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SENKOSAM

The almighty split shot

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Last year I was fishing with a friend in a bass factory known for numbers versus quality and my buddy was using some of my handpours in a way I wouldn't have imagined. Basically he put a small split shot on the line about a foot above the hook and let the lure sink in 10' between two weed beds. He worked the entire water column and even caught bass deadsticking on bottom. We anchored for an hour and caught 10 bass, between 13" to 3 lbs.

This year we fished a different lake and he used the ss right next to the hook and caught bass and pickerel in open water the same way as above, twitching it all the way down. Another angler I fish with said he had luck using the same sticks on a 1/16 oz. jigjead (hook exposed). I tried it two weeks ago and caught fish (all species) like on a grub and jig.

The light-weight presentations that caught bass, gave me an idea about the uses of split shot for sticks and other soft plastics and for different rigs. As you can see by the pictures, a split shot has been added to drop different baits faster, but not too fast. The sticks are tapered or Senko style and generally 4 1/4"

lighterstickrigs.jpg

Note the jig picture with the collar detached from the head and glued further back. Believe it or not, the weight of the leadhead is slightly different and slighty increased toward the center of the stick. Sometimes it's the little things that count! ::)

ssonjighookwithsaltedstick.jpgslidingssonEWGhook.jpgwackyrigwithjighook.jpg

When using a soft stick (one of the most fantastic designs of worm I've ever fished!), I've wondered about the amount of salt in a plastic versus the way I'm using the bait. Of course, I want an unsalted bait for C-rigs because it will be more buoyant than a Senko and glide higher behind the swivel/wt.

For super-slow falling sticks, salt is not needed because the wt. of the hook usually drags the bait down and in shallow water, the slower the better. Also, no salt for drop shot baits that should float horizontally at rest or when worked back to the boat.

Note: IMO, Speed is always something that can either enhance a presentation or kill it. Speed of retrieve is a given; the speed of a dropping lure should also be considered and controllable as should the depth you find the fish are feeding at. If bass are feeding 3' below the surface over 35', you've got to work the lure at that depth and at the speed they prefer!

Enter the almight split shot!

1. as you can see from the photo, a ss can be attached anyhwere on a hook and either super glued in place or allowed to slide to the rear of the hook. When it slides back on the cast, it center-weights the stick for a faster horizontal drop. If the stick is heavily salted, the drop is noticeabley faster even with a very light ss. When forward weighted, the line tie is to the top of the worm front and acts differently than whe T-rigged with the line through the front of the bait.

2. a slight split shot can be placed on the bend of a jig hook (minus the leadhead) and allow a weedless rig or one using an exposed hook. With unsalted plastic and braided line, the worm won't stay near the surface when worked jerk-style. That little bit of lead makes the worm act like a suspending minnow when twitched along a any depth you please.

3. A split shot above the line is similar to a C-rig and the action of the bait is different than with no ss and is not muted by a 1/2- 1 oz bullet weight that pulls the lure down fast.

4. For drop shotting*, it's much easier to use a light split shot in rocks and weeds than a heavier sinker. A light 1/16 oz bullet wt. can be substituted for the usual bell sinker or ss. I tie on a swivel below the weight to keep it on the line and adjust the length of the leader to the wt. by shortening the leader/ retying the swivel.

*Drop shotting represents a new way (for me) to keep that bait horizontal at a particular depth. I can work a nose hooked soft plastic at 3' as well as at 25' and chose the wt. depending on the cover.

5. My latest discovery is using the ss with a wacky rigged salted or unsalted stick and as I said, sometimes it's preferrable to speed up the drop as a way to provoke the reflex strike. I can even work the bait at one depth using a heavier ss, but usually go with a lighter wt. The photo shows the shot attached to a bare jig hook, but I recently used the shot on the line, 6"-12" from the lure, depending on depth.

With soft plastics, I believe the rate of drop to be one of the most important tools we have to enhance any sinking bait. In the hands of a good finesse angler (KVD has been placing in BASS tournaments using ligth wt and short worms), a drop shot bait can mean the difference between no fish and a limit. The Slider worm & Slider jig started the widespread use of light & short soft plastic worms and fly fishermen have been using the concept of super light/ forward weighted lures for centuries. The main comparison is the lightness of the lure, but also how much it can be tweeked heavier depending on the fish's mood.

Finally, know that there are as many lure styles and designs that have been used with the ss than Carter has pills. Here's a short list:

Zoom Fluke/ rat tail grub

Sweet Beaver and creature baits

3X baits

floating or suspending minnows

soft sticks (weedless, nose hooked, exposed hook)

1/32-1/16 oz.hair jigs

light spoons using a 4lb test leader

small tubes (2.5-3")

Fin S Fin (2") (nose hooked)

live bait

bobber fishing (ie. wacky rigged 3"stick or super-light hair jig with the ss up from from the bait)

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Nice.  Some good ideas here.

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Very cool stuff SENKOSAM. With bass fishing popularity at an all time high I believe small modifications to existing rigs are sometimes the way to go.

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Using a split shot and light line was the first thing I learned in dealing with the crystal clear waters of So. cal. in the 80's.

That split shot can be used in so many ways.

Matt.

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Splitshotting is one of my favorite ways to "wake up the bass",and I like 4" Senkos as well as other finese type baits in that situation.Those are some very interesting ideas you have there.I'll have to try 'em out!

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Thanks guys.

Refer back to the post ever so often because I edit when new ideas come.

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Dang ! another of my secret weapons and rigging techniques gets disclosed.  :'(

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That is kind of the same idea as the VMC bugeye hooks. I think yours is better for a few reasons though. First, your idea allows you to move the weight around to different parts of the hook, where VMC's is stationary. The other thing is that splitshot weights are CHEAP, and that is when you are talking my language. When you can catch more fish for less money, count me in.

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allows you to move the weight around to different parts of the hook,

Exactly! And if I'm using Gammie EWG hooks that are made from a thin wire, I need the extra weight getting soft plastics to fall a certain way. Again, if someone wants to semi-permanently attach a split shot to the hook, a drop of super glue keeps it in place. To change baits, you have to push the eye into the front of the plastic and then hook weedless the usual way. The glued sinker can be pried off with a pair of pliers.

Weighted hooks are very pricey plus I can't find 1/32 oz., long-shank jigheads for my 4 1/4" tapered sticks. Ss solves the problem because my local Gander Mt. sells jig hooks in different sizes and I can order lead ss from BPS. (Can't buy lead ss in NY).

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i use a split shot rig for my young son and he does really well with it.  so well in fact that it worked its way up into a part of my arsenal as well.

how comforatable are you guys pinching a split shot on mono or floro line.  ive broken fish off and it always worries me

matt

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I like splitshots for minature carolina rigs for finesse worms or tubes.  They also do good at pegging bullet weights and getting a few extra inches out of crankbaits.

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i use a split shot rig for my young son and he does really well with it. so well in fact that it worked its way up into a part of my arsenal as well.

how comforatable are you guys pinching a split shot on mono or floro line. ive broken fish off and it always worries me

matt

I'm not comfortable with it at all.  I just pinch them on loosly and sometimes they will slide on the line or fall off.  I just fix it or put another one on.  I never really crimp down a splitshot onto my line for fear of the one time a 10lb bass would hit my 4" finesse worm.

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i use a split shot rig for my young son and he does really well with it. so well in fact that it worked its way up into a part of my arsenal as well.

how comforatable are you guys pinching a split shot on mono or floro line. ive broken fish off and it always worries me

matt

I'm not comfortable with it at all. I just pinch them on loosly and sometimes they will slide on the line or fall off. I just fix it or put another one on. I never really crimp down a splitshot onto my line for fear of the one time a 10lb bass would hit my 4" finesse worm.

Wouldn't spli-shots sliding on the line damage the line even more??  I've been wondering the same thing about split-shots....

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Guest the_muddy_man

Thank You Sam I just started fishin Sneko this year didnt even occur to me even tough a couple of thos rigs i am already using with Jelly Worms  Thank You Much

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Excellent, excellent post!

Like The_Muddy_Man I just started fishing plastic worms this year and these are some really good ideas.  Was on the water this AM tossing some senkos and robos.  Have been using the "screw in" bullet weights, but, like the idea of using the SS.  If lucky will give it a try tomorrow!   8-)

Eddie

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im not sure what the safest bet is.  the last time i fished a split shot clamped on a mono i broke off a nice bass on the hookset when i was swimming 10 in worms through some heavy grass.  since then i tie a leader with a back to back uni and put the splitshot on a braid main line.  this is a pain to set up and takes a lot of the versatility out of the ss rig.  sometimes i just use braid but for me ss is a finesse technique and i like floro, mono or some sort of hybrid line attached to the bait.

matt

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