We all know lead is toxic, both to humans and to fish and game, but finding a dependable alternative to get flies down in the water column has been challenging. Some swear by weighted flies using brass, copper or tungsten. Others swear by sinking or sink-tip lines (often lead-core).
Credit Loon with taking technology a step further with its new line of tin weights. No, tin isn’t some new weight technology, but it’s not nearly as bad for the rivers we fish as lead is. Loon, though, has given a new twist to tin, offering split-shot weights in two categories. Loon now offers what it calls “black drops,” or black tin weights, or “camo drops” that come in various drab olive, green and brown colors. The idea, in addition to getting flies down using a non-toxic weight, is to make the weight less visible to fish.
I took the new company’s new camo drops to Manitoba earlier this month and used larger sizes to get flies down to pike holding in the six to eight feet of water. The weights performed admirably, and while pike aren’t always the pickiest of fish, I did notice that, on the retrieve, I had a hard time seeing the split shot attached to my tippet. I haven’t had a chance to use the new weights while trout fishing, but I’m calling the camo drops a win, anyway, if for no other reason than they aren’t constructed of lead.
If you’ve been trying to “get the lead out” of your fishing, consider these crafty alternatives.
— Chris Hunt