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THE ART OF CRIMPING



Warford Leadin

    The key to success is attention to detail! Live by this and improve your fishing success. After years on the water this is the most important thing I have learned and I live by it every day. There are many different crimps and crimpers available in the market place. The type you choose is undeniably one of the most important decisions when rigging and preparing your tackle.

    SELECTING YOUR CRIMPING TOOL
    A quality crimping hand tool is very important. It must have adjustable jaws for precise calibration as well as a self-stopping feature to ensure accurate compression to prevent overcrimping. A tool with good grips also is helpful when using in wet conditions. The Centro CH-18 is a great tool when using Hi-Seas, Jinkai or Momoi Diamond crimp sleeves. My choice is Nicopress. The two main crimping tools I use are the Nicopress Model 31-B and 33V-CGB4.

    CRIMP SLEEVE SELECTION
    Aluminum crimp sleeves are very popular and work great; however, I use the dual oval style Nicopress black nickel-plated copper sleeves. Their double-barrel design aligns the leader in a perfect parallel fashion and prevents crossing over inside the crimp. This offers a super strong and consistent connection. I also really prefer the stealthy black nickel over the shiny aluminum crimps. The crimp sleeve size must match the line diameter. Focus on diameters not pound-test ratings on packaging.
    Nicopress Crimp Sizes:
    •B1-80-100# Leader, Dia 0.90-1.05mm
    •B4-130-250# Leader, Dia 1.20-1.45mm
    •C- 250-400# Leader, Dia 1.60-2.05mm
    •G- 500-600# Leader, Dia 2.45-2.86mm
    For more than 20 years I have used Fisherman's Headquarters on Long Beach Island in New Jersey as my go to tackle shop. They carry the key Nicopress products. Whenever possible I suggest going into your local tackle shop for hands-on sizing of line and crimp sleeves. It's very important to ensure a perfect snug match before rigging.

    CALIBRATING YOUR CRIMPER
    Calibrating the crimper is often overlooked, but is the most important step to ensure a perfectly crimped sleeve every time. The Nicopress hand tools have two Allen screw adjustments along one side of the handle. The lower screw is for locking and unlocking the tool for adjustment purposes. Turn the screw a half-turn counterclockwise to unlock the tool. Then use the upper screw for adjusting the tension of the tool. Adjust the tension in small, quarter-turn increments at a time, making sure you tighten the lower screw to lock it after each adjustment.
    To test the tension setting:
    First — Start with a 4-foot piece of the leader material you will be using.
    Second — Make a 4-inch loop on each end of the leader and crimp with the appropriate size crimp.

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