Terminal Tackle for Freshwater Means Simplicity

Freshwater anglers need few terminal tackle fittings, meaning the snaps, swivels, riggings, rings, wire and such that are mandatory in a lot of saltwater fishing.

Terminal tackle includes the above attachments that make it possible to land fish that are extra big or have a lot of teeth in the front end. To be sure, you are going to need wire for pickerel, pike, musky and such. For that in the past, I used traditional braided (twisted) wire, with a figure eight knot for flies and lures. The figure eight knot makes it possible to back out the end of the wire and untie this simple attachment to reuse the same knot on the next offering to the fish.

Today, there are a number of companies making flexible wire in which you can tie knots, making this past solution, well, a solution of the past.

Freshwater anglers do not have much need for other terminal tackle when using lures or flies. One exception is when you are using a heavy (read thick and stiff) mono leader tippet for a fly. You can tie a simple knot, but by cinching it up, you lose any movement or wiggle/wobble in the water that will attract fish. Instead, use the heavy mono and tie on the fly with a loop knot such as a Homer Rhodes knot.

Most lures can be tied to the end of the fishing line using any knot you like (I like the improved clinch knot). This works well on worm hooks, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, jigs, top water lures, crankbaits, etc. A straight tie to the lure is not good for those lures (especially spoons) that lack a ring or swivel for attachment.

For anything where there is a possibility of the lure attachment cutting or wearing the line, add a ring, snap, snap swivel or something metallic like these. Realize that any lure with any action will wear or cut line quicker without this safeguard.

Of the various snaps available, I like the Duo-Loc snap style best, since they open at both ends, and are very secure. These snaps allow attaching to and changing lures, along with attaching to and changing the attachment to a swivel.

Another possibility, particularly for big spoons such as are used for pike, is to use an appropriately sized split ring on the spoon as a permanent fitting. Tie to this ring to give any spoon maximum action and still prevent line wear and cutting.

For bait fishing, you might need more snaps and such than for lure fishing. These are necessary for attaching big hooks for bait, making mono or wire single and double bait rigs (high/low rigs for example), hook lears and attachments, and slider rigs for carp and other bottom feeders.

Realize that all of these terminal tackle fittings come in a variety of sizes and sometimes (as with split rings) finishes. For best result and lightest action, make sure that you pick the smallest of any fitting that will do the job and yet not bind on attachment fittings.

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