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Sliding Snell


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I use a sliding snell for live squid when after kings.

The other day, I landed a 85cm king that had gone for the top hook (the towing hook).

The knot tying this hook to the main leader had totally unraveled. The main leader was threaded through the eye of the top hook so it was just free to slide up and down the main leader.

Do you think this is okay? (the the hook just sliding on the main leader).

I have had a few issues with this knot before and not sure if I have quit got it right.

I much prefer the sliding rig as I can tie all my rigs the night before and then it doesn't matter what size squid I catch, I can also fit the rig.


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G'day River_Bouy,

I've used sliding snell rigs for years with no problems but they have to be tied well and it's important to use good quality hooks with no sharp edges where the eye of the hook curls around and meets the shank. On cheap hooks there can be a big gap here and the sharp edges can cut your line. When the top hook slides down the line under pressure, those sharp edges can then cut through the knot on the bottom hook... hey presto, lost fish.

The sliding snell on your top hook shouldn't come unravelled... it will mean there's even more pressure & wear on the knot on the bottom hook. Very risky. It's worth checking that you're tying it correctly.

By the way there are a lot of members I know who don't like using sliding snells because of these potential problems. It's almost certainly true that a fixed 2 hook rig is more secure than the sliding snell rig but I also like the advantage of being able to adapt the size. I figure as long as you tie the knots well, use good hooks, good leader and maybe go a bit heavier than you otherwise would... it works well.

Cheers, Slinky

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Thanks Slinky,

I have also seen guys tying the sliding knot to a small piece of plastic coating around the main leader.

Do you know what that plastic stuff is? I've been to tackle shops but can't find anything like it.

It's plastic tubing that usually comes in a packet with beads. I have found two types. Fine red tubing which is targeted at whiting fishos and slightly thicker fluro green tubing targeted at I don't know who. I should imagine that you could get it at the hardware or auto shop as wire sleeve.

I like using the red tubing for the sliding snell to protect the trace/leader.

I use 1- 2 inch length of the fluro stuff to protect the trace between the snelled hook and the stinger from pickers and reduce the risk of the snell hook popping off the stinger.

I even go as far putting the tubing around the flemish loop but has more to do with getting bored on a rainy day.

Either way I find the snell knot can unravel at times especially after I have caught a fish but I simply put another ready made rig on and then fix the stuffed ones later when I get home.

Here's one I prepared earlier...



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