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Terminal Tackle

small but significant


Terminal tackle consist of items that are attached to the fishing line. Hook, sinker, float, swivel, snap swivel, ring & whatnot. Hook has been covered in a previous article so this one will focus on the vital rest.

Understanding their usage is easy peasy but to select the optimal size requires some fishing experience. The multitude of circumstances affecting this selection process is infinite. In short, there is no fixed rule. The clueless however, is advised to start with the smallest possible & then make changes as needed.


Apart from its self-explanatory duty, sinker enhance casting distance. But that does not mean one should grab the biggest lying around with the intention of launching it halfway across the globe. Factors like depth, frequency of underwater structure or fish wariness should be taken into consideration.

Some of the commonly used sinkers. Name & description is given below.

1. Ball Sinkerdoes not snag easily. it will roll around when there is current
2. Egg Sinkermore casting accuracy than the ball sinker due to its aerodynamic shape
3. Double Cone Sinkerbetter casting accuracy & catches less debris in flowing water
4. Split Shot Sinkerused when accurate & incremental weight is required such as shotting a float
5. Barrel Sinkermakes very little noise when landing onto water & catches least debris
6. Bullet Sinkereasy to glide through water vegetations. usually used with soft plastics
7. Dipsey Sinkerdescends well to the bottom making it good for saltwater bottom fishing
8. Bank Sinkerdescends well to the bottom making it good for saltwater bottom fishing
9. Pyramid Sinkersuitable for surf fishing when the current is not too strong
10. Breakaway Sinkergrips well on sandy bottom. excellent for surf fishing in rough conditions

Snap, Snap Swivels & Rings

Swivel is for preventing line twist by permitting bait, lure or other parts of a rig to revolve. Snap swivel does the same with an added feature. The snap facilitates the quick change of bait, lure, sinker, float or rig.

A list of commonly used snaps, snap swivels & rings.

1. Barrel Swivelcheapest thus prone to locking up under extreme pressure
great for short duels or those with low drag setting
2. Crane Swivelslightly pricier & outperforms barrel swivel when under pressure
ideal for most conditions
3. Rolling Swivelbetter rotating capability than the barrel or crane swivel
for lures which spins heavily like spinnerbait, inline spinnerbait & spoon
4. Heavy Duty Swivelexceptional strength & durability
big game fishing
5. Ball Bearing Swivelhaving ball bearings mean it can turn freely even under extreme pressure
for heavy spinning lures or long fights with big fish
6. Box Swivelopen body which allows water & sand to flow through
good for surf fishing
7. High Speed Rolling Swivelupgraded version of the rolling swivel
to deal with extreme line twist
8. Three Way Swivelthe extra eye allows bait & sinker to be attached separately
allows the bait to be suspended
9. Safety Snap Swivelto hold sinker or float
not for holding lure or hook due to its tendency to open under pressure
10. Coastlock Snap Swivelstrong & spacious design
to hold thick nylon rigs such as the dropper loop for saltwater fishing
11. Crosslock Snap Swivelstrongest of all snap design
applicable where strength is the main concern
12. Duolock Snap Swivellight & allow lures likes crankbait to move naturally
suitable for a wide variety of lures
13. Interlock Snap Swivelto hold sinker or float
not recommended for heavy duty use
14. Hook Snap Swivelto hold sinker or float
easy to open making it great for quick changes
15. Split Ringlinking treble to lure or to directly hold saltwater jig or popper
exclusion of snap in saltwater jig or popper eliminates a critical weak link
16. Solid Ringusually for holding assist hook
this will allow the assist hook to swing freely for a livelier presentation


Float acts as a bite indicator, a propeller of lightweight bait & a controller of bait's depth. A dry twig can act as a float. So does an empty plastic bottle or even the balloon from your kid's party. Basically, almost any floatable object can be used as a float.

For the sake of practicality, let us focus only on commercially made ones. Some are designed with visual detection in mind such as bright colours or a glow stick holder. Others may opt for stealth like the uncoloured wooden float. While its variety & design is plentiful, we will focus only on the mainstream.

These are the mainstream float designs.

1. Round plastic floatclip-on line makes it easy for beginner but prone to line damage
2. EVA weighted floatself-cocking, excellent casting distance & comes in several variants
3. Slip-in floatslip-in design does not damage the line
4. Waggler floatversatile - applicable in shallow or deepwater & in fast or slow moving water
5. Pole floatvery light & sensitive allowing it to detect subtle bites
6. Stick floatdesigned for river fishing
7. Glow stick holderfor use in lowlight conditions
8. Water filled floatto launch lightweight bait or lures like bread & fly