Split Shot Size Conversion
Ok, so I know there are at least a few of you out there who are as totally confused as I am about the shotting / weight conversions for all those UK float brands. Swan, SSG, AB, #4... what the heck does it all mean? Well, here's a look at what those letters and numbers really mean, how to "decode" them, and how to match them up with the shot we have here in North America. Keep in mind this is just a partial listing representing the
more popular Steelhead sized shot. There's a ton of other sizes available but their not really applicable to our style of fishing... unless you're into fishing in canals with a "pole"! Now before we go into the charts, just remember you can always start light and work your way heavier (I still do) but there's something cool about at least having the knowledge!

The first chart list the more popular shot on the market. The shot is organized by weight in descending order (as best we could!). An easy way to remember all this "stuff" is to keep in mind that Sure Shot seem to follow the UK weight standard, and there really isn't a standard for the States. We used Water Gremlin (lead) as an example as it very popular and widely available.

Sure Shot*
Water Gremlin**
Water Gremlin**
Tin (non-lead)

What's it all mean?
Ok, let's start from the float and work to the shot. Most production floats have some sort of weight marking on them, although there's no set standard for numbering and weighting floats. From 4x15 to Swan, SSG, 3/0, #1, #7, ounces, grams, etc... god knows what your float's gonna say, and who knows if your #3 is the same as "their" #3. Some companies, like Drennan, have a UK and gram stamp on the float, while others have no markings on the float body. In this case, it's a good idea to keep the package it came in!

From the UK we get the scales: SSG through #8. The scale does go smaller but it's mainly for "pole" fishing, which we won't get into here; that's another article! Most UK float and shot sizes are based on this scale, so it's easy to pick up a 2SSG float and put 2 SSG shot on it. Now, if you don't have access to UK measured shot here's where the fun comes in!

Fun Shot Conversion Math
Here's a bit more. Some floats are also measured in "Swans", which is equivalent to 1 SSG or 1.6 grams. (Depending on who you talk to this number can be anywhere between 1.6g to 1.9g!) For conversation sake let's use 1 Swan = 1 SSG = 1.6g. Now here's where the "Fun Math" comes in. We've used 3 popular sources for shot:

Say you've got a float rated for 2 Swan, or 3.2g
1 SSG + 1 SA + 1 BB
2 AAA + 2 AB + 2 #4
9 BB-1
6 BB-1 + 7 BB-3
24 BB-4 ;-)
Water Gremlin (lead)-US
3 #3/0
1 #7 + 4 #B
1 #3/0+ 2 #BB + 3 #B

Remember, it's not just how much weight you need to set your float. The way you space your shot plays a critical part in your presentation. Knowing your shot conversion can help you "get it right" with a lot less less trial and error.

* Weights taken directly from manufacturer
** No manufacturer data available. Weighed by Staff, accuracy +/- .1 gram.