your fishing line twisted, leading to knots, tangles, poor casting, and lost gear.

You’ll agree that nothing can be so frustrating as this. An angry angler may blame the twist on the line itself. The line twist results from the fly end, bait, or lure rotating freely around its axis, and the twisting makes its way up the line.

You have probably heard about Swivel. Should you use it for fly fishing?

If you are experiencing twists and tangles in your fishing line, you must add a swivel. Swivel is an essential fishing component, clipped in line with the rig to prevent the fly fishing line from twisting. It will save you time untangling the fly fishing gear. 

However, if you must use a swivel in a fishing line, you must do it the right way. In this article, I’ll walk you through how and when to use a swivel for fly fishing, place the swivel on the leader assembly, and what knots you should use to tie a swivel to a leader. Without further ado, let’s get right in.

Should You Use a Swivel for Fly Fishing?

As we mentioned earlier, Swivels are an essential component in your fishing line, tied to the rig to keep the line from twisting. Sometimes, the fly end can often rotate to cause the fly line to tangle.

When this happens, don’t waste your time trying to untangle the line. One lasting solution to this is to use the swivel. However, one mistake you should avoid is big swivels. Instead, when buying a swivel for your fly gear, your best choice should be micro swivels. 

Micro swivels are small, so they more negligible effect on your fly line settings and casting. It also spins effortlessly, unlike the traditional cheap barrel swivels. 

How to Use a Swivel for Fly Fishing?

If you are a pro angler, you understand that using a swivel for fly fishing is not daunting. We could say the same for new anglers who are willing to study how it is done.

There are three significant types of swivel used in fly fishing: Barrel, Ball Bearing, and Three-way swivel, further discussed in the article. Every kind of swivel uses the same principle. 

To use the swivel, all you need to do is to tie one end of the swivel to the line from the leader and the other end to the line coming from the reel. When the leader twists, the swivel twist prevents the fly fishing line from twisting or breaking even when under stress from a big fish.

Where to Place a Swivel?

Here is one question we frequently get from new anglers, where should I place a swivel? If you are to use the swivel effectively, you must put it in the ideal position.

The perfect spot to place a swivel is at the top of the leader, just away from bait/hook. It will allow the swivel to absorb the line twist from the bait without being sighted by the fish.

What Knot to Use for a Swivel?

As easy as tying a knot can be, it can also improve the possibility of landing a bigger one. We have always thought that if our knots are not loosening, they are ok for me.

However, we discovered that a knot could improve your fishing by far, especially when it is sturdy with the swivel. My advice is that you should try the different knot methods below. Whichever you choose should hold your line firmly with the swivel.

Using the Palomar Knot

Undoubtedly, Palomar is the easiest, fastest, and strongest style of tying the knot to the swivel. 

  • Make a loop by folding the fishing line back over itself (about 10 cm from the end of the line).
  • Thread the looped line through the swivel.
  • Wrap the loop around the fishing line to create a hole and tuck it through it. Make sure you pull the swivel through the swivel before tightening.
  • Tighten the knot by pulling one end of the swivel and the other end of the line.
  • Trim the excess fishing line with scissors, a knife, or a razor. Be careful not to cut the line or your skin.

Using The Offshore Swivel Knot

The offshore swivel knot is also a strong knot commonly used by offshore anglers. One benefit of the offshore swivel knot is that if one leg of the line breaks, the other leg will still hold it in place.

  • Make a loop by folding the fishing line and threading the looped fishing line through the swivel.
  • Twist the loop end of the swivel
  • Take the loop over the swivel and fold it over the swivel to overlap the fishing line.
  • Rotate the swivel fully into the opening of the loop and the line about 3-6 times.
  • Tighten the knot by pulling the fishing line and the swivel in the opposite direction.

Using the Improved Clinch Knot

The improved clinch knot, an improved version of the old clinch knot, is also a standard method for swivel knots. It is strong, and it secures the swivel firmly unto the line.

  • Thread the end of the fishing line through the swivel.
  • Pull about 15cm of the fishing line and fold it back against itself and the swivel to form a loop.
  • Leaving about 2 cm after the loop, twist the line 5-7 times.
  • Tuck the end of the fishing line into the 2cm space created just below the swivel.
  • Pull the short end and long end of the fishing line in the opposite direction to tighten the swivel and knot. You can moisten the short line for easy grip.

When to Use a Swivel for Fly Fishing?

The primary reason why you need the swivel in fly fishing is to prevent your line from twisting. You can use a swivel when you are using a lure that is likely to tangle. However, we use a swivel generally with all our fly fishing gear for stability.

Best Swivels for Fly Fishing on Amazon

1. Dr.Fish 20 Packed Ball Bearing Swivel

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Made of 100% copper stainless steel welding rings, Dr.Fish 20 Packed Ball Bearing Swivel is one of the best-selling swivels you can trust for fly fishing. We are recommending the product because it packs several unique features. For instance, the housing of the swivel comes with high-class stainless steel balls that make it almost impossible for you to experience twisted and tangled lines.

That’s not all; Dr.Fish 20 Packed Ball Bearing Swivel is pretty much reliable, as it’s excellent corrosion, abrasion, and shock resistance. For more information regarding the fishing swivel, its price, and how to order it, you can check here.

2. SF Fly Fishing Micro Swivels

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Sitting on the third spot on this list is the SF Fly Fishing Micro Swivels. That’s so because the product comes with many excellent features, such as being designed with a black stainless steel material through the N-Tempering process. That’s not all; the swivels also allow you to change the tippet pretty quickly and easily – without having to shorten the leader.

Furthermore, SF Fly Fishing Micro Swivels offer flexible rotation, providing your fishing equipment with maximum protection against line twists and all. The product’s black stainless steel and nickel-coated material make it impossible for you to experience rust while using it. That said, you can check here to read more about the swivel and how you can order it.

3. VeaYook Barrel Swivels Fishing

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VeaYook Barrel Swivels Fishing is one of the best-selling swivel products out there. The fishing tool packs many excellent features, including being made of stainless steel. The material is sturdily designed and comes with high strength. That’s not all; the product also offers excellent abrasion resistance.

By using VeeYook Barrel Swivels, you will be able to easily and quickly connect your leader and mainline. With the product, you can always rest assured that your fishing equipment is free of line twists and tangles. For more information regarding the swivel and its price, you can check here.