Float weights explained

Which types to use for the ultimate bite detection

Float weights explained

by Angling Times |

That’s the difference between split shot, Stotz, styls and olivettes? Surely a weight is just a weight, after all?

The truth is, traditional split shot serve the needs of most anglers perfectly adequately, cocking a float in such a manner that bites are registered accurately and efficiently.

The other types of weight have been developed in line with the changing face of fishing over the past few decades, with Stotz being favoured by commercial match anglers targeting big weights of carp, and olivettes replacing the need for specimen anglers to pinch a large chain of bulk shot onto the line to cock the larger floats they use when targeting barbel and chub in fast-running, deep and powerful rivers.

Read our brief guide about the five main types of float fishing weights listed here to see if you could make the switch and improve your own bite detection.

Split shot

Round shape and the most common type of weight for use on float rigs. Normally black in colour, but can be green, grey or silver. Available in a wide range of sizes from micro No13 (weighing 0.01g) to 3SSG (4.8g).

Split shot
Split shot

Stotz

Originally created by Preston Innovations, Stotz are a shorter, fatter version of a styl for use on the heavy lines used on commercial carp rigs. Available in sizes 8-13. Preston also sell a ‘Stotta’ tool to apply and remove Stotz.

Stotz
Stotz

Olivette

Once used exclusively by matchmen, these small but dense weights are also favoured by specimen anglers for trotting bigger floats. They get the hookbait down to the bottom quickly in deep swims. There are inline types and versions with silicone sleeves for attachment (shown).

Olivette
Olivette

Styl

The styl is a form of long, thin split shot with a groove along its length that’s used extensively by continental pole anglers. In recent years Stotz have overtaken styls in terms of popularity, but they certainly still have a place in many tackle boxes.

Styl
Styl

Egg shot

A type of split shot though egg-shaped, rather than round. These shot should be fished with the slightly fatter, heavier end down. They’re also easy to open.

Egg shot
Egg shot

TOP TIP

A common mistake many pole anglers make is to leave too much float tip showing, making it harder for the fish to pull under, and meaning shy-biting species such as crucians and roach will feel the added resistance and spit the bait out. Adding enough shot so that only a tiny part of the tip is showing reduces any resistance the fish feel, and the best way to achieve this is to shot your rig so that adding one more small No8 shot will cause it to sink.

A common mistake many pole anglers make is to leave too much float tip showing
A common mistake many pole anglers make is to leave too much float tip showing
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