A Comparison Study between Tungsten and Lead Fishing Weights
I can tell you that hands down my favorite and most often used method of bass fishing is Texas Rigging a soft plastic. Im a Texas Rigging aficianado and I'm very picky about the weights that I use.
For most of my life, just up until about 6 years ago, I've used lead weights. When I was in my teens 25 years ago, this was the only thing available to me as I'm not even sure Tungsten Fishing weights were even available back then. Heck I dont even know when Tungsten Fishing Weights readily became available but I do remember my first experience using them. And let me tell ya, Once you go Tungsten, you never go back.
It was about 2015 and I had just bought my "new to me" 2005 Ranger. I went up to the big tackle store to load up on some fishing gear and of course I needed some bullet weights for my Texas Rigging ventures. What I saw on the shelf blew my mind.
A 3 pack of tungsten bullet weights for $15!!
At first I got mad. I thought "Who in the heck would pay this much for 3 bullet weights?" Then i laughed inside my mind. Then I quickly put the items in my cart. Any die hard fisherman is very familiar with this thought process when it comes to buying fishing gear. Knowing that 3 bullet weights would not even last me a day, i went ahead and also purchased my "go to" 10 pack of lead weights.
That was the last day I ever bought lead.
Lets take a closer look at why Tungsten Fishing Weights are so much better than Lead Fishing Weights.
The Size Advantage
Bigger is not always better. Especially when it comes to fishing weights. Let's continue talking about the Texas Rig example. What I am looking for in a weight is to be a minimal compliment to the bait that I am using. I want the weight to blend in with the bait as much as possible. I dont wan't the weight to be large and obtrusive and take away from the natural look of the bait itself.
The major advantage that Tungsten has is that its a much denser weight than lead which means you can pack more weight in a smaller package. Just take a look at these size comparisons.
The silver weights are lead. The black weights are tungsten.
If you take a look at the smaller sized weights, the difference is visible.
However, if you take a look at the larger weights, which is what I typically use (my favorite sizes are 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz), the difference becomes even more drastic
That 3/4 oz lead weight looks like a bullet out of a high caliber rifle!
Greater Densitity means Better Sensitivity
I'm not trying to get all gangsta rap on you, but the above rhyme is true. Enough about rhymes, lets talk about why Tungsten weights are much more sensitive than lead.
Tungsten is one of the most commercially dense metals on the market. Due to its density, it is also very hard. Lead on the other hand is rather soft, you can actually bite into it and it will make a mark. You can cut into it with a knife and it will leave dents. Take a look at this lead bullet weight that I bit into and cut into:
If I were to try to bite into a metal tungsten weight, I'd break my teeth.
So what does a harder weight mean for fishing? Well if you are fishing on the bottom, its important that you feel the bottom. You need to know when your weight hits the bottom and whether its dragging over something like a stump or sliding across gravel. Its also going to make more noise when dragging across structure which gets fish attention.
Its impossible to illustrate this on a web page but I was actually amazed at how much more sensitive tungsten is than lead. It's quite drastic.
If sensitivity is important to you and you want your lure to make more noise bumping against structure, then try tungsten fishing weights for a game changing experience
More Consistent Quality
Lead is a nasty mess when it comes to quality. Basically the entire process of making a lead weight is to pour it in a mold and boom your done!
With tungsten its different. Making a lead tungsten weight does require a mold, but the work doesnt stop there. The edges and curves are machine polished for a very sleek and incredibly consistent look.
Lets take a look at a 3/8 oz weight closeup comparision. Check out the leads hole openings. This is pretty typical. If I had to put my line through the leads hole opening, i would first have to get one of my worm hooks to stick it in there just to open it up more. Sometimes the holes are closed completely.
Also, you will notice the edges are more blunt and sharp. Talk about a line fraying nightmare about to happen.
With the tungsten the hole openings are nice and consistent. Not to mention they are machine polished with perfect eased edges to ensure your the weight slides freely on your line without fraying it.
If you are tired of getting your line frayed and are sick of dealing with the poor quality of lead, then make your switch over to tungsten's consistent design and smooth contours
Buy Tungsten Smart
Remember when I told you about the first experience I had when buying tungsten and I saw a 3 pack for $15?
Well I went to the big fishing supply store the other day and I saw this. A cute little package of (1) 3/4 oz tungsten weight for $8.49
I dont know about you but I would be done in about an hour or less with one bullet weight.
Here at Fishing Vault, I've made sure to make packages of tungtsten fishing weights in a quantity that a normal fisherman or fisherwoman would want, and at a reasonable price. I've also included all of the most popular colors
Lets take our tungsten bullet weights for example. We sell them in 5 packs and 10 packs in Plain, Red, Green, and (my favorite) Black.
Does Tungsten have a different fall rate compared to Lead?
Which is heavier? (20) 1/2oz. Tungsten Weights or (20) 1/2 oz. Lead Weights?....
Whoa, I can't get anything past you! That's right, they weigh the same! Just like a pound of bricks weighs as much as a pound of feathers.
But the question is, does Tungsten offer better in the water performance than lead other than what all has already been mentioned. Specifically, does it have a faster fall rate?
Lets take a 1/2 oz. Tungsten Bullet Weight and a 1/2 oz. Lead Bullet weight. Which is going to fall faster if all things are considered the same?
One may say that the fall rates would be the same because they weigh the same
Another may say that the lead weight will fall slower since it is bigger and has more surface area which would create more drag.
Does drag even exist in water? Is drag even the right word to use? Who knows! I'm no Rocket Surgeon so how bouts' I just shut up and test this myself.
For this test, the following equipment was used:
- Fishing Vault 1/2 oz. (Black) Tungsten Bullet Weight
- 1/2 oz. Lead Bullet Weight (Plain Silver) that i bought at the most well known fishing supply store. Its their store brand!
- 20 lb. Berkley Vanish Flourocarbon
- Zoom Ol' Monster Plum Worm (one of my favorites)
- Daichi 4/0 Hooks
- The little black things on the tips of the tungsten weights are bobber stoppers which keeps the weight from sliding. I prefer these, however some people prefer not to use them as it gives a different presentation. Regardless, they were needed for this test.
As I began to rig these up, i ran into that old problem with lead that I described above. The darn lead weights hole isnt big enough to put my 20 lb Flouro through. Just check out that nasty tip.
So I had to get one of the hooks and stick it through the hole to widen it out. Since lead is so soft, the hole was able to widen up easily
Here they are fully rigged. So, as you can see the only 2 differences between these 2 rigs is one has a lead weight (the Silver One) and the other has a tungsten (the Black One). All other things considered are equal:
One thing that I will mention before we start the video. The lead bullet used here in this study is actually one of the best quality lead weights I've seen. Its slender and smooth. Most lead weights you see are usually bulkier and have much more blemishes.
With that being said, even with a great quality lead weight in play, the tungsten weight still wins!
As you can see in the video, I weigh both rigs which come in at a total of .8 oz each. I then tie 2 lines at exactly the same length at the tip of my fishing rod. I then take several different shots under water and the rig with the tungsten weight wins every time! Even when the lead gets a short head start, the rig with the tungsten weight reaches the bottom quicker. So yeah, the bigger bulkier lead weight slows down the fall rate of the entire rig.
If you care about bait performance and controlling a consistent fall rate, then ditch your lead weights and begin using tungsten and you will never look back
MORE TO COME...
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