Cermele: Oh, Snap! It's Fishing Evolution

It's so easy to "ooh" and "aah" over the hottest rods, reels, and lures on the market that I think a lot of fishermen overlook simple innovations that go a long way. I mean, how much design improvement can be made to a simple fishing snap? You'd be surprised. So if you're into stripers, muskie, pike, or any other big fish keen on walloping a large lure, then trying to remove your arms from their sockets, follow along with me.

I had been married to the duo-lock, safety-pin style snap (left) forever. They work fine, no doubt, but I've had my fair share warp, bend, and break during a fight. Then I graduated to the Breakaway snap (center), which doesn't open like a duo-lock, but allows you to slide the lure on like you would a key on a keyring. They worked well, but had a tendency to foul on the cast. Sometimes lures would slide up and jam between the overlapping ends of the Breakaway, and that's no good, either. But they were much stronger than duo-locks.

Side by side, the Breakaway and Tactical Anglers snaps (right) don't look a heck of a lot different. But here's where those minor details come into play. Notice the Tacticals have pointed, not rounded ends. That makes it more difficult for the lure or knot to slide around the clip. They are heavier gauge, which not only helps you beat bruisers, but increases the chance your $40 wooden muskie bait will return safely to the tackle box. The longer length lets the Tacticals quickly slide off and on any lure style, and with a shorter, more severe angle on the inside arm, lures don't slip between the overlap.

So am I just rehashing a press release here? No, nor am I sponsored by or affiliated with Tactical Anglers. But I have been using these snaps over the last week and a half for nighttime stripers in the Delaware River. Haven't fouled a cast, haven't had one open while trying to free a snag, haven't missed a fish, and let me tell you, they fight damn hard against that current. These snaps are $6 for an 8-pack and rated to 175 pounds. That's a bit more expensive than old-school duo-locks, but I think the ease of lure changes and strength advantages outweigh price. What do you think? Worth the peace of mind? -- JC