Types of Fishing Weights & Sinkers and When to Use What

Weights, also known as sinkers, are essential equipment in fishing which helps you get your bait to where the fish is and keep it there. So, regardless of your kind of fishing, weights and sinkers are must-have tools whenever you are out fishing.

But, with several types on the market, choosing one can be challenging. In this guide, we show you some of the common types and how they are used.

Let’s take a look!

Split Shot Weights

They are among the frequently used and well-known fishing sinkers. You can find them in different sizes with some being large to the size of a raisin while others are way smaller than that. They have a groove which covers the sinkers length. Some split shots have short handles which allow you to remove them and reuse them.

You can use a split shot sinker when using live bait offerings. The split shot weight is used above the hook with a suspended worm under the bobber. Using this method has been observed to catch thousands of fish and is easy to master.

Rubber Core Weights

Just like split shot weights, rubber grip sinkers also have grooves at their centers whose purpose is to hold the line. These sinkers are usually oval shaped with a rubber core and two tabs at the end of the sinker.

To use rubber core sinkers, place the line inside the groove then twist the tabs in opposite directions as you continue to wrap the line of your sinker around the rubber core. If you twist the tabs in reverse, the line gets released.

You can add rubber core sinkers quickly without tampering with the line. You can get rubber core weights in different weights and sizes. You should use them when you want to add a larger sinker, especially when trolling long lines which help you run your baits at greater depths.

Bell Fishing Weights

Bell fishing sinkers look like a bell shape or a teardrop with a lead eye at the tapered top. You can feed the line by tying it directly to the eye of your fishing sinker.

The eye is usually made using brass, but you can also get some that are made with plastic. You can use bell fishing weights when you want to reduce the time needed to remove the sinker from the water as it has snaps which can be clipped on and help in removing the sinker from the water without much hassle.

You can also use them when going to fish in windy places like shores. If you mostly fish while on a boat, ensure you use the bell sinkers on the three-way rig. It helps you get your baits further deep without the help of extra downriggers.

shakespeare fishing pole

Pyramid Sinkers

It has an eye at its base, which makes it look like an inverted pyramid when tied. It is useful when fishing in places with very fast currents. It has a streamlined shape which enables it to sink fast. A pyramid sinker also has flat edges that protect it from getting rolled along by fast currents.

If you use a pyramid sinker in water bodies with mud floors or sand, it buries itself in the bottom, which is a useful trait for use during surf fishing.

Riff or Bank Weights

Bank Sinkers are like pyramid sinkers in how they use their rigs even though it doesn’t have a brass loop that can hold the line. Instead, riff sinkers have a top that has a lead molded eye.

Bank weights have an egg shape and are hexagonal instead of being spherical. Its flat sides prevent it from rolling into a current while as the tapered shape prevents it from snagging in the water rocks.
You can utilize them when drop shotting or when you want to use river rigs.

saltwater fishing rods

To sum it up about fishing weights & sinkers

If you look at all the above sinkers, you will observe that many of them are variations from common themes. They all come in models that either stay fixed or slide, which helps in customizing the rig you’re tying.

Some fishing weights and sinkers come in tapered or rounded designs which enable them to slip through weed and wood and resist snags. Other fishing sinkers have flat edges which help you to stay in a place where there are fast currents or dig into the soft bottoms. Overall, the type of fishing weight you need depends on the kind of fishing you are doing.



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