Sinkers are used as weights to get your bait or lure down to deeper water. There are many types of sinkers on the market. There are split shots, bullet weights, diamond drops, egg sinkers and more. Most of the names of the weights are pretty self-explanatory. When you see it, the name will make sense. They come in all different sizes ranging from 1/16 of an ounce to over 1 ounce.
Split Shots – A type of sinker made of lead with varying weights that is split open on one side and can be placed directly on the line.
Bank sinkers are like pyramid and egg sinkers, but the sinker does not feature a brass loop to hold line, rather the sinker’s top usually has a lead-molded eye. These tapered, egg-shaped sinkers feature hexagon sides instead of a smoother, rounded surface. The advantage is that the flat sides help prevent it from rolling in current and the tapered shape helps prevent it from snagging in rocks.
Bell Sinkers (also called bass casting sinkers) are shaped like a bell with a brass loop or a lead eye at their tapered top. Line can be fed through or tied directly to the eye. These weights are popular with a drop shot rig and 3-way rig.
Bottom Bouncers are used mostly for trolling and drifting with live bait. You can very easily use bottom bouncers to troll with artificial lures as well. Walleye anglers will often use bottom bouncers to troll with spinner rigs (also called crawler harnesses). Bottom bouncers do a great job of holding bottom without getting snagged up on rocks or timber. Weeds will hang on these rigs, so it is not recommended to troll in weeds unless you are actually holding the rod to make sure your presentation stays just above the weeds.
Bullet Weights, also called cone sinkers, are shaped like a bullet and the line gets threaded through the narrow part of the weight and out the other side. The cone-shaped sinker helps them glide through the water and slide through some weeds, scattered grass and even some timber and brush. These weights can get snagged up, but they do a good job through many different types of cover. This weight is very popular with the Texas Rig.
Drop Shot Sinkers
Drop Shot Sinkers are made for fishing with the drop shot rig. While you could use any type of sinker with the drop shot rig, these drop shot sinkers are preferred by most anglers because you don’t have to tie them to your line. Just thread your line through the eye and pull your line up into the narrow part of the eye. When you get a snag, the line will pull free from the weight and you won’t have to re-tie. Just add another drop shot weight and you’re ready to fish. We highly recommend using “lead-free” weights with this setup. It can get expensive when you are losing weights, but it’s a better alternative than leaving lead weights on the bottom of our waters.
Egg Sinkers are popular for fishing with live bait. The walking sinker is probably much more popular nowadays as a live bait rig, but plenty of anglers still do prefer the egg sinkers. The egg shape of this sinker helps to resist snags on the bottom. These sinkers slip on the line, which is threaded through a hole that runs through the sinkers. It is common to use these sinkers with the Carolina Rig.
The Pyramid Sinker is very popular for fishing in saltwater because this sinker will bury itself into the bottom in sand or mud. It is probably the most popular sinker for surf fishing because it does such a good job of keeping your bait where you want it to stay. These sinkers also work well in fast currents. Their flat edges help to prevent the weight from rolling along the bottom with the current.
No Snag Sinkers
The No Snag Sinkers that you see to the left are probably the best sinkers for resisting snags on the market. Because of their shape, they do a great job of avoiding snags. They do have a big profile, which may not always work for every situation, but they are definitely worth having in your tackle box.
Rattling Sinkers – Rattles have been added to many different sinkers. The added noise helps attract attention to your bait. Rattles are proven fish attractors for many species of fish, especially bass.
Rubber Core Sinkers
Rubber Core Sinkers have grooves in the center that hold the line. These oval-shaped sinkers have a rubber core with 2 tabs, one on each end, and they prevent the weight from nicking the line. These weights can easily be added to or removed from the line.
Trolling sinkers are made for trolling. The heavier weight helps your lure stay down deeper while the boat is moving. The trolling sinkers are setup so you can tie your main line to the swivel in front of the sinker and tie the line for your lure or bait to the swivel behind the sinker.
Walking sinkers are some of the most popular sinkers for fishing with live bait near the bottom. Most anglers use these sinkers with the slip sinker rig. These sinkers do a great job of holding bottom, even in current. When you aren’t fishing in current, you can keep some slack in your line to prevent the fish from feeling the heavy weight.. When the fish picks up your bait, your line will slide through the sinker and the sinker will stay in place on the bottom.
Disc Sinkers have a lower profile than most other types of sinkers. These sinkers lay flat on the bottom and are largely unaffected by currents and moving water. A disc sinker works great for holding your baits on sandy & muddy bottoms.