lead for sinkers?

Discussion in 'Terminal Tackle Review' started by nitemare_63, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. nitemare_63

    nitemare_63 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    Indiana
    i was on ebay looking for lead to make sinkers with and i came across this one item. in the description it said it was soft lead for making sinkers with and that you could scatch the lead with your fingernails. is that too soft or is that what i want?
     
  2. dinger66

    dinger66 New Member

    Messages:
    899
    State:
    north alabama

  3. BenNewt

    BenNewt New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Minnesota
    Well according to the directions on my Do-It-Mold (who reads those, right?:wink:) you should only use lead that you can scratch with your finger nails for molding with their molds and it said specifically not to use wheel weights for molding with their molds. So to answer your question, yes, the best weight to use is at least 99 % pure which is the softest lead.

    That being said, I know plenty of guys that use wheel weights and do just fine with them. And to be clear, I'm not trying to start a debate here, if you use wheel weights--thats great--I'm just reporting what the Do-It-Mold manufacturers recommend for their product.
     
  4. nitemare_63

    nitemare_63 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    Indiana
    does that mean that once i make the sinkers with the soft lead that they will be soft and not strong like the sinkers you can buy premade or will they be ok?
     
  5. BenNewt

    BenNewt New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Minnesota
    If you take one of your store bought sinkers, you can scratch it with your fingernail--so they are actually pretty dang soft. I tried it after I actually read the instructions for my mold. :wink:

    I think the main reason for using wheel weights and other mixed lead is because its often very cheap or free. Which is a huge plus. The downside is the potential for non uniform hardening which can lead to your sinker fracturing or even damaging your mold (according to the Do-It folks).
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  6. waynesburgjay

    waynesburgjay New Member

    Messages:
    1,960
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    I do just fine with wheel weights for large sinkers.
    That soft lead would be nice for smaller jigs and stuff.
     
  7. restorerancientiron

    restorerancientiron New Member

    Messages:
    1,061
    State:
    Cadiz, KY
    I use wheel weights as well for most but some sinkers you must use soft or pure lead.Any type of crimp on style has to be soft or it will not bend.I have no problem using wheel weights in any larger molds.
     
  8. recordbreakin1

    recordbreakin1 New Member

    Messages:
    746
    State:
    texas
    Yeah soft lead is the best for pouring weights,but wheel weights will work just takes longer to melt them down.
     
  9. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    id perfer a little harder lead for my slip sinkers because soft lead the holes for the line will distort, close up, out of round ect.
     
  10. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    I melted and cleaned a 5 gallon bucket of weights this spring and had no problems. As a matter of fact my tire guy told me last friday he had me another bucket full.:roll_eyes: Can't beat the price and they seem to work fine for the larger weights i'm making.
     
  11. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    Hamburg, PA
    I'm lucky enough to have about 200# of lead ingots that were from my days of competition pistol shooting and casting my own bullets. This is a hard lead alloy that you can't dig a fingernail into. It does require a higher pouring temperature but is not a picky and flows real well. Being it's an alloy with rather expensive additives, I wouldn't go out and buy it for sinkers but will use it because I have so much. this would probably be a bad choice for something like removable split shot but is working well for my river sinkers. I do get some wrinkling until the molds heat up but the sinkers are still plenty strong, that is only cosmetic. Being this alloy was mixed for bullets, I have very little impurities and very little to skim off a melt. that was dome initially when I made the ingots so remelting is a much cleaner process. About the only thing I'm having issues with is flat round sinkers in very light weights (1/4 to 1/2 ounce) in that it's very hard to keep the mold hot enough with having to insert brass eyes between pours. I use a wide variety of weights depending on what I'm fishing for, where I go, and the baits I'm using.
     
  12. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    Spider,

    The range bullits need to be separated.
    .22s and jacketed bullits are mostly pure lead.
    Cast bullits are a harder lead mixture.

    I use a mixture of wheel weights, battery lugs,
    spent bullits and solder for large sinkers and cast bullits.
    Save the pure lead for split shots and pinch-ons.

    I have 3 5 gallon buckets of spent bullits that I'll melt
    this weekend while home.
    I answered a craigslist ad for free lead.
    It was flashing, spent jacketed bullits and wheel weights.
    I separated it, melted into ingots, labeled the cans of what
    it was. 128 lbs of lead and 21 lbs of copper.
     
  13. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Messages:
    610
    State:
    Hamburg, PA
    First, let me make clear that these were all hard cast lead bullets, the bullets only! I wouldn't want to hear that anyone tried to melt a complete cartridge. That would be BAD! I had hundreds of bullets that were cast but never used for loading. I had no use for them so I melted them down for sinker use. To make the ingots, these were good because the bullet lube was bilt in flux for the lead. Smoked like crazy but sure did keep the lead clean.
    I'll repeat: NEVER, NEVER try to melt a loaded bullet cartridge!!!!
     
  14. CatRwalln

    CatRwalln New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    United States
    The impurities in the wheel weights (tin etc) will abrade you line, so inspect often. I've been using wheel weights for 30 some years haven't hurt my molds or electric pot.
     
  15. dinger66

    dinger66 New Member

    Messages:
    899
    State:
    north alabama
    i use wheel weights in doit moulds all the time . i have no trouble:eek:oooh:
     
  16. Relocated-Yankee

    Relocated-Yankee New Member

    Messages:
    89
    State:
    Goldsboro
    I get wheel weights and take them to the local scrap yard and trade it for soft lead. The soft lead melts at lower tempature and pours better in the mold, no wrinkles!

    Soft lead is the recommended type for all sinkers, but if what you got works for you go for it!!! :wink:
     
  17. CatRwalln

    CatRwalln New Member

    Messages:
    471
    State:
    United States
    I have never had a fish complain.:big_smile_2:
     
  18. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I posted a local Craigslist ad looking for lead to give to a guy who pours sinkers for me, and a bunch of the offers were for linotype lead, which I guess is from the bullets you guys are talking about above? I had to turn them all down (major poundage) b/c my pourer prefers regular lead.

    Another good source of lead if you guys can find them are old lead shower pans. Good amount in one pan.
     
  19. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I buy soft lead from the scrap yard,last I bought was 50 cents a pound for the lead pipe,I used to use nothing but wheel weights and never had any problems with it on larger weights,they just don't look real purty,but work the same,wheel weights are about 78% lead and the rest is tin and others metal,lead pipe is about 90% lead and 10% tin. The 90% lead works great for making a nice pretty factory looking sinker,melts at a lower temp and is easier to work with as far as any trimming,the wheel weight lead likes to wrinkle and you have to have it quite a bit hotter to work well with it,I have been thinking of mixing the two 50/50 and trying to work out a % that looks good and works easy from there.speaking of which I have to pour some soon. smaller sinkers and jigs ,splitshot,etc. really need the soft lead to get the cavity filled right before it hardens or you'll have more throw backs than keepers.
     
  20. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

    Messages:
    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    Also some sinker making discussions under the special topics section in the jerrys sinker making heading.