What sinker do I use and where and when? The fishing industry is full of different variations of all tackle, this includes sinkers. Sinkers are usually an anchor, however, they can be used in other ways. The different sinker types do act differently and work better in certain situations. A few rigging options have specific sinkers for this reason. What each type of sinker does is important in choosing which one will work best in a situation.
Rules and Safety
The fishing regulations vary in each state and possibly the body of waters within a state. Therefore, you must check the waters you plan on fishing for types of weights allowed by law. Lead is illegal in some states, use tungsten weights in those areas.
Do not put sinkers in your mouth, as some anglers do on occasion. Use a set of fishing pliers. Additionally, clean your hands after handling lead sinkers. The lead and other metals are toxic.
A sinker size can vary from an eighth of an inch BB to over a few pounds depending on the use. The weight controls the distance of the cast. Additionally, they place your bait where the fish are located regarding depth. Depending on the amount of weight and type, the sinker will hold stationary or move along the bottom. You choose what is best for how and where you are fishing.
The smaller weights for fishing resembling BBs. They come in many sizes to allow getting the “just the right amount” of weight in some instances. In streams use split shot use bounce along with the current. One or two split shots can easily achieve the desired effect. Also, a split shot placed below a bobber will keep live bait down.
The classic six-sided teardrop-shaped sinker designed for casting. The shape helps to prevent rolling in slower currents. They come in one eighth to five or more ounces in weight. These sinkers have a molded eye to attach the line.
Identified by the shape and brass eye. The design will dig into the bottom to keep your bait in place. That is to say if fishing sandy or soft bottom waters with current this is a good choice. They tend not to roll. They will, however, become snagged easily on rocky bottoms.
The shape resembles a bell with a wire loop as the attachment point. This type of sinker will roll easily. Their use is in calm waters with a snap allowing quick changes of the sinker. Therefore, they are a good choice for lakes.
Used for live bait rigs, and also Carolina rigs occasionally. It has a hole through the center allowing the line to slip through. When a fish strikes it will not feel the weight if set up correctly. Walleye anglers use this technique, but it is effective on all species of fish.
Bullet or Cone Sinker
The classic worm weight used by bass anglers. A slip sinker rigged either Texas or Carolina style when using soft plastics. Also, the shape reduces snagging weeds. It comes in many sizes for different water conditions.
No Roll Sinker
A commonly used sinker in fast current applications. It is a flat weight that will not roll. They are coin or oval-shaped. Also, the attachment can vary from a hole in the weight to a wire eye. For instance, Catfish and sturgeon anglers use these in large rivers to keep the bait in place. These sinkers can weigh a few pounds in some applications. They do not move if used correctly.
A sinker designed for walleye fishing. Designed to bounce or walk along the bottom. In addition, the shape and the bend in the body are to help reduce snagging. The rigging consists of a 3-way swivel. Leaders extend to the hook and sinker. Walking sinkers keep the bait a few feet off the bottom. The leaders adjust the distance.
There are other sinkers and ways to use them. That said, this is a basic guide for less experienced anglers to try a new technique. As always, try to keep fishing simple and enjoyable. Try new methods or techniques when the bite is slow and see if it works.
Keeping fishing simple for tight lines and bragging rights