Weights for bass fishing

Bass Fishing Weight Basics


There’s a vast selection of bass fishing weights available now. Not only are there technique specific weights, but there are even subcategories within techniques— take round, tear shaped and cylindrical dropshot weights for example. Today, we’re going to offer up a crash course in bass fishing weights to hopefully lessen the time you spend staring at an aisle full of lead and tungsten at your local tackle shop.

 Fishing bass with a bullet weight

Bullet weights

Let’s start with the gold standard, the good ole bullet weight. The primary function of this weight is and always has been a Texas rig. A bullet weight is the perfect complement to a soft plastic and hook when looking for a weight that can be drug along the bottom, pitched into sparse cover and crawled through deep brush. But a bullet weight also has a few more specific uses, like punching a big one through thick cover and slipping a small one up on the metal drop wire of a Tokyo rig. A bullet weight also works well with a Carolina rig.

Split shot fishing for bass

Split shot

This is another old school weight that sees spotty use in bass fishing these days, but it’s not one you want to sleep on. By gently pressing a split shot or two onto your line a couple feet above your hook, you can create a lightweight Carolina rig of sorts known as a split shot rig. Though the weight doesn’t slide up and down your line with this rig like it would a traditional Carolina rig, a soft plastic can still be trailed along behind the weight and drift around with minimal action imparted by the angler.

Bass fishing with a drop shot

Dropshot weights

As previously mentioned, there are several different styles of dropshot weights on the market. And though a few options can be tied onto the tag end of a drop shot leader, most are attached using a pinch point where the line can be pulled up into the tight gap of a metal wire coming out of the top of the weight. Cylindrical weights are best suited for fishing thick cover, while ball weights offer the most surface to bottom contact for sensitivity. Tear drop weights are a good mixture of the two for an all-purpose weight when fishing varying bottom contours and cover.

Bass fishing with weights

Best of the rest

Then there are bell weights, cylinder weights, egg weights, nail or Neko weights and adhesive weights to name a few more. Bell weights are perfect for sliding up on the hook shaft of a weedless swimbait to help the bait get a little deeper and add wider oscillation to the action. And they can also be used to create a Free Rig, by running your line through the wire loop of one prior to tying on a hook to hold a weedless rigged soft plastic.

Cylinder weights as well as egg weights are primarily used in bass fishing for Carolina rigs. These weights offer a lot of surface to bottom contact to increase sensitivity. Nail and other Neko weights are designed to be implanted in the tail end of a worm to create a weighted wacky rig known as a Neko rig, but they can also be used to add weight to the belly of a soft plastic swimbait and increase the depth range and vary the rate of retrieve there.

Adhesive weights like Suspend Dots and other sticky little strip weights are probably the least common of all these weights these days. But they are some super handy little weights that can be adhered to various baits like crankbaits and jerkbaits to change the depth at which these lures can be fished effectively.

Fishing bass with bullet weights

Final thoughts

All of these weights serve a particular purpose, but a few can be used in multiple situations. The key is not letting the multitude of options overwhelm you. Most weights now are packaged with some sort of indicator or popular rigging technique right there on the label or on the back of the packaging.

With a little time and effort, you can learn how to effectively use all of these weights. The good news, there’s something out there for every technique imaginable now. And once you find the right weight for the particular tasks, it’ll serve you well for a lifetime.

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