Through the use of high density MagnaDense concrete, Czech company Zenergo have created UFO-sinkers, environmentally friendly alternatives to the traditional lead fishing weights.
There is an increasing desire among anglers to change their lead fishing weights for lead-free alternatives.
Although small in size and weight, fishing sinkers made of lead can still pose a real threat to the environment and health. When misplaced, fish and other water creatures can swallow the weights. In turn, larger animals feeding from the water can swallow lead through the consumption of fish. Eventually, fish or animals containing lead or lead residues can end up on our tables. Because of the toxic nature of lead, it is banned in many consumer goods in Europe such as gasoline, paintings, jewellery, children’s toys and more.
Innovative use for high density concrete
There are many alternatives to lead in the fishing sinker market. Czech company Zenergo tested a number of these products before using their now preferred choice of material; MagnaDense.
“We originally tried Tungsten splinters. However, these turned out to be too expensive. We then trialed Baryte, but this was not as heavy and didn’t have a good particle size distribution. Thirdly, we tried cast iron granulate but this had a tendency to rust. After that, we tried ferrosilicon, brass splinters, copper splinters, stainless cutter wire and stainless granulate. But they all did not make it because one or more of their properties gave us a problem with the finished product.”, explains Ir. Jan Puttner, project manager at Zenergo.
“Because of my background as a civil engineer with a degree in building materials and precast concrete, I had heard of MagnaDense used as a high density aggregate before.”, Jan says. However, moving from a civil engineering project to making fishing sinkers is an out-of-the-box thinking process. And that is what Zenergo, the Czech company selling the MagnaDense based lead-free weight, did.
Lead-free fishing environment needed
Awareness of the toxicity of lead and the harm it can cause is increasing. Many countries and regions have already banned lead fishing weights. Lead-free alternative fishing weights are, therefore, a growing market.
“We emphasise that our products are lead-free and non-toxic in water, which is the main advantage. Also, it is cheaper than other lead-free alternatives and on top of that, it has a natural camouflage look. Because it is a little porous, it can be aromatised as well.”, says Jan Puttner, project manager for UFO sinkers.