If you are fishing deep water these days and need big sinkers from 12 ounces and upward, it makes sound economic sense to make your own, especially if your club has a plumber amongst its members.

If not, a visit to a scrap metal merchant will often provide you with a source of old lead pipes etc, for not a lot of money. Just make sure the lead is dry, cutting it into small bits and removing as much old paint as you can before throwing it into the melting pot.

Moulds are available from a number of sources, each manufacturer having a different range of shapes and sizes. When you find the moulds that you like, consider fitting them with a hinge and a set of handles, this has a number of advantages.

First you will not have to handle the hot moulds.

Secondly you will be able to work much faster actually pouring the molten lead whilst grasping the handles.

Third, the sinkers will be much smoother and professional looking because the hotter the moulds the better the finish.

The hinge is easy. Use a brass hinge, screwing it to the mould with self tapping screws.

Making the handles and fitting them is not that much of a problem. Go into places like B&Q and find the metal rack which usually carries aluminium, steel and brass strip. Sort out a size to suit the mould and buy a bag of self tapping screws and two drill bits. One a clearance size for the self tapping screws and the other the right size for the self tappers to screw into the metal of the mould.

Work out where the handles will screw to the moulds. Mark the position for the screws with a pencil and drill the holes, clearance holes in the handles and tapping size in the moulds. After the handles have been screwed to the moulds, work out where the handles should be bent and what sort of grip you want to put on them. Remove the handles, bend them, fit the insulating side pieces or simply wrap them with self adhesive tape and finally screw them back onto the moulds.

You will be amazed how much easier the handles will make the manufacture of your sinkers.

A word of caution. Ensure you follow the instructions for your own safety which comes with the moulds. Goggles and thick gloves are essential at all times when dealing with molten lead.

Any questions. russ@reelfoto.demon.co.uk