MHM Oct/Nov 2020 (Page 23) Adding weight to achieve greater depth from your lures is no secret and is certainly nothing new to musky fishing. There are a lot of homemade ideas that work well — from simply hanging a bell sinker off a hook to modifying wire shafts, or even pouring lead into your baits. However, there are some great options available from some of the leading manufacturers in the fishing industry that work great and require minimal effort from you. The amount of weight to add depends on several different variables. You will probably have to go through some trial and error to figure out what works best for you and your favorite baits. One option that has been around for many years is the screw-in weight systems like those offered by Suick and Phantom Lures. The advantage of this weight system is you can change weight sizes fairly quickly right in the boat. The drawback is that before you hit the water you have to spend a little prep time modifying your lures. This entails drilling into the lure to insert a set screw as a base. This option works very well with wood or plastic lures if you are willing and comfortable doing the required modifications. If you are not comfortable making modifications to your lures, the next option might be better. This, of course, is the one I am partial to, and that is the use of weighted leaders. Stealth Tackle manufactures weighted leaders that allow you to fish your baits at greater depth without needing to make any permanent changes to them. These weighted leaders come in three different sizes to suit your needs, depending on the type of lure you are using, your presentation, and the depth you want to achieve. A drawback to the weighted leaders is that if you want to change the weight you must change leaders. One lure that really seems to shine when weight is added to it is the Bull Dawg. For that reason, a few years back Musky Innovations designed its own weight system that clips onto the nose of the lures without any other modifications necessary. Bull Dawgs are available in different weights, and the extra nose weight on their front end keeps them hopping and diving so you don’t lose any lure action. This nose-weight system can only be used with a limited number of lures. Chaos Tackle has also introduced its own weight system. It is adaptable to many different lures with a thin hook hanger wire that inserts through the weight between the body and the split ring and hook. To use this system, simply remove the hook and split ring and slide the weight over the hook hanger, and then reattach the hook and split ring. Chaos’ system comes in different sizes as well which makes it very versatile with different lures. The downside is to change the weight you need to remove the hook and split ring, as well as making sure they will fit on the hook hanger of the bait. There is lots of versatility in the weight systems available and you can choose the one that best suits your style of fishing. If you are not coming in contact with fish, adding weight to your lures can be a very effective way to change your luck — or maybe even get the upper hand on your fishing partner!