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Thread: Weights?

  1. Default Weights?

    A friend of mine, who teaches and guides, has convinced me that I must stop using lead weights for obvious environmental reasons.

    But I still want to get my flies down, I still want a material that's easy to use, I wouldn't mind a good dispenser, and I'm always ready to pay for stuff that really works.

    By the way, if the seller provided good weight charts, that would be great. I think a "BB" equals 4 grams, but are there standards on weights?

    Recommendations? Comments?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Weights?

    What are the environmental factors that you are worried about? Not trying to be a smart ass just genuinely curious. I know lead is virtually insoluble in H20 the only thing i could think of is fish eating the shot?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weights?

    The question of whether lead is good or bad aside, if you want to avoid using it for weight, here are some options. I've linked to products sold by one of the forum sponsors.

    If you're looking to add weight to your line there's tin split shot as well as tungsten sink putty. I like the sink putty personally. If you tie your own flies, there are brass and tungsten beads as well as lead-free wire for wrapping on the hook shank.

    Hope that helps.
    - William

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Weights?

    I think the problem is the cumulative effect. Canada estimates 500 tons of lost or discarded lead is deposited in its waters every year. Can be tough on plants, birds - and the animals that eat them. I'm not an expert; that's just what I have read.
    I like tungsten beads.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Weights?

    Since I've started tying my own flies I can't remember the last time I used lead or split shot, just tie on a bead head or a heavy nymph!

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Weights?

    Quote Originally Posted by nrp5087 View Post
    ..... the only thing i could think of is fish eating the shot?
    Actually it's birds eating the shot. They eat it like they do small gravel for their gizzard.

    Another idea is to use Ard's chunk of T-whatever with loops on the ends inline in the leader. I made a couple of them up and they work really well. It also has the benefit of not ever coming off unless you loose the whole leader. Even then it's not lead and not gravel like so the bird's will be fine.

    ---------- Post added at 09:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by jsquires View Post
    Canada estimates 500 tons of lost or discarded lead is deposited in its waters every year.
    We did a study here and I think it illustrates the problem with that number. We asked if anyone lost ANYTHING in the water while fishing. Right away they started answering with lines like "No, but I got something back". It was surprising the amount of stuff that is lost and then recovered. The majority of lead that was lost here was inline weights used in drifting spinner rigs. When they are lost the spinner rig remains attached to the lead. People drifting hook them and they are retrieved very often. Based on what they say about 500 tons, I would bet that half is recovered. I still have all the raw data for that study and should work something up. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that a very large percentage of it is shot and that is the problem lead, but again mostly in being lost shallow where birds get it. There is also in the 500 ton estimate a lot of water they downrig in. It does take a lot of 8lbdownrigger balls to make a pretty fair chunk in that 500 tons. I would be seriously scared of the bird that wants that for it's gizzard.

    On a side note, you would be surprised the number of cell phones that go in the drink every year.
    Last edited by Guest1; 01-10-2013 at 03:29 AM. Reason: missed a word

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Weights?

    That '500 tons' number catches my attention too. That would be a million pounds/year and that's a number that's tough to accept at face value.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Weights?

    In dynamic nymphing, Daniel says that he rarely uses split shot and instead uses heavier weighted nymphs or a multi nymph setup to achieve the presentation he wants. If necessary he will use split shot but its kind of a last resort and typically only size 4 and 6 tungsten.

  11. #9
    okuma Guest

    Default Re: Weights?

    Tungsten is the only metal from the third transition series that is known to occur in biomolecules, where it is used in a few species of bacteria and archaea. It is the heaviest element known to be used by any living organism. Tungsten interferes with molybdenum and copper metabolism, and is somewhat toxic to animal life...

    Tin poisoning refers to the toxic effects of tin and its compounds. Cases of poisoning from tin metal, its oxides, and its salts are "almost unknown"; on the other hand certain organotin compounds are almost as toxic as cyanide...

    Lead is a highly poisonous metal (regardless if inhaled or swallowed), affecting almost every organ and system in the body. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system


    Metallic founds I found of interest

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Weights?

    Quote Originally Posted by okuma View Post

    Lead is a highly poisonous metal (regardless if inhaled or swallowed), affecting almost every organ and system in the body. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system


    Metallic founds I found of interest
    Understatement for the day. Can't remember the date, but any home built before xyz was a strong candidate for the use of a lead based paint. Before you could make a home loan (FHA/VA for sure) was a 'paint inspection.' Found lead based ... it ALL HAD TO GO. Expensive procedure to say the least.

    Lead removal was the driving force behind the Petrol we fill our tanks today.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

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