I am building a zs6bkw dipole using a ladder-lock. For mechanical strength, I am looping the 12 gauge wire, as in the image below, and swaging it. The next step is to join the thick antenna wire to the smaller ladder-line wire on the ladder-lock. The connection doesn't have to be mega-mechanically strong, since the antenna wire is swaged, so I am trying to find the best, electrically conductive way to splice these two wires together.
Strip the ends of both wires about an inch, fan-out the stranded conductors, merge the two fanned out ends, twist them together, and solder the wires together.
Strip the ends of both wires about an inch, wrap the thinner wire around the thicker wire, and solder the wires together.
Strip the ends of both wires for a Solder-Loaded, Heat-Shrink Reducing, Crimp-On Butt Splice (image below; meant to join wires of different thicknesses). For example: https://www.mcmaster.com/crimp-on-wire-connectors/solder-loaded-heat-shrink-reducing-crimp-on-butt-splices/.
The first option didn't work well because the individual strands in the 12 gauge wire were too strong and wouldn't twist well together with the strands of the ladder-line wire.
The second option worked, and the solder joint does not appear to be "cold", but I would be surprised to find that the two wires are optimally joined.
The third option is very appealing, but I could not find anything when I googled about using such a joint for a dipole antenna and whether it would seriously degrade performance (increased resistance/reactance, etc.).
I'd really appreciate your comments about the third option, since it is the one that is most appealing to me.
Thank you for your time and interest,