Choosing the right sinker for the conditions is an essential part of fishing, while fish don’t pay attention to what sinker you choose, they will react to how and where you present your bait.
Soft plastic anglers have recognised this and give equal value to weighted jig-heads as they do for plastic selection.
The humble lump of lead is an essential tool for presenting and positioning your bait and can be the difference between a rewarding day’s fishing and returning empty-handed.
Bait Angler Options
For bait anglers, there is a diverse range of fishing weights available for a variety of applications.
These 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 attached to the end of the line.
We can also attach fixed sinkers to a clip or swivel, enabling them to run along your line.
Selecting the correct sinker type and weight is as essential as jig-head and soft plastic selections are for lure anglers.
Whether using lures or baits, weight plays a key role in positioning and presenting the bait.
In this category are ball sinkers, bean sinkers, egg sinkers, surf sinkers and any sinker where the line is threaded through the centre.
This design means that when a fish bites it feels minimal resistance and 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 help castability.
Ball sinkers are the most commonly used in this category and offer good casting ability because of their round shape and 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.
We can rig them 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 the current is stronger, remember you can downsize in weight when doing this.
Bean sinkers are used in a similar way to ball sinkers, offering the advantage of better casting and bottom holding abilities and will move around less than the ball sinkers.
Used where the stronger current moves the ball sinkers out of the strike zone or where too large a ball sinker would reduce bite feel.
Our unique flat-edged bean sinkers offer better bottom holding abilities than rounded bean sinkers.
We can use a lighter sinker while maintaining superior castability because of their narrow profile.
Like ball sinkers, we use these for bottom foraging species and rig them in the same way, either run directly onto the hook or separated by a trace and swivel.
Our bean sinkers are also effective as a reef sinker. We have worked with both shops and commercial fishermen in North Queensland to design a shape that works best on the reef.
This shape reduces 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.
We fish surf sinkers in the same way as the ball and bean sinkers. Their wider rounded profile provides a 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 are a versatile sinker because of their 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 structure.
They are a popular option whether estuary, reef or beach fishing. We rig them 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 in the water column 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 current.
- Can be a substitute for jig-heads using a Texas rig or Carolina rig.
- Select the required weight to position bait or lure in the water column when trolling or floating.
Fixed sinkers are any sinker that connects to the end of your line, anchoring to the bottom with the bait attached above the sinker with a paternoster or dropper-rig.
Fitting into this category are snapper sinkers, quick drop snapper sinkers, bomb sinkers, star sinkers, grapnel sinkers, deep drop snapper sinkers, rocket sinkers, deep drop cannonballs and any sinker designed to connect to a fixed end of the line.
The various shapes and designs are to provide different holding abilities and hydrodynamics (changing the descent through the water column with varying influence from the water current).
Excluding grapnel sinkers, fixed sinkers are not generally used for their casting ability, they are used to get baits to the bottom.
We use fixed sinkers when fishing offshore or from a boat.
Snapper sinkers are the most used sinker in this category. They have four sides with a long and thin profile. We use them when fishing the bottom for a fast drop from a boat. 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. We use them 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 minimising windup and tangles.
They are our most popular sinker style and are becoming the go-to sinker for many reef anglers and charter boat operators. We fish them the same way as standard snapper sinkers. They are ideal for targeting a range of bottom-dwelling reef species.
Fishing weights work in a variety of ways and when used effectively can help position and present your bait. Selecting the right sinker will increase 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.
- Try something different. You may just find an effective new tactic.
Let us know how you use 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 info on rigs and species.
We will take an in-depth look at our range of more specialised sinkers including grapnels and slide bait grapnels, bomb/teardrop sinkers, star sinkers, deep drop snapper sinkers, downrigger sinkers and deep drop cannonballs.