I make all of my coyote live snares out of stainless steel 3/32", 7X7 cable, which has been
swaged down to an approximate diameter of 5/64".
The swaging does two things.
1- the cable is compacted, with little space left between the strands, and that makes it very
hard, as my pardner & I say, for a coyote to hang a tooth in. 2- The swaged cable is
somewhat stiffer, and holds a better loop.
Please, pay attention to what I am writing. I Did Not Say I used stainless steel 3/32, 7X7
cable. I have had numbers of folks tell me that they tried the 3/32 stainless I recommended,
and it didn't work for them.
That's because they did not pay attention. What I Did Say was I used stainless steel 3/32,
7X7 which Had Been Swaged Down to an approximate 5/64" diameter.
This is a difficult cable to find, and is expensive (20¢ to 28¢ per foot). The Snare Shop
carried it for a while. Other than that, in recent years, we have had to go the the cable
manufacturers to find any. The use that we put it to justifies the cost, but the cable is too
expensive, IMO, for general snare work.
Being stainless, these snares have to be painted. They won't take dye, and they won't
gray-down left hanging in the weather through the summer months. That is, we were painting
them until we began using Formula One a couple of years back.
As Newt posted, use extension cable and stake your snares long. What you want is a snare
built on short stock, with a swivel. You need the swivel as close to the closed loop as
possible. If your swivel is out on the end of a 5' or 6' snare, the first dally the coyote takes
around a sassafras shrub, is when your swivel is defeated, increasing the possibility that the
coyote will break or chew out.
During the times, we have run out of swaged cable, and have been unable to locate any, we have
tried a lot of different cables.
I have been told that some successful live snaring men use 1/8" cable for coyotes. We found that this
resulted in too many refusals to suit us.
Ultimately, we went to 5/64" 1X19 cable. We get some chew-outs with this cable, that we
wouldn't get with the swaged cable, but far fewer than with the other cables we tried. And
5/64" in either swaged cable or 1X19 results in fewer refusals.
For live snaring, I don't believe that cable of less than 5/64" diameter in either style would
For most of my life, I have run pretty much mixed lines -- some water sets, some land sets
-- whatever looked as though it would be a productive site along the line.
Now-a-days, for the most part, I don't run a mixed line when live trapping. Live snares at
their best, require regular, short term checking. In my state, we operate under a 24 hour
check law, and I devote those 24 hours to coyotes and fox, not slowing down for water
sets, etc. Oh, I may drop in an otter set here and there, but I don't spend a lot of time at it. I
may occasionally get some ADC work in, but I don't neglect my live market lines to do this.