If you fish on the beach and your line keeps getting washed up on shore, these sinkers may help. You might have see other Spider or Sputnik sinkers in stores or online which do the same thing but are expensive. I bought about 10 pounds of lead on Ebay for about $12. So compare the cost of buying 10lbs of sinkers to making them. The first picture shows a comparison of the commercial made (Sputnik sinker) and mine. The Sputnik is much prettier looking and does work well, as I still use the ones I bought before, but due to the price, I started making my own.
This is an easy way for you to Create you own Barrel Shaped and Spider fishing sinkers. You can use wire clothes hangers or copper wire. The molds are basically 2 by 4 lumber. These are not expected to last forever, but you may have lumber laying around. I used compressed 2 by 4 lumber from the canopy of a wooden bed, so its is not as strong as the those used to frame houses, but it worked. I have casted 4 sets for sinkers and the wood is charred but still looks good. I may consider replacing as I have mode wood to uses and may want to make some changes.
Here is what you need;
- 2 by 4 lumber - 3 ft/ mold - or less depending on the size of the mold
- Dremel Tool and Bits (Optional)
- flat head Screwdriver
- 1/2in Spade wood bit - size varies depending on the sized of the mold.
- Drill bit for wire loop - varies depending of wire gauge used bur can be bigger than wire.
- wooded clamps or Vise
- Copper or brass wire 10, 12 or 16 gauge, or wire clothes hangers. I used copper and hangers.
- vise grip
- Lead ingots or unwanted sinkers and casting pot
- Play dough or Clay (acts as a gasket to prevent leakage)
Step 1: Making the Mold
Cute the wood in equal lengths of 18 inches. Make 3 makes on either side of the wood where both pieces come together. These marks should be evenly spaced so you have enough room to pour the lead. Drill a hole with the regular bit on both sides of the wood. This is pilot hole to make sure you can at least partially see through the hole, but it does not have to be perfect.
Make a make on the spade wood bit so that you only drill half way in to the wood, or make a judgement on your own,. Drill all 3 holes, and clean out the wood shavings. I made grooves across the top with a dremel tool so I can bend the wire to make the mode stand upright, but this is optional. If you bend the middle with opposite ends, the mold will stand upright.
The mold is done and you can remove it from the clamp.
Step 2: Making the Spider
I cute the wire to lengths of about 6 inches and made a loop in one end. I used 4 wires for each spider weight. I then cut another 6 inch wire which will be the eyelet to attach the fishing line to. Make a half circle loop on one end and attach all 4 wires and close the loop.
You can make regular weights by not attaching the 4 wires, by just making a loop in the wire before putting in the mold
Step 3: Setting Up the Mold
Lay the wire in the mold as shown. Press play dough or clay in to the gap at the top of the mold as shown. Place a small amount around the edges of the mold. Place the top on the mold and clamp tightly. The Clay will expand so to seal all gaps. If you hold the mold up to a light, you should not see any light thought each hole. The gap between each hole does not matter if you see light or not.
Step 4: Making the Singers
Melt the lead is a well ventilated area. Bend the single wires at 90 degree angles and place the mold with the larger hole facing upwards.
Once the lead in melted, pour a little at a time in each mold to allow it to cool before pouring more. The lead tends to bubble until it cools so be careful. You can determine determine how many ounces of weight you want by varying the amount of lead.
The wood will start charring, so after the lead solidifies (about 10 -15 seconds), I put it under running water to quickly cool it, and pry the wood apart with the screwdriver. Cool the weights under running water and pry they out with the screwdriver. Wash off and the excess clay and dough from the wood and put somewhere to dry for next time.
Once the weights are cooled, the wire can be bent into a loop to attach the fishing line. Keep the spider wires straight until ready to use them at the beach. Bend them at 90 degrees to the weight to provide maximum hold in rough waves.
Note: these weights increase your chances of getting snagged or pulling in seaweed so the wires can be kept straight until needed.