Informational Guide

Different Types Of Fishing Weights & Sinkers Explained

You will need to know the differences between the types of fishing weights & sinkers to maximize your ability to catch the fish you have been looking for!

by Andrew

Informational Guide

Different Types Of Fishing Weights & Sinkers Explained

You will need to know the differences between the types of fishing weights & sinkers to maximize your ability to catch the fish you have been looking for!

by Andrew

by Andrew

Fishing weights and sinkers are crucial to many fishing processes and the success of your day looking for fish. You will need to know the differences between the types of fishing weights to be sure that you are maximizing your ability to catch the fish you have been looking for!  

This guide will help you get the most out of your fishing tackle and gear every day. 

Fishing weights and sinkers might sound like the same thing, but they are not actually the same. A fishing sinker is used with a fishing lure or a hook to allow you to get more distance behind your cast. These items can be used for deep-sea fishing as well as for fly fishing. A fishing weight is used to get the hook and line down to deeper water areas, and weight can also be used to help keep your line in place when surf fishing.

Learn More About: Surf Fishing Tips (Tips & Techniques On How To Surf Fish) 

Fishing weights and sinkers have been around for almost as long as humans have been fishing. The original items were made from rocks or other heavy natural items, and the design has been improved throughout the centuries to create the many specialized sinkers and weights that are on the market today. 

Different Types Of Fishing Weights & Sinkers Explained

Different types of Fishing Weights & Sinkers 

There are many different types of sea fishing weights as well as many types of surf fishing weights. You can also use these items for your fly fishing needs. You will want to be sure that you know the differences between all of these items before you start shopping for your fishing tackle. These items are made for various materials like brass and steel and can be of different shapes and sizes for different purposes. 

These are the types of weights that you should know about before you start buying your fishing supplies. You will want to consider if these items will meet your needs for the type of fishing you are interested in doing. 

Related Article: How To Put A Sinker On A Fishing Line (Beginners Guide)

Various Sinkers & Weights To Choose From

1. Split Shot 

A split shot sinker is a small and round item that is split halfway through the sinker. This is where your fishing line is threaded into the shot. You will crimp the weight closed around the line, and then you will be able to add and remove your weights easily and without having to struggle. 

Split Shot

2. Rubber-Core Sinkers 

This sinker is used to take the bait that is attached to the link to the bottom of it and can also help add depth to the use of a trolling line. These sinkers are made of lead and have rubber on the outside with a vertical groove. The groove is used to attach the fishing line to use for this need. 

Rubber-Core Sinkers

3. Sliding Sinkers 

Sliding sinkers are used for live bait fishing. A bit of the leader materials is tied on the other side of the swivel. The line is then baited, and a hook is placed. A lure can also be added to the line. 

Sliding Sinkers

4. Worm Weights 

These weights are also known as bullet weights. This is a soft plastic bait type that is used to push aside vegetation while also sinking. This can be made partially from the lead of tungsten with some flexible portions of the weight for attaching a work hook to the line. 

Worm Weights

5. Walking Sinkers 

Walking sinkers are made to walk along the tops of rocks to help keep you from getting your line snagged or caught. They can also help you to keep your surf fishing line steady and stable in the water. 

Walking Sinkers

6. Flat, Coin, Disk, No-Roll Sinkers 

These weights and sinkers are used to prevent your line from rolling or getting caught in the current in a river that you are fishing. This is one of the best types of trout fishing weight styles that you can use for your river fishing needs. These are made with a hole through the center to attach to the line. 

No-Roll Sinkers

7. Pyramid, Dipsey, Bank Sinkers 

Pyramid sinkers are four-sided and are made with a point at the end. This keeps them from tumbling in a current. Dipsey sinkers are more round in shape and have a wire in the weight. This is attached to the line through this loop. Bank siders are made for use in angling. They are shaped like a teardrop and keep your line from twisting. 

Bank Sinkers

8. Trolling Sinkers 

Trolling sinkers are made for use with trolling baits and lines. You will find that these tend to be long and slender and have wire loops at each end to make it easy to connect them to a line and leader set up. 

Trolling Sinkers

9. No-Snag Flexi Weight 

This innovative weight is made of a series of slender weights covered in rubber for your fishing line or leader. This is made for use in deep waters. 

No-Snag Flexi Weight

10. Pencil Sinker 

Pencil sinkers are soft lead sinkers made for slicing through a heavy current to get your bait and hook down to the bottom. This allows you to keep your line short as well and will give you a feel for the kind of bottom that is under your fishing area. 

Pencil Sinker

11. Drop-Shot Sinker 

Drop-shot sinkers keep your lure off the bottom, and they offer a weightless property that you will not get with other sinkers. You will use this sinker to help your line have more life to it when trying to attract fish. 

Drop-Shot Sinker

12. Insert Weights 

Insert weights are made to be added to other weights. Commonly they are used to add weight to tungsten weights for a bit more heft. 

Insert Weights

13. Hook Weights 

Hook weights are made to add a small amount of weight to the hook itself. This can be applicable in many kinds of fishing applications. You will find that these come in many sizes for your needs. 

Hook Weights

How Much Do Fishing Sinkers Weigh? 

Fishing sinkers can come in tiny sizes that are like bbs and almost weightless, to larger weights that can be as much as a pound each! The use of the weight impacts the size of the weight that you will need just as much as it impacts the shape and function of the weight you pick. Weight can significantly impact the weight that your line behaves when you cast it. 

The depth of the water impacts how much weight is needed to stabilize the line, and you will also need to think about the current that your line will experience. Surf fishing and river fishing weights need to be selected by design and shape more than by weight. Deepwater fishing, as well as water with a lot of current, requires heavier weights in most cases. 

Learn More: What Is Deep Sea Fishing & Where To Find Good Spots

Fishing Weight & Sinker FAQs

What makes a good sinker for a fishing line? 

Many sinkers are made from steel because it is durable and heavy without being prone to imperfections that could impact the balance of the sinker. You will find that sinkers are made in many styles and designs, and the right sinker might differ depending on the type of water that you will be fishing in. The type of fish that you are trying to catch might also be a factor in picking the sinker that you need. 

Do you use a sinker with a bobber? 

When you are adding a sinker to a line that needs a bobber, you will need to add the sinker just below the bobber. This will keep the bobber upright without sinking the float too much. This is a great way to use live bait in fishing. 

How deep can fishing weights go? 

Fishing weights might need to be used in water that is 20 feet deep or more. You will find that you might need to add many heavy weights to get to a deeper water depth, but you will also need heavier lines that can handle that kind of pressure and tension when reeling in the fish. 

How heavy of a sinker do I need for pier fishing? 

Most people fish off a pier with weights that are 1-6 ounces in weight. This is not much weight and is perfect for this kind of fishing style. 

Learn More: Pier Fishing Tips (Beginners Guide On How To Pier Fish)


Picking the proper fishing weights and sinkers is essential to the ultimate performance of your other fishing gear. You will find that knowing which kind of weight or sinker is right for each kind of fishing is vital for your overall fishing success.