Home Fishing Tips & Advice What is a Hatteras “Storm” Sinker?

What is a Hatteras “Storm” Sinker?

The Hatteras Sinker, also known as a Storm Sinker, is a modified pyramid fishing sinker. The design starts with the inverted pyramid at the top. Below the pyramid is a cone or cylinder shape that ends in a small ball. North Carolina natives understand the advantages of the Hatteras. The Outer Banks of North Carolina boasts rough surf, occasionally wild weather, and some of the best surf fishing in the country. Named for the cape with that name, the Hatteras sinker permits successful long casts into rough waters and works well for either soft or rocky sea bottoms.

The storm sinker goes straight to the bottom quickly and embeds itself in the sand or rocks. Compared to other sinker types, it is less likely to drag long distances in heavy surf. It also does not tangle easily because if its sleek shape. Other sinkers like the Sputnik with its thin, steel, protruding arms tend to trap in the seaweed, plants, and rocks. Known as a storm sinker for a good reason, the Hatteras has superior holding ability in heavy surf and rough weather.

What weights are available, and when should you use them?

Storm or Hatteras sinkers range in weight from two ounces to eight. You want to pick a weight that is light enough to cast far out into the surf or far from the boat. The minimum weight should be 2 ounces. You also need to make sure it weighs enough to take your line to the bottom, put your bait in the strike zone, and keep it there for a while. Weather and surf conditions come into play and, balancing casting distances and keeping the bait in place once it gets to the zone, means choosing the right shape and weight for your sinker.

The streamlined design of a Hatteras sinker facilitates aerodynamics through the air and lack of resistance falling through the water. The elongated, tapered end buries itself in the sand to keep it from being dragged with the current. The longer your bait stays in the strike zone, the more fish you can catch.

What are other types of saltwater sinkers available?

Sinkers are categorized by their shape and then by weight. Each shape and weight has advantages and disadvantages. Light weight sinkers cast far and well but do not sink to the bottom as well as heavier ones. Intricately designed weights get caught up in sea grass and rocks. Heavier weight doesn’t cast as accurately but go straight down and stay where they land better than something lighter in weight. A slim design comes back to you more easily than something with sharp edges. Some of the other sinkers typically used for saltwater fishing are:

No Roll Sinkers -They are molded in a teardrop shape but flat on the sides to keep it from rolling once it reaches the bottom. These are ideal for river fishing but also used in saltwater. It comes in one to five-ounce weights.

Pyramid Sinkers– This traditional sinker is an upside-down pyramid and comes in every weight imaginable. The pointed bottom helps pull the weight to the bottom and embed in the sand or rocks at the bottom. Pyramids work well for soft, muddy bottoms and in swift current.

Sputnik Sinkers– They look like the Russian spacecraft with a long rocket and stainless-steel arms coming out of the body. Available in 6 or 8 ounces, the steel arms hook into the bottom to hold the weight in place. The disadvantage of this shape involves getting tangled in seaweed or rocks.

Disc Sinkers – These are round with middle of the circle indented on both sides. The disc sinker shape lays flat and prevents rolling. Fishers use disc sinkers for light surf fishing, but they are especially suitable for river fishing. Weights run between one and four ounces.

Egg Sinkers– As you would expect, they are egg-shaped and lighter weight, available in 1/8 ounce to one ounce. These help you cast long distances, but other designs are better at staying put on the seafloor. If you are trolling, egg sinkers love for you to drag it along the sea bottom. 

Casting Sinkers– These are three-dimensional teardrop-shaped, typically used when fishing from a boat. They come with a three-way swivel rig for the mainline, a dropline, and a leader line for the bait. They are built for drop-shotting and trolling.

Are Hatteras Sinkers Expensive?

Usually sold in packs of 12, the different weights run between about $25 and $44 per dozen. That works out roughly to between $2.00 and $4.00 each. While not the least expensive of the saltwater sinkers, they are not the priciest either, and you will not tend to lose them like you might other sinkers. A six-ounce Sputnik sinker might cost you $6.00, but a six-ounce Hatteras would be less than $4.00. The Sputnik could snag on the bottom and be lost, whereas the Hatteras pulls free when you want it to. No matter the original cost, losing a sinker means losing money so choosing one that will come home again could be the best choice.

If you use or lose lots of sinkers and want to save money, you might consider making sinkers yourself. The easiest way to get your sinkers is to buy them ready-made, but you can make them yourself in molds. You can purchase molds for the different weights of Hatteras Sinkers you like to use. Some people even make their own molds. You can find Youtube videos on how to make your own molds. Most major fishing supply sources have them, but trading sites like Pier and Surf are good sources for second-hand molds. 

Well known company, Do-it Molds has YouTube videos to show you how to melt the lead and prepare and fill the molds. The cost of each mold runs between $30 and $70, and lead melting pots and apparatus can be as little as $20 or as much as $150. The lead comes in ingots or bars. A 5-pound bar at the local hardware store runs about $18 or you can order 25 lbs on Amazon for $85.

Be sure to look at local laws concerning using lead weights. Because lead can poison fish, some of which we eat, some states like New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont, limit the use of lead weights, making weights under 1 ounce illegal. A fish can swallow something that small. More states will add environmental protection laws in order to cut down on the lead in fish we eat. 

 For small weights, under an ounce, you may have to use lead substitutes like steel, tin, tungsten, bismuth, and other alloys. Handling lead can be hazardous to your health as well. The cost of producing your own fishing weights would be higher if you used lead substitutes. Bismuth- tin alloy, for example, sells for $13.99 per pound. Small weight would not use much of it, but you should consider the extra cost before deciding to do it yourself. If you do not feel comfortable handling molten metal or are nervous about the health hazards of working with lead, play it safe and buy the sinkers from your favorite shop or supplier. 

When choosing a fishing sinker, the water and weather conditions and the sea bottom nature should all be considered. Choosing Fishing Sinkers can make the difference between a good and a bad day fishing. All of the correct fishing equipment, in general, can mean the difference between a big catch and catching nothing. Who wants to catch nothing? Whether you are fishing from a boat, trolling or surf fishing, the right sinker can certainly increase your catch. In rough seas or big surf, or when the wind blows, getting the bait where you want it, where the fish are, means being able to cast well. 

Final Thoughts

Keeping the bait in the strike zone means using a sinker that will not easily move from its original location. Strong currents will drag light weight, flat sinkers along the floor and your bait will not be in the strike zone. The modified pyramid sinker known as the Hatteras or Storm Sinker combines a smooth, aerodynamic shape to help cast through the air and over the surf and a narrow-pointed tip that sticks firmly into the seabed. The sinker’s design gets your bait to where the fish are and keeps it there as long as possible. Read the reviews of this sinker.

Most people who have tried the Hatteras and review it, compare it to the traditional pyramid shape and write about how well the sinker flies, and how well it grabs the bottom. Studying the weather conditions, deciding what you want to catch and where those fish are likely to be will point you in the direction of the perfect sinker. If you are fishing off a boat in rough seas or from the beach in the surf, the Hatteras sinker would be your best bet for a great day of fishing.

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.