Nailing Soft Plastics

By Capt. Steve Chaconas

Inserting weights into soft plastics goes back decades, but has disappeared from a lot of fishing magazines and tackle boxes.

The Fall And Direction

Why add internal weights? It's all about the fall of the bait. A faster fall gets into the strike zone faster, but also triggers reaction strikes adding more action to lifeless plastics.

In addition, the weight can change the direction of a falling lure. Nose or tail weights can alter sinking baits.

Today, you might find "nail" weights in the back of a catalog somewhere from a company like Lure Craft (

By inserting the nail and cutting it to the right amount of weight, anglers can customize and modify their baits according to conditions. These nail weights are made from lead to make them easier to cut for customization.

Not only are they difficult to find, you never have them when you want them. Making your own "nail" weights is very simple and can be free!

Stop by your local service station and ask them for a few old tire weights. Grab your hammer and an anvil or other hard metal surface and pound the soft lead until it is flat or about 1/8 inch thin or thinner.

Side cutters allow you to cut splinters of lead. Cut at slight angles to have a point to make insertion easier. Make sure you cut them thin enough to insert into the soft plastics.

It only takes a few minutes and now you have recycled tire weights into an assortment of sizes usable weights.

Insert into the nose, tail or belly of baits to affect the fall, direction and depth of any soft plastic. Inserting into swim baits will allow depth to increase as well as the speed.

Experiment and create a unique presentation for all of your soft plastics with nail weights.