At a Glance: Terminal Tackle
Terminal tackle is a broad term used when referring to the fishing tackle that is tied, clipped, or slid onto the end or near the end of fishing line. This tackle category is nearly as large and varied as lures and bait, and is just as highly specialized for all of the various tactics and species an angler can target. Terminal tackle can be made from plastic, foam, wood, stainless steel, lead, tin or tungsten. The size of terminal tackle pieces can also range depending on the species of fish being targeted and the type of presentation intended. Float fishing with floats perfectly matched to the hooks, shots and bait can greatly increase not only the number of bites you get, but your catch-rate as well. Using a hook not well suited for the tactic or species can waste time by being too small or not strong enough. Replacing dull or damaged hooks on a lure can add fish to fill a creel limit. An angler’s confidence in their terminal tackle can dramatically affect their success on the water. The terminal tackle categories at FishUSA are hooks, weights and sinkers, floats, bobbers and indicators, swivels and snaps, split rings and sleeves, and bait rigs.
Hooks keep bait attached to the line, and the fish to the bait. Some hooks are made to be used right out of the package with live or artificial baits. Others are made available to customize or replace lost or damaged hooks from lures. Special hooks are made for tying flies for fly fishing. Weights and sinkers offers lead, tin, and tungsten weights in general purpose and specific styles for drop shot, trolling, fly, float, and bottom fishing with bait. They can be tied, pinched, and clipped to the line as needed. Floats, bobbers and indicators are used for suspending baits, jigs, or flies. This gives an angler the ability to control depths and be aware of the bait’s location when fish bite. Swivels and snaps are the parts which allow movement of lures to keep the line from twisting in undesirable ways, to change lures and baits quickly, and to create unique and varied bait and lure presentations. Split rings allow increased motion of lures and the ability to change parts without significant alteration of spinners and lures, and the crimping sleeves needed to terminate wire fishing line. Bait rigs can be described as pre-tied leaders with hooks, beads, snaps and swivels for catching baitfish and panfish, or as predator rigs for offering live bait to pike, muskie and walleye.