I've been frequenting the Goodwills in the area picking up random pieces of pewter to melt down as I sell my hand-tied bladed jigs on ebay as a lead-free chatterbait alternative.
I don't think lead is being banned in liberal jurisdictions when used in the heavier setups (1oz+) that you'd use for catfish and shoreline bank fishing.
It's a real shame lead is so easy to come by and recycle - the tire shops around here are happy to give you a bucket of wheel weights for free. Takes a little to sort out the zinc and plastic weights, but once you do they cook down quickly on a camp stove and take all the price-pain of pitching jigs into heavy cover out of the equation. Nothing worse than throwing a $4 lure to the craggiest cover you can find knowing it will likely get bit off by some slimer (pickerel or pike). A friend of mine and I went through easily two dozen jigs, bladed jigs/chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits with all the pike up in Champlain over the course of just two days, at $6 a piece for retail prices that would have been very costly!
Tungsten sure is nice though - I've salvaged quite a bit of it in the fall when they drop the lake for shoreline maintenance and picked a decent amount of it from texas rigs hung in tree branches once the leaves are gone. There is a definite sensitivity difference vs. lead, but not really worth it to a weekend fisherman for the added cost.
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- Joined: 02 Jun 2015, 09:56
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I agree about tungsten especially drop shotting and with bottom jigging you feel it tapping bottom more easily. I've been buying most my jigs, weighted hooks, and sinkers off ebay number of guys on there that make lead ones when bought in larger quantities are quiet cheap. I'd like to get into making some of my own, but just don't really have the time. The free time I have I tend spend either working in the garage on a vehicle, fishing, or hunting. As much as I enjoy making my own things pouring my own weights/jigs has been low on the priority list. I have a lot scrap lead I use now and again to pour my own weights for duck/goose decoys. I have a five gallon bucket of old wheel weights. If I had pike in my lakes I'd be targeting them over the bucket mouths, I love some pike. Jigging for sauger in the ohio river it never fails best spots are in rocky rip rap that tends to eat my jigs which range from 1/2oz to 1.25oz depending on depth and current. I couldn't imagine using tungsten right now the place I get my heavier jigs from they end up being around a dollar each I can deal with losing a few of those on an outing. It would hurt if they were four bucks each or so.