Fishing weights should not be mixed up with sinkers in terms of how they are used. While sinkers are almost always used with live bait to keep a presentation down near the bottom of the water, fishing weights are teamed with soft plastic artificial baits to allow an angler to utilize them properly. Fishing weights--normally composed of metals such tungsten, brass and bismuth--cause a plastic lure to move more naturally through the water and let the person fish them close to the water's bottom.
Worm weights are those that are rigged in front of a plastic worm on a fishing line. They are shaped like bullets, with the cone-end being positioned on the line facing forward. Bullet weights have a hole in their center that the line passes through and help plastic worms make their way through heavy vegetation. Anglers will often take a toothpick, push it through a worm weight and then break off the piece showing to keep it from being able to go up and down the line.
Drop and Tube
Drop weights are mostly used in what is called a drop-shot rig. These weights are typically round but can be thinner and more streamlined to combat snags. Drop weights have an eye that the line is pulled into and then pinched shut to hold the weight. Tube weights are employed when an angler fishes with a tube bait, which is a hollowed-out soft plastic lure. These weights will be slipped onto and over an offset hook and hidden inside the tube lure's body, allowing the tube bait to be used near weeds and other cover.
Flipping and Finesse
Flipping weights are smooth alternatives to using worm weights when an angler is trying to flip bait with a baitcaster reel into heavy weeds. These weights are easy to keep in place on the fishing line because of a system of pegs that allows the angler to choose where on the line the weight will stay. Finesse weights are shaped like cylinders and are used in certain plastic worm rigs to let the lure make it through rocks and weeds in the water.
Inline, Nail and Suspend
Inline trolling weights are familiar to walleye fishermen. They are heavy enough to keep a spinner rig at the depth the angler desires, with the weight's nose attached to the line and the spinner rig tied to a snap swivel protruding from the weight. Nail weights resemble thin nails and are pushed into softer plastic baits to make them appear more natural. Suspend weights can be affixed to crankbait and keep it under the water when it is not being reeled in for fish to find.