The Tungsten Advantage

News & Tips: The Tungsten Advantage

The lead weight has been an old standby in the fishing game. They still work great but is there a better mouse....or should I trap out there?

TungstenAdvantageJH blog
At the same weight, the tungsten is half the size of lead weights — just one of the few advantages tungsten has over the old lead standard.

Tungsten weights are relatively fresh on the fishing scene. When compared to lead, a few advantages become apparent. These can greatly improve your catch rate. Here are a rundown of their top traits.


Tungsten is much smaller than lead when comparing the same weight — nearly half the size. For punching mats or working heavy cover, this smaller profile will allow your bait to penetrate snags much easier. It also allows you to upsize your weight without overcompensating the size of your presentation. A big plus when punching mats with one or two ounce weights.

This decrease in size also has an advantage when working finesse presentations, as the weight of your lure can be increased without bulking up the profile. Shaky heads in deep water is one of many uses.


Tungsten is more dense than lead, meaning vibrations are directly transmitted through the line as opposed to being dampened by the softness of the lead itself. Differentiating structure type and hardness is vastly improved, allowing you to stay in the zone and in contact with the bottom.


The more dense the object the harder it is. This trait of tungsten means the sound created when it comes into contact with structure will be greatly amplified. This comes into play when working rock with a jig or a Carolina rig with weight and glass bead. Certain situations call for an increase in sound — and tungsten has lead beat in the volume game.


Tungsten is more environmentally friendly compared to lead. For some this is an ethical choice, but lead is being banned from a number of waterways. Will a total ban happen one day? Hard to tell.

One of my favorite lakes has a ban on lead in one section due to it being a bird sanctuary. If I want to fish it for largemouth bass, tungsten weights is one choice I have at my disposal.


If there is one downside to tungsten it is the cost. It is more expensive than lead, but, when you look at the advantages it has, spending more to increase your catch rate is well worth it. As more manufacturers get in the tungsten game, prices should come down.