HOME Fishing Reels Fishing Rods Fishing Line Tools All Products Community About Support

Drop Shot Rigs For Finicky Fish

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

A drop shot rig can be the magic you need for certain conditions.


Sometimes a finesse presentation is needed when fish are spooky, lethargic, or the water is very clear.  There is no technique more finesse-like than drop shotting.  Most have heard of the term, drop shot,  but some anglers are hesitant to try it.  This type of drop shotting requires a small finesse hook, a small bait, and a spinning reel.  We all hear about big Smallies being caught in places like Lake Michigan in 30 + feet of water on deep humps with a drop shot.  However, there are definitely other applications for this type of fishing.


Rather than think of drop shotting as a specifically finesse presentation, it is better to think of it simply as a new way to present a bait to the fish.  It may be something that can trick finicky or spooky fish into biting.  Basically, a drop shot holds you bait up off the bottom in a different way than some other presentations.  Here is a rundown of how to rig a drop shot for finesse fishing.  You will need:


Drop shot rod drop shot  terminal tackle

Drop shot terminal tackle



6, or 8-lb test monofilament mainline, a sinker (a RockyBrook Sinker shown here, but any drop shot sinker will work), a hook (#2 drop shot hook shown here as well as a 1/0 wide gap hook), and a barrel swivel.  You will want to have a few feet of mono for your leader also.  You can adjust the length throughout your fishing day, once you know where the fish are and what it takes to catch them.


drop shoting hook with a palomar knot drop shot rod

Tie your drop shotting hook with a palomar knot



First, tie the hook to the line with a Palomar knot.  You may have to experiment with the length of your leader.  You want to have 8 – 12 inches of line on the tag end so you have the ability to adjust the depth of your bait.



Drop shot rig with swivel drop shot rod

Drop shot rig with swivel


Next, tie the swivel on to the top of the leader.  I use a Palomar knot for this as well.  The swivel will eliminate any line twist you may get otherwise.  Once the hook and the swivel are tied on the drop shot rig, bring the tag end of the line through the hook eye from the top.  This will keep the hook pointed straight out and allow maximum action for your bait.  You are now ready to attach your leader to your main line.



Drop shot rod  setup using palomar knots

Drop shot setup using palomar knots


With a Palomar knot, once again, tie the main line to the other end of the barrel swivel.    It can be tricky to get the entire leader back through to complete the knot, but with some practice, it becomes second nature.


Now decide how far down you want your sinker.  This can be anywhere from a few inches to a foot from your hook.  How far down you put your sinker will determine how far of the bottom your bait will be.  You may have to adjust your depth throughout the day, depending on where the fish are holding.



 drop shot rig for drop shot rod

Complete drop shot rig


Now that you have your drop shot rig ready, you can decide what you want to throw on it.  A 4” worm, a craw or minnow imitation, or any other type of small bait may work perfectly for you.  The key is, just as with any other technique, you want to match the size of your bait to the size of your hook.   There are three basic ways you can rig your bait on a drop shot.



The first way to hook a bait is called a nose hook.  Simply put the point of the hook through the “nose” of the bait, about 1/8 of an inch back.  If you’re using a worm with a flat side, such as this, make sure the flat side is straight down to give the best action.



You may also Texas rig your bait.  This will give it a different action, but may also help you get more fish to the boat by making it more difficult for the fish to miss the hook when it inhales the bait.  With less of the bait behind the point of the hook, it may be easier to hook fish that strike.  This presentation is also great for use in brush piles, weeds, and other heavier cover.  Keep in mind, though, that you are still using light line.



The last way to hook a bait for drop shotting works well with a 4” worm, such as the one shown.  This is called a wacky rig.  It imparts a completely different action than any other rigging option and can sometimes entice even the most lethargic fish into biting.


This rigging option can also be used with a heavier rod, heavier line and bigger baits and hooks.  While it is not a finesse presentation to use a 4/0 hook and a 4” creature bait, it can be a great way to present a bait a little differently to fish that have seen the same baits over and over.  It might be the difference between a fish swimming off and putting another fish in the boat.



Whether you use drop shotting as a finesse tactic, as most do, or for bigger baits in heavier cover, one you learn how to work a drop shot, it is sure to be another great tool in your fishing arsenal.


Drop shot rod drop shot terminal tackle

Drop shot rigs can get awesome results. (Photo courtesy of Chris Tuers)

— By Beckie Joki

Beckie Joki is an avid bass fisherman in Northern Wisconsin. She has an eye on conservation and the environment as it relates to all types of fishing. She is a member of the Hodag Bassmasters, and is a member of the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters. She understands the importance of maintaining fisheries and looks to get younger generations into the sport of fishing. Beckie writes regularly for the Northern Wisconsin Fishing Examiner.






Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing™ fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked. *
Name *
Email *
Security Code *