To catch fishes, it is essential to place the bait in the proper spot. A weight on the fishing line helps to reach the fishing hook and bait at the desired spot and depth. The weight we put on a fishing line is called as sinkers. Most of the time sinkers are made of metals and given a functional shape and size that is required for catching fishes at certain types of water. In this article, we are going deeper to let you show how to put a weight on a fishing line, and why to do it. By the end of reading this post, you will have a good understanding of fishing weights, weight types, and their use. Keep reading.
What is a fishing weight?
A fishing weight is popularly known as the sinker as it helps the bait go deep down to the fishes. Fishing weights are weights made of lead, tungsten, or other materials.
You need to attach this weight to your fishing line to make sure that it goes to the right distance and depth after you cast it. It is an essential element for modern f
ishing lines, especially for the fluorocarbon ones.
Apart from helping you to cast the bait deeper and at the right place where big fishes swim, a sinker will help to keep the bait consistent. It will control the movement of the bait and will make it look realistic to any potential fishes.
Without a sinker, your fish bait will not go deeper to the fish and most probably you will end up catching no fishes. The likelihood of catching fishes is low because the bait without a sinker will float atop where fishes do not show up.
Why do you need weights on the fishing line?
You might not need to use weights always. To be frank, it is the kind of fish you are looking to catch and also the kind of bait that determine whether you require to use weight on your fishing line or not.
If you are targeting the fishes that explore and inhabit at the deepest part of the water but your bait is very light (for example, your bait is made up of glowing rubber worm), you might need to add weight in form of sinker to take the fishing line to the bottom part.
Moreover, if you are trying to catch a fish that is allured only by certain lures, you have to make sure that the movement of your bait is realistic to them. It is a weight that holds the bait steady and keeps it look realistic to those fishes.
A weight on the fishing line is also very important to use when you are fishing in the current. The much the current, the heavier weight you need to keep the fishing line and bait consistent and steady.
Types of Fishing Weights or Sinkers
Sinkers are categorized into various types as per their uses and uniqueness. Sinkers for lakes, rivers, and sea might differ as there are variations in current, fish types, depth, and other aspects. Here are some of the most common types of fishing weights or sinkers that anglers use frequently for different kinds of fishes, water, and depth:
Split shot sinkers
Split shot sinkers are one of the most common and frequently used sinkers out there. The smallest size split shot sinker’s size ranges from B to BB and it might look like a raisin when you use a larger one. In split shot sinkers, a groove runs through it and you put the line into it. To keep the sinker in the right position, it is then pinched tightly.
Split shots are frequently used with live baits. These sinkers are put above the hook accompanied by a worm that suspends below the bobber.
Split shot sinkers very easy to attach to the line and detach from the line as well. It works perfectly for most of the anglers in common fishing situations.
Rubber core sinkers
Rubber core or rubber grip sinkers come with grooves in the center so that it can hold the line. These sinkers seem like a football and have an oval shape. It features a core made of rubber with two ears or tabs. Tabs are set in the two edges of the sinker.
To use a rubber core sinker you have to place the line in the groove of the sinker. To wrap the line around the core of the rubber, the tabs or ears get twisted in opposite directions. To release the line, the tabs are twisted in reverse.
When it comes to adding or removing these sinkers, it is fairly easy to do so without nicking the line. Featuring various sizes and weights, these sinkers have multiple applications.
You can use the small version of the rubber sinkers for live bait offerings while a larger one can be used when you are trolling long lines for making them reach to a greater depth.
It is possible to use core sinkers in various fishing situations.
Bell sinkers resemble a bell with a brass loop at the top that looks like a ring or lead eye. These sinkers are also called as bass casting.
You can tie the fishing line directly to the led eye or feed the line through the eye. The eye of the bell sinker is generally made of brass. However, you might find plastic models as well.
Shore anglers love to use bell sinker as that enables them to cast their bait in the wind. Bell sinkers are good at reducing the snagging. Boat anglers can also use the bell sinkers on a three-way rig. You do not require any additional equipment as downriggers as this very rig helps to get take baits as deep as needed.
When it comes to putting it on the fishing line, it is recommended to put it below the hook.
Pyramid sinkers have a shape like a pyramid with a line eye at the base. It can dig the mud or sand and bury itself very well.
On top of that, pyramid sinkers help to keep the bait steady where the current flow fast.
Another plus point for the pyramid sinkers is that you can drop them to the bottom of the water very rapidly after casting.
These sinkers are ideal for surf fishing and striped bass.
Bank sinkers, also known as reef sinkers are round and long featuring a small hole atop where you are supposed to attach your line. Bank sinkers are ideal for drop-shotting. You will also find them effective when you use river rigs.
With the hexagon edges, these sinkers have many things in common with the pyramid and egg sinkers. It does not roll in the current due to its flat sides. On the other hand, the tapered shape keeps it away from snagging.
Walking sinkers are loved by expert fishermen for decades. With rectangular, outside edges, it has a top with an eye for the fishing line. It features a comparatively larger and wider bottom compared to the top.
That’s why most of its power is preserved in the bottom part. Apart from being large and wide, the bottom is also bent upwards and rounded a little.
It can glide over the rocks pretty easily due to its weight distribution. It does not snag and roll along the bottom even when the current is strong.
Walking sinkers are also identified as live bait rigs as these are used to drag the bait rigs along the bottom.
Along with being snag-resistant, the eye of walking sinkers slides through when any fish bites the bait.
Eggs sinkers resemble the shape of an egg. To attach the fishing line, these sinkers feature a hole inside that goes from one edge to the other. Egg sinkers can pass the rubble and rocks without much resistance. These sinkers are perfect to use where the water is deep. You can also use egg sinkers for fishing in currents.
Before the popularity of walking sinker, anglers would use egg sinkers for live bait presentations. Many catfish anglers still love these sinkers.
Buller sinkers (also termed as cone sinkers) has a shape like a bullet with a hole inside that connects the two edges. The hole is used for attaching the fishing line as you do in egg sinkers.
Bullet sinkers share many characteristics of egg sinkers apart from being oval in size. It can glide through the weeds without much effort. When you are fishing in weedy areas, you can use bullet sinkers to replace the walking sinkers on a live bait rig.
How to put different types of weight on a fishing line
Now that you know about different types of weights or sinkers for fishing line, let’s now see how to put them properly on your fishing line.
Putting split shot sinkers on a fishing line – Step by step
- Find the right point on the fishing line to place your split shot sinkers. If you choose the wrong point, it will be difficult to bring the split shot sinkers to another point.
- Put the fishing line into the groove of the split shot sinker.
- Take a pair of pliers to squeeze the split shot sinker down in a vertical manner so that the groove gets closed and stays attached to the fishing line. However, if you squeeze the sinker too hard with the pliers, the line might get broken. So, make sure that you have put a moderate pressure when you are attaching the sinker to the line.
- Tug the fishing line lightly with one hand and grip the sinker with the other hand to check if that the sinker is placed properly on the line and the sinker does not move away.
- If the grip is too loose, your sinker might fall away when you cast the bait in the water. On the contrary, if the grip is too hard on the line, your line will not stay firm when a fish struggles to win the bait.
Putting rubber core sinkers on a fishing line – Step by step
- Put your fishing line through the rubber groove of the sinker. Make sure that you have placed the rubber core sinker on the right point of the fishing line. If you fail to do so, you might find it hard to fix or adjust it later on.
- Now concentrate on the two tabs or ears of the sinker. Twist those tabs in the opposite directions in the way you unwrap a candy from its cover. This will help the line to get wrapped properly around the core.
- Hold the line in one hand and the sinker in the other. Pull a little to see the rubber core has grabbed the line properly. If the sinker moves, you have to check what’s wrong and fix the issue.
Putting lead eye or ring loop sinkers on a fishing line – Step by step
- If you are trying to lead-eye or ring-loop type of sinker on your fishing line, you have to make sure that you have not added any bait, lures, or hooks at the edge of the line. If you have already added a lure or bait, you have to remove it to get the ring loop sinkers on the line.
- Put the bait or lure edge of the fishing line through the lead eye or ring loop. Then, pull the sinker to the point of the line you desire to keep it.
- Now, fasten a knot of one-step or two-step centering the sinker eye or bottom.
- Make sure that you have tugged the sinker properly on the fishing line. If it slips down, it will likely interfere with your hook once you cast it in the water. If the sinker moves from its place, tie it again and make sure that it is locked with the line.
How to choose the right weight for your fishing line
To be frank, fishes do not care about the weight or sinker you are using. All they care about is the bait you are offering them. There are a few factors you should consider before choosing the right sinker for you while you go fishing. Let’s have a look at some of the aspects that determine the right sinker:
Current: The first question you should ask yourself is that are you going to fish in a river full of current? Or, you are going to fish in a calm pond or lake?
If your fishing place has a strong current, you need heavy and large sinkers. On the contrary, you will need less weight to use on your fishing line when there is low current.
You can even go fishing without a sinker where there is no current and the water is not so deep.
Bottom Type: The type of bottom is another important factor to determine the type of weight you need on your fishing line. Before choosing the right kind of weight, you have to research the type of bottom you are going to fish at.
Try to know if the bottom is full of timber, rock, weeds, or sand.
Your choice of the sinker will be easier once you are done researching the type of bottom you are going to explore for fishing.
Reach: How far do you want your bait or lure to reach? How deep is the water you are going to fish? These are also important questions to take into consideration while choosing the sinker of the right type, size, and shape. For instance, if you want to get your lure to go deeper quickly, you can use pyramid sinkers.
Things to remember when putting a weight on a fishing line
When you are putting weight or sinker or your fishing line, try to follow these tips:
- Make sure that the sinker you are using matches with the depth your targeted fishes inhabits. Though intuition is the key to understand the depth and area of teeming fishes, you can also go under some trial and error to reach a more precise decision.
- When it comes to putting your sinker on the line, you have to ensure that the sinker you are attaching is way far from the bait or hook. If the sinker gets close to the bait or hook, you might end up catching no fishes but the clashes of the two.
- You might get confused about the length and distance when you are using bullet sinkers or similar types of weights. So, it is important to measure the distance outright to make sure that there is a considerable distance between the bait and the sinker.
- Always keep backup sinkers so that you can replace sinkers if you lose one by chance. Line snap is one of the reasons there is a chance to lose your sinker.
- Keep different types of sinkers in your tackle box so that you can cope with the changing fishing situations and use the kind of sinker you required to use.
- Do not put heavy sinkers on your fishing line if it is not required to do so. You’ll end up catching no fish if the bait seems unrealistic to a fish you are targeting. We recommend you to use heavy sinkers only when you are fishing in strong current. You can even skip using any sinker in a shallow pond or lake without any current.
- Avoid taking the lead sinkers in your mouth. Lead sinkers are toxic and banned in many fishing areas. Try to use alternative tinkers made up of tungsten, bismuth, and other non-toxic materials if possible.
- If you are confused about what is the best weight to use in certain water or area of fishing, seek help from experienced anglers for advice.
- Remember that the fishes wait for the bait or lure only. So, try to understand your fish and use a sinker that will take the bait of your fishing line near their mouths.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does the sinker go above or below the hook?
If you are using split shot sinkers or similar ones, make sure that you have placed those about 2 to 3 inches above the hook or bait.
What are the advantages of putting weight on a fishing line?
Let’s count the necessities and advantages of using weights on a fishing line.
Casting: Weights help to take your bait far while casting. If you intend to throw your bait in deep water, just make sure that you have pinched a slip-shot sinker above the hook on your fishing line.
Bottom Fishing: A weight is also useful while you are bottom fishing. A walking sinker behind the drifting boat will help you in this regard.
Fishing in current water: The fishing line gets twisted easily when the water is always flowing. If you are fishing in a current, using a pyramid sinker will come to your help for keeping the bait steady and preventing any twists in the line.
Trolling: A walking sinker helps in trolling.
How far should the weight be from the hook?
Make sure that you have placed the hook about 5 cm to 8 cm above the hook or lures.
How are fishing sinkers made?
Fishing sinkers are made of metals most of the time. To make a fishing sinker, it is required to create a mold with hot and liquid metal. When it cools down, different shapes are given.
However, lead was the most dominant material for making fishing sinkers. Though it is still popular, other metals are also on the rise and replacing the lead. The main cause of it is the toxicity of the lead.
Many fishing areas have banned the use of lead as fishing sinkers and emphasizing the use of non-toxic materials as sinkers. Bismuth, brass, tungsten, and steel are some of the alternatives that are replacing the lead sinkers at present.
Do I need a weight on my fishing line?
Whether you need a weight or not depends on the current, depth of water, type of fishes you are trying to catch, and other fishing situations. If you are trying to fish in deep water, strong currents, and you want to cast your fishing bait farther, you have to use a weight on your fishing line. However, using a weight or sinker is not mandatory if you can fish without a sinker and the fishing situation does not demand so.
How much weight to use when fishing?
It also depends on the current, depth of water, and the fishes you are targeting. Make sure that you have not put so much weight on the pole than is required.
How do you put an egg sinker on a fishing line?
First of all, thread your egg sinker onto the fishing line. Then, make a clinch knot by tying the fishing line with the barrel swivel. And finally, tie a leader of about 8 to 12 inches onto your barrel swivel. And that’s all.
Putting weight on a fishing line might not be mandatory but it is very important to use a weight properly. If you fail to put the right amount of weight on your fishing line, you might end up catching no fishes. We hope that you have got all the required information regarding how to put a weight on a fishing line. Follow the FAQ section below to find more related information.