I heard about this on the radio on the way home from work this evening and thought some of you might be interested in checking it out. The link below gives information about lead tackle and the new trend to lead alternatives.
They are operating several tackle exchanges throughout the summer so fisherman can take in some lead jigs and weights and exchange them for lead alternatives free of charge. Basically they just want fisherman to test out the new products and compare them to the lead we are use to.
I think it would be interesting to compare them to see if preformance is equal. If everything is equal and the cost is resonable I would consider making the change in the future.
I realize there has been some controversey about this issue in the past but this will give everyone a chance to make the call for themselves after trying all the tackle they can see what they like and dislike.
I have found that some of the alternatives are as good as lead and some are a whole lot better. I have completely made the switch to tungsten. Although there are good and bad things about the product. Many companies make them I prefer Tru Tungsten. Tungsten in general is much harder and more dense than lead. Benefits of that is that you don't need as much to get the same weight. A 3/8 oz lead sinker is going to be a significant bit larger than a 3/8 oz tungsten sinker. When you consider that sinkers are just key components to your presentation, size is a big deal. The smaller the better. The sinker doesnt cause the fish to bite, it's the lure that does. So the more stealth you can be the more success you will have, the more natural your presentation will look. Also with the tungsten being much harder than lead it is also much louder than lead. If you are texas rigging a worm your sinker will make a little more noise when it is banging and dragging around the rocks and sand. Calling fish in from a little further away. Also tungsten is safe for our waters and animals that inhabit our waters.
Also tungsten products come with a vast assortment of components. Such as there safe peg system. A small rubber stopper that fits into your sinker so you can peg your weight to prevent it from sliding. This helps when you are attacking some pretty heavy cover. The other method would be to peg it by breaking off a toothpick in your sinker to keep it pinched tight to your line. The major downfall to this is it damages and weakens your line pretty significantly. Also Tru Tungsten makes tungsten beads. Imagine carolina rigging with a tungsten sinker and a tungsten bead. It offers some of the best sounds under water again calling fish in. Any fisherman who has experiance carolina rigging knows that it glass beads break far to often. Tungsten does not.
Now for the bad side. PRICE$$$$!! They are not cheap. Tru Tungsten is probably the most expensive of all tungsten products and is considerably more expensive than lead. A pack of 4 3/8oz bullet Tru Tungsen sinkers are about 4-5 dollars. Worth it?? I don't know. To me they are. I could see why they wouldn't be to others. Although is there really a price on our enviroment? That dollar amount is up to you.
Remember there are other cheaper options out there. Outkast tackle makes jigs that are lead free and are still half the price as tungsten.
I am glad you posted that info for us. Its good to hear from someone who has spent the time giving these alternative weights a shot. So far most info I have read on forums was most rumor and theorys.
Everyone's complaints have always been that they doubted that they could get a jig that was small enough in the weight they wanted. People thought that a 1/4 oz jig was now going to be huge and hurt their catch rate. It sounds like the exact opposite is true if you use tungsten. That is not something that I knew.
The price is another factor that bothers people and it does bother me a little, however I think that as people move towards these alternatives the price will start to drop. For the time being I guess I will have to try a little harder to avoid the snags.