Attaching weight to your fishing line is an essential part of most fishing methods. Here is how it’s done with a number of different styles
There are three methods to attach lead weights to your fishing line. You can pinch them on the line, thread the line through them, or use a snap-swivel to attach them to your rig. There are many different shapes and sizes of weights, but they all fall into one of these attachment methods.
How To Attach a Split-Shot
These are probably the most common sinkers. They are also one of the simplest types to use. Simply pinch it onto your line.
These don’t always work perfectly. You have to find a balance between pinching them too tight that they damage your line, and having them too loose that they slide up and down your line.
Don’t worry too much about it though. Just pinch it tight enough that it doesn’t slide. If you have problems with your line breaking at that pinch point when you catch a fish, then don’t pinch the split shot as tight next time.
I recommend that you get the split-shot with the ears on the back that you can use to open the split-shot to remove it from your line. This really helps save time and make quick weight adjustments.
Split-shot are usually small and used for trout fishing. Check out this article if you are interested in trout fishing.
How To Attach an Egg Sinker
These sinkers are named after their shape. They also have a hole through the center like a bead.
They are designed to slide onto your line. To attach egg sinkers, slide it onto your line, then tie a swivel onto the end so that it doesn’t slide off. On the other end of the swivel, add around 18 inches of line then your hook.
That 18 inches of line between your swivel and hook is called the leader. One purpose of the leader is to keep your hook away from your sinker. If it is too close, the fish will notice it and be suspicious of your bait.
These sinkers which are designed to slide up and down your line rather than lock on are used for a sliding sinker rig. The fact that your line can slide through it, increases your ability to detect when a fish bites your hook.
The sliding sinker rig is one of the most popular rigs when fishing for catfish or carp.
How To Attach a Bullet Sinker
These bullet sinkers are used mainly when bass fishing with soft plastics such as worms, salamanders, and creature baits.
Just like the egg sinker, they are designed with a hole in them which allows them to slide up and down your line. Simple slide the bullet sinker onto your line pointed end first. Then to keep it on, tie on your hook and soft plastic bait.
I know I just explained that you want to keep your weight away from your hook, but bass fishing is an exception. When you are bass fishing, you should be using fairly big lures and soft plastics.
Bullet sinkers sort of blend into the bait and just look like the head of a worm, or whatever you’re trying to imitate. Bass are very aggressive and usually strike without too much investigation.
How To Attach a Bell Sinker
This sinker is used basically the same way as an egg sinker. The difference is that instead of sliding the line through a hole in the sinker, the bell sinker has a wire loop sticking out of it.
This wire loop gives you a couple options for how to attach it. If you don’t want the fishing weight to be able to slide up and down your line, then attach it with a snap swivel. If you do want it to slide, then just thread your line through the wire loop and tie a swivel to the end.
Sometimes the wire loop is big enough to slide over the swivel. If so, you can add a bead between the swivel and your sinker to prevent this.
How To Attach a Bank Sinker
The bank sinker looks similar to the bell sinker, but instead of having a wire loop, the loop is formed into the shape of the fishing weight.
Bank sinkers are generally speaking, larger than the sinkers mentioned above.
To attach them, you could technically slide the line through the loop just like you would with a bell sinker, but the casting is usually a little rough, and sharp edges could cut through your line pretty quickly. Instead, I recommend attaching them with a snap swivel. But you are going to need a pretty big snap to fit around all that lead.
Because of this, I don’t use bank sinkers. But don’t get me wrong, they are very popular. If you are using a really strong, durable line like 15-20 pound mono, then you don’t have to worry as much about it cutting through the line.
Another option is to use it below your hook on a loop.
- Tie your hook onto the line but leave about 12 inches of tagline.
- At the end of that tagline, tie a large loop.
- Pass that loop through the loop of the sinker.
- Put the sinker through that tagline loop and pull it tight.
This makes changing the weight very easy without the need to re-tie knots every time.
How To Attach Hollow Core Lead Wire
Lead wire with a hollow core is very easy to use and allows for practically infinite adjustments. It comes in a roll from which you can break off whatever length you need.
It’s commonly used by anglers drift fishing in rivers. The shape of the lead being long and thin makes it less likely to get snagged on the bottom of the river.
To attach it to your line you’ll need a pair of pliers.
- First unspool the length that you want to use.
- Now you need to break it off by bending it back and forth. You can use your pliers to help, but be careful not to pinch the tube closed. (If you try to cut it, you’ll smash the hollow tube and won’t be able to thread your line through.)
- Once you have the length that you want broken off, thread your line through the hole.
- Use your pliers to make a few pinches along the lead to lock it onto the line.
You can use hollow core sinkers on your main line, but like the split-shot, you risk damaging your line by pinching it.
There are many different shapes and styles of fishing sinkers. To keep this article short, I just talked about the different methods of attaching sinkers to the line. If you are targeting a specific fish then I suggest you check out my top menu. There, you find more details on your target species.
I hope that helps you out. There is a lot to learn as a beginner angler. Just be sure to have fun and enjoy the learning process.