Surf Casting Florida

Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.

What type of weight should I use for surf fishing?

There are many different types of weights available for surf fishermen. They all have slightly different characteristics and do slightly different things. There are weights that are sliding on your line. There are weights that are tied directly to your main line. There are weights that are tied off of your main line.

The weights for surf fishing come in many different shapes and sizes. They all are designed for specific scenarios that you will encounter when you are surf fishing. In the article below, I will cover some of the most common weights that you should use for surf fishing.

I am a FISHING CHARTER CAPTAIN on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, mangroves, oyster bars and just about everywhere else in Florida for more than 40 years. I will teach you all about the correct types of weights to use the next time that you go surf fishing.

Let’s get started.

Watch the video below and choose the best type of weight for surf fishing.

What type of weight should I use for surf fishing with big waves and heavy current?

Once the waves get over 4 feet or so, then you are going to start having problems keeping your baits stationary on the bottom. When there are waves a round sinker is out of the question. They will be at your feet on the beach in no time. They will roll right on in with the wave energy.

You need a weight that will grab onto the bottom and hold in spite of the waves trying to push them to the beach. You can get away with a pyramid sinker in this scenario if you have one that is heavy enough. The shape of the pyramid will grab into the sand and the waves will dig it deeper and deeper are they push on the weight.

The best choice but more expensive choice is the Sputnik weight described in the video above. Those wire appendages will anchor the weight and it will not move if you have the right amount of weight unless the waves are huge. If the waves are huge, surf fishing becomes more of a chore than a fun adventure anyways. The big surf days are better left to the surfers than the surf fishermen.

The Sputnik and the pyramid sinkers are great choices for sandy bottoms. They are horrible choices for reef bottoms because they will probably get stuck. The pyramid sinkers will definitely get stuck because of their angles and edges. The sputnik sinkers will probably get stuck unless the wires push back perfectly when they are pulled.

You will probably have to go with a bell shaped sinker or an egg sinker if you are fishing around a rocky or reef bottom. You will still probably loose some rigs and sinkers but you will lose less of them.

What type of weight should I use for surf fishing with small waves and a weak current?

The perfect wave scenario for surf fishing is a 1 to 2 foot swell. That is just enough wave action to stir up the bottom and uncover the food for pompanos and whiting. It also makes it harder for the fish to see your lines. In this scenario, a pyramid sinker and a sputnik sinker are your best types of weights as long as you are fishing a sandy bottom.

You won’t need any extra weight to keep you sinker on the bottom where you want it. You will just need enough weight to cast your baits out far enough. This is the scenario that all surf fishermen live for. Small waves and weak currents are great for catching a ton of fish off of the beach.

What type of weight should I use for surf fishing during high tide?

The fish are closer to shore during the higher parts of the tide so you don’t have to cast out as far to get at them. This means that you can use lighter weights. You still need to know if you are fishing over rocks or sand so that you don’t lose your weights every cast.

High tide is definitely the best tide for getting access to the fish when you are surf fishing. You don’t usually even need a surf rod because the fish are so close to the beach. You can use your regular sized fishing rods when you are surf fishing the higher parts of the tide.

I mostly fish the higher parts of the tide for fish within 30 feet of the shore. My go to sinker type is the one ounce pyramid sinker. My beaches are a mixture of reef and sand which makes them hard to fish. The key to fishing them is to get your baits in the sandy spots between the rocks. You need precision casting and some luck but if you do it right you won’t lose too many fishing rigs and you can catch a ton of fish.

What type of weight should I use for surf fishing during low tide?

When you are fishing the lower parts of the tide you will have to cast out pretty far. Low tide surf fishing usually requires a surf rod 10 to 14 feet long and a heavier sized weight to get out to where the fish are. For example, if you are targeting pompano and whiting during low tide, then you need to fish the back side of the outer sand bars.

That is where the fish will be during the last couple of hours of the outgoing tide. The pompano and whiting will be on the back side of those sand bars in deeper depressions. They will school up there waiting for the tide to bring sand fleas, crabs, clams, shrimp and anything else that they eat right to them.

If you want to catch those fish then you will need a heavy sinker to get out that far. You will also need a sinker that will stay put once it lands in the right spot. The type of weight for this scenario is a sputnik or a pyramid sinker. You want your pompano rig presentation to not move once you get it into the deeper spots of the outer sand bars.

During the first couple of hours of the incoming tide, then pompanos will be on the front side of the outer sand bars waiting for the tide to bring them some food again. This means that you won’t have to cast out as far but it will still be the outer sand bars that are holding the majority of the fish.

What type of weight should I use for surf fishing with live bait?

It is pretty hard to beat an egg sinker on your main line when you are fishing with live baits. That presentation works on reefs offshore, piers, docks and when you are surf fishing too. You just have to figure out how much weight that you will need to get your bait out to where the fish are.

Egg sinkers will roll on the bottom with the waves and the current. That is okay because the movement will often attract the fish that you are trying to catch.


There are all kinds of different types of weights that you can use for surf fishing. They types and sizes depends upon your individual needs and circumstances. It is all about getting your baits out to where the fish are and presenting those baits properly.

Once you figure out those two things, then you will catch a lot of fish the next time you go surf fishing.

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