The drop shot rig is quickly becoming one of the most important rigs in bass fishing. You can fish drop shot rigs fished deep, shallow, and anywhere in between. In this post, we will unravel the mystery of the drop shot rig and all of the components and setup you'll need for drop shot fishing. Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post to watch how to set up the drop shot rig in a few easy steps.
A drop shot rig consists of line tied to a hook with a trailing leader that comes to an end with a weight so that the weight is at the bottom and the hook and bait are above it. You can choose from many hooks, weights, and bait options for your drop shot rig, but for the purposes of this post, we will generalize it to a common set up. You can see this visually from the photo here Photo courtesy of Lotawanna Buddy Bass
Drop Shot Rod + Reels
Drop Shot Line
The drop shot rig is a finesse technique so light line with low visibility is typically what you'll want to choose. Fluorocarbon in 6-8 lb or a lighter braided line with a 2 ft fluorocarbon leader are both great choices for most situations.
Drop Shot Hooks
Hook: Next, you're going to need a split shot or drop shot hook, size 1-1/O. These are specific for finesse fishing and a lot of companies have good drop shot hooks to choose from. These hooks are great for nose hooking the baits which provides the most action and natural motion.
Drop Shot Weights
Most drop shot weights have a crimped swivel at the top that makes it easy to clip onto your line, although weights that you can tie to the bottom of the line will work just as well. Weights from 1/8 oz to 1/4 oz are good to start with, but there are times for both heavier and lighter weights. I’ve used up to 1/2 oz weights in really rough water, just to keep the bait on the bottom. They have a great feel and being that they are painted will help them blend into the bottom and you won’t get as many fish nipping at your weight. For our basic version, we will use a round or ball weight. The round one is great for vertical fishing, especially in sparse cover.
Drop Shot Baits
Bait: The last thing you will need to complete your drop shot rig is your bait. There are a wide variety of options you can use. A great bait to start with is one I really like for a drop shot is a small finesse worm like the 4.5" BioSpawn PlasmaTail or a realistic minnow like the Catch Co. Shimmer Shad. Now, there are a few different ways you can rig your drop shot bait. Like I said nose hooking the bait is a great way to start, but also wacky rigging, or Texas rigging (with a straight shank or wide gap hook) are also great options. For our example, we will use the wacky rig.
Getting Your Drop Shot Rig Set-Up
So now that you have all your components, it’s time to put it all together. The first thing you need to do is take your drop shot hook between your fingers and put the line through the top of the hook eyelet and pull it through enough that you will have at least a foot or more tag end to make a leader.
After you have enough line you are going to make a loop with it and place the line back through the bottom of the hook. While holding your loop on the bottom side of your hook and leaving a longer tag end on the top side you are going to make a single knot with the loop and take it over the front of the hook. Now you will have the makings of a knot. All you have to do is wet the line (with saliva) and cinch it tight. You will now be left with a tag end. With the tag end you will next take it through the top of the hook and pull it tight to cinch the hook straight on the line. Then, just put your weight on the line by clipping it on the tag end or tie it if necessary. That's it, you now have a drop shot rig! All that is left to do is wacky rig the sinking worm. All you need to do to wacky rig the sinking work is to hook the bait through the middle which will allow for action on both sides of the worm on the fall. Please review the image above courtesy of Big Water's Edge for further details.
This post on drop shot rig fishing was written by Destin DeMarion, Bassmaster & FLW Professional Angler
How To Set Up The Drop Shot Rig
Updated June 15th, 2021 at 7:00 AM CT