Snap Decisions

When it comes to shopping for fishing tackle, the variety of rods and reels alone can be intimidating. Compound that with the sheer never-ending amount of different lures and it’s enough to cause a headache. Add to that still the little additions to your tackle, such as snaps, and it’s a wonder any of us make out of the store at all. Choosing a snap doesn’t have to be that trying of a task, though, and the trick—just like shopping for any tackle item—is knowing what you’ll be using it for and what each item brings to the table.

As far as snap-swivels are concerned, they’re really only needed if you’re using a spoon or an inline spinner. Any other bait runs the risk of displaying an awkward action if you add too many pieces to the setup. This is why, when it comes to choosing a snap for your purposes on the water, there are a handful to choose from, each with their pros and cons and situational uses.

The most commonly-used type of snap is the duo-lock snap (pictured), which is popular among light tackle freshwater anglers. This type is available in several different variations, but the overall design remains the same. Favored for being easy to open and close, the duo-lock snap also possesses a more rounded profile than other snaps, which allows the attached lure to maintain a more natural action in the water. However, the snap has been known to open on its own during a fight, which can cost anglers their fish.

Another option for lighter tackle is the hooked snap. Sometimes rare to find in your neighborhood tackle store, this style consists of an easy, smart design. Because it is better suited for light tackle, though, it isn’t as strong as other styles and too much use or bending can weaken it.

Avid inshore fishermen will want to lean towards a coastlock snap. This style is easy to open and is available in many sizes, which will suit nearly any need on the water. The only real problem with coastlock snaps is that their design sometimes makes feeding them through recessed lure eyes difficult.

If you’re dead-set on using a snap, but want something that won’t get caught up in weeds, then a fastlink snap might be the way to go. However, their limited availability in size and extreme limitations in regard to any recessed lure eyes make them impractical for some anglers.

For heavy tackle users, cross-locks are a popular choice. This style is very strong and the larger size makes cross-lock snaps nearly impossible to use with smaller hooks or lures.

Didn’t believe me when I said each addition to the tackle box can be a big decision to make, did you? Yes, there are a lot of choices when it comes to each piece of tackle, but, as I’ve said time and time again, the key is going into the process with a clear vision of what you’ll be fishing for and where you’ll be fishing. Many products—rods, reels, lures, line, etc.—are designed for specific uses, and taking advantage of this fact can make quite a difference.