Ed Harp is a freelance outdoor writer & photographer. He been associated with bass fishing for many years and has written articles on the top professionals in B.A.S.S. Read his product review for Salamander Sinkers.
Product Review: Salamander Sinkers
The Basic Idea
The idea behind Salamander Sinkers was to make a sinker that’s fishable in rivers and streams without the frustration — and the expense — of constant hang-ups. A secondary goal was to make a sinker that was lead-free and, at the same time, affordable.
How They Work
The weights have a simple, yet highly functional, design. They’re made by placing cylindrical steel barrels inside a moderately flexible plastic tube that’s capped on both ends. A steel cable runs through the assembly.
On some models a swivel is attached to each end of the cable. On others, only one swivel is attached. This makes for a double swivel model and a single swivel model. That’s a handy feature depending upon how you’re going to use them.
The sinkers tested were all well made. The size and construction details were uniform with all the models. The lighter weights are about an inch long. The heaviest weight measures approximately 6 inches.
We put a great deal of pressure on the swivels. They, along with their connections, all held fast. We did not experience any failures.
The weights feel “light” when you hold them in your hand or bounce them with your fishing rod. That was a concern, at first. But, we tested the weights on a balance beam against a number of jigs and other sinkers of known weight. In all cases the balance beam was close to level. That told us the weight of Salamander Sinkers is true.
In the Water Performance
They do not snag. We tested them in some of the nastiest rocky waters in the country. And then we tested them in snarled, twisted wood. They do not snag.
This line of sinkers is amazingly versatile. You can use them to bottom-walk live bait — in moving or in slack water — or as a forward weight to get a shallow running lure to run a little deeper.
One of the most interesting things about these sinkers is the previously mentioned light feel. They simply do not feel as heavy as a sinker of comparable weight made from lead or tungsten. It’s all the rage right now for anglers to talk about feel and the need to maintain contact with the bottom. Maybe, but that’s not the whole story.
Fish don’t survive by being stupid. They are really good at sensing something that just doesn’t look or feel right. Using a sinker that’ll allow your bait to move naturally has to be a good thing, especially when you’re fishing highly pressured waters. (Are there any other kind anymore?)
Using them as a forward weight was a little more problematic. They worked, but that same light feel caused the bait to make wide side to side movements. At times that might be what you want. At other times, though, it gives the bait too much lateral movement.
Salamander Sinkers website, www.salamandersinkers.com, has a listing of several suggested rigging techniques. The directions are easy to understand and the diagrams are super good. We strongly suggest you check all of them out. It’ll give you several solid, fish catching ideas for your next trip.
The smaller packs start at $4.39. Larger packs are available. They will seriously reduce your per sinker cost.
And, one of the best things about them is that they are not species specific. A few packs of them will cover you regardless of whether you’re fishing for bass, crappie, catfish, walleye, salmon, steelhead, trout or just about anything else that swims in freshwater. That’s no small thing if, like most of us, you fish on a budget.