Crimping or swaging as it sometimes called is a quick and reliable method for making joins in monofilament and cable.
:: Sleeve styles ::
There are three main types of crimp sleeve in common use.
For this reason aluminium sleeves should only be used for joining monofilament, whilst brass or copper sleeves can be used for joining either monofilament or cable.
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They are also in common use on longline boats, but due to being very slightly more costly than oval sleeves they are less popular. Longliners use an awful lot of sleeves so every cent saved is important, but that’s not really such an issue for charter captains or private anglers who use far fewer.
Like oval sleeves, double barrel sleeves are available in both brass or copper and in aluminium. They should also only be compressed with a cup to cup style crimping tool.
The same comments regarding corrosion apply as for oval sleeves. It’s important so I’ll say it again. Use aluminium sleeves for monofilament only, use brass or copper sleeves for either monofilament or steel cable.
Double barrel sleeves are available in both standard and heavy-duty models. The standard sleeves are only available in brass or copper, whilst the heavy-duty sleeves are available in brass, copper and aluminium. These heavy-duty sleeves are for use with heavier leaders and larger crimping tools and are often generically referred to as ‘Nicopress’ sleeves.
:: Crimping tool styles ::
There are four major types of crimping tool that you are likely to see.
1. Point to cup
Point to cup
They are used with round section crimp sleeves and they roughly flatten the sleeve around the leader without forming fully around the leader.
They make a very inadequate connection and are not suited to rigging for big fish. I guess you can tell that I don’t much like these.
Cup to cup
Again they resemble a large pair of pliers, but the opposing jaws have matching pairs of semi circular cut outs (the cups). There are usually three or four different sized cut outs depending on the brand of tool.The jaws usually have markings to indicate the appropriate sized sleeves to use with each cut out. Each cut out will usually accommodate several different sized sleeves either oval section or double barrel.
Standard duty tool
Heavy duty tool
Bench press tool
:: Making a basic crimped connection in monofilament ::
Take your monofilament leader and select a suitable sleeve. This can be alloy or copper, oval or double barrel, whatever you like, but it should fit snugly over the mono whilst still sliding easily.
Pass the mono through the sleeve, make a loop and pass it back through the sleeve in the opposite direction. Pull an extra 2 or 3 inches through the sleeve.
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Pull the leader back through the sleeve and the flattened mono end will sit snugly against the end of the sleeve without pulling back through. Now you can adjust the size of the loop.
Take your crimp tool and select the appropriate cut out to suit your sleeve. Position the sleeve between the jaws of the tool so that the concave faces of the cups bear against the curved edges of the sleeve. Do not crimp all the way to the ends of the sleeve as this will cause the edge of the sleeve to cut into the monofilament. Make sure that you have left about 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) between the end of the sleeve and the tool.
Squeeze the tool tightly closed and the sleeve should compress around the monofilament. If using a small sleeve you will only need to crimp it once, but larger sleeves may require that you move the tool along and crimp it once or twice more along its length. If possible leave a 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) space between each compressed portion of the sleeve, and the same at each end. The sleeve should have a flared appearance at each end.
If using this technique to attach hooks, swivels or any kind of anti chafe tube or loop protector you’ll need to remember to thread the leader through them before passing it back through the sleeve and crimping it closed.
:: Making a basic crimped connection in cable ::
Making a crimped connection in cable is pretty much the same as with monofilament, but there are a couple of important differences.
1. Use brass or copper sleeves only. It doesn’t matter whether they’re oval or double barrel.
2. Ensure that you don’t leave an exposed tag end of wire, this can cut you badly when you are leadering a fish. You may need to use a second sleeve crimped over the tag end to achieve this, just pass a couple of extra inches of leader through the first sleeve before crimping it tight. Then either wrap the tag end around the main leader before crimping them with the second sleeve, or if you’re feeling clever you can haywire twist the two lengths of cable before crimping.
:: Common crimping mistakes ::
1. Crimping all the way to the end of the sleeve
2. Using alloy sleeves on stainless steel cable
3. Using the wrong size sleeve
The purpose of crimping is to deform the metal of the sleeve around the leader and not to simply crush the crimp until it touches the leader in as many places as possible. Choose a sleeve that is a comfortable snug fit on your chosen leader material.
4. Not using the correct crimping tool for the sleeves in use or not using a crimping tool at all
Well they can’t, that’s the beginning and the end of it.
Monofilament will be damaged by all these methods and whilst cable is more forgiving the individual strands can also be damaged. These methods will produce a joint that sometimes holds up to average fish but will fail when pushed to the limit.
When you consider that a standard crimp tool costs less than 1/20 of the price of a standard trolling charter and should last at least 10 years it seems a false economy to use anything else.
I’ve never seen a correctly crimped connection fail. Fish can be lost for all sorts of reasons but this needn’t be one of them.
5. Using the correct tool incorrectly
This is wrong, the pressure is exerted by the curved surfaces of the cups against the curved sides of the sleeve.
If you can’t avoid a tag end use a crimp protector to cover the join.
7. Not crimping the sleeve
Story by Leadertech