Choosing the right type of weight for fishing can be a make or break situation. Heavyweights can limit the amount of fish that can bite the line, whereas lightweights will move around too much with the current. Picking the perfect sweet spot can be a challenge, but you’d be surprised to learn how much wiggle room there is.
The best size weight for surf fishing is between ¼ of an ounce to 4 ounces. The weight size should be based on the current, fish you’re catching, and how quickly it can drop to the bottom of the water. Heavy waves require higher weight, whereas still water and small fish need lighter weights.
Throughout this article, you will learn all about choosing the best weight size, including:
- How to pick the correct weight size for surf fishing
- What you should look for
- Answers to the most common questions about fishing weights
- The best surf weights currently on the market
Choosing a Weight Size for Surf Fishing
Fishing without a weight, especially on the surf, is near impossible. Most hooks don’t weigh enough to pull themselves down to the bottom, nor does the bait attached to the hook.
Fortunately, there’s a wide size range of sinkers to choose from, and none of them cost too much at all.
When you’re choosing a weight size for surf fishing, you should aim for a weight between ¼ of an ounce up to 4 ounces. This might seem like a broad, vague range, but it’s quite applicable in all circumstances. Let’s break it down below.
According to Surf Casting Florida, heavier weights can send the hook further out into the water. If you’re only trying to catch fish in nearby shallow water, then ¼ to 3-ounce weights will be more than enough.
They’re small, which means the smaller fish swimming in shallow water will be able to pick it up and get caught.
However, when you’re trying to cast further out into the water, you’re going to need a bigger weight. Aim for something between 3 to 4 ounces.
This range will allow you to cast far out into the water without being too heavy for some of the lighter fish. You’ll increase the total fishing possibilities from the surf by quite a bit.
Note: The pole, line, hook, and bait are all equally as influential to surf fishing as the weight. Even if you have a perfect weight, you won’t be able to catch fish without the proper equipment.
What to Look For
When you’re looking through the best surf fishing weights, it’s important that you keep an eye out for certain factors. They’re all excellent choices, but local conditions can limit or determine which weights are the best ones for your situation.
Below, you’ll find a list of various features and factors to consider prior to buying a surf fishing weight.
- As Fish from Beach states, you need to make sure that the weight holds itself down to the bottom of the water. Heavy currents can pull small weights around, rendering them useless. If you notice a lot of wind in the area, you should opt for a heavier weight that’s no smaller than 2 ounces.
- Speaking of which, the weight should sink to the bottom quickly. When it takes too long to go down, the tide will pull it to a different location. It could get stuck in the rocks or just float around in the water without ever making its way down to the bottom.
- Consider the casting distance capabilities of your surf fishing weights. As mentioned earlier in the article, heavier weights can be cast further than lighter weights. If the line isn’t going far enough, it’s time to get a bigger size. The wind, currents, and other natural weather patterns can also influence the castability of a weight.
- Think about the natural surroundings compared to the weight itself. If your weight looks out of place, it’s unlikely that fish will want to bite. They’re capable of knowing when a foreign object looks too dangerous to approach. Matte colors, such as a stone-looking weight, are often the best choice.
- Ask yourself if the hook and the weight are compatible with one another. All fishermen know that it’s time to pull back and set the hook in place once you get a bite. If the weight’s a bit too heavier, it will require more force on your end. This short but impactful split-second motion can be the difference between catching and losing a fish.
Does the Shape of a Surf Fishing Sinker Matter?
When you’re picking out a new set of sinkers, the weight is very important, but you can’t forget about the shape. Experienced anglers know that choosing an incorrect shape when they’re fishing can lead to all sorts of problems.
For example, many weights are shaped to roll, whereas others hold their place in the mud or sand. When you’re surf fishing, the goal is to prevent the sinker from moving around too much.
With that in mind, let’s check out the different shapes that you should and shouldn’t choose for surf fishing.
Pyramid sinkers — are one of the most popular choices because they stick themselves in the sand or mud. When you’re already trying to fight the current, it’s critical that the weight doesn’t dislodge itself. For this reason, pyramid sinkers are always a good choice if they fit within the recommended weight range.
Sputnik sinkers — are equally as common in surf fishing. They’re reliable, sink quickly, and trip themselves when it’s time to reel in the line. Rather than getting stuck or causing resistance, it pulls off of the sand and glides through the water. You won’t feel much resistance other than the fish that you’re catching.
Egg-shaped sinkers — they roll around too much. Sand is already loose, so using a rolling weight will prevent it from ever holding firmly to the ground. Your line will move with the current, which makes the weight practically useless.
Coin sinker — Good for high – low rig and fish finder rig. However, there’s nothing on a coin-shaped weight that prevents it from sliding around on the sand, and it’ll flip around,
Finally, wedge bullet-shaped sinkers are a viable option — If the tide is too strong, you might want to avoid them. However, low waves can be the perfect scenario for one of these effective weights. Their shape naturally pulls them straight down to the sand, lodging themselves in the ground upon impact.
The Best Surf Fishing Weights
Now that you know all about the sizes and shapes of surf fishing weights, it’s time to pick out one from the list. The three traits that allowed them to make the list are:
- Quality to Cost Ratio
Without further ado, here are the best surf fishing weights on the market:
South Bend PYR-3
The South Bend PYR-3 weights are pyramid-shaped. Weighing in at three ounces, they fit right in the ideal range for surf fishing.
Furthermore, each pyramid’s sharpened tip allows it to sink right into the sand or mud at the bottom of the surf. You’ll never have to deal with it rolling around after you cast the line.
Each package of these sinkers comes with five of them. They’re perfect for large fish, and the company even claims that they’re made specifically for heavy currents and high waves. When you’re fishing from the surf, this is exactly what you should be looking for.
- Includes five 3-ounce pyramid sinkers
- Designed for strong currents
- Each weight measures 2cm by 4cm
Hurricane Sputnik Sinker
If you’re looking for a sputnik weight that’s heavier than most, look no further. The Hurricane Sputnik Sinker is a high-end product that doesn’t cost too much at all.
They’re made with stainless steel arms that lock themselves into the sand or mud, preventing it from rolling around with the current.
You can choose to get these weights in a 3-ounce or 4-ounce size, depending on what you need for the current weather patterns.
Remember to refer to the FAQ in the next section to figure out what to do when you’re encountering different issues.
- Comes in two different sizes
- Made with high-quality materials that last
- Fantastic price compared to other sputnik sinkers
Bright Starl Diamond Bullet Sinkers
The Diamond Bullet Sinkers by Bright Starl are unique in their appearance, but they’re perfect for surf fishing. It’s hard to find such high-quality weights without breaking the bank, but these don’t cost too much.
Each package comes with six weights, so you’re going to get your money’s worth.
As you hopefully read earlier in the post, the weight range is quite large for surf fishing. This set accommodates that necessity by including weights that go from 1.41 to 3.52 ounces.
Start with the smallest size, then work your way up until you can sink it to the bottom without the current pulling it away.
- Comes with a wide range of sizes in one package
- Unique design to cut through the water and sink into the sand
- Naturally resists the pull of the current
Bright Starl Bullet Lead Sinkers
Once they hit the bottom, they dig into the ground to prevent them from swaying with the current. They’re cheap, effective, and you get 50 per pack. What’s not to like?
It should be noted that these weights are on the lighter end of the scale. They’re the ones that you can use when the waves are calm, and the tide is high. They range from 0.17 to 1.05 ounces, and you’ll get multiples of each size.
- Ultra Lightweight sinkers for small fish
- Includes 50 sinkers per pack with a variety of weights
- An ideal shape to go straight to the bottom once the line hits the water
Bullet Weights Pyramid Sinker
If you’re the type of fisherman who prefers to stick with the same company and style for your gear, this weight will be the one for you.
The Bullet Weights Pyramid Sinker comes in a massive range of sizes, so you’ll be able to choose from a plethora to always be ready for the situation.
You can start out with a one-ounce sinker, but they also offer different sizes all the way up to 24 ounces. Every size comes with multiple sinkers, lowering in quantity as the weight gets higher.
For example, the one-ounce size comes with 80 sinkers, the three-ounce size comes with 26 sinkers, and the five-ounce size comes with 16 sinkers.
- Comes with plenty of sinkers per size
- Includes the biggest size range out of all of the sinkers on the list
- Made with high-quality materials to provide you with countless uses
Getting the right shape and size for your sinkers while surf fishing is as good as it gets. That being said, conditions change all the time when you’re out on the surf.
In the next section, you’ll learn which sinker you should use for all sorts of different environmental changes that you’ll inevitably encounter.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Surf Weights
Surf fishing is exciting and unique compared to all other types of fishing. However, you often can’t bring the same kind of equipment as you would. Instead, you’ll need to bring the correct bait, hooks, weights, and so on.
Whether you’re a beginner fisherman or you want to improve your skills out on the surf, you’ll find the answers to a handful of common questions about surf fishing weights here:
How heavy of a weight should I use for strong currents? When the waves are rolling and winds are high, you should attach a heavier weight than you typically would. It’s always better to start low and work your way up to figure out how light of a weight you can use. Remember that smaller weights are easier for smaller fish to bite.
What do I do if the waves are pulling my weight? High waves can be an issue, even if they’re not going too strong. There’s a difference between a powerful current and naturally high waves. Nonetheless, use a weight that corresponds to the height of the wave in a feet-to-ounce ratio. For example, 3-foot waves require a 3-ounce weight.
Are surf fishing weights expensive? Not at all! Most surf fishing weights are so budget-friendly that they come in bundle packs. The weight is often one of the cheapest parts of fishing gear, even when you’re looking for a heavy 5-ounce weight. Consider getting a wide range of sizes, so you’re always prepared.
What about the high tide? When the tide rolls up on the beach, it’s often a fisherman’s favorite time to go out. You can use a lighter weight as small as one ounce but start on the small end (¼ ounces if possible). Remember that you don’t need to cast as far out into the water when the tide is high.
What happens if my weight is too heavy? Using a heavier weight is beneficial because it will sink quickly and hold onto the sand. However, the trade-off isn’t worth it because most fish won’t bite the hook and carry the line. You’ll get bites all the time without knowing it.
As you can see, surf fishing weights aren’t as confusing as they might seem. They’re very similar to regular weights that you’d use at a river or a lake, but choosing the right size and shape can make a huge difference.
The best weight for surf fishing varies quite a bit. Always keep in mind that it’s smart to start as low as possible. The lighter the weight, the higher the chances are of you catching a fish.
Here is a quick recap of the post:
- Pyramid, sputnik, and wedge weights are all excellent choices for surf fishing.
- Always try to use the lightest weight possible.
- Surf fishing weights should be between ¼ ounces to 4 ounces.
- High winds, heavy waves, and strong currents call for bigger weights.
- A heavier weight will allow you to cast further.