How to Rig a Three-Way Swivel for Fishing

How to Rig a Three-Way Swivel for Fishing
Three-way swivels are a simple rigging setup that allows you to troll a lure or live bait with a sinker in a way that mimics the movement of a live fish more realistically. This setup allows you to run a sinker down along the bottom of the water floor while a line extending from the swivel pulls along a lure above the floor bottom. This setup lets you use a sinker and the lake floor as a guide without the sinker being visible to the fish. It also stabilizes the lure's path as you troll your boat. This setup is only slightly more complex than rigging up any other lure.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 3-way swivel
  • Fishing rod
  • Fishing line
  • Hook or lure
  • Sinker
  • Knife
Step 1
Tie one eye of the swivel to the line extending from your fishing rod using a clinch or palomar knot.
Step 2
Cut a 1- to 3-foot length of fishing line from a spool and tie it to a second eye on the three-way swivel. This line will run down to the sinker, so you should choose the eye that points toward the ground when the swivel is being dragged behind the boat by the line on your fishing road. You can use a clinch or palomar knot here, too, as well as with all knots on your setup. These are the two most popular and effective fishing knots.
Step 3
Tie a ball, one-eye or bank sinker to the second line. These sinkers are effective for trolling along the bottom because they offer little resistance against the ground and are difficult to snag.
Step 4
Tie a third line of about 3 feet in length to the remaining eye on the swivel. At the other end of this line, tie either a hook or a lure. The three-way swivel is now rigged.

Tips & Warnings

Always lead with the sinker when dropping the line out the back of the boat and into the water.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.