That Sinking Feeling: Common Fishing Sinkers

There are almost as many varieties of sinkers for fishing as there are hooks.   Actually, there’s probably more varieties of sinkers.  Each type has its specific reasons for its design, use, application.  Most sinkers, except for very small ones, are usually made with lead.  Care should be taken with handling them, especially children.

Sliding inline sinker

Sliding inline sinker
Sliding inline sinker
Another view of the sliding inline sinker
Another view of the sliding inline sinker

It normally has a hole in it that can move up and down the fishing line.  They come in various shapes from conical to eggs to spheres.  Frequently, these are used in trolling, but I use them when casting small lures that I want to get to deeper water.

Inline Stationary sinkers

Inline stationary sinker
Inline stationary sinker

They normally have an eye on each end so that the main line can be tied at one and a leader with a line of chosen length and a hook can be tied at the other.  I don’t normally use these, because there is not as much versatility with them as with other types of sinkers.

Bank sinker

Bank Sinker
Bank Sinker

These are normally hexagonal tear shaped sinkers with a cast eye at the top.  They are predominately used in low current, low tidal fluctuation when you don’t want your bait to move.  The biggest disadvantage I see with it is that with the cast eye it’s sometimes difficult to get a snap swivel through the eye.

Non-slip sinkers

Non Slip Sinker
Non Slip Sinker

They look like a tire with no hole in the middle.  Are normally used in muddy bottoms and slow moving water.

Bell Sinker

Bell Sinker
Bell Sinker

These are shaped like a solid bell.  Normally with a swivel molded into the top.  Normally used when it is not an issue if the bait or rig move some in the water.  Frequently, I will use this sinker because it will move on the bottom and shift with the tide.

Pyramid Sinkers

Pyramid Sinker
Pyramid Sinker

As the name suggests, it’s shaped like a pyramid.  IT has good holding power even in heavy current or tide.  It will normally hold bottom so used when you are trying to cast in a specific location.  Can be problematic when fishing in an area with a muddy bottom.

Hurricane sinker

DSCN0460

Looks like an elongated and slightly rounded pyramid.  Frequently seen in surf fishing.  Greatest advantage is that they hold like a pyramid sinker of larger weight, particularly in sand.  The biggest disadvantage is that they hold in sand, meaning I have lost rigs because they have held too well.   I frequently use them in the surf or when live-lining bait, particularly when using a fish finder rig.

 

All of these and many other varieties of sinkers can be found in partial ounce sizes (fraction of an ounce) all the way up to multiple pound cannon ball sinkers. Choose the one best suited to your situation.  Hopefully, this article gave you a little direction in which one to choose.

-Matt

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