Beer Can Sinkers for Catfishing

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by frosty_whiskers, May 24, 2006.

  1. frosty_whiskers

    frosty_whiskers New Member


    Sinkers & Weights

    Now, that one state, and probably more, are attempting to ban the use of lead as fishing weights or sinkers, what are we to do?

    Well I guess that we can “weight” for the industry to come up with that viable alternative, or we can help our selves in this potential/actual change.

    Lead carries the greatest weight of any base metal at 11.3 sg. There are other metals on table, so to speak, that have a comparable weight. I believe that GOLD has a weight of 16+ sg. Plutonium is 24.3+ sg. There are things that have a greater weight than lead, unfortunately they also hold a much higher value. So what to do. The concerns, behind eliminating the use of lead, are health related environmental issues. We can complain all we want. But I for one am an environmentalist. I know that each of you are as well. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be complaining about the way that the rivers edge is maintained by others. Trash along the banks and such. We are Environmentalists.

    Now we should be looking for cost effective, environmentally friendly alternatives. I don’t plan on waiting for my state to initiate change for me. I will be proactive, as I think that each of you should do.

    Now that I’ve gotten through all the preliminaries, lets get down to business. Soda and Beer cans have been sunk by filling with water for years, decades actually. Not by me mind you. I recycle my aluminum products as well as a large group of others. But as I was sitting here this morning, smoking my pipe, and drinking a soda, I had an amazing idea. Well maybe not amazing, but I feel its a good idea. “BEER CAN SINKERS”. You can retrieve them and reuse them as often as you want. Then I had to set fire to some brain cells. What to use as an alternative to lead. Gold and Plutonium as well as most of the other base metals are out of the question. Why? Because the expense is far greater than their practical use.

    My next question was that one that generates the best answer. What is the most abundant substance, compound or other mineral on/in/above the earth?? Silicate matter. that stuff they use in ....... well enough of that, huh. But yes, silicate. Is it environmentally safe? Scientists believe that the earth is 80 to 90% silicate matter. So yea. Next, cost effectiveness. Like “Sands” through an hour “Glass” so are the days of our lives. The stuff is everywhere. It don’t cost. Its free!! But what does it weigh?? Now there is the problem. Weights of minerals and elements are measured at a molecular level, right? Is anyone here a Mad Scientist, well other than me?? Oh, and my buddy Frank out in California! Well molecular weight is one way to determine, is it heavy enough!! The other is Specific Gravity. That is, to determine the weight of a substance relative to water weight. If water has a specific gravity(sg) of 1.00 and lead has a sg of 11.4, then lead is 11.4 times heavier than water. So now we have to find something that holds water!! A beer or soda can. The average 12 fl oz can holds 355 milliliters of water. 1 liter of water weighs 2.234 pounds. So 355 milliliters of water weighs 2.234 X .355=.79 pounds. So one can of water weighs roughly 0.80 pounds. Almost a pound, but not quite. One can of lead weighs 0.80 X 11.4 = 9.12 pounds. That is because lead is 11.4 times heavier than water. Easy formula. Not only does this give you a relative weight to work with, but it also provides you with a volume to work with. Now I’m sure that ya’ll are saying, that just don’tring true. Maybe that is because we aren’t using lead in its purest form. There are other minerals in the lead we use that alter its base weigh and sg to a degree. But the average is correct.

    Now back to silicates, probably the most abundant solute of the planet. Silicates have a sg of between 3.3 and 7.4. The heaviest silicates aren’t readily available to us all, but the average silicate is. Sand, that is the easy stuff sand is a silicate, as is glass, and several other compounds. Sand has a mix of most of the silicates with it though, so the mean average can be used on the sg scale. That mean average is 5.4. So, a 12 ounce can of sand should weigh approximately .80 X 5.4 = 4.3 pounds approximate. That is a substantial sinker in my book. If my calculations are correct, and I think they are, then why not put some of those beer cans to work for ya.

    Here is my suggestion as follows:


    materials required
    1 beer can
    355 ml of sand
    hot glue gun
    ice pick
    8 mil tar rope 12 inches long


    1. Using the ice pick, punch two holes in side the of the beer/soda can, just beneath the rim, and directly opposite of each other.
    2. Insert tar rope through each hole and retrieve the ends through the drink spout of the can. Retrieval of the rope is easy if you use the tab as a scoop for the rope.
    3. Pull the rope up so that the body of the rope is just beneath the cans rim and the ends of the rope are equal. Thread the rope ends through the tab from opposite directions and securely tie around the base of the tab.
    4. fill the can with the measured amount of sand.
    5. using the hot glue gun seal all holes into the can securely.

    This type of weight is ideal for Bob/Juglines and throwlines.