Inside this old blue Plano lure bag, I keep all my trolling and snap weights organized. There are days when one works better than the other. One system works better with cranks than with spinners, in my experience that is. All in all though, it’s always good to have them on the boat, because different wind conditions and weather will dictate which is most effective.
BPS weights and 1/4 oz bottom bouncers
Of all the weights in my bag of tricks, I would have to say I have been most loyal to these fish-like weights from Bass Pro Shop. Loyal might not be the correct term though, more so, that over the years, these baits have been the most effective in the water. I use these with my crawler harnesses, and depending on the depth of the water, I might use the half ounce, 1 or 2 ounce ones. They are also made in a 3 oz weight, I just never picked them up, but have that size covered in the next picture. You may be able to tell from the picture, that I have attached duolock snaps to the ball bearing swivel and snap that comes standard. The reason is simple, if you do not close the factory snap, even when just changing out the harnesses, they can easily fall off and land in the bottom of the boat, and occasionally in the water. It’s a precautionary thing and doesn’t take anything away from the effectiveness of the set-up.
Also in this box are some 1/4 ounce bottom bouncers. Why? Because I caught a 10 pound walleye inside Brest Bay with them! While running East to West inside the bay one day, my outside Church Walleye Board jerked back and sank, and after bringing it back in, this was on the hooks.
I cut off the bottom portion of wire on the bottom bouncer, because I was going to use them strictly for trolling up in the water column. At the end I gave the wire a small upward bend, just in case the lead ever slipped down. They never do, but the whole piece of mind thing came into play. It also made them easier to store in my 360 sized trays.
Custom painted Rednek weights
You can get these trolling weights at a number of local shops. Should say, you can get these baits online from a number of stores that are in the area, along Lake Erie. But, if you want to get the dive curves for them, or take a look at all the stock colors available, you can go to the Rednek Outfitters page to see for yourself. In this tray, I have two and 3 ounce weights. I wanted some 3’s, and 2 oz has always been an effective weight, so I picked up some more. The unique thing about the Rednek’s that they have an eye for a belly treble hook. It is true that I have had fish bite down on my Bass Pro weights, but can I say I have caught walleye on the Rednek’s? I cannot, and a single silver bass doesn’t count in my book either. But one day, you never know.
Inline weights, bead chains or the keel variety, in my weight bag, these are the last of the set-ups that I like using with crawler rigs. One reason is that these three items all have one thing in common, some type of swivel that helps avoid line twist while using spinner presentations. I use a simple duolock snap from my mainline to the bait, so it is key to have a rig that already has the swivel built-in. My small selection fits into a 3500 sized tray and goes in the front pocket of my tackle bag.
Church Tackle Snap Weights
Although discontinued by Church Tackle, these snap weights have a definite place in my weight bag, specially in the spring and the fall when crankbaits are the preferred bait of choice….of the walleye that is! During a Google search, I found that there are some unpainted kits, or components still out there available to purchase. They went up to 3 ounces in weight, and would take your lure right to the bottom if you desired to.
Pencil Weights and Lock-Jaw Snaps
In deep water, sometimes you just need to go heavy, and in this tray that means 4 and 6 ounce pencil weights. After talking to some tourney friends last year, the old hamster wheel started turning. At first I searched for heavier snap weights, pretty much a non-starter though. Then it sort of hit me, snap weights themselves look pretty much the same as a pencil weight. After a short search, I found Bottom Dwellers Tackle website, and the sizes I wanted to run to increase my options. At .48 and .72 cents per each size, it wasn’t a bad deal money wise. In order to use them with a line clip, I went through some of my snaps in the shop and found some larger ones in a #7 size, and used them to clip right onto the weight. From there it would be easy to attach to my clips, and to change out sizes when I needed to while on the water. If you want to try this with the pencil weights, the duolock snaps are fairly inexpensive, and you can get a pack of 25 at a reasonable price at places like Cabela’s or Bass Pro.
The Lock-Jaw clamp from Church Tackle, the thing is basically indestructible and will never shake loose while trolling or bringing in a fish, no matter what the size or species! When I wanted a beefier snap for running these heavier weights, it was a no brainer which snap I was going to get. You can see the eye at the bottom, that is where I attach my snap/weight combination. From there all you have to do is let out the desired amount of line to determine running depth of the lure, clip on the line and start fishing. There is a built-in post inside the top of the snap, run the line under that, and then twist the lever closed, it’s not going to go anywhere. Worried about your running depth with these weights, talking heavy metal here folks, you can dial it in quickly on your own. At slow enough speeds, your line will be practically vertical down throughout the water column. If you are off just a bit, remember this, walleye look up while eating most of the time, and when you buzz their heads, it’s all good.
2 oz bell sinkers
Sometimes old school just works best, so I keep a few 2 ounce bell sinkers in one of the side pockets for running on a 3-way swivel. Could I have a bigger selection of weights? Sure I could have, but the whole thought process of creating this kit bag of weights was for running on big water. On Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay and the Bays de Noc, 2 oz just makes sense, go heavy or go home kind of philosophy. At the bottom of the 3-way swivel I have either a 12 or 18 inch leader down to the weight, and then on a pre-rigged foam roll, I have eight foot leads ready to attach while using cranks. My harness snells are already that length, and I can shorten them if need be, but have found that in most cases, being farther away from any hardware (terminal tackle or lead) works best.
You can build your own weight/dive bag easily enough, and any old tackle bag will do. Before going shopping for something fancy, just see what you have already, and then accordingly pick up what you need. I found that the 360 sized Plano trays worked best for me, but any brand will work. The 360’s are an odd size when it comes to cranks, so I have lots of empties after organizing the lures into the bigger 370 sized trays. The new kit will not take up much room on the boat, and you will never regret keeping your gear organized!