Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities. Knowing the best weights for fresh and saltwater fishing is critical to success. There are specially designed fishing weights for every scenario: sandy bottoms, kelp beds, strong current, mud bottoms, still water, surf, mid water, and drift fishing. Understanding the benefits of weight shapes and designs makes the difference between fishing and catching.
Wire Grip Weights
As the name suggests, wire grip weights grapple onto sea, lake, or river bottoms. The weights come in a variety of types to suit specific fishing conditions. These fishing grip weights have wires that slot into indentations on the sides of the weight, fixing them into an anchoring position. Using wire grip weights ensures the line stays in place, which is particularly handy in strong tides and currents and reduces gear and fish loss. "Breakaway"' wire grips disengage when the angler winds in the line, reducing snags. Fixed wire grips are best with a large weight in very strong current conditions. They sink to the bottom faster, ensuring your cast ends up where you planned. Because the weights are large and heavy, they take a lot of room in the tackle box, and they are the most expensive.
Because of their simple design, plain sinkers are the most cost-effective fishing sinkers. For the keen angler, plain lead weights made at home with weight moulds are a very cost-effective option. Designed for fishing in calmer sea conditions, such as harbours and estuaries, plain sinkers move with the current, making the bait appear more natural. Bullet sinkers and pyramid shaped sinkers work well on sand and muddy bottoms, as they sink into the surface reducing the movement of the line making it easier to feel. Ball weights are excellent for stray lines—where the bait floats in the current—and kelp bottoms, as they are not easily tangled. Flat sinkers work well on rocky bottoms. They skim along the surface of the rocks, mimicking a small fish, and rarely snag.
The feeder weight, or fishing bait feeder, combines a baited hook with a burley cage and a sinker. Feeder weights are excellent for softer baits, like shellfish and worms, which have a tendency to fall from the hook as they descend. Feeders save bait and gear loss because the burley trail sits beside the baited hook attracting fish quickly. Fishing bait feeders are available in block-end, open-end, and method options. Because of their technical features, feeder weights are more expensive than other sinkers. Despite their cost, these devices significantly increase the chances of catching bottom-feeding fish like carp, sole, and gurnard.