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At a Glance: Fly Terminal Tackle

Fly fishing tackle, in this sense, primarily are weights for leader and tippet. Many flyfishers use split shot or putty-style soft weight on the tippet to sink wet flies, nymphs, and sometimes streamers when they need to get deeper in the water column. Fly anglers adjust the weight to the run or pool depth fished, from the head to the tail out, or when fly fishing still water. Sometimes it takes just one small shot on the entire fly line rig to make the difference between not hooking fish to catching many during the outing. Constantly adjusting weights as the water depth varies is easy with this method and increases the likelihood of success during the excursion.

Most weights are lead (banned in some areas and states), tin, or tungsten. Designs vary a bit but are all similar as the shot is “split,” the tippet inserted and crimped shut with pliers or forceps. Some fly rod anglers prefer using putty-type soft weight (tungsten particles mixed in a putty material) squeezed onto the tippet. This newer type of weight has become popular in that tiny amounts can be used and adjusted quickly to the water depth by pinching a bit more onto the tippet. Another scenario for tungsten putty is when you're fishing unweighted wet flies close to the water surface, but the fish are feeding on emerging insects a bit deeper. To reach them, pinch a tiny amount of soft weight onto the tippet, and your fly sinks just a couple of inches deeper into the feeding zone.

FishUSA stocks split shot and soft weight from Blackbird, Dinsmores, Eco Pro, Loon Outdoors (soft weight), Raven, Sure Shot, Water Gremlin, and Orvis (soft weight). Whatever your needs are in a split shot or soft weight, FishUSA has you covered!