Where do you place your split shot?

mporter012

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Hope everyone is surviving the heat waves across the country!

On your standard suspension indicator rig, what is typically taught is that you put your split shot ABOVE the lead fly. This always confused me early on (and I fished the opposite way for awhile!) but lead fly is just that - it’s the fly in the lead… so it’s the first one you tie on, and it’s the one following the split shot down. The split shot and the lead fly are close companions. Most anglers put their split shot above the lead fly, and then they tie their droppers from there, i.e. above the lead fly, so they are theoretically behind the other flies, and higher in the current. Pat Dorsey would teach that you put the larva on the lead, then a pupa, then an emerger…

Ok so that’s the standard indicator set-up. Without confusing everyone, you’re after the same outcomes with euro-nymping, but what you call the lead fly in an indicator system, is now the top fly, or the highest fly in a euro system. It’s confusing as hell if you just started fishing last week.

I’m wondering is if my understanding of this over the years is actually common practice. I know a guy that puts his split-shot on an indicator rig BETWEEN the lead fly and the second fly - and he says it’s deadly. He basically juse ties the two flies a bit further apart that most guys do in scenario 1 above. He’s thinking a bit more along the euro way of doing things, but he’s still using an indicator.

Anyway, it’s always insightful hearing how you guys skin the cat. Let me know your styles of nymping, and where you add weight, if at all.

Mark
 

Bigfly

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Now we're getting busy...
I add, split shot, above a knot 8" up from my top fly.
Lead fly is Misleading.
I like top, or anchor fly, to avoid confusion while teaching.
I add weight (putty) also between top and bottom fly.
No reason you can't put weight just between the two flies either.
Except I fish my heavy weight on the 3x tippet, not on my 4x dropper. We use more weight here and 4x bruises too easily.
And I like a taper in my weight as well....it casts better.
And I mean cast, not lob....
Wanted to mention....
The shot stopper knot is to prevent shot sliding down to the fly. Crushing a shot on the leader can cause a compromised leader.
I lost several large fish to a bruised leader...cut and retie if you see a cloudy spot.


Jim
 
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mtboiler

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I have not used split shot in years. Instead I use barrel swivels. Size 5 and 7 in the winter. 12 and 14 in the spring fall. Gives me the same weight as split shot, but also helps keep the flies from twisting up.
12 to 15 inches of tippet to my barrel swivel. Than flies go 18 to 24 inches below the swivel to my bottom fly. I use a tag end for the top fly.
No lobbing either.
 

mporter012

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Now we're getting busy...
I add, split shot, above a knot 8" up from my top fly.
Lead fly is Misleading.
I like top, or anchor fly, to avoid confusion while teaching.
I add weight (putty) also between top and bottom fly.
No reason you can't put weight just between the two flies either.
Except I fish my heavy weight on the 3x tippet, not on my 4x dropper. We use more weight here and 4x bruises too easily.
And I like a taper in my weight as well....it casts better.
And I mean cast, not lob....


Jim
I agree that lead fly can be misleading, I may start to use anchor when teaching. Can you use 3 flies in CA?
 

mporter012

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I have not used split shot in years. Instead I use barrel swivels. Size 5 and 7 in the winter. 12 and 14 in the spring fall. Gives me the same weight as split shot, but also helps keep the flies from twisting up.
12 to 15 inches of tippet to my barrel swivel. Than flies go 18 to 24 inches below the swivel to my bottom fly. I use a tag end for the top fly.
No lobbing either.
Does roll casting count as casting?? ;)🤐

interesting idea on the swivels
 

alfaromeo

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i really dont like squeezing shot onto the ,main line..i tie on a small dropper line were my tippet atc. to the leader..but i dont use it...
 
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trev

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I'm certainly confused by those terms, traditionally it's something like (going up)- river bottom, point fly/(anchor). 4th dropper, 3rd dropper, 2nd dropper, first dropper/(bob fly)/(top dropper) leader to line to rod
Or with three flies- point fly/anchor, middle dropper/(2nd dropper), top dropper/(bob fly)
Or, with two flies, the point and the dropper with dropper being nearest the rod.

For ease of communication, start nearest the rod with "1st dropper" then go "2nd dropper", "3rd dropper" etc. with the fly at distal end of the leader the "Point fly". (calling it "anchor" indicates it won't move)

Split shot or other weight can be applied any where and we will get different action by where we apply it. iirc, old school was to use a weighted fly on the point and unweighted flies for all the droppers, so that each fly was deeper in the water column than the previous one. However weight applied at or above the first dropper brings all the flies near the bottom, that might be the objective.

Personally, when I use shot I want it on the very end of a dropper or at the tippet end, so that when (not if) the shot gets hung up it will pull off rather than break off the whole rig. I usually build bottom flies so that shot is not needed. If I build a three fly rig, I might put a fly at the first dropper, only a shot on the 2nd dropper and the unweighted point fly, thus the shot can maintain bottom contact and the flies both be above the bottom by a bit.
 
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trev

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On a related note why do some states outlaw dropshoting?
I've only heard of that in Calif. and there only on some water, but the idea is to discourage snagging or grabbing of game fish. Having a heavy weight to keep the line tight below the hook gives the grab fisherman better control
 

eastfly66

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Way too complicated and confusing for me , let alone all the knot tying. It's much simpler to claim I'm a "Dry Fly Purest" or whatever you want to call it and be done with it. Less sh*t to stuff in my vest too......
 

WNCtroutstalker

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I rarely use shot. I just don't nymph much anymore (other than with a dry-dropper). But when I do fish a double nymph rig under an indicator, my preference is to use a heavy/tungsten nymph as the point/anchor/bottom fly. If I do add shot, I think the best place is at the bottom in a drop-shot set-up. I think that offers three advantages to placing the shot above or between the two flies: (1) it maintains the tightest connection (so many takes under indicators are never felt because of excess slack in the system); (2) tying on both nymphs as droppers gives them good movement; and (3) if you get stuck on the bottom, most times you lose just your shot and not your bottom, or both, flies.
 

dylar

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I rarely fish two subsurface flies at once anymore, but when I do, I typically place a larger shot 3-4" above the anchor/lead fly, and a shot half that weight the same distance above the trailing fly (ie if I have a BB pinched on above the anchor fly, I will place a #4 shot over the trailing fly). I primarily tightline on a standard leader setup (that is, not a euro/competition style leader system), but use the same shot distribution whether I am tightlining or suspension nymphing.
 

mporter012

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I've only heard of that in Calif. and there only on some water, but the idea is to discourage snagging or grabbing of game fish. Having a heavy weight to keep the line tight below the hook gives the grab fisherman better control
California is a state that is known for it’s logical laws :ROFLMAO:
 

mporter012

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Way too complicated and confusing for me , let alone all the knot tying. It's much simpler to claim I'm a "Dry Fly Purest" or whatever you want to call it and be done with it. Less sh*t to stuff in my vest too......
You sound like an elitist! ;)
 

mporter012

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I rarely fish two subsurface flies at once anymore, but when I do, I typically place a larger shot 3-4" above the anchor/lead fly, and a shot half that weight the same distance above the trailing fly (ie if I have a BB pinched on above the anchor fly, I will place a #4 shot over the trailing fly). I primarily tightline on a standard leader setup (that is, not a euro/competition style leader system), but use the same shot distribution whether I am tightlining or suspension nymphing.
This is how my uncle taught me to fish. It’s sort of how worm fishermen fish.
 

Acheron

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I put the split shot ~8-10" above the first/top fly normally. Have tried drop shotting and it works fine but old habits die hard so I don't use it very often. I also don't put weight between the flies.

I understand the confusion with the EN naming. That's what happens when something becomes mainstream. Marketing has to name things specific to that new thing, and thus we have things like point fly, among many many others.

In technology the same thing keeps happening too and once you get around the words and understand the actuals, then it's easy to understand.
 

mporter012

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I rarely use shot. I just don't nymph much anymore (other than with a dry-dropper). But when I do fish a double nymph rig under an indicator, my preference is to use a heavy/tungsten nymph as the point/anchor/bottom fly. If I do add shot, I think the best place is at the bottom in a drop-shot set-up. I think that offers three advantages to placing the shot above or between the two flies: (1) it maintains the tightest connection (so many takes under indicators are never felt because of excess slack in the system); (2) tying on both nymphs as droppers gives them good movement; and (3) if you get stuck on the bottom, most times you lose just your shot and not your bottom, or both, flies.
I like this Approach, I think one obvious advantage of using split shot, over a weighted anchor fly, is that you can fish as small a fly you want on that anchor, so if you are fishing a tailwater, this can come into play.
 

dylar

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I like this Approach, I think one obvious advantage of using split shot, over a weighted anchor fly, is that you can fish as small a fly you want on that anchor, so if you are fishing a tailwater, this can come into play.
Ialso have a preference for separating fly from weight to keep the fly itself off the bottom.
 
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