How to Securely Put a Weight on a Fishing Line

When out on the lake, fishing is one of the best pastimes to enjoy whether you’re solo or with a group of friends and family. Both fun and tranquil, this sport is easy to learn and to master with practice and patience. The more you fish, the more you may want to try new techniques and products, like fishing weights. Both new and seasoned fishermen have found weights to be a useful addition to their technique whether they are fishing for sport, for food, or just for fun. If using fishing weights sounds like a good idea to you, then you are in luck! In this post, we will run through how to securely put a weight on a fishing line using just a few easy steps. With this new skill, you fishing game will likely see noteworthy improvements.

What Are Fishing Weights?

If you are new to fishing, you might not be familiar with putting a weight on a fishing line. Plenty of individuals incorporate weights when fishing. Also know as fishing sinkers, these weights are used to hold fishing bait in a certain place on the line. Some fishing experts even call weights some of the most important parts of your fishing gear. They improve your technique by enhancing cast, anchor, troll, and drift of your bait. Those who use fishing weights might do so when looking to catch a certain kind of fish. Perhaps a fish lives at a lower or higher depth than others. A fishing weight helps to ensure that your line will sink to and stay a specified depth, increasing your chances of finding and catching the fish of your choice.


Weights are applied to fishing lines either through sliding or crimping. This how-to will focus on weights that slide into place. Such weights are usually secured into place so that the weight itself won’t slide while you are fishing. To secure the weight onto the line, all you need to know is a quick and simple process.



Types of Fishing Weights and Sinkers

There are a variety of fishing weight and sinker types. Some are more common than others and are much easier to use and work with. The following are the most common weight and sinker types:

  • Split Shot: Perhaps the easiest sinker to use, the split shot pinches onto your line wherever you choose to set your depth. Removal is just as easy as application as you simply pinch the other end to release. It is perfect for use with live bait as well as lures.
  • Split Shot Rig: Even easier than the split shot itself is the split shot rig. This one does not require you to tie and retie knots in order to change the weight’s position on your line. LIke the split shot, it just pinches on and off. 
  • Rubber Core: The rubber core attaches to your line through a slot within the sinker. It allows you to twist the line into it thanks to an inner rubber core that can then be secured. This is the ideal choice for a heavier fishing weight.
  • Drop Shot: The drop shot is likely the most commonly seen and used weight. It is widely designed and can be found in most all bait and tackle shops. The weight itself is often round or rectangular and made of lead. It comes with a tie located on a clip at the very top.
  • Bullet: This weight is aptly named for its bullet-like shape. This weight is perfect for fishing in more rustic settings where there are lots of reeds, weeds, and wood in or around the water. It’s weight and design ensure that the sinker itself will not get lost or snagged in the plants surrounding your fishing spot.

For a complete list of all the fishing weight and sinker types, go here.  

How to Securely Put a Fishing Weight On a Line

To execute this “how-to,” you’re going to need some supplies:



In addition you will need to buy some fishing line if you do not already have some, and small (but sturdy!) rubber bands. You should also have a pair of scissors on hand to help complete the process as well. Once you’ve got all your supplies ready, you can begin with step one:

Step 1 - Find Your Fishing Weights

To get this process rolling, you’ll need finding the right fishing weights for your line. There are plenty to choose from as mentioned, but you can usually find the appropriate weight size and shape with the help of a sales associate at your local hardware store. A good rule of thumb is to start with a light weight. Test how this does for you, and then you can gauge how much weight you need on your line. If you choose a weight that is too heavy, it could discourage fish from taking your bait. Another useful tip is that most weight packages will let the buyer know the type of fishing the weight is best suited for.

Step 2 - Press the Fishing Line into the Weight

Now that you’ve got your weight, you can string your line. This step is rather simple and straightforward - you need only to slide your weight onto your line through the designated opening at the top of the weight. How far up your line your place the weight is up to you, though it is recommended that you space the weight 18-24 inches above the hook. This placement ensures that the the bait will stay secured in a calm lake or within a water current like you might find in a stream or river. The bait is able to float naturally, attracting more fish.  

Step 3 - Have the Weight Grip the Line

Once the weight is on the line, take your pliers and squeeze the split shot weight. This allows the metal to grip the fishing line much more tightly, making it more secure. You do not want to crush metal, so don’t squeeze the pliers too tightly. Add enough pressure to ensure that the line is securely within the weight.



Step 4 - Check That the Line is Secure

Once you have squeezed the weight around the line, check that the everything is secure by gently pulling on the weight. If it is secure, the weight should not move. If it is not, you might find it sliding a bit on the line. If this happens, add more pressure until it stays put.

Step 5 - Place a Small Rubber Band Along the Fishing Line

Take a small rubber band and place it along the fishing line. The best place to put it just beneath wherever you want to place the weight. Once it is in the right place, hold it securely in place until you can fasten the rubber band to the line itself.

Step 6 - Wrap the Line Around the Rubber Band

While still holding the rubber band in place, take the open end of the line and wrap it around the rubber band. For maximum security, begin looping near the bottom of the rubber band and work inwards (towards the weight). For best results, loop the line around the rubber band between 5 and 8 times.

Step 7 - Feed the Line Back into The Weight Beside the Rubber Band

Once the rubber band is well looped and secured, take the end of the fishing line and thread it under your loops beside your rubber  band. Once the line has made it through the loops, pull it tight so that your the line and weight are now bound securely together. To check that everything is still secure, pull the fishing line to ensure that everything is secure and firmly in place.

Step 8 - Trim the Line Extending from the Rubber Band Knot

Once the rubber band, the weight, and your line are secure, you are sure to have some of the line left trailing from the rubber band. If left alone, this will only get in the way. Take your scissors and trim the line down. Be sure to leave at least an eighth of an inch of line still protruding from the rubber band knot.

Step 9 - Pinch the End of the Line and Knot Until Secure

Once the excess line has been cut, pinch the new end of the line until everything is secure and tight.

Step 10 - Fish!

Once your weight has been secured to your fishing line, and your line is securely in place in your pole, you are ready to fish! Remember to practice proper water and boat safety so that your fishing trip will stay as safe as it is fun. Proper life vests, boots, and clothing such as a sunhat are all needed for a safe fishing trip.



Fishing with a weight can make things much easier when looking for a sturdier and more secure cast and reel. We hope this how-to helps all those who love fishing to find both fun and increased success your next time out on the lake, in the river, or in the stream.