In the latest episode of a series called “Q&A” from Brian Flechsig of Mad River Outfitters in Columbus, Ohio, he explains why he always fishes barbless, how he crimps the bards, and some tools that will help. Other topics include how to use split shot, delivery vs. presentation, and whether or not it’s okay for your fly rod to get wet. These videos are long, but they’re full of good info.
One place we disagree is when Flechsig advocates for lead split shot. Orvis no longer sells lead split shot, and many states have outlawed it. This passage from the New York DEC website explains why:
Unfortunately, lost sinkers, especially split shot, may be mistaken for food or grit and eaten by waterbirds such as ducks, geese, swans, gulls, or loons. Toxic effects of even a single lead sinker can cause birds to sicken and increases the risk of death through predation, exposure, or lead poisoning
Please use non-toxic split shot.