Nitinol leader wire AKA Titanium wire - Am I doing it right?

Started by Wolfram M, August 30, 2022, 03:21:26 AM

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Wolfram M

Picked up some nitinol wire for leaders today, same stuff sold as "titanium" leader wire. It's a nickle-titanium alloy. It's cheaper if you don't buy the fishing-branded stuff, but it does come in two tempers that I know of, I chose the springy one.

What I have is 0.015" diameter, and I picked up some AFL #1 crimp sleeves, which are 0.033" ID. Crossing over the wire diameter to the fishing line strength, it looks like 0.015" nitinol is rated at 35 to 40lb test.

When I crimp according to the Alan method in the stickies above, I cannot pull the leader apart, but the crimps do slip up very tight. The wire does not break or come out of the crimp sleeve, but as I apply pressure, at about 40lbs the crimp sleeve slides and the two loops choke up tight on the steel rings I used to attach to the tensile test machine.

Is this correct? Did I pick the wrong size crimp sleeve?

The wire exhibits about 13% elastic stretch, and my spool breaks in the standard pull test at 41lbs. With the crimp sleeves, it slips first, then breaks mid-span, not at either crimp. it never completely pulls through the crimp sleeve.

Is this going to work, or do I need to try again?


  I would say your crimp sleeve is to big .    You might want to try putting a third strand in the crimp and retest to see if that will hold ...
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Wolfram M

I did that-the the wire goes through the sleeve, loops back, through the sleeve, loops back, and the tag end goes through the crimp one more time.

Like I said-the sleeve doesn't fail and the line doesn't pull out, but it does slide in the crimp.


Does the wire manufacturer also make sleeves for their wire types?

Wolfram M

Just the same sizes everyone else has. 0.033", 0.047", 0.062", etc.


I asked because sleeve size matters. (Pun)

Not to get all geeky here, but the annular space between the strands you crimp is a factor because some is always there no matter how hard you squeeze.  You are realizing this in your description of the problem.  The wire won't move unless it has room to do so.  A micron of space is a lot of friction loss when multiplied by pressure.

To check this, try the same application and testing with stranded/braided steel line.  If it doesn't slip, then you know there's no room for it to move.  Braids have more surface area and conform to pressure.

Beer time. 


Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.

Wolfram M

Quote from: JasonGotaProblem on September 01, 2022, 04:01:55 AMIs this for your gulf trip?

Yep, my deckhand buddy told me he's getting way more hookups on kings and wahoo with the Ti leaders over the heavier stranded leaders, and it actually works out cheaper to sit here and crimp them myself than buy them down at the tackle shop.

I measured the wire diameter again, it's a true 0.015" diameter-same as the Knot-2-Kinky 35lb fishing brand. They recommend a 0.033" crimp sleeve, and I have AFW #1 sleeves, which are 0.033" ID. I guess I need to file the crimper jaws a bit more.


Quote from: Wolfram M on September 02, 2022, 12:11:12 AMYep, my deckhand buddy told me he's getting way more hookups on kings and wahoo with the Ti leaders
How is he building his leaders?  Sounds like he's getting fish in the boat.

Wolfram M

Same way I am, I suppose. He bought a spool of wire; I only bought a 50ft coil, but then again he does this so his charters catch fish, he's doing it for a living.

I sent him a photo of what I am getting and I'll report back on what he says-I may just not be crimping tight enough.


Quote from: Alan Matsuno on September 01, 2022, 07:46:27 PMI used AFW titanium, it was knotable

I used the same along with 18lb. Sevenstrand for King and Spanish Mackerel.

You can knot both of them.
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