Homemade sinkers – Ross Tickle April 16

Well we all know how expensive fishing can be spread between gear, fuel, bait, terminal tackle and everything else with most fisherman keen to save a few dollars anywhere they can. One of the easiest ways to save yourself a small fortune especially for offshore fisherman is to take the time and learn how to mould your own sinkers.

Moulding your own sinkers is quite an easy task but one that must be treated with caution and with all the proper protective equipment to be worn.



A Gas Burner or Gas Ring

Bearing Grease

A Melting Pot


Vice Grips


Side Cutters


Safety Equipment

Leather gloves

Safety Glasses


Enclosed Shoes

The first step is to collect up some lead often the easiest way to do this is from a scrap metal yard. If you have an option as to what lead is available it is good to try and go for the thinnest cleanest lead you can, my favourite is lead flashing as the less dense the lead is the quicker it will melt and the quicker it will be to make sinkers.

Once you have your lead cut into small pieces and place into your melting pot, any melting pot with a spout will do, I use and old large food tin which I have bent a spout into as being only thin it allows a lot of heat to be generated. The next step is to put this onto your gas burner or ring and turn the heat up to full and wait until the lead has melted.

Whilst you are waiting for your lead to melt it can be a good idea to start pre-heating your moulds. I like to do this with the aid of a butane torch waiving it over the entire mould, this allows the sinkers to form properly as the lead does not cool as quick when poured into the mould. Now you have your mould at a suitable temperature grab a nice relatively thick size wire and give it a very light coating of bearing grease, this will make it easy to slide out of the mould. It is also a good idea to bend a hook in one end to give you something to grab making it easier to remove the wire.

Now that you have your mould heated and in the vice with the wire inside carefully grab your melting pot and slowly pour the lead from one end to the other making sure to fill up every hole as much as possible pouring slowly and evenly.

Allow it to cool for a couple of minutes then pull the wire out whilst still clamped together. Now split the mould and remove the sinkers trimming off the excess lead as close as you can to the sinkers and trimming any dags left around the holes. Place the excess lead back into the melting pot whilst preparing the mould for the next pour.

There are a few things to keep in mind when moulding sinkers and the first is to keep as much heat as you can in the lead this will allow for more complete moulds. A common mistake a lot of people make is trying to melt to much lead at once, even though it is melted it will not have enough heat to mould properly leaving you with half sinkers. The second is that you must do this in a well ventilated area as lead fumes can be extremely dangerous and using a respirator is a must.

I prefer to do this during those rubbish weekends where it’s pouring rain and blowing a gale by setting aside a few hours and doing bulk amounts of a variety of different sizes and styles. Once you have done enough to last you a few months I like to set these a side in containers removing what I need for each trip. So before you go to fork out big money for a few sinkers put that money towards a few moulds and some lead and you will be saving a small fortune in no time or if you are a lure fisherman why not look into making your own jigheads.