Where to buy cheap lead fishing weights, and what kinds should I use?

This is one of the main questions of many fisherman trying to save some money, and/or trying to figure out what to use! First off, lets start with where:

There are a few avenues of where to purchase from –
Before even answering this, it depends on you. Do you trust an online website, an online store, an online mega auction site, local store, or backyard hobbyist.

Those above mentioned are all places where you can buy lead fishing weights, and all have pros and cons. I personally used to go to the cheap local store. By visiting the local tackle shop, you do keep some money here in America. You can help small businesses if you choose a local shop over a Walmart (which rarely has a variety) or Bass Pro, cabellas etc.  By visiting a local store, you can occasionally get some good fishing tips, or hear some interesting stories as well. The key factor with a local store is going to be how much are your weights going to cost, and do they have exactly what you want. Most tackle stores will charge between $3.75 ( on the low end price) to $7 per lb for weights. Are those good prices? Well if you can purchase fishing weights at a local shop for under $4 per lb, yes that’s a good place, and I would use it as your local go to when you are in need and cant online shop.

I would be Leary of going to a friend of a friend who does the backyard operation. Often they do not wear protective gear, and buying from them, only keeps them working in unsafe conditions damaging their health. Do your research if you’re going that route.

Big box stores – Bass Pro, Cabellas , Wal Mart, etc. Not a fan… They do enough in general sales, and id rather throw some crumbs to the local stores or small online stores.

Online stores – Many fisherman by default simply dont trust buying lead fishing weights online. There are several negative things that can happen by buying online. Some of them are –
*shipments get lost, with no compensation
*credit card numbers stolen, paypal account info stolen
*product is misrepresented, or the weights are inaccurate
*massively delayed shipping times
*products out of stock
*shipping costs may be high
*no customer service

Those are cons but what are the pros, if you find a good online store? For starters – the price. You can expect to see prices from under $3.50 per lb online at the right store. You can also expect low shipping costs due to flat rate shipping boxes from the USPS. ($7-$14 for up to 60 lbs of sinkers) In addition, you can sit at home, and your order will show up at your door step. Everyone wants the best of everything though always, not just one strong point. Things like accurate weight ratings, products in stock, good prices, and actual customer service are what can be achieved with the right online store. I have encountered about 3 online stores with good prices, relatively decent shipping times, and decent customer service. However, the best prices Ive seen are through Ocean-Angler in big bulk orders. Buying larger quantities of weights, you can expect prices as low as $2.20 per lb, which is simply unheard of. They have been in business for years now, and most of their sinkers are made from CNC ( computer controlled machines) molds, so the weights are extremely accurate. Also, there is decent customer service if there are any questions and a review system in place to let others know how different customers experiences have been. Ocean-Angler provides the cheapest lead fishing weights online period!

Which now brings us to our second point/question here – what kinds of weights are there , specifically the most common types of sinker varieties.

Bank sinkers Fishing Weight- are extremely popular due to a fast dropping aero dynamic shape, and low cost.  These weights can easily roll, and are great for fishing on banks.
Commonly used for drifting, and wreck fishing for sea bass & porgies. Also used if you are codfishing on open bottom  cast uptide and your bank sinker will slowly roll down tide on the bottom.
Often used  in jettys and breakwalls.. the rounded edges ( no hard corners) helps keep them from being caught in rocks
Barrel sinkers Fishing Weight-  are a great choice for those of you using large diameter mono or floro fishing line ( over 150lb) that cannot slip through the typical “sliding egg sinker”. These weights are often used in heavy trolling applications

barrel sinker

barrel sinker

Cannonball sinkers Fishing Weight– are the ideal choice for salmon fisherman, steelhead fisherman, and halibut fisherman. Commonly used for “bounce balling” and sometimes referred to as bounce balling sinkers, the cannonball sinker is a perfectly round shape and allows for snag free trolling, rigging, jigging, bouncing and quick drops.
The cannonball sinker is also ideal for breakwall and jetty fishing. By having a perfectly round sphere shape, it has no hard edges to snag in harsh rocky conditions. The brass eye at the top allows for easy tying!

cannonball sinker

cannonball sinker fishing weight

Claw/Snag Sinkers Fishing Weight – Claw/Snag sinkers are an excellent choice for rough river currents as well as harsh Surf conditions. They have multiple spikes, and an open area. The spikes dig into the sand, and the open area in the middle allows sand to come in between different edge of the sinker
With an exceptional holding value, you cant beat these sinkers for surf conditions.
The claw sinkers are used on hard bottomed areas where other sinkers tend to tumble and roll around in a moderate current.  These flat  delta-shaped, lead sinkers have hollow centers for maximum surface area. They have corner claws that dig into the bottom to avoid tumbling and come in sizes up to eight ounces. They are not as aerodynamic as pyramid sinkers or storm sinkers so they don’t cast as far. Nevertheless, you will get the distance you need launching these into the surf.

Triangle snag sinker

Triangle snag sinker /claw sinker

 

Coin Sinker /Silver Dollar Sinker /Concave Disc Sinker Fishing weight – This is one of the most commonly used fishing sinker for river fishing. These fishing weights are used in riverbeds, surf fishing, deltas, banks, piers, jetties and pretty much anywhere.. However, the optimum choice would be in surf applications and riverbeds. The reason for riverbeds, is that the sinker will lay relatively still considering the current in rivers, due to the large flat surface area to weight ratio. In addition, because they are a rounded smooth shape, they tend to plane through the water upon retrieval with limited snagging.
There are slight variations to this sinker, giving it slightly different names

coin-sinker

Coin Sinker / Concave Disc Sinker / Silver Dollar sinker fishing weight

Cushion Sinkers Fishing Weight – Cushion sinkers are similar to their brother – the disc or coin sinker. However, there is really only one difference. Rather then being concave , or flat, the cushion sinker is convexed, or bulged out in the middle. The convexed shape, allows the cushion sinker to wobble and move a little easier through the water.

Cushion Sinker

Cushion Sinker fishing weight

Downrigger Weights – Unlike all the aforementioned fishing weights and sinkers, the downrigger weight or downrigger ball, has a special purpose. This big bulky cannonball with a built in fin, is used for trolling. Specifically, it is used to bring your bait or lure down deep, and keep it at the specified depth  during a slow troll.  The downrigger weight will be attached to an outrigger, and your fishing line. The outrigger is what holds the weight of the ball, and keeps it low in the water column, while your fishing line is attached to the other eye on the downrigger weight doing the actual fishing. This allows you to hold your lure at a specific depth while the boat is moving. These are often used for salmon trolling, halibut trolling, and also for striped bass in freshwater lakes. Once you set the hook, the downrigger ball detaches from your main line, allowing you to fight the fish and bring them in . Downrigger weights come in a variety of sizes and slightly different shapes, depending on the application. Most people prefer a coated downrigger weight so as to prevent their boats from getting chalked up with lead, or to prevent the slow again process of the lead oxidizing . Some prefer plain lead for the cheaper price when they know they will be lowing downrigger weights more frequently, and its not worth the cost to constantly replace high priced coated downrigger weights, which average about $20 each for smaller ones.

downrigger weight

downrigger weights

Flat Bank Sinkers fishing weight – This style of sinker is similar to the bank sinker, and sometimes used for similar purposes. Both styles dont use brass or stainless wire eyes. They are made only of lead, which generally allows for a lower cost.  The biggest difference is the flat bank sinker ( sometimes called coffin sinker)  is flat, so holds a little better with rougher currents whereas the bank sinker would roll.

Flat Bank Sinker Fishing Weight

Flat Bank Sinker Fishing Weight

Frogs Tongue fishing weights – These fishing sinkers were designed to hold better in rough surf conditions then the traditional pyramid sinkers. They have a more aerodynamic shape which allows them to sail through the air faster when casted, and water as well. Once they settle in, and burrow their way into the sand, they hold much better then pyramid sinkers. They do become harder to pull out of the sand then a pyramid sinker, so it is a trade off, depending on the fisherman and what he is after.

Frogs Tongue Sinker fishing weight

Frogs Tongue Sinker fishing weight

 

No Roll Sinkers fishing weights – We will be adding more content to this blog soon, and more weights!

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Trolling weights and torpedo sinkers / inline sinkers how to use them and why

The torpedo sinker is probably one of the most commonly used and sought after fishing weight.  There are a few reasons why the torpedo sinker is so common, and although its a similar shape to the “trolling weight” they arent identical.
Lets start with the shape –
#1) The torpedo weight (sometimes called the inline sinker) has a slender, symmetrical shape with a brass eye at each end. This shape is somewhat like a missile, narrow at each end and slightly fatter in the middle.

the torpedo sinker has a slender symmetical shape

The torpedo sinker /inline sinker has a slender symmetrical shape

This slender shape allows this fishing weight to drop quickly and get to into the strike zone where you are targeting the species you’re after – quickly. This slender shape also allows the weight to be trolled, with minimal resistance, thus allowing a consistent motion through the water keeping your bait in line. Lastly, when it comes to fishing things like breakwalls/jettys this thin smooth shape keeps the torpedo sinker vertical dropping through tight cracks in between rocks preventing snags. The key with this type of fishing however, is to not quite let your line slack much, as to keep the sinker vertical. When you retrieve it back, be slow, and patient so as to keep the weight vertical when coming through cracks and chasms between the rock piles

Bream breakwalls

Fishing in the breakwalls, torpedo sinkers work well when kept vertical. They slip through small cracks other weights cant

#2) The torpedo weight is sometimes also referred to as the double ring sinker… Why? Unlike most fishing sinkers, the torpedo sinker has 2 eyes or points of attachment. One at each end of the sinker, allowing for a variety of applications. By having two opposite points of attachment, the torpedo sinker can be used “in-line” ( hence the name inline sinker). This means you tie your line to one end, and can run a leader with a lure, bait, etc to the other end. You can also utilize the double rings by turning the torpedo sinker into a custom made lure. Simply add some pain, a skirt, some flash, etc… and put a split ring with a hook on one end, or a siwash hook… and on the other end you have the eye where you can tie your line.

#3) The torpedo sinker can occasionally be used as a trolling weight, depending on the speed youre going and the type of fish. You could essentially rig a torpedo up like a premade trolling weight by adding a short section of wire leader, and shock leader to each end, using a heavy swivel. The wire leader is important as wahoo will occasionally bite the torpedo thinking its a fish, snapping off the line. The cable prevents that. If you dont have the gear to make a custom wahoo trolling lure using a torpedo sinker, then Just buy a premade wahoo trolling weighttrolling weight
These premade trolling weights are very expensive compared to using a basic torpedo sinker and rigging them up yourself with cable, shock leaders and swivels. Often the most common size for high speed wahoo trolling is 24-48 oz, which can be purchased through Ocean-Angler .

As far as the what many specialists would consider a true trolling weight, it would be similar to the picture above. A slightly more slender shape is generally what is used. This allows for even less resistance when trolling at high speeds. Rather then a brass eye on each end, the trolling weight will have a cable running through it on both ends, fused into the casting. It will have a heavy wire loop or swivel at each end, and a snap swivel on the other end.  This makes it simply for the fisherman to just simply tie onto their shock leader, and they are ready to go and fish!

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