How to Use a Hagen's Wire Bender

Written by anne redler
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How to Use a Hagen's Wire Bender
Fishing tackle can be made using a Hagen's wire bender. (triple fish-hook image by Alex White from

A wire bender, also known as a wire former, is a manufacturing tool that does what its name says--forms wire into different shapes. Although wire benders can range from smaller manual models to large machines, Hagen's manual wire bender is used for making the wire body for fishing tackle. The wire body is a two-to-five-inch length wire with an enclosed loop at one or both ends. Once you add items such as swivels, blades, beads, weights, tails or hooks to the body, this becomes fishing tackle, including spinners, snells, leaders and trolling rigs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Thin wire
  • Hagen's wire bender

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  1. 1

    Mount the Hagen's wire bender on the edge of a stable, level surface before using it. The bender comes with mounting capabilities. You will need a sufficient amount of space between the front of the wire bender and the surface that you mount it to so that you can fully turn the crank handle on the bottom of the device.

  2. 2

    Cut the steel wire to an appropriate length before you start to bend it, such as three to six inches long, depending upon the type of fishing tackle that you are making.

  3. 3

    Place the piece of wire between the two forming pins which sit on the stationary die on the front of the bender. The forming pins are small pieces of metal that stick up to guide the shape of the wire.

  4. 4

    Turn the revolving die crank handle on the bottom of the bender in a clockwise motion for almost one turn, until the wire is bent completely around to the right in a crook shape.

  5. 5

    Take the wire out of the stationary die and turn it over. Place the bent wire back in between the pins on the stationary die with the outside part of the crook facing to the left hand side.

  6. 6

    Turn the bottom crank handle clockwise only one quarter of a turn while pulling the straight portion of the wire to the right. This will maintain the curvature at the top end of the wire while pulling out the shorter end so that you can mount any accessories onto the wire such as beads or hooks.

  7. 7

    Remove the wire from the stationary die once you are satisfied with its curvature.

  8. 8

    Slide any accessories such as beads or hooks onto the wire, depending upon the type of fishing tackle that you are making.

  9. 9

    Place the bent end of the wire on the loop twist die which is located on the top of the bender. The top end of the bent wire will loop around a piece of metal that sticks up from the die. Hold the long end of the wire off to the left hand side.

  10. 10

    Pull the loop twist wedge handle down so it connects with the wire and holds it down. Let go of the wire and grab the crank handle which is situated on the bender's side while tightly holding down the loop twist wedge handle.

  11. 11

    Turn the crank handle clockwise in a full circle approximately four times as you continue to hold down the loop twist wedge handle. This will bend the wire into a full loop, with wire wraps to keep the loop secure. You can then repeat the aforementioned steps with the other end of the wire.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need to practice using Hagen's wire bender several times before you can perfect your wire loops.

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