Updated at: 30-09-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

A fishing rod’s barrel swivel is what you’d find on one of those. Only one direction of rotation is possible for the line. On a building site, you’re likely to see a crane swivel.

Barrel swivels and Crane swivels have various functions and are built differently for those purposes, which is why they are different. Each sort of swivel will be explained in detail in this post!

What is a Swivel?

Your fishing line won’t tangle or twist when you cast it or when you catch a fish that’s a bit more aggressive.

Swivels are small, pill-shaped metal devices used to join two strands of fishing line together with hooks or loops. The central part of the metal is where the loops are attached to the centre part of it.

Loops can rotate 360 degrees in response to the force exerted on them by whatever is attached to their center. It is possible for the two separate circles to revolve independently of each other because they are not connected.

What Does a Swivel Do?

When two opposing forces are exerted to the two ends of the line, such as when a fish is trying to flee as you are reeling it in, the fishing line will twist.

In the near run, if your fishing line is twisted, it will be much more difficult to reel in, and it will wear down your reel more quickly.

Crane Swivels - Pack of 10 | Fishing Tackle Shop

Instead of the line twisting, the forces acting on a fishing swivel cause the swivel loop twist. So when both loops twist, it causes the entire line to rotate instead of twirl.

Because they protect your other gear from wear and tear, swivels are a great investment for any angler.

To attach additional lures, sinkers, or bobbers, you can use swivels.


Lightweight metal is used in the great majority of fishing swivels. The majority of swivels sold to the general public are constructed of nickel-plated brass, however stainless steel is a somewhat heavier alternative.

The loops at the ends of nickel-plated brass fishing swivels may be made of stainless steel. Hard plastic is used as an alternative to metal in some swivels.

The material of the swivel has an impact on the weight of the swivel, its strength, its durability, and its appearance.

While stainless steel swivels are more cumbersome, nickel-plated brass swivels are better suited for bringing in larger fish due to their increased durability. Contrary to this, all-brass swivels are lightweight but have poor saltwater resistance.

Casting with heavy swivels is more difficult, and using lighter bobbers may be more difficult as well.


Swivels come in a wide variety of sizes. Depending on the manufacturer, swivels can range in size from as small as a grain of rice to as long as a small child’s hand.

If you’re going to catch a large fish, you’ll want to choose a swivel that’s big enough to handle it without breaking.

You’ll need a huge and heavy-duty swivel if you want to catch 200-pound tunas in open water. You may be able to get away with a smaller swivel for fly fishing in a stream.

In addition to being more expensive, larger swivels are also more durable, but this durability comes at a cost.


When it comes to standard swivels, the only distinguishing feature is the color of the metal used. When it comes to the color of the metal, nickel-coated brass swivels are lighter and have a hint of gold in them, while brass-only ones are darker and more yellow.

Plastic swivels are normally matte black, while stainless steel swivels are totally silver.

Swivel colors influence whether or not a fish notices your line. Even in clear waters, some anglers swear by the shiniest of swivels.

However, some fishermen have found that a speckled or dark swivel is more effective at catching fish.

To alter their appearance, many metal swivels can be covered with plastic or painted. Although colored swivels are more expensive and heavier, keep in mind that they may be useful in catching specific species of fish.

Uses of Barrel Swivel

On a fishing rod, you’d locate a barrel swivel. Only one direction of rotation is possible for the line. To make reeling in easier, this style of set-up has only one side of the fishing rod to work with! A rifle sling’s barrel swivels are also employed to keep the weapon firmly in your hands.

Uses of Crane Swivel

More frequently seen on construction sites, a crane swivel joins two heavy-duty ropes in a pivoting motion (like cranes). This form of swivel is designed to prevent a phenomenon known as “twisting,” in which the lines cross each other.

Suppose you have a crane that spans two levels; if one line goes over while the other goes beneath, what happens to your object?

What is a barrel swivel with a safety snap?

You can find these at the end of your rifle sling. They provide the dual goal of securing your weapon to your body and immobilizing it so you can shoot, but they also serve a safety function. A rifle sling uses a barrel swivel with a snap to connect the weapon to your body.

Safety snaps are used for weapon holding, while barrel swivels with a snap are used for lifting. The difference between the two is what happens to the object you’re holding.

50 Pcs Rolling 3-Way Crane Swivels Double Swivel Terminal Fishing Accessories | eBay

What happens to your gas line after each shot reveals the difference between a barrel and a crane swivel. To prevent your gun from recoiling with a barrel swivel, you utilize the gas line. To prevent your thing from flying back when the weight you’re holding starts pushing away, you use a crane swivel.

How strong are fishing swivels?

Swivels for fishing are prone to breaking. Fishermen use fishing swivels to link different types of gear so that they don’t get tangled up in one another and are easy to dismantle when the day’s work is done. Unlike what you might believe.

Typical fishing swivels have two loops and a barrel swivel, which is sometimes referred to as a barrel swivel. On the other side, a fishing crane, which is typically found on boats or docks, serves the purpose of lifting large objects for the benefit of fishermen.

Generally speaking, fishing swivels can handle 90 pounds of pressure before they break.

Should you use a swivel when bass fishing?

Fishing swivels and crane swivels both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you’re attempting to do. A barrel swivel will do the trick if you need to connect two lines with weight on them, but a crane swivel is a better option because it is lighter and more durable.

Should I use a swivel with a jig?

It is critical that the connection you’re tying is secure, therefore you should utilize swivels with a jig to ensure that the tying process goes smoothly. Barrels are the greatest option, but you may also use crane swivels if you prefer something that is a little more sturdy.

Best Situations For The Different Types of Fishing Swivels

You should know when to employ swivels in various scenarios. If you’re fishing with a spoon or spinner, a swivel is your best bet for a secure connection. Crankbaits are straight-retrieving lures that don’t twist when they’re cast. Consequently, you won’t need swivel for crankbaits. A swivel may not be necessary while fishing with live bait, but this is entirely dependent on the species of fish you hope to catch. When fishing for catfish, a swivel is a good choice because they prefer to fight and twist the line.

Fish with teeth, such as walleyes and muskies, require a steel leader and a swivel for proper handling. Using this method will keep the fish from biting and severing the line. Additionally, the type of tackle used will influence whether or not you need utilize a swivel. You should utilize swivels if you’re using a spinning reel, because the reel’s motion tends to twist the line.

Some anglers claim that swivels are an eyesore, making it difficult to cast properly and frighten away fish. As swivels have improved, these reasons are no longer relevant. It is possible to use many types of fishing swivels without affecting your fishing.

Description of Fishing Swivels

Swivels are used to attach the line from the rod to the bait. Swivels have two rings joined by a pivoting joint in the centre. Both rings of the fishing line are attached to each other. The middle joint’s job is to keep the line from becoming tangled while the lower ring is twisting it.

Basic Swivel Colors

Nickel-plated brass and stainless steel rings are the primary components of swivels. This makes them gleam, which might be problematic when trying to catch fish. Swivels can cut off fish’s circulation if they’re bitten or scared by the swivel. A black swivel is the alternative option. Chemical treatment causes the swivel to turn black. There is a risk of a broken swivel because of the technique.

Swivels that are slightly heavier than the leader are preferable. The likelihood of the swivel being a distraction to fish can be reduced by going just a little heavier. Taking the swivel will be less of a target for them now. Nevertheless, if you opt for a more substantial weight, the swivel will be able to withstand heavier loads, such as larger game fish. Even if a fish bites, the swivel will continue to work because of this. It’s important to test out several fishing swivel options before making a final decision.

Different Types of Fishing Swivels

In order to select the most appropriate fishing swivel for your needs, you must be familiar with the many varieties of swivels. Both have advantages and downsides, but there are certain circumstances in which each works better than the other.

Barrel Swivels

The most common type of swivel is the barrel swivel. Its appeal is due to the fact that it is available in a variety of sizes and is inexpensive. The problem is that the barrel swivel can’t take a heavy weight. The swivel does not revolve if the bait, caught fish, or lure is too heavy. The optimum barrel swivel size is critical in this situation.. Barrel swivels are best utilized with pre-rigged worms, weightless flukes, and other lures that twist the lines when they move. The metal-on-metal friction of barrel swivels can be a problem. The friction and grinding caused by the brass head and brass body could lead to future issues. Barrels swivels, on the other hand, function admirably when properly sized and utilized with small loads.

Best Practice for Barrel Type of Fishing Swivel

It is recommended by most anglers that two to four feet of line be left between the barrel swivel and the lure when fishing. The swivel and the lure are separated by a sufficient distance so that the natural movement of the lure is not impeded. Rolling Swivel High-Strength Stainless Steel Barrels from Shaddock Fishing get high marks from the reviewers here at TFP.

Ball-Bearing Swivels

Another common form of fishing swivel is the ball-bearing swivel. A swivel with ball bearings between the spindle and the body is more expensive than a barrel swivel. This allows for greater flexibility and is capable of handling any weight. Swivels with ball-bearings are most suited for offshore fishing, although they can also be useful for larger freshwater species. This swivel is capable of withstanding a lot of pulling force. Like the Scotank Heavy Duty Test 65 to 380 Lb. Ball Bearing swiveling Solid Welded Rings

Crane Swivel

In terms of price and performance, a crane swivel lies between between the barrel swivel and the ball bearing swivel. Barrels are more or less the same, although this one is better suited to heavier loads. Because a swivel attached to another swivel is free to swing, the bait moves freely around in a circular motion. It also keeps the sinker and bait from twisting the line. If you’re using a thick line for catfishing, crane swivels are a terrific option. They’re also great for spinnerbaits and live bait. Unclesport’s 50-piece 3-way heavy-duty crane swivel is a favorite of ours.

Extreme Swivel

The extreme swivel, also known as an Australian-style swivel, is known for its longevity and strength. Professional anglers used to be the only ones who used the extreme swivel, but now it is prevalent among anglers of all skill levels. It’s only when a standard swivel isn’t enough that the extreme swivel is called for. Fishing for gigantic tuna, blue marlin, and swordfish are examples of these scenarios. In terms of extreme swivels, ball bearings might be used or not used. However, the cost of these extreme swivels is prohibitive. Compared to a standard ball-bearing swivel, they cost almost twice as much. To use wire-line trolling, attach a high-duty wind on leader to a short leader or use heavy braid on heavy leaders. The Lobo Lures Aussie Style Swivels are a favorite of ours.

Finesse Swivel

The finesse swivel is an essential part of any discussion on fishing swivels. It resembles a barrel in both shape and appearance. Due of the fishermen’ aim to utilize fewer tackle, the finesse swivel is also known as the power swivel. When there are less distractions, fish are less likely to notice the bait. Finesse swivels offer more strength in a smaller package, making them ideal for tight spaces. Because they are less conspicuous than the larger swivels, these swivels are ideal for avoiding catching the attention of nearby fish. Our favorite drop shot fishing hook is the Gamakatsu G Finesse Swivel Drop Shot Hook with Nano Smooth Coat.

Bass Pro Shops Crane Swivels | Bass Pro Shops

Caring For Your Fishing Swivels

No matter what sort of swivel you choose, make sure to maintain it properly so that it continues to function properly. Rinse them off when you’re done cleaning your fishing equipment. You’ll want to check the swivel after a big catch to make sure it’s in functioning order and turns properly. The day will inevitably come when you must replace an old swivel to guarantee that you have working equipment that will not fail you when you most need it.

Using Snaps Instead of Fishing Swivels

Adding a snap is an option if you aren’t concerned about tangled lines or don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of a full swivel. As with the swivel, you can choose from a range of snaps. With surface lures, snaps are excellent because they allow the bait to travel freely over the water’s surface without being stifled by a swivel.

Duo-Lock Snap

You can simply open and close the duo-lock snap, a popular snap. But a fish that is fighting on the line could accidently open the snap. This can be avoided by slightly bending the hooked closure backward. Among our favorites is Unclesport’s Fishing Duo-Lock Snap.

Cross-Lok Snap

For hefty lines and powerful tackle, anglers turn to the cross-lok snap. It’s a tough snap, but smaller hooks and lure eyes won’t take it. When closing, make sure the uppermost half of the wire is hooked tightly. There are a lot of good things to say about the Berkley Cross-Lok Snap.

A swivel may seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but it can make or break a fishing expedition. Stopping line twists and preventing the weakening of the line are important goals for anglers. Finding a fishing swivel that works for you is as simple as doing a little research. There’s a fishing swivel out there to meet your every requirement and complication. Knowing which one to use is critical to your fishing success.

When Do You Use Swivels?

Fishermen should always utilize swivels since they save them a lot of time and effort. Even if you don’t think it’s a problem, a cheap barrel swivel will keep your line from twisting and damaging your reel.

A swivel can make all the difference in the world while reeling in your catch, especially if you prefer fishing for larger fish.

Also, if you want to attach lures or other fishing accessories, you’ll want to use an adapter, such a swivel, to link them to a specific section of your fishing line.

If you’re fishing for large fish, be sure to use swivels that won’t break, but there’s no specific situation in which you should never use swivels.

More than just one swivel should be in your arsenal if you plan on fishing frequently and for multiple species. Afterwards, you may customize your swivel to suit the specifics of the job at hand and always have a tool that is up to the task at hand.

A medium-sized ball bearing swivel is an excellent choice for most recreational anglers. The Australian swivel may be the finest option for pros.

Final Thoughts on Fishing Swivels

Having learned all that you can about swives, now is the time to choose the best one based on your fishing needs. The weight of the fish you intend to catch should be taken into consideration when choosing your swivel. If it is a flashy choice, don’t be scared to use it.