How to Make Homemade Fishing Sinkers

How to Make Homemade Fishing Sinkers
Compared to making fishing jigs, spoons and other lures, lead sinkers are relatively easy to make and require no specialized skills. Some expert fishermen think making sinkers is more economical in the long run, and it definitely allows you to create sinkers of specialized weights. However, the process requires melting lead and handling molten metal (especially toxic heavy metals), which should always be approached with the utmost caution.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Safety goggles
  • Welder's gloves
  • Blacksmith's apron
  • Respirator mask
  • Furnace
  • Smelting pot
  • Lead ingots
  • Iron ladle
  • Candle or wood fire
  • Iron tongs
  • Sinker mold
  • Mill file
Step 1
Determine the total weight of the number of sinkers to be cast and set an equivalent weight from lead ingots into the iron smelting pot. If you wind up with more lead than necessary, it can be left in the pot for the next casting job. Set the furnace's temperature to 622 degrees or higher and melt the lead.
Step 2
Skim impurities and slag from the surface of the melted lead with an iron ladle. Put these in another iron pot for later disposal.
Step 3
Use a candle or wood fire to "soot-up" your mold. Run the mold back and forth just over the flame a few times, so the smoke will coat the mold in a light layer of carbon. This will also heat the mold up for casting. Use iron tongs once the mold gets too warm to hold.
Step 4
Hold the mold over the smelting pot with a pair of iron tongs and ladle some lead from the pot into the mold. Doing it this way guarantees any overflow of molten lead goes back into the pot. If you are trying to create lighter sinkers than the mold is sized for, pour in less lead.
Step 5
Set the mold aside in a place that is free of paper, cardboard or any flammable debris and allow it to cool for half an hour.
Step 6
Pry the mold open over an old drop cloth or towel using any tool that gives you leverage, such as a screwdriver or crowbar. The sinkers should come right out. The lead will still be hot and soft, so if you dump them onto a wood or metal counter they will deform.
Step 7
Wait another 30 minutes and remove any excess lead from the sinkers with a file.

Tips & Warnings

The best choice of material for all pots and tools to use is cast iron, which is very durable and has a much higher melting point than lead. Since iron does not melt until it reaches 2,800 degrees, the iron will never become hot enough to risk the lead and iron mixing.
A good place to melt and cast led are garages or sheds with one or more open sides. This will provide adequate ventilation, while ensuring that water droplets don't fall into your pot of molten lead to create dangerous popping and spatter.
Always take care when working with molten lead. Wear proper safety gear. Melting lead gives off toxic fumes, so always wear a respirator and work in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gear to guard against possible popping and spattering of molten lead.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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