The right sinker style can be a difference-maker when crafting a rig for your target species. Depending on its shape, a sinker might be best-suited for keeping a tog rig still, bringing the teasers to life in a popcorn rig, or drifting in a straight line when dropping 500 feet or more for tilefish, so explore our guide to the most common sinker styles, and their best uses for bottom fishing.
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This standard sinker shape is the most common style available at bait and tackle shops. It’s a great all-around bottom-fishing sinker, with a teardrop shape and a thick, molded inline tie. Bank sinkers are good for drift fishing and stationary fishing, and they hold bottom well in heavy current. They are available in sizes from ½ to 32 ounces.
Best Use: Three-Way Rig
These large sinkers are designed to get down quickly and lie flat, without rolling, on the bottom while drifting over deep water. They are favorites of deep-drop fishermen chasing tilefish and are available in sizes up to 4 pounds.
Best Use: Deep-Drop Fishing
Cannonball sinkers drop quickly, and because they can’t lie flat, they can be easily bounced along the bottom. This makes them a top choice among fluke fishermen looking to keep their rig hopping over the bottom.
Best Use: Fluke Fishing
A compressed version of the bank sinker, this type is favored by wreck fishermen, especially those after tautog. A flat bank sinker is less likely to roll around or be pushed by the current than a standard one, and therefore keeps the bait totally still. Some fishermen also think this sinker shape is more easily bounced out of a snag than a standard bank sinker.
Best Use: Tog Fishing
Egg sinkers slide freely along the line, allowing biting fish to take the bait without feeling weight. Most often, however, egg sinkers are used when targeting fish that are suspended in the water column, like tuna or bluefish.
Best Use: Chunking for Bluefish, Tuna
Made to be easily added to and removed from the line, rubber core sinkers are used when a lighter weight is needed to help a free-drifted bait get into the strike zone. These are used most often with live eels or cut bait.
Best Use: Casting Eels for Stripers, Chunking