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I've read that some use the slinky. What's the advantage of it over pencil lead with surgical tubing? Less snags? No snags? I currently use hollow core pencil lead and crimp it on. I don't like it much and am considering alternatives. I've used snap swivels in the past and just clipped on a cannonball also. I don't like that much cuz if you snag the sinker, you lose the swivel and everything attached to it. I want something simple and cheap that is effective. Any input is welcome, and yes i realize there is a certain amount of personal preference involved.

Thanks in advance.
 

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From my limited research I have learned that the benefit of slinky weights is that they are flexible and will hang up *less* than lead. The downfall is that the added profile/buoyancy of the slinky material can cause a dirft fishing rig to sink slower than if you only used pencil lead. This equates to less time in the strike zone!
 

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They don't snag like lead, which is soft and grabs rock bottoms, you can make them in any size (I have them pre-made in 3 through 8 balls), and just cast a little further up steam so it still goes through the same strike zone, they don't transmit the same thump thump or tic tic that lead does, they have a softer tap tap, but I use them almost exclusively, they will hang up less often and pull out of snags that lead won't.
 

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RiverFishin said:
They don't snag like lead, which is soft and grabs rock bottoms, you can make them in any size (I have them pre-made in 3 through 8 balls), and just cast a little further up steam so it still goes through the same strike zone, they don't transmit the same thump thump or tic tic that lead does, they have a softer tap tap, but I use them almost exclusively, they will hang up less often and pull out of snags that lead won't.
They are also a great tool for fishing in cold water like we have had the last couple weeks when the Steelhead are often times in the slower deeper holes. You can use a a good size slinky so that your bait just crawls along at a very slow speed where lead will often hang or bang along.
 

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Advantages;
1) The feel of the slinky bounce is much softer than that of pencil lead, I sometimes think that I can actually feel the bite better as well.
2) Less snags and easy to pull out of most hang-ups without loosing all your gear.
3) Ability to make in various sizes for changing conditions.
4) Materials used I feel are a little less harmful than lead.
5) You can put scent on the slinky and not have to on your rig, gives more opportinity for dispersment.
6)I have actually pulled in a Pink when its teeth got caught in rope material.

Dis-Advantages;
1)Time needed to make slinky's, about the same as tying leaders (before heading out).
 

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The biggest complaint I hear about slinky's are that they take 'too much time to make'. Well, I personally would rather take 'too much time' in front of the TV making slinkys. The alternative is hanging bottom with other rigs, while (ie pencil lead) taking too much time out of my precious time, while actually on the river. Slinkys hang up less than say normal lead rigs on bottom. Less time hung up on bottom free-ing my gear from snags means more time presenting my offering correctly, in most driftfishing situations. Making Slinkys in my free time, makes less time fussing during the few hours a week I get to fish. No brainer, in most instances.

Lead is still carried for, like, fishing the heads of holes were slinkys don't get you down fast enough (ie, quickly sinking a rag/shrimp tail combo behind a stump). But generally speaking, I'd prefer a pocket full of slinkys that took some time to make over a roll of lead and and a set of lead-posting pliers in most driftfishing situations.. Again, generally speaking. Answer.., have the ability to rig both. They're attributes both have thier place and time.
 

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One other advantage to the slinky, they are great for teaching young fisherman the difference between a bite and a bounce or tic, I went to slinkies with my son last September fishing for pinks and silvers, the result was almost instantanious, he could feel the bottom and the difference when a fish struck, it was a good season on the river for him after this.
 

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powder,

A great way to rig your slinkies that I've field tested is to rig a 1/2" piece of 1/4" surgical tubing off your snap swivel and slide your .250-1/4" slinkie into the tubing, only one shot, just as you would with solid pencil lead,instead of puting the slinkie on the snap swivel through the cord. With the addition of the tubing with the slinkie makes it even more snag free and if the slinkie snags, the slinkie usally pops right out of the tubing and the rest of the rig is saved, works great. When I want to fish a lead drift rig, I've been rigging a 1/2" piece 3/16" surgical tubing off of the snap swivel and sliding Water Gremlin's Snap Lock Dipsey " tear drop" Sinkers-Sportsmans Warehouse into the tubing. The lead sinker pops right out of the tubing when snaged and the rest of the rig is saved. You guys that are drifting or sidedrifting drop shot sinkers try this rig, with the addition of the tubing makes it more snag free and when the lead snags you usally just lose the weight. Also, the beauty of the tubing set ups is weight changes are a snap. I usally fish a fixed drift rig, tying the main line off of the barrel on the snap side and the leader off the non snap side.
 

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Good idea, I'll give that a try Tup:
 

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FLOTNFLY said:
Advantages;
1) The feel of the slinky bounce is much softer than that of pencil lead, I sometimes think that I can actually feel the bite better as well.
2) Less snags and easy to pull out of most hang-ups without loosing all your gear.
3) Ability to make in various sizes for changing conditions.
4) Materials used I feel are a little less harmful than lead.
5) You can put scent on the slinky and not have to on your rig, gives more opportinity for dispersment.
6)I have actually pulled in a Pink when its teeth got caught in rope material.

Dis-Advantages;
1)Time needed to make slinky's, about the same as tying leaders (before heading out).
Ya what FLOTNFLY said,
J.D. I agree with you also. I carry both slinky style & pencil lead both have there advantages
 

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"What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy
 

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Another trick an old buddy of mine showed me one time- and this is the only way he rigs his lead... He takes the slinky shot, or any shot for that matter, and loads it into the surgical tubing. so basically you've got and inch and a half of tubing stuffed with shot, and you don't even tie up the ends or anything, that surgical tubing holds the shot right in there. He pokes a small hole in one end to clip onto a swivel, and then this gives him near-slinky performance, and if you get snagged and pull hard enough that lead shot will just pop right out of the surgical tubing.
 

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You can also take a piece of pencil lead and slide it into the cord and seal both ends like making a slinky but leave a little extra cord. Then take a dull set of side cutters and crimp the lead through the cord every 1/4" inch then bend the lead till it separates inside the cord and you have a slinky with out having to slide all the shot in the cord.
 

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Another advantage is the ability to replicate your weight after breaking off. Sometimes you don't know exactly how lond the pencil lead you just lost was, but it's easy to remember if you were fishing a four baller or a five.

When fishing with other people, it's easier to communicate to teach someone. "Start with a thre eballer in that slot and move up to a four as you cast out farther."
 
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