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Fishing Snaps & Clips – Do They Catch Less Fish?

By: Nick and FishingwithNat Updated: September 17, 2023

Fishing snaps and clips provide an easy way to change lures quickly. Many worry though, that they lower your chances of catching or landing a fish. In this article I will walk you through the different styles of snaps, how they work, and the affect they have on lures.

Benefits of Snaps & Clips

  • Quick lure changes
  • Can help protect your line
  • Preserve the length of leader line (you don’t have to cut and retie when changing lure)
  • Snaps with swivels can help prevent line twist

The biggest advantage of snaps is they allow you to change lures quickly. This means you to spend more time fishing and less time tying knots. This is especially convenient if fishing with kids. Snaps can help them be more independent and free you from having to tie knots for them.

Snaps act as a short wire leader and can help protect your line from sharp edges of lures, split rings, or teeth of fish which can damage or break your line.

Snaps can also save leader line. If your using a leader, every time you cut and retie a new lure on you are making your leader slightly shorter each time. This can add up over time and significantly reduce the length or your leader if you switch lures often.

Snaps equipped with swivels also help prevent line twist so you don’t end up birdnest or line wrapped around your rod tip.

Cons of Snaps & Clips

  • Additional cost
  • Additional point of failure
  • Possible affect on action
  • More unnatural appearance of lure

The added weight of a snap can throw off the balance of your lure. This is especially problematic for topwater lures where the added weight can pull the nose of the bait down or on a jerkbait that you want to suspend to sink.

Snaps are another possible point of failure you are adding to the mix. This is especially common on straight wire snaps that often bend out on larger fish. Snaps have a weight rating just like line, so make sure to use an appropriate strength for the lure and species you are targeting.

Appearance is a much bigger factor when using slow moving or finesse style techniques like a jig, wacky rigs, or ned rigs. These techniques give fish much more time to check out the bait and figure out if they are natural prey. I avoid snaps completely for slower moving presentations.

Underwater comparison of the different types of fishing snaps

For faster moving and reaction lures, the appearance aspect is not nearly as important. Most of these lures have plenty of unnatural components on them already such as a large plastic bill, metal blades, or treble hooks. In these cases, I don’t think adding a small snap makes much of a difference.

Types of Fishing Snaps

Duolock Snaps

Duolock snaps are the most common style of snap. The small bent wire wraps around the main wire to lock on to your lure. These are cheap and work well for the price.

VMC Duolock Snap attached to a crankbait

Speed Clips

Speed Snaps are a cross between a split ring and clips. They function by pinching the middle of the snap which opens up the end and slide on your lure from either side. These can be a little more difficult to operate and can slightly hurt cold fingers.

Norman Magnum Speed Clip attached to a crankbait

Paperclip Style Snaps

Tactical snaps resemble paperclips, they are longer design and .

This style doesn’t need to be squeezed, instead . The lure slides on and off and the wire returns to its closed position. These clips are strong and easy to use.

P-Line Technical Snap attached to a crankbait

Tournament / Crankbait Snaps

Tournament snaps are the smallest profile snap. They are similar to duolocks but more compact and triangular.

The wide connection allows lures to rock back and forth to get more action.

Due to their small size they are fairly hard to open and close with your fingers. Plies are almost a must have when using these.

Gamakatsu G-Finesse Tournament snap attached to a crankbait

Older designs have a straight wire that clip in place. You want to avoid the straight wire design completely. These tend to bend and open up when you hook a large fish making you lose your catch and lure.

Fishing Snap Sizes

SizeApprox. StrengthUse
0020 lbsPanfish, Trout, Perch
030 lbsPanfish, Trout, Perch
130 lbsSmall Bass Lures
250 lbsMedium Bass Lures
367 lbsMedium – Large Bass Lures
490 lbsLarge Bass Lures
5120 lbsPike, Muskie, Carp

It is important to note that the strengths listed above are approximates. The snap style, manufacture, and material used will make the strength vary greatly by size.

The strength of snaps will weaken overtime the more they are opened and closed. This is due to the metal bending back and forth. Pay attention when swapping lures, if you notice its easier than usual to open/close the clip, it’s time to replace it.

For bass fishing, snaps sizes 1-3 are the most commonly used.

Should You Use Clips for Fishing?

There are benefits in using clips, whether or not those pros outweigh the cons will be dependent on your specific situation.

I very rarely use clips because I have multiple rods that I take with me when fishing. This allows me to have multiple types of lures tied on that I can quickly switch to. So for my situation, the primary benefit of snaps doesn’t outweigh the additional point of failure.

If you only have one rod, snaps make a lot more sense. They make you much more willing to switch lures if the conditions or cover changes around you. Knowing you have to cut line and retie is a huge factor for many anglers to say “what I’m using is good enough.”

That mindset will make you a much less effective angler and it will cost you fish. If snaps make you more willing to change your lure to what is needed then you should use them.

5 thoughts on “Fishing Snaps and Clips”

  1. The older I get the more I appreciate the ease of snaps. I haven’t noticed a drop in the number of fish I catch when using them.

  2. I HATE tying leaders, I use snaps just so I don’t have to replace my leader. I use the smallest snap that will handle the largest fish I’ll realistically catch. Could I catch more fish if I tied directly to a hook? Maybe but I haven’t noticed a difference but it makes switching setups so much easier.

  3. I have lost some really nice fish with snaps either failing or opening. I quit using them altogether years ago. For me its just unnecessary hardware and an additional failure point.


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