The invention of the SPLITSTOP

By Chris Wilson 13/05/2013
SPLITSTOP clear yellow orange brown
Chris Wilson talks about the invention of the "SPLITSTOP" how it came about and why you might consider the way you tie your hair rigs and other things.

If something works why change it?
That's a good question. Its basically the same as saying; if it ain't broke why fix it?

I think a good tip is worth passing on and hopefully you do too.

It can be said; that if people do something a certain way for long enough, it eventually becomes the standard way of doing things. Something you have learned and practiced for years that is so very simple, it becomes almost second nature. I think you will agree; it would be hard to break such a habit.


If you don't use hair rigs, needles or bait stops, you would be forgiven in thinking this article isn't of any relevance to you, but I urge you to read it and discover something new that could quite literally change the way you fish.


We're all guilty of putting up with the way things are sometimes, we probably accept and take it for granted that its the only way, such a simple thing as baiting up with needles and hair loops for example (hair rigging), its second nature just standard practice isn't it?


Anyone who has decent eyesight and good dexterity can do it, even if we cant always tie our little hair loops exactly the same size each time, it doesn't really matter, the important thing is to somehow tie a loop and use it to pull the hair through the bait with a needle and secure with a stop, that's what its for, hair rigging is pretty easy to learn and do freehand or with tools - it will come as no surprise to learn that some people can tie hair loops with their eyes closed!


What could be simpler than tying a little loop on the end of your hair (or if size doesn't matter, even a big one if you choose) and pulling it through the bait with a baiting needle, more to the point; it works so why would you want to ever change the way you do it?


The hair loop and needle is a good example and at the risk of sounding foolish; I would like to suggest an alternative way of baiting up - "without a loop or needle" and a few more good tips. I'm not referring to the banded Knotless-knot (as some of you may be familiar with) or suggesting that you completely change the habit of a lifetime and start over... on the contrary, I would simply like to show you an alternative that is - safer, simpler and easier!

Making something simple.. simpler!

Hair rigs not your thing?
It doesn't really matter, because even if you don't use hair rigs, you will find the SPLITSTOP is actually much more than a simple bait/boilie stop and... because of their versatility it will, I'm sure, compliment most any anglers style of fishing. SPLITSTOP's can transform the way you fish and the way you bait up - they can even transform themselves!


Nothing could be simpler than tying a loop and old habits die hard we all know that, and yet just once in a while a simple little gizmo like the SPLITSTOP comes along that addresses a problem that you probably didn't even know existed or you just ignored and was prepared to accept. I'm not talking about an aid or gizmo that helps you tie loops, although its obvious some anglers have problems with them and needles too for that matter, I'm talking about a product that is so versatile, it gives you the option of replacing hair loops and needles altogether if you so choose and more besides. Although the SPLITSTOP addresses some of the shortfalls associated with hair rigging that you may have become accustomed to, I also appreciate too that some anglers will still carry on fishing the way they always have, and there's nothing wrong with that, its natural to stick with old habits.


Will Barnard wrote about the SPLITSTOP saying its the best innovation since the hair rig?

I'll leave you to make up your own mind on that one; but in all honesty and without any sensationalisation whatsoever, the SPLITSTOP will definitely simplify the way you currently bait up and I know its versatility will certainly improve your presentation as it has for many other anglers in the UK.

The SPLITSTOP not only solves a problem (or two), it presents you with new possibilities and will make your baiting up and presentation simpler, safer and easier. Even though I have witnessed some very nasty injuries, I designed the SPLITSTOP not because I hated barbed baiting needles as some have suggested, in all honesty, I have never personally had a problem with them. No, my problem is (was) those big bulky obtrusive knots created when tying hair loops, I hated them as they spoiled my presentation, also the knot could potentially damage my baits when pulled through with the needle and so I looked to design an alternative to get rid.

After a few thought provoking hours over a long weekend away in Blackpool (with the wife I hasten to add); I finalised the design of the SPLITSTOP, a dumbbell design with a dual split and a hole through the middle. It turned out to be a pretty decent product in the end, it is certainly the most useful and versatile bait/boilie stop I have ever used and I use them almost exclusively now as an anchor for bread flake and paste fishing too.

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The traditional hair loop goes hand in hand with the baiting needle.

If you tie a hair loop you would usually tie a single or double overhand loop knot, also known as a Surgeon's loop. You don't need to know the names of these knots only how to tie them, the reason they are sometimes doubly overhand tied and bulky is because generally a single overhand knot will slip down when the needle pulls against it, which is particularly evident when using monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.


The hair loop is required for one or two purposes namely;

1. as an anchor point that facilitates the hair being pulled through the bait with a baiting needle
2. to attach and hold the bait/boilie stop on the hair
3. to attach a bait band etc.


All basic stuff.


1Without a loop the baiting needle would be redundant.

Niggles of mine...

The baiting needle is dangerous to use, its an irrefutable fact that somewhere someone has caused themselves serious injury with these things. A barbed baiting needle is possibly the most dangerous of all items in an anglers tackle box! Given a choice, I don't think anyone would miss this particular tackle item?

But more significant to me; and the main motivation for designing the SPLITSTOP is that a loop knot (single or double overhand) is just too big and bulky!


This is obtrusive and depending on what type of bait you're using, pulling the loop through with the needle can easily damage the bait as has happened to me on occasion, particularly evident when using our Aqua-SPAWN or any hard cheese, brittle baits and corn for example. The barb can also damage the bait though I always found the bulky knot does the most damage especially if the hair hole is too small or if it hasn't being predrilled beforehand. Often the needle barb and bulky loop knot forced through a bait increases the chance of a hair-line fracture or causes splitting. It may also fall apart on the cast or as it hits the water, if not unknowingly falling apart and away from the hook in the water having already been weakened.

The loop sometimes breaks too and that's a pain, especially prone if you use harder baits that haven't being predrilled leaving you no option than to shorten your hair length (not realistic) or tie on another if it breaks.

So what's the big deal?

All these aforementioned little niggles are familiar to most anglers, it means we can put up with them or look to a solution.


I'm not suggesting you forget everything you ever knew about tying hair rig loops and throwing away your needles, if your happy with bulky knots and less than perfect presentation occasionally, there can be nothing so simple as tying a hair loop and pulling it through a bait with a baiting needle. These days hair-rigging is so commonly practiced amongst anglers, some of you could probably do it in the bivvy with the lights out!


Simple right?


So the original question, "If something works why change it"?


If the hair loop and needle go hand in hand (as they do), and you appreciate that barbed baiting needles are dangerous, some people are visually impaired or all fingers and thumbs, OR EVEN IF YOU DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH LOOPS AND NEEDLES, I would suggest the following which could change the way you bait up, its a safer and simpler alternative and its versatility (other than as a bait stop), will improve your presentation too.

No loop or barbed baiting needle required!

I'm joking right?

How is it possible to do away with both the loop and barbed needle?.. the loop is essential for attaching the bait/boilie stop and the needle is necessary to grab hold of the loop as you pull it through the bait, so if the needle and loop go hand-in-hand, then surely these two things are essential...?


Optional yes but no longer essential... lets get rid of them both!


I say optional because, whatever other features SPLITSTOP's have, you can still use a loop if you prefer because they are dumbbell shaped - but that's where any similarity ends.


If the purpose of tying a loop on the hair is to pull it through the bait with a needle, then you don't need either. What you do need is a hole in your bait and a SPLITSTOP instead, let me explain...


With predrilled or sPUNCHED baits, you only need to tie a hooklink leaving a tag for the hair - there is no longer any need to tie a loop on the end of it - its optional!


A hair without a loop?


Fortunately I have not taken leave of my senses just yet...


Step by step

  1. tie your hooklink leaving a tag for the hair
  2. tie a single knot on the end of the hair or blob it with the flame from a lighter to melt it
  3. pass it through the hole of a predrilled or sPUNCHED bait
  4. a. slide a SLITSTOP over the hair
    b. thread the hair through the hole in the SPLITSTOP and tuck the blobbed end into the recess


No bulky knots, needles or loops to tie!

By the way, the sPUNCH you might like - its a needle tool and a core-punch plus an extruder that creates perfect 3mm sausage hookbaits. Especially suitable for bread, soft meat, cheese, firm fruits and prepared nuts - also works as a corer (core-punch) creating a neat hole in the bait for the hair! (available HERE)


SPLITSTOP's are such a simple concept, they are new bait/boilie stops which are split-ended dumbbell shaped stops... the knot or blob will secure the hair in place and prevent the bait from coming off - simpler, quicker and safer!


What you have probably always considered the standard way of baiting up with loops and needles has just changed... a small knot or blob on the end of the hair will replace the finicky hair loop! By using predrilled and sPUNCHED baits your hair will also easily pass through the hole - without using barbed needles!


Its simple (simpler) and it works, but even if you think tying hair loops are easy (no problem to you), you can at least appreciate that you wouldn't need to worry about a bulky loop knot and poor presentation, the dumbbell shape SPLITSTOP easily keeps the smaller knot or blob tucked into the recess out of harms way and is less obtrusive. I think for those who appreciate the bulky knot problem will certainly benefit more from this presentation feature than any other - actually it was this very problem of concealing the knot why it was designed in the first place, but the new SPLITSTOP's are actually far more versatile than this...


Most anglers will appreciate good design, but these words and few pictures are no substitute for the real thing, you need to see and use these things for yourself to appreciate them. A well known "famous TV angler" tweeted me saying he didn't think they would suit his style of fishing. Based on the few brief words that Twitter allows I don't blame him - instead of reading the full description on our website he misunderstood and decided right there and then that it wasn't for him... that's fair enough, doing away with the loop and barbed needle does sound a little crazy doesn't it? but as I say its also far more versatile than that.


For those anglers that do not use hair rigs, needles or bait stops I promised you versatility and here's a couple of examples;


SPLITSTOP's can be used as a plain old bait stop with or without a hair loop,

They can be opened out flat into a crucifix and used as an anchor for bread flake and paste,

They can also be partially opened "T" shaped for use as a meat stop too.

You can also thread one on the mainline turned at 90 degrees for a one component 'safe' semi-fixed bolt rig that easily and safely slides off on a break...


Even if you don't fish hair rigs or use bait/boilie stops, there is a use for these in every anglers box... try opening one out flat into a crusifix and stick it on your wag tip - it will turn it into a little Splasher and self hooking float method for finicky plucks!


Ever satsified with the length of your hair? feel the need to try a bit longer (for barbel and carp) or short (for chub) perhaps? You can use SPLITSTOP's to adjust and alter your hair length at whim - the hair is rolled up Knotless-knot style and secured around the SPLITSTOP, all without having to change or break your rig down!



This is ADVANTAGE No.1 - hair loops and needles, and a few more reasons to give SPLITSTOP's a go, they are so versatile you will wonder how you ever fished without them.





© Chris Wilson May 2013

(all rights reserved)


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Then what?


The SAC (PS)™ - coming soon!
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The SPLITSTOP™ - is here!
Adjustable - no-loop - hair-rigging!