Homemade fishing weights are constructed using a furnace to melt lead. The furnace is actually smaller than a typical stove pot and designed to easily allow you to pour the lead into a mold. During the heating process, the lead reaches temperatures of about 621 degrees F. Homemade lures can be made out of pulled bullets, older fishing tackle and other lead products that do not contain a large amount of impurities.
Homemade fishing weights are important to many fishermen because they provide a cheaper alternative to buying fishing tackle. A lead weight can be made for a few cents, whereas a similar product purchased at a tackle shop can cost well over a dollar. Making homemade fishing weights also allows for variation in design and customization, such as shape and weight differences. By making fishing weights yourself, you can save money and get to know more about metal working.
The purpose of a homemade weight is to keep a hook underwater where fish will bite it. While reeling in fishing line, the line will often float up to the surface of the water from the pull of the rod. At this point the hook is usually within an inch or so of the surface, making fishing at lower depths inconvenient. By including a weight and a bobber to help the line sink to only a certain depth, fishing can be done at most underwater extents to target a variety of fish.
Consider what you will be using it for and what your personal fishing style is. If you are fishing in the ocean at great depths, you should ideally make a larger weight over 8 oz. Fishing lakes and ponds will require much less weight, as a hook can only go so deep. Other considerations should be shape, such as pyramid, bullet, round or donut shaped weights. This is more preference than anything, but in general, elongated weights should be used for trolling, while bank fishing can use almost any weight style.
When making lead weights, always wear a high efficient particle removing respirator, thick leather gauntlets or chemical gloves, chemical safety glasses, and full length sleeves and trousers. Exposure to lead can result in burns and lead poisoning, and should therefore be taken quite seriously.