January 4th 2009 01:50
The hardness of tungsten can be sensed when you know the sinker on the right is lead.
Despite the advantages, anglers are often put off by the hefty price tag of tungsten weights. Although it’s difficult, if not impossible, to put an exact figure on the price of a ton of tungsten, it's safe to say it will always be more expensive than lead.
Since nearly half of the world’s supply of tungsten is in China, after you add in tariff fees, import duties, and transportation costs, it’s easy to see why tungsten weights are so expensive!
Aside from all of these costs, you also have production costs. Lead melts at only 860F degrees. Tungsten, on the other hand, melts at over 6,000F degrees. Someone has to pay to heat those furnaces!
Although we've been discussing weights, the hardness and density of tungsten make it ideal for other applications. Manufacturers are offering swimbaits that use tungsten and some even utilize small tungsten pellets to control their depth and action. Other companies are offering hand-poured worms with tungsten powder poured into them while tungsten jigs and spinnerbaits are finding their way onto shelves.
It looks like tungsten is here to stay for the angler. The bad news is that it looks like tungsten tackle will remain more expensive than lead.
Until next time--watch your line and watch yourself!