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Sinkers, called weights by some, allow a fishermen to present a bait or lure deeper in the water than if no weight were used. There are different kinds of sinkers, and all have different applications. Split shot are small, round lead balls with a slot cut about halfway through. Originally made from lead shotgun pellets, split shot range from BB size to pea size. You use a split shot by pinching it directly onto your fishing line with your fingers or pliers, generally about a foot or so above your hook or lure.
Split shot are ideal sinkers because of their versatility. They are easy to put on your line, so you can add or remove them in seconds. And because they're so small and come in different sizes, you can always find the perfect combination (by adding multiple split shot to your line) to put your bait or lure exactly where you want it. For example, when fishing a trout stream with worms, you need just the right amount of weight to keep your bait bouncing naturally along the bottom. Too little weight and the worm will rush downstream close to the surface; too much weight and the worm will just sit in one spot. With split shot, you can easily find the right amount of weight to keep that worm moving around down where trout will see it. Because water depth and current speed vary tremendously throughout the length of a stream, the angler can quickly adjust the number of split shot for each situation: one or two small split shot for shallow riffles, two or three large split shot for deep pools, and so on.
Some split shotand to me, the only kind worth buyingcome with a pair of small tabs on the opposite side from the line slot. Squeezing the tabs together opens the jaws and allows you to remove the split shot from your line quickly and easily; then, you can reuse it later. You can buy split shot in small sealable plastic bags or, again my choice, in a palm-sized plastic dispenser that holds four different sizes of split shot.
Standard split shot (top) and removable split shot (bottom).
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