Bamboo Tips - Tips Area
Hardware - Ferrules - Nickel Silver

< Home < Tips Area < Hardware < Ferrules < Nickel Silver


I'm finally getting around to try the art of ferrule making. One set that I made from Nickel Silver turned out perfect.  That distinct pop, when pulled apart! But, I over shot the dimensions when turning it down. Wall  thickness is .014" (getting pretty thin)! The welt is .100" long and it's .009" thicker than the wall. I'm not planning on using it, but wondering how thin can 18% NS be turned without worrying about stress cracking.  (David Dziadosz)

    Good question.  The female on the rod I'm wrapping is .020", and the only one I have lying around uninstalled, a male,  is .015" at the tabs (which have not  been thinned.)  (Neil Savage)

      That's about right for the tab area. That's also about what the thickness of the male slide area turned out. My main concern is the female tube thickness/welt length/welt thickness. I had read somewhere that not to go thinner than .020" for the female tube thickness.  (David Dziadosz)

        I checked some old NS  stamped ferrules That I have used  successfully. The wall thickness is .0156. I'm assuming from the  ferrule size that you are building a 3 weight. I think you would be  OK using the ferrules. If it makes you feel better, you could wrap  the female all the way with thread, like Winston. That should give  you a bit more hoop strength, but I doubt that it's necessary.  (Tom Smithwick)

          Actually, I'm planning on using that size on a 5'3" UL Spinning Rod. You brought up another interesting topic that I was thinking about, "Relation of ferrule size to rod length to line weight."  (David Dziadosz)

        Well, as I said, the female tube I have here on the bench is .020", so that's probably about the limit.  You are 25% under, so probably too thin to work for a long time.  If you wanted to salvage it, you could make a sleeve, turn off the welt and solder the sleeve over the outside.  Likely not worth the effort except as an exercise though.  (Neil Savage)

          Good idea! Some time back, I was at the local Ace's Place and picked up some stick solder (Nickel Silver). The plan was to make a form and melt the solder into it to make hex shaped winding checks. Has anyone used this solder? I don't think it needs any flux??  (David Dziadosz)

    I forgot to mention, it's a 11/64 standard ferrule.  (David Dziadosz)

      Regarding minimum ferrule wall thickness: I did a review of Super Z ferrules dimensions for nickel silver ferrules since they have always been a highly respected manufacturer. The result is that the minimum wall thickness they use is 0.0165" for all their ferrules from 9/94 to 19/64 sizes. This should be a good guide for you.   (Ray Gould)


For those of you that have been turning your own ferrules, what's the difference between 18% and 12 % nickel silver?  Which is preferred for ferrules and why?  (Mark Wendt)

    12% is a lot easier to machine than 18%.  18% is a harder material because of higher nickel content, I feel either is adequate.  I use 18% on anything smaller than a size 15, 12% on anything larger.  I do this because of availability, I can't find 18% larger than 5/16" diameter. I think intuitively 18% would be better because of the higher nickel content, but if I couldn't get it, I would have no problem using 12% exclusively.   (Tom Ausfeld)

      I've got some 18% tube and 12% bar.  Looking at them they seem to have a little different look.  The 12% seems to tarnish or oxidize a little darker. The 18% is a little more silver it seems.

      In making a reel seat, it seems to me, if using the tube for a sliding band and then boring out the rod to make the cup, that it would be noticeable after a while on the rod.  Is there a problem if you mix the two?  Or if blued, would they each react a little different?  (Tim Wilhelm)

    The first NS I bought was from a metal supply place on the east coast some place. The only item they had was 3' lengths of 1/4" round stock of 13% nickel. It cost something less than $35 delivered. It was definitely the color of brass. When it arrived I looked at it and wondered what I was going to do with this stuff. That was about a year ago. On Monday this week I finally found a use for it. Believe it or not, it makes a great mandrel for polishing a size 14, 18% NS ferrule. Today I get 5/16", 18% stock for about 1/2 the cost and the color is that which we expect in nickel silver.  Let me know if you would like to know the source.  (Don Greife)


How about Nickel Silver for ferrules? I'm making ferrules out of aluminum rod stock,  and have been for close to a year. No failures, no galling and sticking, no excessive oxidation - and I'm not anodizing. Advantages are aluminum weighs one third the weight of NS, readily available and cheap. I get a six foot rod for under $20.00 most of the time - depending on diameter and alloy. Since aluminum is so light multipiece (5, 6, 7 piece) rods are more feasible. Machining aluminum is faster and easier.

By the way, I'm doing this to stimulate discussion, I'm not saying I am right or wrong in my opinions about these subjects. I am open to having my mind changed  - that's what this list is for.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    I think you were using 6000 series???   Do you know it's temper?  (Tony Young)

      I have used several alloys, 4032 - T86 temper, 6262 - T9 temper, 7075 - T9 temper and 642 Aluminum bronze.  (Darryl Hayashida)

        The Al Bronze isn't really aluminum though. Still that must have been difficult to machine? Of the Al alloys which seemed the best to you? One thing to be careful with the 7000 series is it's very prone to oxidization around a saline environment.  Climbing gear is made from it. I once climbed on a sea cliff which you had to start the climb from a row boat. The gear got a single wave over it and by afternoon the cams of the "friends" stopped working which made life tricky for a while there due to oxidization. I would imagine even fresh water may have enough minerals to cause this if you didn't take precautions.  (Tony Young)

          Can't say which Al alloy was best. They all are doing a great job with no failures. None of them has oxidized either, but I haven't done any saltwater fishing with them. Al bronze is more difficult to machine. The look is a lot different though, matches a flamed rod better.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    While I can get nickel silver for less then $3/foot I will use it for ferrules. I guess I would use aluminum if NS was not so readily available.  (Adam Vigil)


Just tried some 752 nickel silver, it's supposed to be 18% nickel, but it tarnishes to a yellow color. It polishes up to a silver color, but it tarnishes to a light yellow within a day. Interesting stuff, but if you want the traditional NS silver color don't get 752 alloy.

I'm going to use it anyway. I'd like to see what it looks like after a few months. The yellow might look okay on a blonde cane rod.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    I've used the 752 alloy on my rods, except when following your advice to use a hard aluminum.  After a year the 752 nickel silver is a more of a gray, but it is still rather bright.  I used a buffing wheel after dipping, so it probably left a film of protective polish too on the ferrule.

    By the way, the aluminum ferrule works great on a 2 weight rod, or a 3 piece rod. I had one aluminum ferrule stick after a cold clammy day in the Smokies, and it would not come apart, despite ferrule puller.  I left the rod to sit for 5 days and it popped off. The cane had swelled, probably.  (Paul Franklyn)

      I'm making a blank for a friend, and he wanted a nickel silver ferrule. Up until now I've only used aluminum or Duronze. I'm beginning to lean towards Duronze for most of my ferrules. I like the color on bamboo.

      Just to head off the questions - Duronze is 642 aluminum bronze. It is just   as   strong   as   NS,   and   2/3   the   weight.   I   get   it   at  (Darryl Hayashida)

        I agree Darryl I like Duronze over aluminum. I can't understand why Winston wraps all of theirs.  (David Ray)


Site Design by: Talsma Web Creations

Tips Home - What's New - Tips - Articles - Tutorials - Contraptions - Contributors - Search Site - Contact Us - Taper Archives
Christmas Missives - Chat Room - Photo Galleries - Line Conversions - The Journey - Extreme Rodmaking - Rodmaker's Pictures - Donate - Store