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How to Make Sinkers Out of Rocks

Stream beds and beaches have an almost unlimited supply of fishing sinkers.
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Lead is no longer used in house paint because it caused brain damage in children. Lead has also been removed from gasoline because it's toxic. But fishermen still throw untold quantities of lead into water every year with lead sinkers that break off and remain behind. Sinkers made out of small rocks can reduce the lead in aquatic environments as well as blend in naturally, like camouflage, with the fish’s surroundings.

Collect smooth stones from stream beds or beaches, between ½ inch and 2 inches in diameter. They need not be perfectly round or symmetrical, but avoid sharp edges, grooves or points.

Attach a Collet nut adapter to the Dremel drill. Attach a 2.5 mm diamond-tipped, hollow coring bit to the Collet nut adapter.

Fill a shallow plastic dish with enough water to cover your stone, plus an additional quarter-inch of water. Place a length of wooden tongue depressor under your stone and immerse in the water. Hold the stone tightly between the fingers of your non-dominant hand as you press the wood onto the bottom of the dish with the stone on top of the wood.

Grasp the Dremel drill with your dominant hand, bit facing down and thumb facing up, as if you were about to use it like an ice pick. Align the coring bit tip over the stone where you want to make your hole. The hole should be offset from the center of the stone. Do not quite touch the bit to the stone. Turn on the Dremel drill, then slowly make contact with the stone. The bit should be just under the water to cool it. Press in to core for a second or two, release pressure, then press again. The releases allow the water to cool the bit and prevent breaking it. Continue this process until you feel the bit break through the other side of the stone and into the wood. Remove the stone from the water.

Thread a 2-inch length of 22-gauge soft aluminum wire through the hole. Bend the tips of the wire, using your needle-nose pliers, into ¼-inch J-hooks. Slide the J-hooks through each other so they make the wire into a closed loop. Twist each J-hook tail onto the shaft of the wire as tightly as you can with the pliers, securing the ends of the wire loop onto one another. If there are sharp or rough tips on the wire, grip them between the pliers and mash them, then add a drop of clear fingernail polish to the crimp and let it dry. The sinker can now be attached to any standard fishing snap.

Things You'll Need:

  • Stones
  • Dremel drill
  • Collet nut adapter
  • 2.5 mm diamond-tipped, hollow coring bit
  • Shallow plastic dish
  • Water
  • Wooden tongue depressor
  • 22-gauge soft aluminum wire
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Clear fingernail polish
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