How to attach a swivel to the fishing line using wire rope ferrule

If you want to make sturdy loops on your big game fish lines, use oval wire rope ferrules. Read this article to learn how to use them to attach a swivel to your shark rig.

When making a fish rig, you can use different types of knots to tie a swivel to a leader or fish line. They are reliable, especially for small fish, and do not require additional tools. But when you are in the league of catching big fish such as sharks, you want your heavy-duty swivel and tackle to be as secure as possible to the line so that you do not lose your big catch. The best way to put a secure loop around a swivel at the end of your fish line is by using a wire rope ferrule sleeve.

Wire rope ferrule sleeves make strong end loops on braided wires and cables. The eye loops are so strong that they can bear the same weight as the cable without coming off. You can use them to make reliable end loops on large monofilament cables or braided wire cables for fishing. For fishing, you can use either copper or aluminum ferrule sleeves because they do not rust in water. My personal preference are aluminum sleeves.

If you crimp the sleeves properly, you can be sure that the connection will be as strong as the cable itself if not stronger. To learn more about wire rope ferrules, check out this article on oval wire rope ferrules and their uses.

The ferrules come in handy when dealing with cables that are hard to tie a knot. For example, fishing lines and leaders for large fish are thick and can be hard to tie. Some are made of braided metallic strands that are even harder to tie. But with an oval cable ferrule, you only need to loop the line through the eye of the swivel and crimp it in place. If you do it correctly, the resulting loop will be stronger than any knot you ever tied.

In this article, I share how to attach a swivel to a fish line or leader line using a ferrule sleeve to make a strong eye loop.

How to attach swivel to fishing line using ferrules

You will need the following tools:

  • Hand swager
  • Aluminum wire rope ferrule sleeve
  • Fishing line or leader line
  • Thimble


1. Attach thimble to swivel

Start by attaching the correct size thimble to the eye of the swivel. You may need to pry apart the ends of the thimble to loop it through the swivel easily. Once you get it through, use pliers to squeeze together the ends of the thimble to keep it from coming off.

While stainless steel thimbles offer more strength, aluminum thimbles are also strong and light enough for fishing applications. They are also resistant to rust, especially if you want to take your fishing rig into saltwater. Therefore, I recommend that you use aluminum thimbles for fishing rigs.

2. Install the oval ferrule to the fishing line

The next step is to install the correct size wire rope ferrule to the fishing line or leader. To do so, just put the end of the line through the swage sleeve once. You could use braided cable of monofilament for gamefishing.

If you do not know the correct size of the ferrule, just measure your fishline with a vernier caliper and order oval sleeves whose long diameter is marginally bigger than twice the diameter of the cable. The shorter diameter of the ferrule should also be slightly longer (about +0.02mm) than the cable

3. Loop the line through the thimble

After putting the line through the swage sleeve, insert the end of the cable through the thimble on the swivel. Make sure the line sits properly inside the groove of the thimble.

4. Bend back the line

Now bend back the line and put it through the oval sleeve to make an eye loop through the swivel. Ensure that the dead-end of the line sticks out of the ferrule only about 1/4 inch.

5. Resize the loop

While holding the dead-end against the ferrule, pull back the main line to resize the loop. Pull until the line sits tightly around the thimble.

5. Crimp the ferrule with a swaging tool

Now align the sleeve vertically inside the correct size swaging slot and compress it. Press the handles of your hand swager together until they become hard to squeeze.

Well, that is how to use wire rope ferrules to make shark rigs and other rigs for big game fishing. If you swage or crimp the ferrule correctly, the resulting loop should give you 100% of the cable strength. The loop is much stronger than any knot you would create and much neater.

Watch the video below to see my friend from Blacktiphfishing illustrate how to secure a swivel to monoline for shark rig using a cable ferrule and hand swager pliers.

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Julio a.k.a Pliersman is the owner and creator of the Pliersman Website. As a handy person, he possesses a variety of pliers (both general-purpose and specialty pliers) which he uses to complete various tasks. When Julio is not blogging, he spends his time in the garage fixing cars or building stuff.