Split Shotting for Trout

Split Shotting for Trout

Stocked Rainbow Trout Limit

When stocked trout are finicky it’s time to bump down your line size and go super-finesse. In this case there is no better technique than split shotting a trout worm. Split shotting is extremely simple but there are a few ways you can upgrade your gear to maximize the efficiency of the rig. Get ready to learn the ins and outs of split shotting for trout and land limits fast!

Locating Fish

If you are able to visually locate trout this technique can be extremely deadly. In late fall through the winter season trout will post up near the shallows, making them very easy to target since you can easily reach them from shore.

Early in the morning is when they will be in the shallowest waters, slowly moving out to deeper water as the sun rises. With this being said, head out as early as possible for the best chances at targeting the shallow fish.

The Right Gear for Split Shotting

You’ll want an ultralight rod with an extremely soft tip for this technique. During the retrieve you will be constantly shaking the rod tip so a longer, more limber rod will put less strain on your wrist.

If you are willing to spend the money on a lighter, higher quality ultralight you will definitely not regret your decision in the long run. After all, you truly get what you pay for!

A Proper Split Shotting Rod

Trust my personal experience on this one – These are the best trout rods you can buy, period. Lifetime warranty and over-the-counter exchanges with no questions asked. Worth every penny.

  • Phenix Dragon Fly 8’ Fast (DFX-801)
  • Phenix Mirage 7’11” Moderate (MF711-2)
  • Phenix Elixir 8’ Fast (FX802-2)

These are cheaper alternatives that will still get the job done just right.

  • Shakespeare Wild Series Trout Combo
  • Daiwa Presso 8’ Fast (PSO802ULFS)

“Reel” Small

Luckily the reel doesn’t have to be too expensive since your drag is set very loose and there is barely any strain on the reel during the fight. However, there are still a few reels worth spending the money on that will last you a lifetime without any issues.

  • Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 1000
  • Daiwa Procyon EX 1000
  • Daiwa Ballistic EX 1000

Here are some cheaper alternatives that don’t lack in quality.

  • Shimano Symetre FL 1000
  • Daiwa Revros 1000
  • Pfleuger Trion 20X

Spooling Your Reel

It is very important to use light line for split shotting. This is because the lighter line gives your worm maximum floating abilities and it’s easier to tie a Palomar Knot with the extremely small hooks you will be using. Here are a few options that have worked wonders for me.

  • 2lb Izorline
  • 2lb Maxima Ultragreen
  • 2lb Trilene XL

Terminal Tackle & Rigging

Here’s what you’ll need for your split shot rig. Super easy!

  • Split Shot Weights #2-5
  • Size 12 S10 Standard Down Eye Executive Series Fly Hook (should come in a bulk pack of 25)
  • Lip Ripperz Trout Wormz
    • Chartreuse Shine
    • Sherbert
    • Banana Split

Putting It All Together

You’re probably wondering how the hell you thread your worm onto that tiny hook! There’s a method that takes some practice but allows you to get your hook past the middle of the worm for a much better hookup ratio.

  1. Tie your Gamakatsu S10 Standard Down Eye directly onto your 2lb main line.
  2. Clamp a split shot or two (enough to cast decently) about 3ft from your hook.
  3. Thread the worm onto the hook and use a push and pull motion to get the hook through. the worm without ripping it. If this is too difficult go ahead and slide the hook on near the head of the worm – you can still land fish this way.

Fishing The Split Shot Rig

Finally done rigging! Time to head out there and smash some trout face.

  1. If you can see fish cruising cast ahead of them
  2. Right after your split shot hits bottom begin a rhythmic twitching motion with your rod tip
  3. As you’re twitching, slowly reel in slack line
  4. The twitching speed is up to you – if you see fish following your worm you can slow down and then speed up to throw them off guard and entice a strike.

When you get a bite do not set the hook hard. Simply reel as fast as you can and the hook will do the rest for you. Setting hook normally may rip the hook out of their mouth.

That’s all there is to it! This technique has been an absolute trout destroyer in my area. Let me know how it works for you and feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Thanks guys! Tight lines.



    • Thank you John! I also use a swivel when experiencing line twist throughout the trip or when I’m using a tiny bullet/egg weight to counteract heavier wind. Thank you for reminding me of this tip, I’ll be sure to add it into the article.

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