Heavy Surfcasting Sinkers – Making a Few Extra Heavy Surfcasting Sinkers for Use in Rough Surf
By Allan Burgess
Finding heavyweight surfcasting sinkers can be frustrating. There are two alternatives. You can make your own; for which you’ll need the correct alloy sinker mould – these are hard to come by. You would have to get one purpose-made if you wanted say a 9oz mould it in the breakaway shape. Another option for making a few heavy surfcasting sinkers is to cut and reshape existing heavy sinkers to fit your needs. This is a bit of fun. I tried it as an experiment and found that it works fine if you only need a few extra heavy sinkers for fishing a club competition on a day when the surf is rough.
I wanted some heavy 350g (12 ounces) surfcasting sinkers to use for surfcasting with my heavy-duty Kilwell surfcasting rod. It is designed to cast 255g but can handle the extra 100g no problem. A word of warning is needed here. If you try to cast sinkers that are far too heavy for your rod it will snap mid cast! You exceed the weight limit printed on the rod at your own risk. If your rod is designed to cast 6oz and has that weight printed on it I wouldn’t go any more than 8oz. In other words, don’t add more than 33 per cent. I’m sure my big Kilwell surf rod can take the extra weight. Don’t blame me if yours breaks.
Probably one of the biggest mistakes that surfcasters make is not using sinkers that are heavy enough to fully load their rods. Think of your surfcasting rod like it was a bow and arrow. To get maximum power from your bow you have to draw the arrow all the way back.
Casting your surf rod while employing too light a sinker means the rod can’t fully load up. The rod stores energy when it is “pulled back” by the weight of the sinker. Insufficient lead weight results in you not getting anywhere near the maximum casting distance your gear is capable of. When casting into the wind, or there is a strong rip running along the beach, every extra ounce of sinker weight makes a big difference to how well your gear casts and holds the bottom.
I own a large 610g (1.55 lb) deep-sea snapper, or groper, sinker mould – better known as a Puka Bomb. So I figured that if I chopped the sinkers from this mould roughly in half I would end up with two good sinkers that would suit my surfcasting needs perfectly.
The best way to cut these groper leads in half is to place the sinker on your workbench. Position the blade of an old knife where you want the cut and give the back of the blade a couple of hard hits with a hammer. This works well. If you have an accurate set of digital kitchen scales so much the better. If one half is too heavy for your needs just trim a bit more lead in the same manner as you used to cut the sinker in half.
Fortunately lead is quite soft and can be shaped by blows with a hammer. To make a hole for your fishing line I find it better to use a nail for a drill bit. Lead grabs your proper drill bits and breaks them. The nail does the job well.
You can also use the nail to drill holes for grapnel wires. I just use 2mm galvanised wire for mine. Old bike spokes make good sinker wires. Stainless steel is better and stiffer but is more expensive and harder to find. The best method for this is to drill holes a third of the way from the rear (heaviest end) of the sinker. Push the wires through the holes and then bend them towards the rear. A few careful strikes with the hammer will embed the wires in the sinker preventing them from turning.
A more refined grapnel attachment method is to tie the four wires together behind the sinker to prevent them from turning. I did this by passing all four wires through a small washer before bending them to the shape required.
I guess this method isn’t much help if you don’t have a heavy groper sinker mould. Don’t buy heavy groper sinkers just to cut them up. That would be a very expensive way of going about it.
This might seem an oddball way of making surfcasting sinkers, but it works! In an evening spent out in the garage I can produce a couple of dozen sinkers quickly and easily. Each sinker is the exact weight I want. These are perfect for loading up my big surfcasting rod. The last job is to weigh each sinker and write the weight on it with a felt marker pen. Lead is poisonous so always wash your hands after handling your sinkers.
How to Make to Make Surfcasting Sinkers: