Author Topic: Stranded Wire Connection Primer  (Read 1827 times)

Offline esox_xtm

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Stranded Wire Connection Primer
« on: Jan 16, 2013, 04:11 PM »
It seems like every 4th or 5th topic here deals somewhere along the line with wire and the perceived difficulties in creating a reliable connection. I'll offer this info in its own topic so (hopefully) it might benefit those willing to do a search for an answer.

There's no mystery to making an awesome connection with stranded wire. No crimps, no special tools, though there are one or two that can make the job much easier and neater. No pricey "tieable" wire, just good ol' AFW or Mason uncoated stranded steel wire for $3 per 30í right off the rack at most well stocked tackle stores. The beauty of no crimps is it eliminates the point where most steel leaders fail, at the crimp. Even if your crimping technique is picture perfect, the flexing of the leader meets the solid crimp and stresses the wire. Sooner or later, that's where it will break. Not so with this connection, it is as soft and flexible as the wire itself, because all it is is wire.

First, the way I learned some 30+ years ago. A time tested technique in Europe and the UK for connecting wire to, well, anything. This is cheap, fast, absolutely reliable and field friendly. I have made literally thousands of rigs with ZERO connection failures. The only failure you're likely to experience, other than horsing a fish, is a fatigue related one due to overfishing a leader. See the diagram below:



One of the tools that makes life easier, especially if you make lots of these, is a "twiddling stick" I designed and made my own from .051" lure wire and some brass hex stock I had laying around. You could even use a large single hook with the barb pinched down. Here's what the real deal looks like:



To see a twiddling stick in action check out this video. The guy is Mick Rouse, an angling educator in the UK. He will use a little different connection but the thought is the same. I've tried this one too and find it just as reliable. You can try both and see which is easiest for you......



Here's a closer look at the actual connection on a #10 treble with 20# wire:



A few additional tips and tricks:

1.   Donít be intimidated by this. Itís as easy as it looks. Plus you will find other applications for it, like tying directly to jigs or lures while fishing other species in pike infested waters.

2.   If you use a forceps and twirl, be careful. Donít whack yourself in the face and donít be dismayed if the forceps comes off and hits your partner in the face or flies into the lake. Donít ask how I know these things....... ::)

3.   If youíre going to make a lot by twiddling do yourself a favor and heat the ends of the wires cherry red. Not a lot, just the last 1/8 inch. This anneals the wire and makes it softer so itís easier when that last part comes around the end, wrapping up easily instead of poking you in the finger or thumb.

4.   These leaders can curl up when fighting a fish. This does not affect the strength. You can ďde-curlĒ if you want them by pinching the wire between your finger and thumbnail on the back of the curl and pull through. Too much pressure and you can curl the wire the other way. Practice a little and youíll get it. If the leader gets a sharp kink, replace it. Donít throw the whole thing away; you can often recycle hooks and swivels.

5.   Youíre free to experiment. Itís easy to try some beads or blades or different configurations. If it doesnít work, cut it apart and try something else. Wire is dirt cheap...........

I think thatís about it. Sure, I know some of you are dead set against wire, but this is really the only cut proof material you can put down against those razor sharp pike teeth. Iíve played with plastic leader material and continue to do so, but day in and day out wire is my go to........

Hope some of you find this useful.

/m

To fish or not to fish? That's a stupid question!




"Life's too short to worry, life's too long to wait..."

Offline Burtess

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Re: Stranded Wire Connection Primer
« Reply #1 on: Jan 27, 2013, 10:45 AM »
Thank-you very much for the tutorial!!

I tied up a few quick strike rigs with the method you describe and fished them yesterday.  Two units failed and not on large pike either (6-8 lbs I would think).  I don't know what I did wrong with these as they had no kinks in them and were smooth. 

Possibly I used too light wire?  The video states he uses 30lb seven strand stainless, what do you use?
I used Malin-7, seven strand stainless, 20lb, 0.012" diameter.  Is this too thin to tie by this method?

Thanks,
Burt  :)

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Stranded Wire Connection Primer
« Reply #2 on: Jan 28, 2013, 01:52 PM »
That's interesting.......... I've made literally thousands of rigs over the years with ZERO connection failures. Now I have had some folks break the leaders off in between the connections, I've even busted a couple that way. The most stringent test was a "crankbait insurance" leader I made for a bass fishing friend. He wound up sticking a musky with his bass tackle on a Storm Thunderstick. He was able to bring the fish to the boat and because he didn't have a ruler long enough, was going to lay his rod alongside to get a quick length. Of course, he hadn't unhooked the fish first and, of course, when he laid the rod along side he touched it's back............ Fish bolted, straightening 2 of the three treble hooks on the lure. The leader was intact; the fish was 52 - 53 inches....

Bear in mind that this is not a "horse" rig; you can't hook it to the winch on your truck and reel 'em in. 20# wire (especially) is very thin and can be broken if over loaded or caught around a corner (like the edge of an ice hole). This becomes more likely as you shorten the line. A fish thrashing out of water (even part way) can snap 20# wire. Since wire doesn't stretch, if you exceed the test rating even for a millisecond it will break.

So, was it the connection that failed or the wire? If it was the connection, make sure you go through the eye TWICE or it is likely that it can slip out. If it was the wire, try to remain a little more composed when landing that pike............. ;D

20# wire is my go to size for most live bait. I use a 30# product for dead bait. My 20# is AFW and the 30# is Malin

/m
To fish or not to fish? That's a stupid question!




"Life's too short to worry, life's too long to wait..."

Offline Burtess

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Re: Stranded Wire Connection Primer
« Reply #3 on: Jan 28, 2013, 02:57 PM »
It broke right at the swivel but you have me thinking.  The way I made the quick strike rig was a single piece of wire twisted around the swivel in the middle and each hook fixed to an end (another single wire up to another swivel for the line tie).  I think maybe the wire worked against itself and slid where I made that connection and that might have been the weak point. 
Also I usually fish them off a rod and these were off tip ups and I probably was a bit aggressive yanking them in.

Thanks for the reply and info!

Burt :)

 



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