Sinkers are absolutely essential for successful saltwater fishing. They help to stabilize your line, determine depth, and ultimately, help you land your target fish. Originally, most were made of lead, and created from molds in various weights, shapes, and sizes. However, because lead can be a toxic material, other metals are starting to replace it, such as brass and steel. Although the sinkers below are some of the most basic, they do not need to be used in simple ways. Here are a few sinkers every fisherman should not be without.
Split Shot Sinker: Hassle free, just clamp and go. Split shots help to bring the bait just a bit further underwater and also offer extra stability. In theory, they can be placed anywhere on your line, and where you place it will yield very different results. Clamping a split shot on your line sometimes weakens it, so be aware when hunting for larger fish, and (as always) keep an eye on it.
Egg Sinker: Round in shape, these traditional sinkers are attached above the swivel, with the line going through it. When a fish bites, it then pulls the line through the bait, making the weight undetectable to the fish. Using live bait with egg sinkers is recommended, since you can let the fish eat some of the bait before landing him.
Trolling Sinker: Long and thin, with swivels on either end that help prevent the line from twisting. What size you use depends on how fast you are trolling, and what exactly you are hunting for. Like most bait/tackle/sinker combinations, it takes patience, practice, and even a little math to find the best combo. A good rule of thumb when starting out is to get a range of trolling sinkers from 1 to 4 ounces and test varying length of line and speeds.
Bank Sinkers: Meant to stay on the bottom, but not get stuck there. A basic bank sinker is round or oval in shape, but some have special add-ons that act as an anchor on the ocean floor. Bank sinkers are best for sandy areas because in more rocky areas (or areas with extremely strong currents) its rounded shape prevents it from staying put. The eye of a bank sinker adds to the weight on your line, which sometimes means wear and tear. A sinker slide can help reduce this risk and help your bank sinker perform better longer.