How to Fish with Tungsten Weights

Not yet fishing with Tungsten weights? It is only a matter of time before you pick up on the miracle material that is quickly taking the market by storm. Tougher, denser, and more sensitive than traditional weights, tungsten is quickly becoming a favorite among anglers and environmentalists. They also prove a safer option for waterbird species who have suffered after ingesting lead tackle. Tungsten weights are smaller than lead, which easily translates to less hangups.

The only true disadvantage? They can be a bit more costly. With that said, fishing with tungsten weights is only becoming more popular.

Not sure how to fish with tungsten weights? We’re here to help. Below we’ll break down the basics of fishing with tungsten weights, when to put them to use, and how they might compare to the lead weights you already own. These environmentally friendly weights could be your fishing secret weapon, but first you need to learn how to best put them to use.

Lead vs. Tungsten: Which Weights Are Better?

Lead weights are commonly used among anglers all over the world. Yet, environmental concerns have made Tungsten a more appealing option. When it comes to weights, which is better? Is lead or tungsten going to bring better results? Well, let’s start with the basic facts and differences. The first thing you’ll notice is that tungsten is much harder than lead. In fact, it is 1.7 times denser. This is what gives you a greater degree of sensitivity when fishing with tungsten.

Unlike traditional lead weights, when you fish with tungsten you will feel every piece of the bottom you are fishing. Whether you’re fishing on sand or a rocky structure, using tungsten will give you a far better idea of how your bait is behaving when submerged. This can give you an edge in detecting strikes, making it far easier to pull in a big catch. In addition to being more sensitive, tungsten weights are also a smaller size for the same weight. They will also make a very distinct rattle-like sound when they come in contact with a structure or the bottom.

Another thing to keep in mind is that tungsten weights are much tougher. This means you’ll get more mileage out of your weights. They can last a seriously long time and prove a more environmentally friendly option. You won’t be harming native bird species or waterfowl should you lose a weight in the water. The only true cons associated with tungsten weights is that they are a bit pricier than their lead counterparts and they may not always be available at smaller/local tackle shops.

When to Use Tungsten Weights

Now that you know a little bit about the major differences between tungsten and lead weights, let’s touch on when to best put these weights to use.

Generally speaking, you’re going to reach for tungsten weights any time you would normally reach for a lead weight. They serve the same purpose. With that said, tungsten weights are particularly great when you need to make accurate casts or are fishing for species of fish such as bass.

Tungsten is also recommended when you’ll be fishing along rocky bottoms or fishing the bottom entirely. The reason? Unlike lead, the lightness of a tungsten weight allows anglers to detect bites much easier. Additionally, you’ll never lose contact with the bottom because you can feel the weight of the tungsten bumping against it. When fishing for bass or similar species, this can easily signal that the fish has taken the lure and that a hook can be set.

Fishing with tungsten is also great when you need that distinct sound. When a tungsten weight actually hits into another object or along the bottom, it emits a loud clicking sound. This is great for you as an angler and can help you to navigate the rocky crags down below. It is also ideal to use tungsten weights on very windy days. Since it has a smaller weight profile, you can easily make very accurate casts into the wind. Essentially, you’re afforded extra precision when both flipping and pitching your lure.

With that said, anytime you want to increase your odds of catching bass or simply need a bit more sensitivity when fishing, reach for a tungsten weight rather than your old-school lead variety.

Tungsten: Great for the Environment

We’ve all heard the horror stories surrounding lead. As anglers, most of us appreciate nature and the natural world. That means we probably don’t want to go out of our way to harm the ecosystems we love most. Part of what makes tungsten so appealing is that it is actually great for the environment. Unlike lead weighters, tungsten is not a toxic material. Lead is toxic to the environment, especially when inhaled or ingested. It can also break down and cause issues over periods of time.

That means if you fish with lead and your line breaks off (as they often do), the lead is then in the water where fish can inhale it, water fowl can ingest, and chemicals can leach into the water. Since so much of fishing is about conservation, you probably don’t want to do a disservice to the water ecosystem you love. When you lose a tungsten jig, it won’t emit any toxins and no harm will be done to the environment. 

Fishing with Tungsten Weights

If you’re still wondering how to fish with tungsten weights, keep this in mind. You’re going to fish with tungsten exactly as you would have with your lead weights. Use them in the exact same way. Just bear in mind that tungsten is going to offer you better control, a higher degree of sensitivity, and a more precise cast. In this way, tungsten can actually be used in more scenarios than your standard lead weight. In terms of actually attaching utilizing the weight, there really isn’t much of a difference.

Fishing with tungsten weights is straightforward, you just need to account for the lighter feel and sensitivity.


The founder of Catch and Fillet, “Chum Charlie”, has been writing articles within the fishing community for over 9 years. He got his nickname due to his preference for chumming while he is fishing. Chumming is a common practice that is used in the ocean to lure various types of fish to the boat. Chum can consist of various fish parts that attract fish due to its overbearing odor.

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