Tested by Ian Welch
£4.99 per 20 m
With a bronze finish, this 7-strand woven stainless wire is rated at 30 lb. Typical of uncoated stainless wire it is prone to kinking and will require regular checking and replacement to keep traces secure. The wire twists well with forceps or heat treatment and a twiddling stick but is equally secure when appropriately crimped. Robust and secure it is a reliable workhorse of a material for pike fishing which offers strength, rather than subtlety, but no trace making information is provided to assist inexperienced predator anglers.
£6.99 per 7 m
Rated at 30 lb this 19 strand stainless steel wire offers increased suppleness compared with 7-strand versions allowing lures, hooks and swivels to be tied as well as twisted or crimped and gives a degree of subtlety to light presentation and livebaiting. Strands have a habit of unravelling during twisting but crimping is secure. Polymer coating gives soft feel and imparts considerable resistance to kinking and abrasion. It’s available in silver, brown or green and also in 15 and 20 lb strains. Minimal trace making instructions provided.
£5.25 per 25 m
Does exactly what it says on the tin and produces superbly finished twisted traces when heated over a flame before use, with good instructions provided to guide you through the process. But it is also suited to crimping if that is your favoured finish. The 7-strand, low diameter bronze wire is robust and rated at 30 lb, but a 20 lb version is also available for lighter applications. Typical of an uncoated 7-strand it is prone to kinking during use and finished traces will require regular checking and replacement during repeated use.
£9.95 per 5 m
Titanium wire rated at 30 lb and supplied in a 5 m length may seem poor value but titanium scores over standard steel as it’s almost impossible to kink, and it gives great durability. This 7-strand version has a high diameter compared to normal 7-strand wire, is robust and crimps beautifully but I had problems with strand separation when trying to heat and twist so it is best crimped. Also supplied in 20 and 40 lb. Great wire for experienced pikers but novices will find no instructions.
£3.95 per 20 m
Rated at 28 lb and supplied on a 20 m spool this is a wire you can afford to replace regularly. The 7-strand weave stainless wire has a dark bronze finish and a relatively low diameter and twists well, especially when heated, and takes crimps to give a robust, reliable trace. Prone to kinking but not more so than any similar wire, and available in 12, 15, 20, 24 and 33 lb strains. Rig instruction and diagrams included.
£4.95 per 10 m
Multi-strand woven stainless steel wire in a pale green finish rated at 28 lb but with 10, 15 and 20 lb versions also available. Low in diameter it has a reasonably supple finish which allows for knotting – a neat finish can be obtained on lures, hooks and swivels. Twists very well and takes crimps to form robust and secure traces which are well suited to zander as well as pike fishing but the strands do have a habit of separating, and care has to be taken to ensure a neat, snag free finish. Resists kinking reasonably well and is supplied with useful rig diagrams.
£9.95 per 5 m
Soft 12 kg (26 lb) multi-strand silver material comprised of fibres and steel braid which makes for a supple trace wire that can be knotted to produce rigs suited to shy-biting species, but is robust enough to deal with bigger predators too. It does not twist easily but takes crimps, although knotting is so robust they are not required for most applications. Resists kinking but has a habit of ‘pigtailing’ although it will usually straighten again. It is also available in 20 kg (44 lb) strain.
FOX PREDATOR CARBO FLEX
£5.99 per 15 m
Carbon coated 7-strand stainless steel wire gives excellent suppleness and improved resistance to kinking compared to uncoated wires. Supplied with 50 Lok-Tight crimps to ensure the correct size crimp is used which, together with comprehensive instructions, allows for perfect trace making, even for inexperienced users. Twists well after heating to burn off the end of the carbon coating, but is also supple enough to knot directly and give subtle presentation for small livebaits and zander as well as being robust enough to deal with a big pike. Also available in 20 and 40 lb strains.
NOTE: All products tested January 2010. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.