All fishing shops and discount stores sells split shots, purchase the assortment pack that comes in a round case for a selection of sizes and weight. Split shots come in standard round once pinched on your line they can be difficult to pry open to remove or reusable which features tiny wings that you can pinch between the thumb and forefinger to remove or move on the line which we recommend to start out with.
Use the smallest hook possible to maintain the natural action of the live bait. Rigging minnows and leeches use a octopus hook size #4-#6-#8. Size #4 for larger minnows and night crawlers. Panfish use Aberdeen light wire hooks size #6-#8
This is about as basic as you can get on a rig. The nice thing is, you don’t have to retie any knots to change the sinker position on the line; just pinch it on and off. Fishing with the split shot rig is considered a finesse technique by adding a split shot sinker in front of your live bait offering, using line 4-8lb test on a light to medium light spinning rod and reel set-up. Unlike the other rigs mentioned Texas, Carolina and the sliding sinker rig that are primarily fished on the bottom, the split shot rig gently moves downward after a cast, until it reaches the bottom thus requiring patience to fish it correctly.
There is no wrong way to fish this rig, it is excellent for open water covering vertical structure, steep breaklines sloping banks and bluffs where fish suspend, it is also surprisingly good in light timber using a weedless hook and a light split shot where the weight isn’t heavy enough to pull it down into the branches. The split-shot rig is also effective around floating boat docks, where fish often hang under.
The placement of the split shot is more versatile and adjustable than most anglers think. The general consensus is position the split shot 18 inches above the hook, which gives the bait adequate freedom of movement. But by placing it closer to the bait like within a 12″ or less the bait will react more like a jig, giving a pronounced action. Conversely by placing the split shot 3 feet or more up the line will minimize the action of the live bait. As a finesse technique this will require the angler to keep alert while using this rig, watch the line after the cast for any subtle changes or sideway movement a twitch means you have a bite, upon engaging the reel beginning the retrieve keep the bait moving on a semi-tight line leaving a little slack. Avoid keeping the line too tight this will take away the natural presentation of the bait. If the slack in the line tightens or you feel a slight tick you have a bite, make a easy sweep upward to set the hook and keep the pressure on the fish.
- Rod: 6-6 to 7-0 foot-Light to Medium Light/ Medium Action Spinning
- Reel: Light Spinning balanced with the rod
- Line” 4-8 lb test monofilament
How to Rig
- Tie a hook on the line using a Improved Clinch Knot.
- Add split shot
Add a split shot in front of a floating crankbait or a rigged soft plastic bait. Different size shot change the lure’s sink rate and you can vary retrieve speeds to produce an enticing “up and down” action. Tie on your lure of choice, then add one or two split shot sinkers starting about 1 foot above the lure. The closer the weight is to the bait the more precise your casting will be. This finesse technique is used for shallow water or clear water fish that have been seeing a lot of action. To add depth to your lure for trolling add a split shot or for increased depth add a rubber core sinker.