Essential Outdoor Skill: Pick a Sinker

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

Techniques for a dozen weights.

1. Split Shot: Ideal for still-fishing, usually under a float, to get bait down into the fish strike zone.

2. Egg: Still-fishing on the bottom where rolling with current or boat movement is desirable. Line slides through when fish hits.

3. Pyramid: Still-fishing over sand, mud, or other soft bottom where waves or currents are strong. Digs in so bait stays put.

4. Bank: Still-fishing where tides, waves, and currents are not present. Good for rocky areas and jetties.

5. Trolling: Gets your bait down into the fish zone. Swivels eliminate line twist.

6. Clincher: Still-fishing in calm waters or where a moving bait is not a problem.

7. Cone or Bullet: Slip-sinker for fishing in weeds or wood. Shape prevents snags.

8. Rubber Core: Easily twisted on or off your line. Great for still-fishing live bait.

9. Walking: For drifting or backtrolling live bait. Use as a slip sinker. Bounces or walks along the bottom.

10. Dipsey (Bell): Good dropper weight on a three-way rig or anchor weight on a drop-shot.

11. Coin: Designed for fishing where snags are prevalent. Planes up on the retrieve.

12. Pencil: Ideal for drop-shotting; stands upright, resists snagging.