Where Does the Weight Go on a Fishing Line?

When fishing in a lake, river, or pond, anglers must attach a weight to the line to ensure the line sinks to the bottom. If you don’t attach a weight to the line, a fish won’t find the bait, and you’ll go home without a catch. 

While weights are an essential piece of fishing equipment, many anglers don’t know where the weight goes on a fishing line. 

Where to put weights on a fishing line varies depending on the type of weight, the rig’s complexity, and bait presentation. As a general rule, attach one or two weights, 6 to 12 inches above the hook. Fishing weights come in many shapes and sizes, and each sinker has a specific use in fishing. 

Keep reading to discover how to put different styles of sinkers on a fishing line. We’ll also tell you why a fishing line needs weight and how to put weights on a fishing line. 

Does a Fishing Line Need to Have a Weight?

Weight isn’t always necessary when fishing but is usually required for bait fishing. A heavier weight will increase the casting distance, but in most fishing scenarios, you should choose a lighter weight instead of a heavier weight.

In addition to increased casting distance, adding weight to a fishing line also increases the lure’s anchoring abilities and the sinking ability and rate of the fishing line and bait. 

When using fishing weights with lures, keep in mind how much weight you need to add and if it suits your fishing style.  

How Does a Weight Work on a Fishing Line?

How Does a Weight Work on a Fishing Line

A fishing sinker or weight is used with a fishing lure or hook to increase the lure’s sinking rate, casting distance, and anchoring ability. Fishing weights can be as small as 1 gram for fishing in shallow waters and fly fishing or weigh several pounds or more for deep sea fishing.

A fishing weight pulls the hook and lures it to the desired depth, preventing the line from floating. Sinkers are usually made from lead, but because of increased environmental and health concerns associated with lead, they are now produced from other materials like tungsten, steel, and brass. 

How to Put Weights on a Fishing Line?

Attaching weights to a fishing line helps the bait sink deeper in the water column, where fish are more likely to strike. There are several different types of weights to use, but all are easily attached to a line.

Here’s how to put a weight on a fishing line depending on the type:

Split Shot Weights

Split shot weights look like small metal balls with a large slit on one side. A slip shot weight is ideal for fishing in lakes, ponds, or rivers that are less than 6 feet deep. 

Place one or two split shot weights 1 to 2 feet from the hook. For a hook and bait to float above the weight, there must be little space between the weights. 

Use needle-nose pliers to pinch the weights onto the fishing line. Hold the weight in place with one hand and use your other hand to gently squeeze the sides of the weight until it closes around the fishing line. 

Try pinching the weight shut with your fingers if you don’t have needle-nose pliers. Don’t squeeze the sides completely closed because that can damage the fishing line. 

Rubber Core Sinkers

Rubber core slinkers are long metal cylinders with a rubber center and a slit on one side. Rubber slinkers are larger than split shot weights and can quickly add more weight to a fishing line. 

Attach the rubber core sinker 2 feet above the hook. Leaving the space between the hook and the sinker will allow the bait to float up and be more visible to the fish. Placing the rubber core sinker much higher on the line may make it difficult to cast. 

To attach a rubber core sinker to the line, look for the opening with rubber on one side of the sinker. Insert the fishing line into the slot and twist the rubber ends in opposite directions to secure the slinker to the line.

Sliding Slinkers

Sliding slinkers have a hole running through the middle and come in many shapes, including egg slinkers and bullet slinkers. Use a sliding slinker for drift and bottom fishing. 

When a fish bites the lure, the sliding slinker moves along the line so the fish doesn’t feel resistance. Slide the slinker onto the main line, ensuring the line is already threaded through the fishing rod and reel. 

Tied Weights

Tied or ring loop weights are shaped like a large ball or a pyramid and have a small ring, loop, or molded eye protruding from the top or bottom. Because tied weights are the heaviest and sink quickly to the bottom, they are used in stronger currents and deeper water.

Attaching a tied weight to a leader line makes removing and replacing the weight easier than putting the weight on the main line. Tie a uni knot connecting the weighted line to a three-way swivel on the main line.


There are many different types of fishing weights and different methods of attaching them to the fishing line. How to put a weight on the line and where the weight goes depends on the weight’s style and shape.

When fishing with split shot weights, attach one or two weights 1 to 2 feet from the hook. If you’re fishing in deep water, use a rubber core sinker and tie it 2 feet above the hook. These weights are easy to attach to the line, and anglers can remove them quickly without untying any knots.