Best Sinker for Surf Fishing

Sinkers have several purposes. They increase the casting distance. Sinkers also allow you to present the bait in a very natural way that doesn’t scare the fish. That’s why it’s important to choose the best sinker for your surf fishing adventure.

Beginners or even experienced anglers get confused when choosing what sinker to use.

We’ll talk about:

  • the difference between mobile and static sinkers
  • the specific types of sinkers
  • the best weight sinker for surf fishing

Mobile sinkers or static sinkers?

Mobile sinkers

A mobile sinker is designed to slide or roll along the ground or bottom with the current. They are very effective in presenting your bait naturally. Mobile sinkers can be divided into three types:

  • Dropper sinkers
  • Egg weight
  • Coin weight

Static sinkers

These types of sinkers dig into the bottom and keep the bait in its place. Static sinkers are good for presenting that dead or cut bait as they cannot move. It looks more natural to the predators. Moreover, live baits are not good for static sinkers because they may end up dead if they get caught up in the current.

 Static sinkers can be divided into four types:

  • Tongue sinker
  • Pyramid sinker
  • Storm sinker
  • Sputnik sinker

The best surf fishing sinkers

Since sinkers come in a variety of shapes, each works differently in different conditions. Let’s take a look at how and where the following sinkers work perfectly.

Pyramid Sinkers

 As the name suggests this sinker has a shape just like a pyramid that allows it to dig deep into the sandy bottom. But if somehow the sinker gets out of the sand, it starts rolling over because of the wave pressure. Therefore, pyramid sinkers are good for surf fishing when your target is a small fish, using small baits such as sea worms. They are not good for strong currents or big surf but you can use them very well in quiet backwaters.

The pyramid sinker is used with the fish finder rig and the high/low rig, which are two of the best rigs for surf fishing.

Coin Sinkers

Its flat round shape helps it to move in a straight line, like sliding straight over the bottom, keeping the bait down. They are similar to no-roll sinkers and resist tumbling. Coin sinkers are used by anglers with different rigs such as Carolina egg-sinker rig.

Coin sinkers are great for flounder or fluke fishing.

Hatteras Sinkers

Hateras sinkers are also called storm sinkers. The shape of this sinker allows it to stick to the sand and if it is pulled out of the sand due to the current, it digs back. Many anglers believe that it is a better sinker than pyramid but not as good as a sputnik.

Although it is a famous choice for fishing the muddy back bays, it is known as one of the best sinkers for fighting strong currents.

Casting Sinkers

 Casting sinkers also called Bass sinkers or bell sinkers are good choices for casting long distances due to their enhanced and improved aerodynamics. While retrieving, twisting of the line is prevented due to the built-in swivel of this sinker. They are a good choice for surfcasting near rocky bottoms. In terms of fish species, casting sinkers are very good for striped Bass or Perch.

 Egg Sinkers

They are a common and cheap type of sinkers usually used in Carolina rigs. Since they are mobile they are perfect for rigging live bait. They are an excellent choice since they are easy to retrieve and fly well because of enhanced aerodynamics. Egg sinkers are best to present live baits.

Related article: Best Hook for Surf Fishing

Due to their perfect design, egg sinkers are not very likely to get torn or snagged so they are great for fishing around the structures, rocky or reef bottoms. If you are looking for perch and want to continuously move your bait, an egg sinker can be rewarding.

What weight/size sinker to use for surf fishing?

Unfortunately there’s not a “one size fits all” sinker for surf fishing. The size of the weight or sinker depends on the target species and water conditions. Under normal water conditions, a 2-4 ounce pyramid or sputnik sinker works great. But if the current is too strong you would need a heavier sinker such as 6 ounces.

Check out our Beginner's Guide to Surf Fishing


Can you make your own surf fishing sinkers?

Yes! You can make your own sinkers. It’s pretty easy and you even buy molds. Of course, sinkers are pretty cheap to buy and are available online (links above) or at your local tackle shop.

If you decide to go the DIY route, here’s a pretty helpful video.

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