Hi, How Can We Help You?

Blog

Fly Fishing Split Shot – Best Picks

When it comes to nymphing or fishing subsurface flies, split shot comes in very handy. These small weights will get your flies down to the trouts zone. Weighted flies can do this as well, but split shots can get you even deeper.

Using the right amount of split shot is the difference between catching fish and getting skunked. As you fly fish more and more, you will become better at reading water and selecting the right amount of split shot. I like to think of this as a “6th sense” that comes with practice. A great nympher can look at a run and know exactly how much weight to use.

Split shots come in different sizes for different fishing situations. If you are nymphing a shallower hole, less split shot is needed. Deeper holes, however, may require 2 or 3 large split shots. This article will cover my favorite split shots currently on the market.

The main differences in split shot material is lead vs tin. Lead shots are cheaper and heavier, but they’re bad for the river since they’re toxic. Tin shots are more expensive and lighter, but they’re non toxic – which is great – and less harmful to rivers.

Dinsmore 5 Container Stealth Split Shot

These are by far my favorite split shots. First of all, they are tin – which is much better for not polluting our rivers. If you lose one of these on the bottom, it isn’t as bad as a lead shot. Second, they are painted in stealthy colors. Shiny weights can spook trout, especially on technical tailwaters. These just look like a small pebble tumbling downstream, and trout won’t care or get spooked. Third, the packaging is top notch and the dispenser is very easy to use.

These are removable since they have a divot in the center. By using your forceps, you can remove and reuse them pretty easily.

Despite all these benefits, Dinsmores are one of the most expensive split shots out there. Frugal anglers will probably not want to get these, and I understand. They are definitely a premium product that isn’t easy on the wallet.

Water Gremlins Split Shot

I have a love/hate relationship with Water Gremlins. They are priced much better than Dinsmores, they sink fast, and they are removable. Using these split shots is super convenient, and they can get flies down even in the deepest of runs. The problem is that they are made of lead. Lead is bad for rivers and lakes, and it pollutes the environment. I don’t think using it is super ethical, but it does work well.

For fly anglers on a budget who want an “easy to use” split shot, Water Gremlins are worth checking out. I prefer the B and BB sizes for trout fishing since they are nice and small. The “wings” allow you to remove them easily, which is a great feature.

Super Doux Split Shot

These are great little weights that are easy to use. The yellow container is the micro-split shot – sizes BB, 1, 4, and 6. The orange container is the larger split shot – sizes AAA, AA, BB, and 1. There is some crossover with these containers, so they’re not completely different from one another.

Super Doux’s are not easily removable, so they can’t be reused like Dinsmores or Gremlins. Once you take them off your leader, they are wrecked and should be thrown away. They are also made of lead, so take note of that before purchasing. The yellow container option is great for lightweight nymphing in shallower runs. It is one of my favorite split shots for low and clear rivers where you have to be stealthy.

The Super Doux’s definitely have a place in my fishing pack, and they come in handy for certain situations.

Loon Outdoors Camo Drops Split Shot

Similar to Dinsmores, these tin camo weights are stealthy and non toxic. Loon also includes 8 different sizes, so you are covered in pretty much any nymphing situation. These aren’t very easy to remove, since they are shaped round like the Super Doux split shots. The Loon Outdoors Camo Drops are also quite pricey! They are definitely a premium split shot for the serious angler.

I really like the packaging of these, as it is basically the same as the Dinsmores (but with 3 additional sizes). For anglers looking for a stealthy, non toxic weight option, the Camo Drops are worth a look.

Orvis Split Shot

These tin, non toxic split shots are another great option. It isn’t a multi pack, it comes in a single size which you must select before purchasing. The available sizes are 1, 4, 6, AB and BB. If you tend to stick with one split shot size and you need a lot of them, the Orvis split shots are a good choice. For anglers who like several split shot sizes, it probably isn’t the best option. This is technically a refill pack if you run out of a certain size.

These are pricey just like most tin split shots, but they are well worth it in my opinion.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that split shots come in super handy. Learning how to use them effectively will make you a great nympher. Even if you prefer weighted flies, split shots are still necessary for the deepest runs and pools.

Try out different split shots and see what works for you. It takes awhile to develop these types of preferences. Depending on where and how you fish, you may prefer one brand over another. I highly recommend tin split shots as our rivers are getting more use and more pressure. By using non toxic weights, we can reduce our harm in Colorado rivers, and other states as well. Although they cost more, it is a small cost to pay – to stop using lead in our fly fishing rigs.