How to Tie Swivel to Fishing Line: A Simple Guide


How to Tie Swivel to Fishing Line

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Fishing is a pastime that many enjoy for its blend of quiet reflection and bursts of exciting action. One essential skill elevating your fishing experience is knowing how to tie a swivel to your fishing line properly.

A swivel is a small but mighty piece of fishing hardware that allows your line to untwist during reeling, preventing potentially frustrating tangles.

In this article, we guide you through the steps to secure a swivel effectively, ensuring that your line remains strong and dependable.

Understanding the Importance of a Swivel

Understanding the Importance of a Swivel

Before diving into the tying process, consider why using a swivel is often necessary. When your bait or lure spins in the water, it can cause your line to twist. Over time, this twisting weakens the line, making it more prone to breaking.

A swivel counteracts this by allowing the end of your line, to which the bait is attached, to rotate freely, thereby reducing line twists and the risk of losing your catch due to a line break.

Selecting Your Swivel

Swivels come in various sizes and styles, so choose one appropriate for your fishing line’s weight and the type of fishing you plan to do.

For most situations, a basic barrel swivel is sufficient. Still, you might opt for a ball-bearing swivel for heavier lines or larger fish, which offers smoother rotation under higher tension.

Step-by-Step Guide to Tying a Swivel to Your Fishing Line

Step-by-Step Guide to Tying a Swivel to Your Fishing Line

Step 1: Prepare Your Line and Swivel

Ensure your line is free of damage and kinks before starting. Take the swivel out of its packaging and inspect it to confirm it moves freely and shows no signs of defects.

Step 2: Thread the Line

Take the end of your fishing line and thread it through one of the loops of the swivel. Pull about 6 inches of line through to work with.

Step 3: Start the Knot

For this example, we’ll use the improved clinch knot, which is strong and reliable. Begin by wrapping the free end of the line around the standing line five to seven times.

Step 4: Form the Loop

After wrapping, please take the free end of the line and thread it through the small loop closest to the swivel. This will create a larger loop alongside the wraps.

Step 5: Tighten the Knot

Now, take the end of the line once more and pass it through the larger loop you’ve just created. Hold the swivel and standing line while pulling the free end to tighten the knot. Moisten the line with saliva or water to reduce friction and ensure the knot tightens smoothly.

Step 6: Final Adjustments

Pull steadily on the swivel and the standing line to fully tighten the knot. The wraps should coil neatly without overlapping. Trim the excess line from the free end, leaving about 1/8 inch to prevent the knot from unraveling.

Step 7: Test the Knot

Give the line a few firm tugs to ensure the knot is secure. A well-tied knot will hold without slipping or showing signs of weakness.

Tips for Tying Swivels

  • Always use a fresh line to tie your swivel, as worn or weakened lines can compromise your setup’s integrity.
  • Practice tying knots at home before heading out to fish. Muscle memory will help you tie knots quickly and efficiently in the field.
  • Be mindful of the size of the swivel about your line. A swivel that’s too large can be cumbersome, while one that’s too small may not hold up under stress.

Why Knot Quality Matters?

A poorly tied knot is a weak link between you and your catch. Tying a proper knot ensures that your line holds up against a fish’s unpredictable pulls and lunges.

The improved clinch knot is just one of many knots suitable for attaching swivels, but its ease and strength make it a popular choice among anglers.

Can I Use the Same Technique to Tie a Swivel to Fishing Line as I Would to Fix a Fishing Line?

Yes, you can use the same technique to tie a swivel to fishing line as you would to fix a fishing line. To secure a swivel, use the improved clinch knot or Palomar knot. These knots are both strong and reliable, ensuring your tackle stays connected. Mastering how to fix fishing line will benefit your overall fishing experience.


Knowing how to tie a swivel to your fishing line is a fundamental skill that can significantly improve your fishing experience.

Following the steps outlined above and practicing regularly will ensure a strong connection between your line and swivel, minimizing line twists and maximizing your chances of a successful catch.

Remember to choose the right swivel, carefully tie your knots, and test.

Additional Resources

For those looking to expand their knot-tying repertoire, there are numerous resources available:

  • Animated Knots by Grog offers a visual guide to tying various fishing knots, including animations to follow along.
  • The Take Me Fishing website provides detailed instructions and advice for fishing, including knot tying.

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