Sinkers for the surf

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Sinkers for the surf

Postby kenmare » Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:58 pm

Hi fishos,

Much of the time it's necessary to use a sinker when fishing the surf. As an Alvey user, however, I prefer to use no lead if conditions are suitable, or the minimum size sinker, when it's necessary to sink the bait.

Often I'll just use a ball sinker on the line immediately above the hook. When using pilchard or squid on two or three 3/0s ganged, I've even been known to use ball sinkers of up to 1 oz in this way. The fish don't seem to mind, even if some anglers might.

When I'm using small soft baits, like pippies, worms or nippers, on my light beach outfit, I usually use a small ball sinkers above a swivel and 40 to 50 centimeter trace to the hook.

In both these situations, the bait moves around in the surf, but I believe that's an advantage and helps me catch fish.

But when I fish in heavy surf conditions, I employ a large Daiwa Sealine overhead on an MT 8132 extended to 11' 6'' with a sandspike. Then I use a 3 oz snapper lead to take the bait (usually half salted pillie) out wide and to hold bottom. In heavy conditions it's often difficult to hold bottom.

I'm interested in better ways to use sinkers when fishing in heavy surf conditions.

I've seen pictures of various English "bomb" sinkers (with and without wire hooks) but they're difficult to obtain where I live. Are they superior to the types of sinkers made locally? Or are the locally made sinkers better for the job?

The only bomb sinkers available where I live have a brass swivel moulded into the top for securing the line. Has anyone experience with that type?

I've just bought a couple of 4 oz pyramid sinkers. They have moulded lead eyelet for tying them to the rig. How good are pyramid sinkers?

Is there a better way to secure them to the rig than tying them to the line? I was thinking of using the largest size brass snap swivel. Is that a good idea?

Years ago, when holidaying at Hervey Bay, I bought some sinkers that look like dumpy snapper leads: they have the same hole at the top for securing line, but are pear shape and hexagonal (six sided) rather than four sided. What are those sinkers called? I've a heap of them up to 4 ozs. How do they rate as surf sinkers?

Is it really necessary to hold bottom in heavy surf anyway?

Any experiences, comment or (constructive) suggestions welcome.

Regards,

Bob
Last edited by kenmare on Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Weights

Postby Roy Watson » Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:32 pm

Bob,

The weights with a swivel at the top work for me - like you, there isn't a lot of choice in my local tackle shops, either. I find that the pyramids hold better, bit don't seem to cast as well.

I prefer to use a snap connector to attach the weight, allowing for quick and easy changes of weight when conditions change. It might also help prevent abrasion of the line from being dragged through the sand?

Regards,
Roy Watson
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Postby Rod B » Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:31 am

Anything brass is iffy for power casting, mix in using it for fishing and the saltwater will cause the brass swivel to corrode internally with time.

Stainless steel connections are the go. Either a short loop or a long tail wire, with a stainless steel clip link on the end of the leader to make changing leads easy, and to keep the knot out of the sand when winding in.

Hervey bay would not be a true? (typical) surf beach, being in behind Fraser Island. When you are on the beach and there is nothing between you and NZ other than water, at times the sweep can be very strong. Fishing in the traditional manner with an Alvey, using a ball sinker, you will get a lot of casting practice just trying to keep a bait out. Using a grip lead and a rod rest you get to spend more time fishing than casting. The options are there, neither is definitively correct, the choice is yours.

The hex leads sound like a variation on snapper leads. Would not recommend them for power casting/beach fishing as the knot would get seriously worn. You would be (or should be ) forever checking the knot.

Pryamid sinkers will give you excercise winding in as the flat surface is against you. The idea is to grip while 'out' there and be easy to wind in, hence the grip wires that unclip and fold to a more streamlined shape for winding in.
Rod.
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Re: Weights

Postby kenmare » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:23 am

Roy Watson wrote:Bob,

The weights with a swivel at the top work for me - like you, there isn't a lot of choice in my local tackle shops, either. I find that the pyramids hold better, bit don't seem to cast as well.

I prefer to use a snap connector to attach the weight, allowing for quick and easy changes of weight when conditions change. It might also help prevent abrasion of the line from being dragged through the sand?

Regards,


Hi Roy,

What sort of snap connector do you use? One of the pommie ones especially designed for connecting sinkers? A game fishing snap, such as a coastlock? Or one of the brass general purpose type that's often used for securing lures?

Regards,

Bob
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Postby kenmare » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:47 am

Rod B wrote:

When you are on the beach and there is nothing between you and NZ other than water, at times the sweep can be very strong...Using a grip lead and a rod rest you get to spend more time fishing than casting.


Pyramid sinkers will give you excercise winding in, as the flat surface is against you. The idea is to grip while 'out' there and be easy to wind in, hence the grip wires that unclip and fold to a more streamlined shape for winding in.
Rod.


Hi Rod,

I take your point about the need to keep the bait out there when the surf is running.

Mostly, I fish when the swell is around 1 metre or a little less, and light lead works well. Above 1 metre of swell though, and it is hard to keep the bait where it needs to be -- hence my interest in a heavier overhead outfit to cast serious sinkers.

Do you buy your wire grip bomb sinkers or make them yourself? And how heavy are the surf sinkers you use? I'd like to keep sinker weight to no more than 4 ounces or so.

Just how effective are grip wires, comparing a 4 oz sinker that has grip wires to a 4 oz sinker that doesn't?

On a related matter, how big can the swell be before you find you're unable to fish because you can't hold bottom with your sinker. Are the fish still in the surf when there's a bit of a sea running?

Regards,

Bob
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Postby Roy Watson » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:02 am

Hi Bob,

I use Gemini Genie Rig Links, available from U.K. or N.Z sources - I haven't found a stockist in Australia yet.

Regards,

Roy
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Postby Rod B » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:21 am

Bob, if you check out an earlier post of mine re sinker moulds you will see a pic of a mould I bought from the UK and a couple of links. My brother is coming out in a few days and is bringing me a Ron Thompson 4in1 beach bomb mould. I have not found a local source for a grip sinker mould yet. Put short I make my own sinkers. Nowadays they are all grip wired. Weights between 3 and 6oz's. Mostly I would use 4oz as a starting weight on the beach and see what happens regards holding/drift. Even a grip sinker will move if the sweep is strong and the sinker too light.
My best advice would be to buy a couple of the ones that are appearing in the tackle shops now and try them. The amount they grip is sometimes amazing, you really have to pull steady and long to break out of the sand.
Before I was introduced to grip sinkers I was using up to a #9 ball sinker trying to keep a bait in the fishing zone.

Regarding the swell, if the beach looks like the inside of a washing machine with the white water reaching NZ I would go/stay home, under these conditions there would be too much sand stirred up for my liking. But if the swell is big and its possible to cast clear/behind the white water then I woud think I am in with a chance. The fish are more likely to be in the clear water close to the white water where everything is stirred up.
Rod.


[quote="kenmare"]
Hi Rod,

I take your point about the need to keep the bait out there when the surf is running.

Mostly, I fish when the swell is around 1 metre or a little less, and light lead works well. Above 1 metre of swell though, and it is hard to keep the bait where it needs to be -- hence my interest in a heavier overhead outfit to cast serious sinkers.

Do you buy your wire grip bomb sinkers or make them yourself? And how heavy are the surf sinkers you use? I'd like to keep sinker weight to no more than 4 ounces or so.

Just how effective are grip wires, comparing a 4 oz sinker that has grip wires to a 4 oz sinker that doesn't?

On a related matter, how big can the swell be before you find you're unable to fish because you can't hold bottom with your sinker. Are the fish still in the surf when there's a bit of a sea running?

Regards,

Bob[/quote]
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Postby John Softly » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:59 am

Hi Guys,
MAY YOU ALL HAVE A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2006
Sinkers seem to be a popular subject and here are the Breakouts that I use:-

Image

Left to right :- 90 gram short tail Breakaway, 90 gram long tail Breakaway, 150 gram Impact Breakaway,130 gram standard Gemini and a 150 gram flatback Gemini.
The horizontal sinkers are a homemade DCA 4 ounce (I make these myself in 3, 4, 5 and 6ounce) and a plastic Breakaway. All breakout sinkers are adjustable for tension. BTW plastic tubing over the anchor wires, as on the Gemini's, is a good way to get extra grip. The plastic Breakaway is used to get extra grip without adding extra weight and really works in heavy seas - they effectively double the holding power of any given weight sinker. Having said that heavy seas mean sand movement and once burried all breakout sinkers are can be difficult to move. Steady pressure over a prolonged period -sometimes two or three miniutes - usually does the trick. Just don't leave them out too long. And don't forget to adjust the sinker wires for tension so that they break out with the minimum of force but still hold in the current.
A month ago I fished 3 metre (conservative estimate) seas on the Sunshine Coast, something I wouldn't normally do but I was on holiday with nothing better to do at first light. There wasn't much sweep and 150 grams was holding. No one was more surprised than me to see two chopper tailor take the pippie baits I had out for dart.
Cheers
John
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Re: Sinkers for the surf

Postby kenmare » Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:05 pm

kenmare wrote:Hi fishos,

Years ago, when holidaying at Hervey Bay, I bought some sinkers that look like dumpy snapper leads: they have the same hole at the top for securing line, but are pear shape and hexagonal (six sided) rather than four sided. What are those sinkers called? I've a heap of them up to 4 ozs. How do they rate as surf sinkers?

Regards,

Bob


Hi Guys,

Solved my own mystery. They're a form of bomb sinker.

Found them advertised on a NZ site:

http://www.carltonco.co.nz/Products/Bomb.htm

Perhaps an ex Kiwi now living in Hervey Bay brought his moulds with him and makes sinkers as a sideline.

... steady 'no-spin' drop. Hexagon sides resist rolling in currents ... tapered shape gives less snagging ...

Probably more a boat and deep sea fishing sinker, but definitely worth giving them a try in the surf.

Regards,

Bob
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Postby emaze » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:34 pm

My surf fishing began in the mid 50's on the Vic. 90 mile beach where a "gentle" surf is rarity, but devoid of fish in those periods anyway.
The standard gear was a 12' cane rod, Surfmaster, Seascape or Graeme overhead reel, 20lb. line with a bottom sinker on a trace with 2/3 droppers above.
Whitebait was usually held on to the hook with fuse wire and the sinker a 4oz. 3 sided pyramid. A good cast was 100-110yds. it needed to be beyond the break for consistant results.
I made my own sinkers from a home made cast iron mould (still have it somewhere) they cast well and held well.
Most of my fishing mates (and me) came from farming properties and during that period we made launching guns using black powder as a propellant. We could fire a line out with 6 hooks on it a good 200yds. but without our hoped for increased catch! For this we used eel fillet as bait, the accelleration ripped the whitebait or other soft fleshed bait off the hooks. It was a good system for getting a large shark bait out, there were some huge sharks caught that way. We used those large Alvey star drag boat reels with 500yds. 50lb. line with rod harness.
The fish and chip shops in Sale were always happy to pay well for "flake" Dont think you could get away with that these days
Sorry, got off the topic a bit, but I think I did mention sinker somewhere! Hoping tight lines for all in '06
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Postby Rod B » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:08 pm

This is a bait launcher I saw on a US, probably Texas, fishing board. This one uses compressed air and plastic tubing. there was a bit of video of it in action and the results did not seem worth the cost. The rod was clipped into the holders above the main tube.

Image

I can recall reading about a similar device someone in NSW I think, made using compressed air. It was covered in an article in an Oz fishing magazine if my memory is correct. A bundle of newspaper was used as a wadding and the bait, sinker, etc put in on top. It was probably deemed unsafe and consigned to the archives.
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Beach Bazooka

Postby Roy Watson » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:32 pm

I seem to remember a Victorian device called the "Beach Bazooka" in the early 1970's - it also used compressed air.
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Postby ken moran » Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:07 pm

I have heard of people using a slingshot to launch sinkers but it would have to be with a handline and these days a permit for the slingshot!

With those fancy sinkers, do you light them with a match or something to make them go?
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Postby Rod B » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:23 pm

Just a pair of big Wellies :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby emaze » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:37 am

Just a little extra on the launching cannon, it was based on a black powder post splitting gun with a pipe extension as the barrel and a base to allow elevation to be gauged. Wet newspaper was used as wads and the full length of line had to be laid out on the beach in narrow S shape. The first 12 - 15ft. of line was heavy cotton cord, with the hooks starting from there and spaced about 4ft. apart. We actually took it all quite seriously!
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