The coil spring trap is one of the most innovative traps available today. Like the long spring and the jump trap, the coil has levers that rise to close two jaws together, holding the animal’s foot. The difference with the coil spring, however, is that the levers are powered by piano wire coil springs, which take up far less space than the long or jump trap springs. This makes for a much more compact trap that is easier to bed. It also makes for a much faster closing action than the other types of footholds. The springs are also cheap and easy to replace when they wear out.
The coil spring trap also has the advantage of a more modern pan configuration – the pan tension on the trap is very easily adjustable with the turn of a screw. This allows trappers to dial in the proper pan tension for the target species.
Much more modern than the long spring or jump trap, the coil spring is most used for coyote, fox and raccoon trapping, though there are models available for smaller and larger animals.
The #1 coil spring trap isn’t all that common. It has an inside jaw spread of around 3 1/2 inches and is mainly a mink and muskrat trap, though it can be used for raccoon, skunks and other small critters. Its small size makes it less effective as a drowning trap in muskrat sets.
The #1.5 coil spring trap is a popular all-around water trap, effective in muskrat and mink drowning sets, raccoon sets, and is also a very effective fox trap. It is generally undersized for coyote trapping. Inside jaw spread is around 4 3/4 inches.
The #1.75 coil spring, or 1 3/4, emerged as a trap that was large enough to hold an average coyote when properly equipped, and small enough to be effective for fox, raccoon and other furbearers. It has a jaw spread of around 5 1/4″ to 5 3/8″. It’s a good in-between trap, but I still think it’s underpowered for coyotes and the jaw spread is too small for effective canine trapping.
The #2 coil spring trap is the quintessential fox and coyote trap, and is probably the most commonly used for these species. It’s powerful enough, has an adequate catch area with an approximately 5 1/2″ jaw spread, and isn’t too costly.
The #3 coil spring trap is ideal for larger coyotes, and provides the holding power and catch area for effective long line coyote and bobcat trapping. This is a very popular trap in the western U.S. predator trapping world. Inside jaw spread is around 6″.
The #4 coil spring trap is big. Its 6 1/2″ jaw spread and holding power make it popular among some coyote trappers. It’s also used for beaver, otter and bobcat. It’s pretty much the top end of the coil spring trap lineup, besides a few larger models used for wolf trapping.