Complete Guide To Using A Fishing Split Shot

split shot, how to use a split shot

Please note that some of my articles contain pictures of the products that I write about.  By clicking on them you will be redirected to my affiliate links where you can purchase the reviewed product.  I typically get a small commission off any purchases which helps keep my site growing!

The Need To Use A Split Shot When Fishing


How can it be that something so small can make such a difference in a fishing rig?  Have too heavy of one and you’re not going to see your cork/bobber

Too light of one or none at all and your bait will take forever to sink, and you won’t know when you’re fishing on bottom!


What is a Fishing Split Shot?


A split shot is bead shaped weight made of lead that attaches to your line typically a few inches above your hook and under your cork.  

One end has an open mouth allowing the line to be ran within it.  Pliers are then used to crimp the soft lead down creating a seamless bond to the line.


What Function Does A Split Shot Serve?


While not evident at first, a split shot can make or break your day if you forget them at home.  I’ve found myself arriving at a lake, tearing my boat apart to look for them, and then reloading it and driving to the nearest bait shop to pick up a pack!

The first thing a split shot does is add necessary weight to balance your cork and keep it upright.  Here is where it serves you well to have multiple sized split shots in your tackle box.  If you use too large of a split shot, it will cause your cork to sink in the water rendering it useless!

Use too light of a split shot, and that same cork will stay laid over on its side leaving you wondering if it’s due to the weight, or that your hook may be dragging the bottom.

Also using too light of a split shot means shorter distances on your casts so try to find the perfect medium where you can reach your casting distance and keep your cork working optimally!  


The Consequences Of Not Using A Split Shot


While you face all the consequences of using a light split shot, using no split shot will decrease your fish catches even more so!  The weight performs the additional important task of pulling your bait down quicker to its desired depth.

Without it, your bait could dangle up in the waves or sink very slowly causing you to miss getting down there to those fish!


The Two Main Types Of Split Shots


When it comes to split shots, the two most common types are:

  1. Fixed Split Shots
  2. Removeable Split Shots


Fixed Split Shots

*Affiliate Images Below*


are BB shaped and easy to use.  They can be purchased in bulk packaging ranging in sizes and really cheap!  I will use these as a backup to the Removable Split Shots when unavailable.



Removeable Split Shots

The removeable split shots are the best of all worlds!  With the addition of what looks like a duck’s bill on the back they can easily be removed with a pair of pliers saving you money when you no longer desire the weight, whereas with the BB fixed style you’re pretty much only use for the lead will be to recycle it.




If you’ll notice this article is short and to the point, which exactly what the description of what a split shot is.  It works like a chain link, if the link is strong your rig will work just fine.  If it’s weak, then you’re asking for trouble!

Leave a Reply