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A Guide to Fishing Split Shot

 

 

Size, weights and equivalent alternatives

 

History of Split Shot

Apparently, lead shot was invented and patented in 1782 by a man called William Watts from Bristol, England.
The process was to heat the lead until molten then drop it from a height. Due to the act of a falling liquid becoming spherical the molten lead formed tiny spherical balls and solidified as it fell .The partially cooled balls were caught in a water filled basin at floor level. William Watts adapted his house by adding a three story tower and digging a shaft under the house to achieve the required drop. Nowadays other methods are used to make shot, one of them being the cold swaging process of feeding calibrated lengths of lead wire into hemispherical dies and stamping them into spheres.

 

What is split shot and how is it used in angling?
fishing shotThe split shot is a small spherical piece of metal which is cut part way through the diameter and is used in angling to add weight to the fishing line to set your float, (sink the float so that only part of the float shows above the water). The fishing line is placed in the cut of the split shot and the split shot crimped closed to hold it in place on the line.

 

Split shot was originally made from lead but in 1987 certain sizes were banned due to a number of swans and water fowl being poisoned from coarse fishing lead shot AND shot from gun cartridges.

Partly because of this, Non lead alternatives have since been introduced using materials such as steel, tungsten, nickel, iron, bismuth tin etc. Although not as soft as lead the new metal non-toxic split shot still servers its purpose. Some split shot also has a double cut (two cuts in the shot on opposite sides of each other) this allows the shot to be removed more easily and re used.

 

It is still legal in the UK to use some lead weights in fishing and this includes split shot from size 8 down to size 14 and leger weights weighing more than 1 ounce (28.35 grams)

Beware: The penalty for fishing with lead shot in prohibited sizes can be a fine of up to £5,000 and the confiscation of your fishing tackle.

Although the main use of split shot is to set your float, the way you space your shot can play a critical part in your presentation. To get your hook down to the bottom quicker then bunch the shot together near the hook. To get your bait to fall through the water more slower then spread the shot evenly apart between the hook and float (called shirt button style). Most floats have a weight marking on them and this is a guide to what weight the float will carry. I have yet to come across a float that has the exact weight printed on it so use this as a guide only and add or remove split shot as necessary.

 

As well as split shot there is also 'Stles' and 'Stotz'.

Unlike the round split shot, the Style is long and thin (similar to a piece of wire) with a cut along the length. These are used a lot by match anglers as they reputedly fall through the water more slowly.

When fishing with hemp or tares as the bait and using split shot the fish often mistake the shot for bait, resulting in false bite. The use of Styles or Stotz is perfect to help avoid this.

Stotz are a shorter and fatter version of the Style. Many anglers prefer Stotz to Styles as they reckon they stay on the line better.

 

These charts are for general guidance only

 

 

UK Split shot conversion chart

 

Size

Weight

Equivalent

 

3SSG

4.8g

6 x AAA

 

2SSG

3.2g 4 x AAA
 

LG

3g  
 

LSG

2g  
 

SSG

1.6g 2 x AA
 

AAA

0.8g 2 x BB
 

AB

0.6g 2 x No1
 

BB

0.4g 2 x No4
 

No1

0.3g 3 x No6
 

No3

0.25g 2 x No6
 

No4

0.2g 3 x No9
 

No5

0.15g 2 x No8
 

No6

0.1g 2 x No10
 

No8

0.06g 2 x No11
 

No9

0.05g  
 

No10

0.04g 2 x No12
 

No11

0.03g 3 x No13
 

No12

0.02g 2 x No13

 

No13

0.01g

 

 

 

 

Article and images by Jim Boswell

Copyright www.fish-uk.com

 

 

Continental Styl Weights

 

No7

0.01g

 

No8

0.017g

 

No9

0.025g

 

No10

0.035g

 

No11

0.048g

 

   Note :  Continental styls from No12 to No20 are not

   legal to use in the UK

 

 

 

Pole Float Conversion Guide

 

Float Size

Weight

Equivalent

 

3 x 10

0.10g

2 x No10 shot

 

4 x 10

0.15g

3 x No9 shot

 

4 x 12

0.20g

5 x No10 shot

 

4 x 14

0.40g

6 x No8 shot

 

4 x 16

0.50g

8 x No8 shot

 

4 x 18

0.75g

3 x No3 shot

 

4 x 20

1.00g

4 x No3 shot

 

5 x 20

1.25g

5 x No3 shot

 

6 x 20

1.50g

6 x No3 shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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