Fly Fishing Split Shot Approach - Introduction

December 10, 2021 Fishing Guides Views: 918

The fly fishing split shot approach allows anglers to make their fly pattern sink faster during fishing to catch more fish. The split shot is a rounded object made from metal that adds significant weight to the tippet for a quicker sinking, thus reaching the feeding zone faster. 

What is Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a technique of angling or catching fish wherein the angler casts an artificial fly to trick fish. The "flies" are usually made with feathers, hair, and other synthetic materials with sizes ranging from as small as a rice grain to ten inches. 

Imitating small insects enable the angler to deceive fishes with what they otherwise consume for natural food. This method of fishing is considered by many as the most difficult technique of the sport because it requires finesse as the fly must settle on the water with extreme gentleness to avoid scaring the fish away. 

With the degree of difficulty comes the satisfaction of catching fish using this method. Fly fishing is considered a very adventurous sport as most devotees walk and hike before arriving at their fishing location. 

Using a Split Shot

There are basically three main ways of fly fishing: dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing. 

Dry fly fishing casts the fly pattern on the surface; nymphing, on the other hand, lets the fly sink on the water; streamer fishing is the utilization of the largest flies in the angler's arsenal to bait the bigger fishes. 

Using a split shot typically falls under the nymphing technique as the split shot adds weight to the tippet or leader for a quicker sinking. In a way, the split shot is the fly fishing's version of car spoilers!

Split shots come in varying weights to allow anglers to choose their preference depending on the depth they want to achieve. 

How to Arrange a Two Fly Split Shot Rig  

  • Set up a leader with the same length as your fly rod
  • Place 24 inches of a 5x tippet and attach a fly.
  • Add 12 or 14 inches of 5x or 6x tippet from the hook bend of the first bait and tie another fly
  • Place 2 to 3 split shots with the same length as the distance of the first two flies. 

Anglers usually use a greater number of shots when fishing in deeper bodies of water and use fewer shots in shallower waters. 

Split Shots vs. Weighted Flies

Some wonder why people prefer using split shots over flies with weights. The answer is quite simple: convenience.

Even though weighted flies minimize the number of extra accessories or "junk" when fishing, it is always easier to simply add split shots on your leader when wanting more depth instead of changing the whole fly completely when trying to go deeper or shallower. Competing anglers are the usual devotees of weighted flies because they can't afford to add more weight to their fly lines. 

Conclusion

Using the fly fishing split shot approach is a convenient technique anglers use to fluidly sink their flies faster and quickly catch more fish. So the next time you're in the nymphing action, try bringing split shots and use them for a faster sinking action!

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