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The Shot-Gun: Split Shot Alternative

Posted on November 02 2015

The Shot-Gun Fishing Sinker System.
The ‘Shot-Gun’ sinker system. Photos: Kyle Shea.

Every once in a while, a product comes around that changes the way we think about fly fishing tackle. The ‘Shot-Gun’ is one of those products.

The Shot-Gun is a fishing sinker device that replaces the use of conventional split shot. We were really impressed when we first saw it in action, and after spending some time with it ourselves, we decided it was time to tell you about it.


It’s often said that the difference between catching fish, and not catching fish, is one split shot. Delivering a fly to the right depth is extremely important, and whether we like it or not, split shot usually the best way to do that.

However, while effective, there are some drawbacks to fishing with conventional split shot attached directly to your leader, such as:

  • Leader Damage: Crimping split shot directly to your leader can cause significant leader damage, often times making the weakest connection of your rig.
  • Adjustability: Once split shot is attached, the weight is not easily adjusted without removing entirely and re-attaching.
  • Hang-Ups: Split shot is known to snag easily when nymphing in heavy cover.
  • Easy to Lose: We’ve all been there. Split shot is bucked off all the time while fly casting, unfortunately leaving an unnecessary amount of lead in the river.
  • Lead Bans: More and more states are outlawing lead split shot and sinkers. Split shot and other sinkers made from less toxic materials are bing made as well (such as tin), but are not nearly as dense as lead.

The Shot-Gun solves literally all these issues by attaching non-toxic tungsten beads to your leader that can be easily adjusted and causes virtually no damage to the leader in the process. The tungsten alloy used is also said to be over 65% heavier, meaning a little bit goes a long way. Plus, the tungsten beads can be recycled over and over again no matter how many times you use them.

How It Works

The Shot-Gun system is extremely simple to use. Just check out the steps below.

The Shot-Gun Fishing Sinker System.
Step 1: Cut a small piece of tubing (included) and slide onto leader.
The Shot-Gun Fishing Sinker System.
Step 2: Insert tip of Shot-Gun into tubing and squeeze trigger to inject desired amount tungsten shot into tubing.
The Shot-Gun Fishing Sinker System.
Step 3: Slide weight to desired spot on the leader and voila! Go fishing.
The Shot-Gun Fishing Sinker System.
Step 4: Done with the weight? Simply recycle tungsten beads back into the Shot-Gun.


We think the Shot-Gun system is a pretty clever way to solve some of the age old problems with conventional split shot. For those fishing in areas where lead shot is no longer allowed, we think it’s a no brainer. However, whether lead is allowed on your waters or not, we found the Shot-Gun to be far more versatile than any split shot, putty, or any other sinker system we’ve tried.

The entire Shot-Gun kit, with shot and tubing included, retails for $29.99. For more information, check it out on their website, here.

Here’s our product review policy and FTC disclosure.

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