Choosing the Correct Sinker- The Basics of Fishing Weights

Choosing the Correct Sinker- The Basics of Fishing Weights

Fish Don’t Care

Choosing the correct sinker is an often overlooked aspect of fishing, while fish don’t care what sinker you choose, they certainly care about how and where your bait is presented. The humble lump of lead is an essential tool for presenting and positioning your bait and can be the difference between a successful day’s fishing and coming home empty-handed.

Soft plastic anglers have become very aware of this fact and the wide range of jighead products now available are a testament to this.

Weighted jigheads are given equal importance to soft plastic selection when chasing fish with this type of lure.

Bait Anglers OptionsChoosing the Correct Sinker-The Basics of Fishing Weights

Fortunately for bait anglers, there is a diverse range of fishing weights available for a variety of applications.

These essentially fall into two main categories, running sinkers that have a hole through the middle to allow the sinker to slide (run) along the line, and fixed sinkers that are attached (fixed) to the end of the line, with the ability to attach fixed sinkers to a clip or swivel enabling them to also run along your line.

For bait anglers, selecting the correct sinker type and weight is as essential as jighead and soft plastic selection are for lure anglers. Whether targeting fish with artificials or a bait, weight plays a key role in position and presentation and is a major determining factor for success or failure.

Running Sinkers

Falling into this category are ball sinkers, bean sinkers, egg sinkers, surf sinkers and any sinker that has a hole through the centre to enable line to be threaded through. This design means minimal resistance is felt when a fish bites as the bait can move freely without being impeded by the fishing weight.
The various shapes provide different bottom holding ability with varying aerodynamics which can assist in casting ability.


Ball Sinkers are the most commonly used in this category and offer good casting ability due to their round shape and are designed to allow the bait to move freely on the bottom, allowing the bait move around with the current depending on size.

They are ideal for targeting bread and butter species such as whiting, bream, flathead and species that forage the bottom for food.

They can be rigged with a trace and swivel separating the bait from the weight, or run directly above the hook ideally separated with a bead and/or tube to protect the hook knot.


  • Change to our flat-edged bean sinker when current is stronger, remember you can downsize in weight when doing this.



bean sinkers

Bean Sinkers are used in a very similar way to ball sinkers but offer the advantage of better casting and bottom holding abilities and will move around less than the ball sinkers.

Ideally used where the stronger current moves the ball sinkers out of the strike zone or where too large a ball sinker is required reducing bite feel.

Our unique flat-edged bean sinkers offer better bottom holding abilities allowing a lighter weight to be used whilst maintaining superior casting ability due to their narrow profile. Like ball sinkers, these are often used for bottom foraging species and can be rigged in the same way, either run directly onto the hook or separated by a trace and swivel.

Our bean sinkers are also highly effective as a reef sinker. We have worked closely with both shops and Commercial fishermen in North Queensland to design a shape that works best on the reef minimising the tendency for the sinker to get lodged in holes and crevices in the coral as ball sinkers are prone to do.


  • Our elongated beans are less likely to drop into reef crevices.

SURF SINKERSsurf sinkers

Surf Sinkers as the name suggests are ideal for fishing the beach, they are fished in the same way as the ball and bean sinkers. Their wider rounded profile provides superior holding ability allowing the bait to stay in the strike zone longer.

 They are less prone to roll around in the surf and are used when wanting a running sinker in the surf.

 Available in a variety of sizes to match conditions they are ideal for targeting bream, tarwhine, whiting, jewfish and a variety of species from the beach.



egg sinkers

Egg Sinkers are a versatile sinker due to thier shape providing the least water resistance. they can be an alternative to ball sinkers allowing the bait to move around in current but are less likely to get caught up on stucture.

They are a popular option whether estuary, reef or beach fishing. They are rigged with either a sinker running onto the hook or with a trace and swivel separating the hook and weight. Ideal for targeting a wide range of species and are a popular alternative where current or reef is a factor.

Small Egg sinkers are also an excellent option when wanting to float a bait such as a pilchard down to entice larger fish such as Snapper and Big Pearl Perch to come up to meet the bait. With their more hydrodynamic shape they allow you to fish less weight to achieve the required rate of descent in a given current.


  • Can be used as a substitute for jigheads using a Texas and Carolina rig.
  • Select the required weight to position bait or lure in the water column when trolling or floating.

Fixed Sinkers

Fixed sinkers are essentially any sinker that is attached to the end of your line, ideally anchoring to the bottom with the bait attached above the sinker with a paternoster or dropper rig.

Fitting into this category are Snapper SinkersQuick Drop Snapper SinkersBomb SinkersStar SinkersGrapnel SinkersDeep Drop Snapper SinkersRocket SinkersDeep Drop Cannonballs and any sinker designed to be attached to a fixed end of the line.

The various shapes and designs are primarily to provide different holding abilities and hydrodynamics (changing the descend through the water column with varying influence from water current). Excluding Grapnel Sinkers they are generally not used for casting but are designed for getting baits to the bottom, they are used for holding baits in the strike zone where strong currents can be a factor.

Fixed sinkers are primarily used when fishing offshore or from a boat.


Snapper Sinkers are the most commonly used sinker in this category, they have four sides with a long and thin profile. They are primarily used when fishing the bottom from a boat where a fast drop is required. They are the most popular bottom fishing sinkers for targeting a variety of reef species.

These are popular for many boat anglers and charter boat operators targeting reef fish. They are generally used on a paternoster rig/dropper rig with the sinker on the bottom with one or two hooks attached further up the line. This setup has proven highly effective when targeting a variety of bottom-dwelling reef species.


Quick Drop Snapper Sinkers

Quick Drop Snapper Sinkers are an alternative to standard snapper sinkers, they have six sides and have a shorter and fatter profile than the standard four-sided snapper Sinkers. Their advantage is they can drop quicker than standard snapper sinkers, their six-sided design means they will spin less in the current minimizing windup and tangles.

They are our most popular sinker style and are quickly becoming the go-to sinker for many reef anglers and charter boat operators. They are fished the same way as standard snapper sinkers and are ideal for targeting a range of bottom-dwelling reef species.


Fishing weights can be used in a variety of ways and when utilised effectively can help position and present your bait choosing the correct sinker ultimately increases the time fishing in the strike zone.

Our top tips

  • Select a sinker style suited to the conditions your fishing
  • Select the weight to position your bait in the strike zone.
  • Use the minimum weight that works in the conditions, too heavy will reduce bite feel and fish may feel the weight before being hooked, too light and you won’t reach or stay in the strike zone, find the ideal balance.
  • Be prepared to change it up, size up or down and change sinker styles to find what works best.
  • Don’t hesitate to try something different, you may just find an effective new tactic

Let us know in the comments below how you utilise your fishing weights, we appreciate any ideas that help us develop better products and help others fish more effectively. Stay tuned as we are working on more products like our second-generation Star Sinkers recently added to the shop.

We are improving our sinker size and usage guide and are looking into adding more info on rigs and species. We will take an in-depth look at our range of more specialised sinkers including Grapnels and Slide Bait GrapnelsBomb/Teardrop SinkersStar SinkersDeep Drop Snapper SinkersDownrigger Sinkers and Deep Drop Cannonballs.

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