Types Of Fishing Weights

If you plan on fishing this weekend, you want to ensure you have all the gear you need. Amongst the essential items in gear, you need fishing weights. Also known as sinkers, fishing weights play an essential and active role in fishing. These tools work by sinking fishing lines, lures, and hooks.

With an increased sinking rate of your lines, lures, or hooks, you can enjoy a better anchoring ability. Increased sinking rate also increases your casting distance – ultimately, increasing your catch. With a selection of fishing methods, you can also find a vast range of fishing weights in the market.

So, in the guide below, we will help you find the right weights for your next trip. The guide offers a detailed outline of the different fishing weights you will find in the market.

What Are The Different Types of Fishing Weights?

What Are The Different Types of Fishing Weights

The reason why you will find a heap of different fishing weights is that they cater to different needs. Particularly, different weights work with different types of fish, fishing styles, and environments. Below are some of the common and popular fishing weights.

Pyramid Sinkers

Resembling a pyramid shape, these sinkers come in handy for anchoring at the bottom of the water. Due to their shape, they have a higher density. With a higher density, they offer an increased anchoring and sinking rate.

Furthermore, their shape allows them to work best in rough water. This is because they can securely hold to the floor in raging rivers and oceans. But, the downside to this design is that, during rough conditions, it may be difficult to reel them in. To use them, simply attach them to a fishing line through loops.

Egg Sinkers

Also known as barrel sinkers, egg sinkers feature a rounded, egg-like design. In the center, the sinkers feature a narrow hole which you can thread the fishing line through. Egg sinkers work best in rocky or debris field fishing areas.

Bullet Sinkers

Also known as worm weights, bullet sinkers come in handy when fishing for largemouth bass. Resembling a bullet, bullet sinkers connect to plastic rigging worms. There’s a reason why they work best for this type of fishing.

This is because due to their shape, they easily penetrate through vegetation. As they penetrate vegetation, they continue sinking through a water column. This environment is typically where you will find largemouth bass.

Split Shot Sinkers

Made from lead, split shot sinkers can attach to a live bait rig, or under a bobber. Alternatively, these sinkers come in handy in circumstances where you need extra weight to further sink.

Split shot sinkers feature a small round design with a split. These types of sinkers are especially handy for reaching deeper depths. They can also sink faster under windy conditions.

Dipsey Sinkers

Typically used in deep-sea fishing, dipsey sinkers feature an ovate or egg shape. They attach to the fishing line using a loop of brass or lead wires embedded in them. Due to their shape and design, dipsey sinkers cast well in the wind. Their egg shape, on the other hand, reduces snagging.

Bank Sinkers

Bank sinkers are amongst the most common weights used by anglers. Shaped like teardrops, they move smoothly through banks and surfs. Their teardrop shape means that they move by rolling.

They also feature a small hole at the top where you can thread in the line. However, if you plan on using them in rougher conditions, you have to be extra careful. This is because they can easily twist your fishing line.

Claw Sinkers

A claw sinker features a round shape with metal wire spikes protruding around it. These spikes act as barbs. Due to this design, claw sinkers are typically used for surf fishing.

They are particularly useful in water sources with sandy bottoms and strong currents. Their heavy and barbed design helps to prevent them from being carried off by the current.

To reach deeper depths, the sinkers allow the fishing line to tug into them. After the sinkers get tugged by the line, the barbs around them dig themselves into the sand so the sinker can stay in place.

Deep Drop Sinkers

As their name suggests, deep drop weights extend to the bottom of the water source. Used in deeper offshore settings, the deep drop weights boast a cylindrical design. At the top, they have brass eyelets where you can attach a rig.

Depending on your needs, you can find deep drop sinkers weighing between a pound and 15 pounds. Typically, deep drop sinkers come in handy when catching fish such as grouper and swordfish.

Pancake Sinkers

Like actual pancakes, these sinkers feature a flat circular shape. On the sides, the sinkers feature eyelets fixed on their edges. Due to this shape, these sinkers can easily glide through ocean, lake, or river floors. 

Furthermore, their circular and flat shape prevents them from tangling up your lines. Also known as disc sinkers, they are an excellent choice for river and surf fishing.

Breakaway Sinkers

If you enjoy surf fishing, breakaway sinkers are a perfect choice. The sinkers feature spring-loaded, flexible, or secure wires to mimic spider legs. The wires can, then, attach themselves to the ocean, lake, or river floor once launched. As they attach themselves, they stay in place.

However, due to the spider-like legs attaching to the floor, they may be difficult to unhook and reel back in. Yet, due to the high-strength design, the sinkers withstand cross-currents. They are especially resilient in sandy bottoms. Thus, they are perfect for when you want to launch bait in a single location and don’t want any lateral movement.

Rubber Core Sinkers

Rubber core sinkers feature a football or ovate-shaped body made from a metal alloy. Inside the metal alloy body, you will find a rubber core filled with two twisting tabs on either end of the sinker. Furthermore, the sinker’s split groove is where you thread your fishing line.

To attach a fishing line to the sinkers, simply twist its rubber tabs. The best part about rubber core sinkers is that, unlike other sinkers such as split-shot sinkers, they gently hold the line. This, in turn, prevents snags. This is because you don’t have to tie or pinch the line when attaching it to the sinkers.

These weights are a great choice when you need larger sinkers than split-shot weights. But, with a larger rubber core, you may risk twisting monofilament lines during trolling or quick retrievals. Additionally, due to the weight they exert on monofilament lines, they can easily jam in rocky bottoms and on shell bars.

Walking Sinkers

Sometimes referred to as walleye sinkers, walking sinkers resemble bank sinkers. Yet, you can easily differentiate the two fishing sinkers through their physical features. The walking sinkers are slightly bent near the fishing line hole. Additionally, they feature a more squared symmetry on the sides.

Walking sinkers easily climb over structures without getting snagged. Due to this design, they are a perfect choice for individuals who are slowly drifting or trolling during fishing.

These types of sinkers are perfect for trolling with natural bait although, you can use them for lures as well. Walking sinkers are typically used for fishing walleye and bass.

How Heavy Should Your Fishing Weight Be?

How Heavy Should Your Fishing Weight Be

The weight of your sinkers depends on the environment you are in and the type of fish you want to catch. Typically, lighter fishing weights work best in shallow waters.

A light sinker weighs at least one-eighth of an ounce. Heavy fishing weights, on the other hand, work best for deeper waters. Heavy fishing weights measure at least a quarter to three-quarters of an ounce.

Why Do You Need to Pair Fishing Weights With A Fishing Swivel?

Having a fishing swivel available helps in the event of line tangling during retrieval. A fishing swivel easily untwists a line, especially during retrieval. This mechanism helps to prevent unwanted tangling, particularly with monofilament lines.

Are Fishing Weights Expensive?

Fishing weights generally cost around $2 to $10 per pound on average. But, depending on the material and quality, you may find more expensive, premium weights.

Do All Fishing Weights Contain Lead?

Most fishing weights feature lead metal construction. But, in recent years, some manufacturers have begun making fishing weights using other metal materials. This is because, if not properly handled or stored, lead can be dangerous. Lead dust can contaminate tackle boxes and other surfaces. Increased contamination can cause lead poisoning.


With the myriad of fishing weights available, you can rest assured as you will have higher chances of hauling in more catches. Additionally, with different designs, each weight caters to particular styles of fishing, fish types, and environments.

For example, pyramid sinkers diver quicker and dig into sand and mud. Egg sinkers, on the other hand, glide easily over rocks. So, the next time you shop for fishing gear, the list above can lend you a hand. In fact, you can even invest in more than one fishing weight type to ensure you are covered at all times. 

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