Do You Use Weights for Bass Fishing?

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As a beginner, you probably have a lot of unanswered questions. One of these questions has to do with weights for bass fishing. Even some fairly-experienced anglers have this question. So, do you use weights for bass fishing?

Do You Use Weights for Bass Fishing?

Yes, it is necessary to use weights or sinkers to allow your lures and baits to get to the bottom of the water and ensure that it stays there. Using weights for fishing bass help to enhance the anchoring ability of your lure and allow you to cast longer distances with your line. It bolsters your lure’s line-holding capacity and hook-and-line performance.

When it comes to fishing for bass, weights and sinkers are used interchangeably to refer to a small metallic object that sinks a bait or lure to a specific depth in the water. They increase the functionality of your setup and do not replace the lure or bait itself. You can get them in various sizes for different purposes.

A rusted fish sinker connected to a silver metal placed on a brown wooden surface

How to Choose the Right Weight for Bass Fishing

It is important to know how much weight to put on your lure while fishing for bass. You might find it quite challenging to determine the optimal weight for a given situation if you are not familiar with the various options and how they function.

The choice of weight you use on a reliable lure can significantly affect your fishing experience. If you use a weight that is too light or too heavy, it could affect the extent to which you have to apply force and how well the hook is held.

There are 3 main factors to consider when choosing the right weight for fishing bass:

  • Material
  • Stability and function
  • Visibility and size


Owing to the fact that lead is cheap and easy to mold, it has been used over time to produce sinkers and jigheads. However, it is poisonous to animals, including fish and even humans. This is why it has been banned in some states.

Tungsten is a good, however pricey, lead alternative. Tungsten weights can be effectively used for stealthier presentations because tungsten is heavier than lead and can be made into smaller and less visible weights.

Brass is used in Carolina sinkers and worm weights. When pulled along the bottom, it clicks and rattles loudly, attracting bass. The material weight is made from can influence the other factors on this list.

Stability and Function

When choosing a weight for fishing bass you have to consider the environment you will be fishing in and the presentation you are trying to achieve. You want to choose a weight that can do what you want and remain stable.

Visibility and Size

The visibility of your weight is also an important factor. You do not want a weight that is too big and visible. You want a weight that is small enough to do what you want and just sizable enough to attract bass.

As a rule of thumb, you want to use the lightest weight possible given the depth you are fishing and the presentation you are going for. This is because weights for fishing bass are typically smaller.

Types of Weights for Fishing Bass

There are two primary types of weights:

  • Fixed weights
  • Free-sliding weights

Your specific choice will depend on:

  • The species of bass
  • Fishing depth
  • Current and wave activity
  • Bottom contact, and
  • The sinker style that might suit your lure the best
Orange hook and gold fishing sinker in a black fishing rod

Fixed Sinkers

Fixed weights can be directly attached to the fishing line or leader. All you have to do is a pinch, tie or twist them. They will remain in place and will only move in response to the movement of the bait or lure and when the bass takes a bite.

Examples of fixed sinkers include rubber core sinkers and the split shot sinker which is most commonly used by anglers.

Free-Sliding Sinkers

Slip sinkers, which are free-moving, glide along the fishing line. Primarily used with bait, they reduce friction by allowing the line to slide when a fish bites without the sinker shifting position. Good examples of free-sliding sinkers include:

  • The ballheads
  • Cone
  • Egg
  • Bullet, and 
  • Barrel sinkers

Related Questions

Do You Need a Bobber to Fish?

No. Unlike a weight, which is used to keep your line intact at a depth, a bobber floats on the water’s surface and can be used to detect bites or movement at the point where your line meets the air. They can be used together, even though they serve different functions.

Can You Fish Without Weights?

Not always, however, in most cases, they are necessary for bait fishing. You can increase your casting distance with a heavier sinker, however, lighter sinkers are better for most fishing situations.


Do not be overwhelmed by the abundance of available weights. You can choose one or two weights and explore them. Over time, once you have learned the basics and built on that foundation, you can start to expand from there.