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Lead Tackle Swap

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Just a reminder to Spikes earlier posting about the swap of lead tackle for a non-toxic metal.

For the East Metro gang.

Maplewood: July 2 (Today) (2pm - 7pm)Gander Mountain (1747 Beam Avenue East)

St. Paul: July 16-17 (3pm - 6pm) Joe's Sporting Goods (935 N Dale Street)

Woodbury: August 8 (2pm - 7pm) Gander Mountain (7150 Valley Creek Plaza)

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Oh yeah - I forgot about that - could you please post a link to that original post?

Peace and Fishes

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Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are partnering with retailers, conservation, and outdoors groups to offer lead tackle exchanges across the state this summer. Over 17 lead tackle exchange events are scheduled beginning this month. Anglers can bring lead sinkers and jigs to the event to trade for non-lead ones.

“We want to offer anglers throughout Minnesota the chance to try out and compare non-lead tackle made from metals such as bitsmuth, tin, and stainless steel,” said Kevin McDonald, coordinator of the OEA’s non-lead tackle program.

Lead is a toxic metal that has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds. Found in most fishing jigs and sinkers, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles. Carrol Henderson, supervisor of the DNR’s Nongame Wildlife Program, is enthusiastic about the lead exchange program. “This is an excellent opportunity for people who care about wildlife to cooperate with the fishing tackle industry and reduce the amount of lead being deposited in Minnesota’s lakes.”

Upcoming exchanges in 2003
At the exchanges, all types of lead tackle will be accepted. Anglers will have a choice between two sizes of tin split shot, tin walking sinkers, tin bullet, bismuth jigs, stainless steel split, and stainless steel interchangeable jigs.

The lead collected from the events will be properly recycled at Gopher Smelting. There's no cost to participate.

Duluth: July 11 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (1747 Beam Avenue East)

Fridley: July 11 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (250 57th Ave. NE)

Rochester: July 11 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (1201 South Broadway)

St. Paul: July 16-17 (3pm–6pm) | Joe's Sporting Goods (935 N Dale Street)

Douglas County: July 19 (10am–Noon) | Lake Mary Association (Kensington Runestone County Park)

Bemidji: July 18 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (1313 Paul Bunyan Drive)

Minnetonka: July 25 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (4900 South County Road 101)

St. Cloud area: July 25 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (614 Second Street South, Waite Park)

Maple Grove: August 1 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (8030 Wedgewood Lane)

Wabasha: August 1-2 (11am–4pm) | Eagle Days (Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge, downtown on the Waterfront and Lawerence Blvd.)

Woodbury: August 8 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (7150 Valley Creek Plaza)

Farmington: August 9 (2pm–7pm) | Dakota County Fairgrounds

Bloomington: August 15 (2pm–7pm) | Gander Mountain (9801 Lyndale Avenue South)

Dent: August 16, (Noon–2pm) | Marion Lake Association (Lions Club Shelter)

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I needed some more crank baits so I visited the Maplewood store. There was a small tent set up at the entrance and the group was set up with a display and samples of sinkers and jigs. They did have the picture of the x-ray of the loon that had a jig in its digestive system. Looking at the product was interesting and I had a chance to discuss the issues a bit. Channel 4 news was there taking some video of this event. The best part was a visit of a bald eagle from the raptor center. This bird was not a victim of lead but had an eye injury which left it unable to fend for itself and was remaining at the raptor center.
This was informative and they did not react too badly when I explained that I do make jigs and sinkers for my own use. Other than a warning about the toxicity of lead , they did not try to tell me why I should quit. We did agree that this topic needs to be studied a bit more before restrictions are placed on the use of smaller size sinkers and jigs.
If any of you have the time to attend a future session I would recommend it.

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Did they give out new tackle? Was it a fair ratio, or were they just giving small samples?
I know. "Something for nothing", but I'd fish with non tox also if I didn't already have a good deal invested in lead. I'd take advantage of this if it was a good exchange.........

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I did not go with the intent to give up any of my lead. I did not ask how the swap was being handled. They were kind enough to offer me a couple of samples to try. Maybe someone who did the swap can help us with some information.

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I had my kid stop up and exchange about a pound of lead sinkers for a small sample of tin. I have been doing some extensive research, just to cure my phobia of change, and here are a few of my early findings.
1. Tin does indeed sink.
2. An ounce of Tin weighs exactly the same as an ounce of lead. I'm double-checking the findings on this. My methodology may be skewed. I'll get back to you.
3. As the use of Tin terminal fishing tackle increases it will be interesting to notice if the Loons, ingesting said product, start turning into beer cans. If that happens I don't know what I'll switch too.

In all seriousness. I think it's worth a shot for a lot of anglers to start using non-lead sinkers. The book is still out on the non-lead ice jigs. Can Tin, or a reasonable facsimile, compare to the quality of lead on a jig as small as an ice fly.

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Thanks for the promo on the lead tackle exchange events, Spike! Those of us (I'm with OEA) working at the Gander Mountain in Maplewood last evening had a great time. You may want to know that several anglers mentioned they heard about the event through fishingminnesota.com. Many thanks to Gander Mountain also for their support and for carrying many of the alternatives in their store!

Specific to the questions regarding 1:1 for swaps, we don't have exact replacements for every size and color of jigs or weights. We will, however, do our best to give everyone a fair exchange for what they bring in. Keep in mind, however, that we don't have the kind of resources to be giving everyone bags full of non-lead alternatives. For everyone that comes in for an exchange, we'll do our best to strike a fair offer.

If anyone else would like more information about the lead tackle issue or would to participate in one of the many remaining exchange events across the state, check out the OEA website at http://www.moea.state.mn.us/reduce/sinkers.cfm#exchange

Thanks to those anglers that have stopped by at our events so far!

Go Green!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Thanks Green Guy.

It will be interesting to see how lead alternatives pan out.

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OK: Since there's two sides to every story, I'll play devils advocate on this one.

I'll stipulate to your finding of an ounce of each material weighing the same but . . .

If you could run 2 more experiments and post the results???

1. Does an ounce of tin sink faster, slower, or at the same rate as an ounce of lead?

2. When drifted or trolled at the same speed, will a quarter ounce tin jig run deeper, shallower, or at the same depth as a quarter ounce lead jig (all other factors being equal i.e. length of line out, diameter of line, etc) ?

[This message has been edited by GEM EYE GUY (edited 07-06-2003).]

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If the weights are the same, they would sink the same, right, all other factors being the equal. The only difference would be if the alternative sinker was less dense, therefore needed to be larger and having more surface area and a slower sink rate. Hopefully they can work with shape. Besides, slower sink rate may not be all bad in some situations.

This whole lead situation concerns me. I have hundreds of jigs in all sizes/colors and it would be expensive to change. Not only that, but I'll bet quite a few anglers are in the same position as me. So we give the garbage man a hernia when we toss them and send them to the dump, where other birds/animals get hooked or eat them. I realize the DNR wants to melt them down, but lets be realistic, how many people will go to the dropoff site and how many would just throw them out.

I know, I have to accept change.

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GEM EYE GUY, I'm sorry for not getting back sooner, I am tied up all week and will not be able to complete my highly scientific testing until the weekend. (Continuing education all week) However, I promise you I will conduct those experiments in a controlled environment (my swimming pool) and report the results. In the meantime, remember the FM mantra: "Tin is in, Lead is dead". All right, it's not the FM mantra, just something I thought up

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If you decide to make the plunge to non-lead and can't make it to a lead tackle exchange this summer, you can bring your lead tackle to any county household hazardous waste collection facility. Please don't put lead or other hazardous materials in the trash. They would then end up in a landfill or incinerator and potentially contaminating our air or groundwater (and eventually lakes and fish). Call your county solid waste/environmental office for hours and locations so they can be collected and recycled.

As far as how to deal with the fact that many of us have a big investment in lead, I think the first place to start is to try to pick non-lead alternatives for future tackle purchases. More and more retailers like Gander Mountain are carrying alternatives, and the OEA website has links to the following manufacturers that offer alternatives: http://www.moea.state.mn.us/reduce/sinkers.cfm#manufacturers

When you're ready to take the next step, I'd take a hard look at what's in your tackle box. If you're like me, you probably have a few "confidence" lures, jigs and tackle that you use 95% of the time. If you haven't ever used it and don't think you likely will, why keep it? One side benefit to recycling some of that lead is your tackle box will get a lot lighter!


Green Guy

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So could tin be melted down like lead and poured into molds? Also where could you buy tin? I'm into pouring my own lead sinkers and weights right now and I'm thinking that I should stop with the lead. Any help?

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I just got off the phone with Do-It Corporation, large manufacturer of jig and weight molds in Denver, Iowa, (319) 984-6055, and the rep. I spoke to says that some of their molds could be used to make tin or bismuth jigs and weights. In fact, he thought tin and bismuth have a lower melting temperature than lead. Since tin and bismuth are more brittle, he said molds with more detail or crevices may be more difficult to remove from the molds, but it can be done. Tin and bismuth are also significantly more expensive than lead, but from the health standpoint of you and your family, it may be worth it. He heard guys have had some luck with about a 50% tin, 50% bismuth mixture.

Finding bulk metal to use in molds is proving to be more challenging. I haven't found a local supplier yet, but did find a company out of New York that sells different bismuth and tin alloys: Belmont Metals, 330 Belmont Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207-4000, 718.342.4900, FAX 718.342.0175, e-mail: [email protected] The cost and minimum quantities are pretty high, but I'll keep checking and let you know if I find a supply locally that is more reasonable.

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