Weights or sinkers are some of the most important fishing gear you can buy. Though some people differentiate between the two terms, they are often used interchangeably to describe devices that help weigh down your line.

Knowing the differences between weight types is incredibly important. Each style and density is built for a certain purpose, and you never want to go out fishing with the wrong gear. This guide will cover the most common weights to help you avoid such issues. 

The Numerous Fishing Weight Types

Fishing hook weights are used with a lure or hook to increase how well they sink or how far they cast. Some can be extremely light, while others can weigh up to several pounds.

As mentioned above, fishing weights come in a range of different shapes and have numerous applications. The general rule is that shallow or smaller bodies of water need lighter weights, while your weights should get heavier as you move out into deeper depths.

There are many sinkers out there, and they each have a specific purpose. Understand exactly what you’re looking for before you buy.

For instance, there are pyramid sinkers, which anchor to the bottom, barrel sinkers, which are great for any rocky regions, and split-shot sinkers that are easy to take on and off.

Beyond that, you can also buy bullet sinkers for largemouth bass, dipsey sinkers that attach to the line with a loop of brass wire, and bank sinkers that have a small hole for fishing line to thread through.

Finally, there are claw sinkers. These are commonly round, and they come with a number of metal spikes that dig into the bottom to keep the rig in place. That makes them perfect for regions with both sandy beds and strong currents.

Those are the most common styles, but if you spend time searching online you can also find older options like vintage fishing weights as well.

How to Pick Your Material

Once you’ve gone over the exact type of weight you need, you next need to analyze the correct material. Typically, you want to look for a sinker that is cheap, dense, and environmentally safe.

Density is an extremely important trait to pay attention to because, no matter how heavy your weight is, you want it to be as small as possible to limit how well fish can see it.

In ancient times fishing sinkers were made of materials typically found in natural environments like stones, rock, or bone. However, in today’s world, most weights are created by pouring hot, liquid metal into a mold.

Though fishing lead weights are still used today, it is often correct to stay away from such options because they can poison or harm the environment. In fact, many areas have banned lead weights outright.

As a result, the best weight materials are steel, brass, tungsten, and bismuth. Sandsinkers, which use sand as weight, are also used from time to time.

However, out of all of the above options, tungsten is the most popular. That is because, while it is a bit more expensive, it is the densest of all the materials. That means you get the power of lead with none of the drawbacks.

A few companies are also starting to experiment with high-density composite resins. Using those is more affordable way to get prime density.

Learning to Tie the Weight

Once you understand the type and material of the weight you want, you next need to learn how to tie a fishing hook and weight.

First, you want to decide how far up from the hook you need to attach the sinker. This will typically be 1 to 2 feet up the line, but it can vary for different bodies of water.

Then, you should lay the line out of sight to make sure you never tangle it as you attach the weight. This is so important you can kneel on the line as you tie.

Next, attach the weight to the line. Split shot weights need to be pinched on, but when using a ball or spoon sinker you can simply run the line through the weight and tie the two ends together. Just be sure to leave extra room for the hook.

Once the weight is on, all that’s left is trying the hook onto the end. There are several popular knots for that task, but any of them will suffice.

Getting the Depth and Distance You Need

Fishing weights are often overlooked, but that does not mean they aren’t important. Picking the right weight for your fishing area is key to a successful trip, and a feature that should never be overlooked.

Go through the choices in this guide, follow the tying steps, and you will always be prepared to pull in a big catch.

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