Fishing Tips

Bass Teeth and Lead Weights: Hmm


Do you swear by tungsten weights ’cause they’re just plain better than lead – like all-around better?

For starters, as we all know, tungsten weights are smaller than lead ones, which is great. They come through stuff easier and all that, and as Denny Brauer says on the Strike King site, “you don’t have to try to move a larger lead sinker through a bass’ lips when you set the hook.”

Some folks feel that tungsten allows them to feel fish better. That I get, not sure if it matters that much – for me it’s more the rod than anything, then again I’m not qualifying for the Classic anytime soon…. But I will say they let me feel the bottom better. (Sensitive graphite rod + braid + tungsten weight = everything feels like a bite!)

But check out what Denny says here:

Bass can’t get their teeth into tungsten like they can into a lead sinker to reduce the force of your hook set.

Sounds logical, and far be it from me to doubt a master (bassin’master) like Denny, but…really? Anyone for or against that statement based on actual experience? I can’t recall a lot of teeth marks in my lead weights….


Denny also says this in the short article: “The tungsten weights are so sensitive that when I first started using them, I was setting the hook as soon as the sinker hit the bottom, because I thought I was getting a bite.”

Love it ’cause shows us normal bassers aren’t the only ones who pull the trigger on an empty chamber.



  1. Coonhound

    August 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I’ve had a few days with bullet weights gouged with tooth marks (is it tooth marks or teeth marks? Sorry…not an Engrish major). Seems like the bigger fish do this, and i think it of course has to do with how sharp their teeth are. Also, it seems like different sorts of forage wear their teeth more than others. If they’re feeding on softer forage…shad for instance…then you catch one on a Texas-rigged worm with a bullet weight, they’ll mark up the lead more than if they were on a solid crawfish diet.

    I make a Chatterbait sort of lure. On a recent trip to fish the Erie harbors, the fish were hitting it so hard that the fishes TEETH wore the paint off the lead head. Generally the blade on this lure knocks the paint off…but the head was so gouged with tooth marks that it looked like i’d been catching musky or pike with it.

  2. Dan Roberts

    August 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Their teeth definitely come into play. If you really want to see just how much, take a magic marker and coat the lead weight you are using. After just a bite or two you’ll see plenty of teeth marks.

    That being said, I don’t think it makes much of a difference. The power of our hooksets should override what little grip they could get on the softer weights, but like you said… I’m not gonna be in the Classic anytime soon.

    • admin (mostly Jay)

      August 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Yeah man, exactly. You might see some marks, but do they really grip it as you rip it? That is the Q….

      • Brian

        August 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        Nah man, it’s all about shape. The blunter the nose of your sinker, the more likely the weight stays pegged to the inside of a closed mouth. They ain’t grippin’…but I’m not Denny, either.

  3. Recklessbasser

    August 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I’ve had teeth marks on lead. Seems like it happens more in the spring, when the water’s still cool. I think it is because they feed on more crawfish at this time and are crushing the bait more. Anyhow, I think maybe Denny is speaking of resistance of the teeth as you set the hook. The difference in resistance of smooth, slick tungsten and the easily gouged lead is not very much. But on unexpected strikes like when you have your rod at it’s highest point while working the bait and glancing down at your graph (seems like it happens all the time to me), that little bit of resistance can cost you a fish or two during the day. But I’m not headed to Shreveport next February either.

  4. Ken Cook

    September 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    My experience says Denny is right. Actually I thought it first when I first used brass weights in ths ’80’s. Yikes, am I old, or what?

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