Shotting a pole rig can be as easy or complicated as you choose to make it. But why do we actually need weights on the line and what do they actually do? This is something a lot of people take for granted without ever thinking about what they are trying to achieve. 

We are ultimately trying to present a hook bait as effectively as possible in varying depths and conditions. Shot allows us to get the hook bait down to the fish and keep it there. It provides much needed stability against wind, drift and tow. It also allows us to see a bite on a pole float and react to it quickly enough to hook the fish. 

We can alter the time it takes to get the hook bait down by the size and positioning of the shot. Shot helps to straighten your line and magnify bites. Without shot your hook bait will take forever to sink. You also wouldn’t know if a fish has taken your hook bait until it’s too late. 

Pole fishing is arguably the most precise and delicate way to present a hook bait to the fish. It’s definitely not just about choosing the right size and shape of pole float, however. You also need to know how to shot it correctly to get the optimum presentation. Different sizes of shot and where you position them on the line will greatly affect your catches. It’s an important piece of the puzzle to try and understand. Here’s my guide to some of the most common and effective shotting patterns, plus a few other details to get you thinking…