If you’re an angler who enjoys float fishing, chances are you have come across the term Stotz weights, but what are they, and how do they work in float fishing? That is what we are here to find out.
Join me as we dive into the world of Stotz and discuss what they are, why they are useful, how to use them, and the conversion charts that go with them.
What Are Stotz Weights?
Stotz weights are a form of hybrid split shot weights that you would use to add weight under your float to sink your bait and have your float sit properly on the surface.
They have the same properties as a normal round split shot with a wide groove cut down the middle. Still, their shape is an elongated rectangular cylinder, and those differences make using them more advantageous.
When Should I Use Stotz?
Stotz was primarily designed for the match fisherman to use when pole fishing. However, they are also used by coarse anglers for traditional float fishing, carp, and pleasure fishing anglers.
They are perfect for use when shotting heavier pole floats or for fishing with running line floats, such as wagglers and stick floats. They can also be used as an alternative to putty when you are fishing a boilie bait for carp and want to keep the bait balanced on the bottom.
Who Makes Stotz?
Preston Innovations are the manufacturer of Stotz. Preston is one of the foremost companies in the coarse, match, and carp fishing world and is based in the UK. They manufacture and supply all types of fishing tackle, including poles, accessories, and bait.
Zebco Brands acquired Preston in 2014, along with its brands Korum, Avid Carp, and Sonubaits.
Is Stotz The Same As Split Shot?
No, Stotz is different from the traditional split shot weights. They are one of three main types of fishing shot weights anglers can use:
Split shot – Traditional round or oval shape with a central groove or split.
Styl – Long and thin like a rod with a central split so they can be squeezed onto the line the same way as a split shot.
Stotz weights – They are a square or rectangular shape, slightly shorter and fatter than the styl weights.
They all have slits in the centre that allow you to clamp them down onto your line.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Stotz?
Yes, there are many advantages to using Stotz instead of normal shots or styles, but it depends on the angling situation. Here are the advantages that are worth being aware of:
Stotz Are More Secure
Stotz weights are said to be much more secure once attached to the line when compared to style weights and split shots. Many anglers say that thanks to the increased surface area of Stotz, they don’t fly off the line during the cast or when they hit a fishing pole.
However, they tend to slide on the line and sometimes require repositioning, especially if you continuously catch good size fish. This can be frustrating in a match-fishing scenario where time is of the essence. This issue is a trade-off between being able to move them easily versus sometimes spending a few seconds sliding them back where you want them.
Stotz Are Easier To Handle
Their shapes are square or rectangular and, therefore, much easier to handle and attach to your line using your hands or pliers.
If you have messed around with round split-shots in your time, you know how hard they are to handle, and you inevitably drop a few in the process of adding some to your line.
By having straight edges, they are much easier to hold onto and squeeze onto your line, and this is especially useful if you have older eyes like a lot of us!
Stotz Weights Are Easier To Put On Your Line
Stotz weights come with a much larger cut down the middle than other forms of shots, which gives it two advantages.
The first being it’s much easier to get the line into the cut when adding the weights to your line.
The second advantage is that you can use it for both large-diameter and small-diameter lines.
Stotz Weights Line Up Better
Their flat ends allow anglers to stack up much more neatly together on your line, and your rig, including the hooklength, will remain straight and neat. You will also get more accurate and longer casts with Stotz, in my experience.
Stotz Don’t Get Mistaken For Bait
If you are float fishing with hemp or tares as your bait in combination with a round split shot, you will often get false bites as the fish will mistake the round shot for the bait. This is rather infuriating as they should be trying to eat your bait, not your weights!
If you use Stot, this does not happen, as their shape doesn’t look anything like hemp or tares, so a bite will be a real bite.
Improved Bait Presentation
They also have the benefit of sinking your bait slower than shot, making it less intrusive and more natural to the surrounding fish.
How Do You Use Stotz?
Stotz is designed to be added on the line below your float to sink your bait and have your float sitting at the correct level on the water’s surface.
But where you add them and how many you add of them in particular sizes is the technical side of things, and it all depends on the size float you are using and how you want your bait to sink. In most cases, the general rule for positioning traditional split shots will also work with Stotz.
Just like with any pole float, you must add the correct weight under the float for it to sit properly on the water. This allows you to detect very subtle bites when set up correctly, and getting it right is a must.
Floats come in a range of sizes from 3 x 10 (small) to 6 x 20 (large), and the larger the float, the more weight it will need to sit properly on the water.
They come in various sizes from No1 to No13, No1 being the heaviest and No13 being the lightest. You will need to use a combination of different weights or a few of the same ones on the line under your float to make it sit right.
But you also have options for where to add your weights below the float depending on how you want your bait to sink in the water.
Float Weight (Grams)
Equivalent Split Shot
3 x 10
2 x No10 shot
4 x 10
3 x No9 shot
4 x 12
5 x No10 shot
4 x 14
6 x No8 shot
4 x 16
8 x No8 shot
4 x 18
3 x No3 shot
4 x 20
4 x No3 shot
5 x 20
5 x No3 shot
6 x 20
6 x No3 shot
Where To Add Your Stotz Weights And Why?
When adding weights to your line under your float, you have two choices regarding how you want your bait to be presented.
You can either put all the weights close to your hook, which will have your bait sink to your desired depth rapidly and get to the bottom quickly. Or, you can spread out the weights between the hook and the float for the bait to fall slowly. (also known as fishing on the drop).
How To Add Stotz To Your Line?
Adding Stotz to your line is easy as they come with a cut down the middle where the line is meant to go.
Simply take your preferred size weight with your hand or a pair of pliers, place the line in the cut, and squeeze the weight closed.
Make sure you squeeze it enough, so it stays on the line and doesn’t slip or fall off, but don’t squeeze it too tight and damage the weight, as you will change its shape and make it hard to remove from the line later.
How To Remove Stotz From Your Line?
Preston Stotz can be difficult for some anglers to remove from your line. To resolve this, Preston has developed a tool that can help easily remove Stotz for those with large fingers or those whose eyesight is imperfect.
The tool is called a “Stotta” and can also be used to add Stotz, remove them, or reposition them. The major benefit of using a Stotta is preventing line damage during the application.
What Are Stotz Made From?
All weights like Stotz were once made of lead in the UK as it is cheap, heavy, moldable, and sinks well. But, a lead shot weighing over 0.06 grams was banned in the UK in 1987 as birds were ingesting it along with gravel, causing a potential risk of getting lead poisoning.
Today, all fishing weights and other shots larger than 0.06 grams are made from non-toxic substances like tungsten or tin.
Stotz weights Size No 1, 4, and 6 are made from non-toxic material, and these dispensers and refill packs are grey in colour. The sizes 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 are in a red coloured dispenser.
If you are buying split shot in Europe, be careful when using them in the UK, as Europe and Ireland don’t have the same rules and regulations about lead as the UK.
Should I Switch To Stotz?
Switching from a normal split shot is a no-brainer, as it is a superior shot form. They are easier to handle, put on the line, stay on the line better, stack up more neatly, don’t get mistaken for bait, and work well for various line diameters.
Switching to Stotz weights is easy with all these benefits compared to round split-shot and styl shots.
Personally, I still use both as many situations require using both Stotz and split shot. The only downside of using them is that they are slightly more expensive to buy than traditional round split shot.
Thanks very much for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and have learned all you need to know about Stotz and how to use them. They are an excellent alternative form of split shot, and an easy switch to make.
Lastly, you can understand more about the pros and cons of the Ballabeni split shot, another option available for anglers.
Steve is a seasoned angler whose lifelong passion for fishing has not only shaped his personal life but also laid the foundation for Positive Fishing—a community where he and his team of dedicated fishing enthusiasts share their love for the sport. With an impressive repertoire of skills honed over five decades, Steve has mastered both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Steve holds a special place in his heart for the mighty Carp and the elusive Tench