Fishing sinker is a special type of tackle used to add weight to a line or lure. Anglers attach a sinker to draw bait down to depths where fish tend to congregate. Because the exact depth can vary by species, location and conditions, fishing enthusiasts often use a variety of sinkers to add different amounts of weight. The fishing sinkers were traditionally made of lead. However, lead is harmful to an enormous variety of wildlife, and lead fishing sinkers and other lead tackle contribute significantly to the risk.
The bell fishing sinker features a bell-shaped design with a swiveling hook fastened to the top. These fishing sinkers cast well in the wind, making them a favorite for shore anglers. The rounded profile of the fishing sinkers also reduces its chance of snagging. For boat anglers, bell fishing sinkers are often used on a three-way rig. This rig is designed to get baits deep without needing any extra equipment, like downriggers. The rig consists of a three-way swivel with one eye for the main line. The next loop holds a drop line with a bell sinker at its end. Finally, the last loop holds a leader and a lure or a live bait rig. The rig is effective when bounced along the bottom or lowered to a desired depth and trolled in open water.
The split shot is a small ball of lead with a slit cut into one side. To use this type of sinker, simply wrap the slit in the ball around your line and clamp down on the metal to secure it to the line. Some split shots feature small handles on the opposite side of the opening, allowing them to be removed and reused. A clam shot is a variation of a split shot. It maintains a groove for holding line and is an oval shape, making it more snag resistant. Despite their popularity, split shots pose some serious health and environmental risks, according to the U.S.
Geological Survey. Loons and other wildlife often swallow abandoned split shots, and then suffer illness or death due to the lead content. When large numbers of these sinkers are abandoned, they may increase the lead content in a body of water, which may eventually affect the drinking water for area residents.