As mentioned in the page on avoiding snags the cost of losing terminal tackle to snags can soon add up when fishing rough ground. Losing full rigs is expensive, but even just losing weights can see the costs mount up. For this reason anglers fishing rough ground marks which have deep water close in (and therefore do not need to cast long distances) often look for cheaper alternatives to conventional fishing weights made out of lead. Spark plugs are one of the best alternatives to fishing weights, as they are widely available and easy to use. Read on to see how spark plugs can be used in place of weights to save money when fishing.
Adapting Spark Plugs for Sea Fishing
Used spark plugs are easy to come by. Garages which carry out services of cars will produce a steady supply of old spark plugs. Usually garages simply throw these away as they are useless, so simply asking a garage owner who you know to keep them to one side can be a simple way of coming by spark plugs. While there are a number of different spark plugs available the ones of most use to anglers are the ones with a single electrode, as shown in the picture to the right. Getting a spark plug ready to use for sea fishing is easy. It is simply a case of bending the electrode down so that it creates a loop which is secure and strong enough to be used as the anchor point to attach line or a swivel to. This is why it is important to have the right type of spark plugs which allow this to be done.
The best way of doing this is by using a vice, although it can also be done by simply pressing the electrode against the floor or a hard surface.
Using Spark Plugs as Fishing Weights
The loop that has been crated by bending down the electrode can be used as the point to attach the spark plug to the rig. It makes most sense to use spark plugs instead of weights in rigs which also use rotten bottom or weak link releases where there is a high chance of losing the rig, with the basic rough ground rig and the short range conger rig the most obvious choices to use spark plugs with.
The main problem with spark plugs is that the can be quite light, weighing 2-3 ounces. While some anglers can cast with a weight this light (especially if bigger baits are being used) others will find this too light. If this is the case then two or even three spark plugs can be attached together with a large split ring. Once the right amount of spark plugs are being used then casts of 30-40 yards are certainly possible.
Obviously spark plugs are not as safe and secure as conventional fishing weights to cast with, and care must be taken when using them. Only perform straightforward overhead casts when using spark plugs as weights, and never perform any kind of power or pendulum cast. Only short range fishing should be carried out when using spark plugs as weights, distances of around forty yards is the furthest than can safely be cast with alternative weights such as spark plugs. Furthermore, spark plugs should only be used to replace weights when fishing on remote rock marks away from other anglers and members of the public. Due to the safety issues of using spark plugs as a weight they should never be used when fishing on busy or crowded areas such as piers, breakwaters or other busy fishing marks.