Dynamic hot-stage microscopy and sessile drop experiments have identified three stages in the spreading of Ag–28 wt. % Cu liquid on the surface of high-purity Ni foil: (I) nonreactive flow, (II) secondary spreading, and (III) breakout flow. The first stage is deGennes-type spreading driven by capillary forces and resisted by viscous drag. A (Cu, Ni) reaction layer forms quickly at temperature along the liquid-solid interface. Stage I ends when the liquid braze attains a quasistatic contact angle on the reacted surface. Stage II spreading involves a complex advance of a thin liquid sheet outward from the triple line as a result of differences in wetting between Ni grain surfaces and grain boundaries. The advancing liquid meniscus is distorted as the liquid moves ahead along the better wetted grain boundary regions and is held back (pinned) on those surfaces that are poorly wet, resulting in a stick-slip motion of the triple line. The change in contact area with time is linear during this stage, and the rate of spreading is independent of temperature in the range of 780–870 °C. Although the diffusion of Cu into Ni grain boundaries likely drives the capillary flow, it is not the controlling process since an activation energy is not observed. The final stage of spreading, breakout flow, involves the flooding of the liquid braze over previously wetted surfaces due to a change in the balance of interfacial energies. Spreading ends during stage II or III either by isothermal solidification which stems from interdiffusion between the braze filler and the substrate or by curtailment of the liquid supply when it pulls back on the (Cu, Ni) reaction layer. Hold time, peak temperature, and heating rate all have an effect on both the terminal area of spread and the spreading kinetics of braze flow on polycrystalline Ni. The heating rate effect has not been emphasized in previously published literature for soldering and brazing and, if overlooked could easily impair one's ability to apply test results to other studies or practical situations. Roughness-enhanced spreading was not observed with the Ni foil surfaces used in this study. There was, however, a localized effect on the shape of the triple line that did not affect spreading kinetics or terminal area of spread in a systematic fashion.