Ball-bearing swivels are now being manufactured in England. They bring a new dimension to fishing for the larger species. High quality ball bearings locked into a machined cage of stainless steel ensure that the swivel will not jam, no matter how much pressure is applied. It is the perfect link between reel line and trace when dealing with tough fighters like conger, common skate, porbeagle and mako shark. All that is needed to keep the swivel in first class working order is a drop of sewing machine oil applied periodically through the gap between body and turning eye. This eye is big enough to accept the tough wire needed to combat powerful jaws and teeth.
Pirk fishing over deep water wrecks and, to a lesser extent, snaggy reefs can take a heavy toll of end tackle. With 20-26oz pirks costing up to £4, it is also expensive. A recent solution to the problem is a ‘positive poundage link’, which can be positioned between the body of the pirk and the treble hook. When a hang-up occurs, the link will open under pressure so that only the hook is lost.
The links (which can be swivelled with the aid of split rings) are available in 15, 25 and 45lb breaking strains. The accurate breaking out pressure of the link is achieved by carefully balancing tensile strength in the steel wire to the radius of the hook circlet.