GUIDE TO SHOT

GUIDE TO SHOT

by Angling Times |

Do you know the difference between a split-shot and a styl? And why do anglers have to use non-toxic shot? Here’s our in-depth guide...

WHY NON TOXIC SHOT?

THE use of all fishing lead larger than size 8 (0.06g) split-shot up to 1oz (28.35g) leger bombs was outlawed by the British government in January 1987 following concern that increasing numbers of swans were dying of lead poisoning.

X-rays revealed that birds had ingested quantities of discarded fishing and shooting lead shot along with the gravel they naturally swallow as an aid to grind up and digest the fibrous aquatic plants they feed on.

Banned lead shot was replaced by non-toxic substitutes based on lead-free metals like tin.

It is still legal to use lead ‘dust’ shot in fishing but only in size 8 down to micro size 13. These tiny shot are still toxic so make sure you use spill-proof containers on the bank and always take unwanted shot home for disposal.

It is also legal to use bombs/ leger weights weighing more than 1oz (28.35g) because birds will not pick up and swallow such large objects.

ROUND

● Care should be taken when buying split-shot on holiday abroad (including the Irish Republic) and innocently bringing it back to the UK – it could well be illegal lead.

● Care should also be taken when using old split-shot bought from car boot sales, or retrieved from the attics or garages of friends or relations.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act there is no legal defence if you’re caught using lead shot in prohibited sizes. In court, you can be fined up to a maximum £5,000 and risk the confiscation of any equipment involved.

TYPES OF SHOT

SHOTS
These Stotz weights look like shorter, fatter styl weights and are becoming more popular in the UK

FISHING shot comes in many different shapes. In the UK, round split-shot is most commonly used, though this can be sprayed different colours or ‘double cut’ where a deep slit takes the line and a smaller cut on the opposite side allows the shot to be opened and closed easier.

These Stotz weights look like shorter, fatter styl weights and are becoming more popular in the UK

These Stotz weights look like shorter, fatter styl weights and are becoming more popular in the UK

Split-shot specialists Dinsmores sell egg-shaped shot and even hand-held Auto-Shot machines that cut a slot in a legal No8, No10 or No11 lead shot. These locate the line in the slot and then squeeze the tiny weight in place.

Another less popular type of shot is the styl generally favoured by continental pole anglers.

Whereas split-shot are generally round or egg-shaped, the styl is long and thin like a rod with a central split so they can be squeezed on to the line in the same way as a split-shot. Some match anglers argue that styls allow a bait to fall slower through the water. Styl weights differ in weight from UK split-shot sizes.

This can cause confusion because the shotting capacity of many modern pole floats on sale in Britain are expressed in styl weights – e.g. 4x8, or 4x14. (See pole float conversion guide, right, to turn them into equivalent UK split-shot sizes.)

A shorter, fatter type of styl is called a Stotz and is successfully marketed in Britain by Preston Innovations. Many commercial carp pool anglers claim Stotz don’t ‘ping’ off their pole rig line as easily as split shot because of the increased surface area that grips the mono. Stotz are sold in UK sizes 8 to 11.

CONTINENTAL STYL WEIGHTS

(Note: The higher the number, the larger the shot)

No7 =0.01g

No8 = 0.017g

No9 = 0.025g

No10 = 0.035g

No11 = 0.048g

Continental lead styls from No12 to No20 are all illegal in this country.

POLE FLOAT CONVERSION GUIDE

3x10 = 0.10g (2 x No10 shot)

4x10 = 0.15g (3 x No9 shot)

4x12 = 0.2g (5x No10 shot)

4x14 = 0.4g (6 x No8 shot)

4x16 = 0.5g (8x No8 shot)

4x18 = 0.75g (3 x No3 shot)

4x20 = 1g (4 x No3 shot)

5x20 = 1.25g (5 x No3 shot)

6x20 = 1.5g (6 x No3 shot)

UK SPLIT-SHOT WEIGHTS

Non-toxic shot

3SSG = 6 x AAA shot (4.8g)

2SSG = 4 x AAA shot (3.2g)

LG = (3g)

LSG = (2g)

SSG = 2 x AAA shot (1.6g)

AAA = 2 x BB shot (0.8g)

AB = 2 x No1 shot (0.6g)

BB = 2 x No4 shot (0.4g)

No1 = 3 x No6 shot (0.3g)

No3 = 2 x No6 shot ((0.25g)

No4 = 3 x No9 shot (0.2g)

No5 = 2 x No8 shot (0.15g)

No6 = 2 x No10 shot (0.1g)

Legal lead ‘dust/micro’ shot

(Note: The higher the number, the smaller the shot)

No8 = (0.06g)

No9 = (0.05g)

No10 =(0.04g)

No11 = (0.03g)

No12 = (0.02g)

No13 = (0.01g)

UK SPLIT-SHOT WEIGHTS

Non-toxic shot

3SSG = 6 x AAA shot (4.8g)

2SSG = 4 x AAA shot (3.2g)

LG = (3g)

LSG = (2g)

SSG = 2 x AAA shot (1.6g)

AAA = 2 x BB shot (0.8g)

AB = 2 x No1 shot (0.6g)

BB = 2 x No4 shot (0.4g)

No1 = 3 x No6 shot (0.3g)

No3 = 2 x No6 shot ((0.25g)

No4 = 3 x No9 shot (0.2g)

No5 = 2 x No8 shot (0.15g)

No6 = 2 x No10 shot (0.1g)

Legal lead ‘dust/micro’ shot

(Note: The higher the number, the smaller the shot)

No8 = (0.06g)

No9 = (0.05g)

No10 =(0.04g)

No11 = (0.03g)

No12 = (0.02g)

No13 = (0.01g)

Split-shot from No8 and smaller is lead. All others to 1oz is non-toxic material
Split-shot from No8 and smaller is lead. All others to 1oz is non-toxic material
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