6 Ways to Use Bullet Weight for Fishing
Since Larry Crumrine invented the first bullet weight in about 1970, this innovative weight design has become the most widely used (and widely replicated) hunting weight in the world.
The reason is that there is a lot you can do with this little weight. We’ll explain just how versatile this piece of terminal tackle is today as we list some common (and one or two uncommon) ways you can use bullet weight.
- Texas rig
- Carolina rigged
- Tokyo rig
- Free tampering
- Shot drop device
- Electronic device
The Texas OG platform has long been associated with bullet weight. One of these weights, with its cylindrical base and wedge point, works very well for sliding through grass, wood, and other cover. As it does so, it makes room for the bait and the soft plastic hook that tracks right behind it.
Texas pads are as easy to install as they are effective. Simply move the bullet weight so that the line passes through the pointed end grip. Then tie a shank-shaped worm hook and insert your favorite lizard, worm, or other soft plastic on the hook and you’re ready to fish along the bottom in a wide range of depths.
Although egg and barrel weights are often associated more with Carolina rigs, bullet weight will certainly suffice in many situations. If you’re fishing in 20-foot-deep water along a fairly clean or muddy bottom, weight the bullet an ounce and you’re good to go. Or if you want to fish a ¼-ounce bullet on the front of a light C rig in shallow water, that’s also an option.
However, if you’re going to be towing a Carolina rig across fairly rough and rocky terrain, you’ll probably be better off using one of the egg weights or more bluntly tapered cylinders, as the weight of the bullet can get stuck in these tight areas and jam easily.
One of the best ways to use bullet weight is to use the Tokyo rig. This setup, which consists of a hook and a dangling wire, has gained a great deal of popularity in the past decade or so. Although a variety of weights can be added to the wire, lead weights tend to slide through cover better, resulting in fewer snags and lost equipment.
You can either slide one bullet weight up the wire (pointy end first), or you can use two smaller bullet weights – the first pointing up and the second down. The latter method of rigging creates a slimmer point width on either end of the combined weights, which sheds grass and mud better than a larger weight.
The free rig is another rig that, like the Carolina rig, has a better designed weight for it in the bell weight. However, if you don’t have a bell weight on hand, a bullet weight will certainly suffice, although the soft plastic’s range of motion will be more limited.
The bullet weight on a freestyle platform is essentially an unencumbered Texas platform. Many hunters now use stoppers or pegs to keep the bullet weight close to the front of the Texas rig. However, if you go with an untied weight, the lure can drift a little more freely, moving away from the weight a little. This rig is more accurate and works better with lighter weights than you would with a traditional Texas rig as well.
Again, for the drop shot, there are certainly weights specifically designed for this technique that are better than a bullet weight. But, if you are in a pinch, bullet weight will allow you to hunt a much better shot than no weight at all. In this case, you’ll need to tie your hook as you normally would when rigging a drop shot, leaving a long end mark for your weight.
You can secure your weight in several ways, two of which are pretty obvious. By running your line through your weight (pointy end first) you can take the line after it has passed and tie a knot around the line above the weight. Or you can simply use an elastic band to secure the weight to the bottom of your machine.
The E-rig, which may not be known to many and certainly is not likely to be known by that name, is a device my good friend Neil Webster told me about years ago. I don’t know if he came up with it himself or saw someone else doing it, but he considered it an electronic rig, because his favorite place to use it was on Lake Eufaula in Alabama.
The E-rig (or Eufaula rig) is very similar to the lightweight Carolina rig. But instead of using a spinner to separate the weight from the bait, you can use a plug (or two). First, work a light-weight bullet onto your line, then run it over a plug or two if you’re using a lighter-weight or heavier-weight line. You’ll never want to use more than 3/16 of an ounce of weight with your E-rig; If heavier weight is needed, return to the Carolina platform.
The need for two plugs with heavier weights or lighter line is so that the weight does not push the popper plug to the hook on the cast. With the plug(s) and weight in place, move it up the line about a foot and then tie it on a light wire EWG shank or hook. Add your favorite premium plastic and now you have an E-rig. The beauty of this device is that you can adjust the distance between your weight and the bait simply by moving the popper plug(s).
Bullet weight packaging uses
Bullet weights are again the most versatile of all hunting weights. Its surface area makes it easier to maintain bottom contact and increases the sensitivity of the technique. The shape acts as a perfect wedge, cutting its way through plants and most other overhangs and soft plastics.
Then there is the fact that these weights can be used in a variety of situations, so while they may not be perfect, they will suffice. Hopefully this piece will show you a little bit of the versatility of bullet weights, and perhaps motivate you to try bullet weighting using one of these techniques if you haven’t yet.
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