Please note: this is coiled wire; you must make your own pins. Use our tips below!
We offer two pinning wire options. Both are 0.040” O.D. round wire, to be driven into 0.039” holes.
- Traditionally, 3/4 hard nickel silver wire is used to secure ferrules and reel seats, especially on restorations and reproduction rods. This material, being stiffer, is easier to drive. It is more difficult to peen. 10’ spools.
- As an alternative, we also offer dead soft nickel silver wire…same diameter, slightly less material at 8’ per spool. This stuff is a bit more devilish to drive on larger ferrules (i.e., longer, more limber pins), but peens with relative ease. In the GW shop I prefer the dead soft wire, but rarely do I make a rod with ferrules over size 13/64th.
The picture shows sample pins made from spooled pinning wire. I straighten the end of the wire, about 2” or so, by pulling it once through a pair of pliers with nylon or Delrin jaws. Don’t go overboard or you’ll work harden the wire. Then I file the very end to a point…you can use a jeweler’s hand file or a rotary file…don’t ding the wire while pointing it. Next, pull the wire just once or twice through coarse polishing paper; the goal here is to dull the surface and impart a bit of tooth, not to reduce the diameter. Next, clip the pin. It must be cut long enough that the point will clear the opposite side of the ferrule completely so that after you nip the point off, you’ll still have sufficient pinning wire to peen lightly and file the metal wire down flush to the ferrule’s surface to create an invisible joint. In order for the pin to drive smoothly, I take a moment and flatten the end opposite of the point before driving the pin; this helps to prevent glancing blows which can mar an expensive ferrule. In essence, you’re making a very short, very soft finishing nail. You might as well do it right.
Restoration tip: If you’re planning to remove ferrules, especially from an older rod, you need to remove any extant pins first. Sometimes they’re tough to locate. If you blue the ferrules with Oxpho-Blue and watch the surface as you blue, you can spot the pins easily. The wire alloy is often slightly different than the ferrule alloy, so the pins will oxidize at a different rate than the rest of the ferrule, making them easy to spot.
Recently a client asked: Is pinning wire maybe just a small stainless steel brad with the head nipped off?
Here’s my response: You definitely want this pinning wire and not a brad. The brad will be relatively hard steel…you’ll have trouble peening it, and it will wear against the softer metal of the ferrule during casting, enlarging the hole and allowing the pin to drop free. The pinning wire is nickel silver, just like most ferrules. It is soft enough to gently peen with a rodmaker’s mallet (which keeps the pin in place) and if the ferrule is nickel silver (as opposed to chrome-plated brass) you can actually use lapping files or polishing papers to bring the metal of the pin dead even with the curved surface of the ferrule, making for an essentially invisible pin.