Sinkers are critical to catching fresh and saltwater fish in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Anglers use sinkers to reach the depth in which various fish species live. A bullet sinker and split shot sinker serve the same purpose but function differently. Split shots secure to the line while bullet sinkers slide up and down the fishing line. Here is the differences between a split shot sinker and a bullet sinker

What Is The Purpose Of The Sinker

As obvious as it sounds, sinkers perform the function of deploying baits lower in the water column when compared to fishing the surface. Depending on the style of sinker, they also function by sliding on the line allowing the bait or artificial to appear as it is dancing on and off the bottom. 

While both the split shot and bullet style sinkers perform the duty of dropping baits or lures near the bottom, the two differ in shape and how they attach to the fishing line.  Bullet sinkers are most commonly associated with bass fishing. 

Have you ever attempted to cast a light bait without weight attached? The fishing line travels a minimal distance. The second function of weights is to increase cast distance to reach areas where fish congregate. 

What Weight Should A Sinker Be

When deciding the appropriate weight for fishing, consider the following factors. The factors include how deep the bait must fall, what type of fish you are targeting, and the current strength before selecting. 

Suspending Baits

A suspended bait is a bait that does not hold on the bottom or sit on the surface. Baits are most frequently suspended from boats because of the ability to drop the hook and weight over the side and lower to the middle of the water column.

Bullet weights are not intended for suspending compared to split shots. Bullet weights allow the lure to drift up when the rod tip is pulled and lowered when slacked. As a result, the bait rises and falls from the sea bed. 

Split shots serve multiple purposes. Remember, a split shot does not slide on the line. This type of weight is ideal for suspending baits in calm shallow waters from a boat, dock, or pier. 

Bottom Fishing

As mentioned before, a bullet sinker slides up, and down the line; therefore, it is not intended to hold the bottom. 

On the other hand, split shots can remain on the bottom when fishing in shallow water with minimal current. Split shots are not heavy compared to egg sinkers which maximize holding power. 

Do not attempt to use split shots in deep water, particularly when current flows if you plan to fish the bottom. 

Factors Of Currents

Mentioning currents is like throwing a curveball into the mix. No matter how deep or shallow currents significantly impact the holding power of fishing weights. 

Whether you are fishing rivers, oceans, tidal creeks, or reservoirs, or other bodies of water, currents flow. 

When water moves swiftly, increase the amount of weight to accomplish the goal of remaining on the bottom without your weight becoming swept away. Deep sea fishing requires the heaviest weights. 

How Are Fishing Sinkers Formed

Fishing sinkers are formed of various metals, including steel, tungsten, tin, bismuth, or lead. Today, lead is less frequently used because of its dangers to humans handling the weights and marine life. 

The metal is melted and placed in a form. Once the metal and form cool, the weight is pulled free and is ready to be utilized by anglers. 

Expect to pay more for fishing weights that are not composed of lead because of the increased cost of metals. 

What To Know About A Bullet Sinker

It is no wonder why the bullet sinker is called a bullet. The shape is identical to a bullet. Bullet sinkers perform specific functions and are primarily used when targeting bass in lakes and rivers. Not only does the body repel weeds, but the sliding motion as the line passes through the center causes the soft plastic bait to rise when pulled and flutter back down. 

When bass anglers work bullet weights, they gently lift the rod for a second, point the rod down, and reel the slack repetitively. Bass strike the bait because they become enticed by motion created from the sliding weight. The line moves sideways once the fish hits before the angler sets the hook. Set the hooks once the line moves. 

Anglers can purchase bullet sinkers in various sizes to suit the conditions in which they are fishing. Match the size of the weight to the depth and depth and current combination, particularly in rivers. 

What To Know About A Split Shot Sinker

A split shot sinker is similar to a BB shot from a BB gun. Some include wings allowing the angler to pinch the rear of the shot to open and the center of the shot to squeeze on the line. The weight is incapable of sliding once affixed. 

As you can imagine, split shots are small because they are connected directly to the fishing line. The weight of split shots ranges from a fraction of an ounce to nearly .5 ounces. 

Split shots hold the bottom in shallow waters or are placed beneath a float and above a hook to hold the bait down. This type of weight is highly versatile for fishing. 

We recommend a mixed size box of split shots. Check out this variety pack this has all the sizes you need when fishing.

Comparing A Split Shot Sinker Vs. A Bullet Sinker

The split shot and the bullet sinker play two completely different roles. We recommend bullet sinkers when fishing soft plastics for bass and split shots when fishing live or cut bait beneath a float or on the bottom. Both are made of metals and must be stocked in an anglers tackle box.