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How To Put Sinkers On Fishing Line: A Guide for New Anglers

For new anglers, how exactly to attach a sinker to a line may seem somewhat mysterious. 

And since sinkers are essential components of rigs as far-ranging as the Fish Finder Rig for surf casting to the famous Texas Rig for bass fishing, knowing how to attach a sinker is pretty much essential knowledge.

The thing to remember about attaching fishing sinkers to your line is that the rig you’re using determines how you attach the sinker.

But don’t worry, we’ll have you in the loop in no time!

Below, we’re going to cover the basics of sinkers, explaining how to attach them with clear, easy-to-follow instructions.

If you want to know how to attach sinkers to your fishing line, keep reading!

Sinkers 101: Many Purposes Mean Many Types of Sinkers

Sinkers are just weights that you use to make your terminal tackle heavier, helping it fall through the water column, stay put on the bottom, or make it easier to cast long distances. Good examples of this include the cylinder sinkers on a Drop Shot Rig, the pyramid sinkers on a Fish Finder Rig, or the bank or disk sinker on a Three-Way Rig.

In some cases, sinkers are designed to change the presentation of a bait or lure, altering how it behaves in the water. Common examples of this include the Texas Rig and Carolina Rig.

These different needs mean that sinkers take on an almost limitless array of sizes and shapes. 

Despite the fact that sinkers come in a bewildering range of sizes and shapes, there are really only two types: those that slide onto your line and those that are tied or clipped onto your line.

sinkers that can be tied to fishing line

These are all examples of sinkers that can be tied onto your line.

Now, this is something of an oversimplification: many of the designs that can be tied onto your line can also be clipped into a sleeve so that they slide.

Sinker slides

Sinker slides are often used on rigs that require a heavy weight to slide.

The other general style of sinker is just as diverse in size and shape, but it’s designed for your line to pass through them.

sinkers that slide over fishing line

These sinkers slide over your line.

If you want to know all there is to know about sinkers, we've taken deep dive on them before:

Types of Fishing Sinkers: Everything You Need to Know

Fishing Sinkers: Know What You Need Your Sinker To Do

Tying a fishing sinker in place

When you want a sinker to stay put, you’ll want to tie it in place.

This is a simple process, and two knots are best for this purpose. The first is the Uni Knot.

uni knot

The other option is the Palomar Knot.

Palomar Fishing Knot

In either case, just treat the eye of the sinker like the eye of the lure in these instructions, and you’ll have a tight, strong connection.

Sliding a sinker on your line

In other techniques, you’ll want your sinker to slide up and down your line. In these instances, there will be two different techniques.

The most common is to use a sinker that’s designed to slide, and as you assemble your rig, you’ll simply slide the sinker onto your line as you do.

Texas Rigs use bullet weights

Texas Rigs use bullet weights that slide onto your line. That weight makes them easier to cast, helps them sink quickly, and gives your soft plastic trailer an attractive head-down presentation.

Sometimes, for saltwater applications, you’ll need to have a heavy sinker that slides. In these cases, you’ll use a sliding sleeve and then clip a heavy pyramid weight to it.

Sliding sleeves

Sliding sleeves allow a heavy sinker to move on your line.

fish finder rig with sliding sleeve

The most common rig that employs a sliding sleeve is the Fish Finder Rig.

Final Thoughts

That’s it - it’s that simple!

You’ll either be tying your sinker to the end of your line with a good, strong knot, or you’ll be sliding it onto your line when you assemble your rig. The method you use to attach a sinker depends entirely on what you want that sinker to do.

In other words, the rig determines how you want to attach your sinker.

We hope you’ve learned something today from this article, and as always, we’re here to answer any questions you might have.

Please leave a comment below, and we’ll be in touch!

About The Author
John Baltes
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.