Just a short review on a small but really important item of tackle we all use on our pole rigs, Split Shot. I feel both have benefits over the other when used in different ways.
Over recent months after using Stotz’s for all my Commercial pole rigs over the last few years since they arrived in tackle shops, I’ve returned to split shot on most of the pole rigs I use now. Stotz’s are great for margin rigs where they make a nice neat bulk above your hook length and they are so much easier to put onto your line but when fishing a stung out bulk when fishing on commercials for F1’s and Carp but they do tend to move up and down the line a lot disturbing the presentation of the rig. When your really bagging in a match I don’t want to spend any time out of the water adjusting shot. I want my shot to stay in the right place.
This has led me to go back to split shot on these types of rig. I use Ballabeni split shot because its soft and cut nicely compared to cheaper types. I spend hours tying rigs, carefully putting on the shot on the mainline using my homemade rig board having inch markers on it. Doing it this way I find it easier to get the shot on the line, and lets be honest it’s hard to do! So do it at home when you have plenty of time in a room with good bright lighting. Having the line tensioned between two pins on a rig board enables me to get even no.11’s or 12 on the line. Something I find impossible doing on the bank. Applying the split shot this way enables me to get the shot on correctly and in the right place so the line is fully at the back of the gap in the shot before I close it up and they then all sit nicely on the line.
Some people say that when you pinch shot on to the line it damages it but I only think this is a problem if you move the shot after applying it to the line, I never move mine. Having tension on the line enables me get them on right and I pinch them on with a pair of Bull nosed pliers meaning I very rarely have a shot ping off when fishing. If a shot does come off I’ll put on a stotz because its quicker and easier to do on the bank and I make do with that for the rest of the match. But as I’ve said split shot are much better to use as they tend to stay on the line if applied correctly and don’t move up and down the line. Once they are on the rig they hardly ever move compared to Stotz’s.
So all my stung out rigs now have split shot on them but Stotz’s still have there use and I always use two no.8’s for my back shot above the pole float as they are easy to move along the line and don’t damage it.