How I put split shot on fishing line

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Split shot on fishing line

Split shot is easy to put on fishing line. Put the line in the split and squeeze the shot to close it around the line. To avoid damaging the line, I use an old idea which works with non-toxic shots.

It’s useful to be able to easily move shots to adjust depth and presentation when float fishing. Non-toxic shots are quite hard and have a reputation for damaging the line. After much trial and error. I found an old method I used to use with lead shots, which works well with modern no-toxic split shots.

Please be aware, I only use monofilament main line and hook links. Assume the method I’m about to describe does not work with other types of fishing line.

Split shot damage line

I believe fishing line is most damaged when shots are first squeezing on. The line inside the shot is flattened causing a weak spot. My method is to add the shot to the end of the line, then slide them along the line away from the flattened weak spot. But the problem with non-toxic shot, is that they don’t want to slide.

Split shot closed

The solution is to close the shot tightly and completely down on the line with pincers or pliers. Then forcibly slide the shot back and forth over the flattened section. As the shot bumps between the flattened spot and the full thickness line, it is opened slightly and the inside of the split becomes burnished. After a few passes the shot opens enough to slide, yet retain a good grip. On occasions the shots grip a bit too much, tease them open slightly with an edge.

Once the float locking shot and any additional shot are on the line. Cut off and safely dispose of the damaged end.

Monofilament line

I have used this method on monofilament main lines from 2½lb (0.16mm) to 4½lb (0.20mm) with non-toxic double cut shots from No.6 to Swan shot. On lighter line and hook links, I use either standard micro shots, or stotz.


Stotz are designed not to damage the line. Pick up and gently close them with a stotta tool. I find they do so little damage to the line that I feel safe to use them directly on a hook link. If I want to use micro shot, usually no.8’s or No.10’s, I try to always put them on using the same method as non-toxic shot.

Stotz shot

I have only use this method with monofilament fishing line, because that’s what I use for my float fishing. So please don’t assume it works with anything else.

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