Weights are used to hold bait down and keep you line tight. Anyone that has fished knows about weights but when we talk about surf fishing, there are different types of weights for different purposes. Let’s look at these
- Buoy weights are weights that are shaped like a buoy. Remember when you were a kid, the punching dummies (usually looked like a clown) that you blew up with air and rocked when you smacked them? That’s basically the shape of a buoy weight. They come in all sizes. They are mainly used where there is not much current and will allow the bait to slowly drift in the surf and are best for small species. Also excellent for use in bays
- Pyramid weights are triangular shaped and also come in various sizes. These are also used in slow current but tend to dig in just a bit on one of its corners allowing for even slower drifting of bait. Again, mainly used for smaller species. Also great for use in bays
- Disc sinkers look like a large coin. They are round but flat and have a tendency not to roll around in the surf. These types of weights are mainly used in bays.
- Spider weights are weights with wire legs attached and allow the angler to secure them in the surf. If you are surf fishing, this will be your main weight. These weights start in the two ounce range and go all the way up to ten ounces and more. Spider weights come in all shapes and sizes from break-away models that have legs that fold in when reeling them in to elaborate home-made models. Research the articles on this site or use the internet to see all the different types out there and how they are made. Making your own spider weights is fun and fairly simple. Hardware stores, junk and scrap yards are a weight maker’s paradise. The supplies needed are mainly copper tubing in half inch and three quarter inch diameter, heavy gauge wire, lead, a tube cutter and a way to melt the lead, gloves and a bucket of water. Safety must also be stressed here when working with molten lead. Keep liquids far away from any molten lead! Lead in its liquid form will explode when it comes into contact with liquid. Molten lead can also start a fire. Make sure your area is clean of oils, grease and liquid in case of a spill. Going into detail on making these will not be discussed in this section. This web site has many excellent articles on how to make them. They can be found in the Shark Fishing Handbook and any member of this site will be happy to give you advice.
Some examples of various weights can be seen on the next page
From Top and left to right – Small spider, Disk, Pyramid and Buoy weights
Homemade spider weights by TSF member Mike Multop
Break Away Weight
The concept behind these weights are simple, once they hit the bottom, the legs dig into the sand and allow you to not only hold the bait down but also lets you tighten your line. Upon retrieval, the legs break away from the weight or bend in such a way that it is easy to retrieve them.