How to Tie a Drop Shot Rig

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When tying the drop shot rig, make sure you use a knot you’re comfortable with when attaching your hook and weight. Keeping the hook pointing up helps improve your hooksets. We recommend using fluorocarbon or monofilament leader to improve the lure’s presentation.

Drop Shot Rig Tying Steps

  1. From the tag end, go up 12-24 inches to attach your hook. This length depends on how far off the bottom you’d like to fish.
  2. Tie a Palomar knot (or any knot you’re comfortable with) to attach the hook with the hook pointing upwards.
  3. Pass the tag end through the hook eye. The hook should be perpendicular to the line.
  4. Attach the weight to the end of the tag end. I like to use a weaker knot such as a Surgeon’s Knot in case the weight gets snagged.
  5. Attach your hook to a soft plastic lure. Leave the tip exposed unless you run it weedless.
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How to Tie the Drop Shot (Infographic)

Infographic on how to tie a drop shot rig

When to Use a Drop Shot

What line is best for dropshot?

The best line for dropshot rigs is either fluorocarbon or monofilament. We like to connect the leader to braid to give us extra sensitivity. The leader will reduce the visibility of the rig to increase your chance of a bite.

What hook is best for drop shot?

The best hook for a drop shot is a VMC Spinshot Drop Shot hook. One of the biggest issues with the drop shot rig is that the lure can create line twist which can lead to breaking. The Spinshot has a full 360-degree rotation which keeps the line from twisting and plenty of movement for the lure

However, if you don’t use a spinning hook system, you can use a J-hook. A common size for bass is a size 2 hook, but it depends on the lure you’re using.

What is the best weight for a drop shot?

The best weight for a drop shot is the lightest you can get away with. You’ll want one that can get your lure to the proper location but not be too heavy that it reduces the sensitivity of the bite. Plus, if the weight is too heavy it’ll be hard to get a good presentation of the lure.

What’s the best lure for a drop shot?

The best lure for a drop shot is an artificial lure. These include the Strike King Dream Shot, Roboworm Straight Tail Worm, Zoom Finesse Worm, and Powerbait Twitch Tail Minnow, to name a few. 

When To Use a Drop Shot Rig

The drop shot rig is effective when the fish aren’t actively biting. Usually, when you’ve tried your other go-to rigs and haven’t gotten a bite, you break out to drop shot as your last line of defense. Be sure to match your lure to what the fish are eating. For example, in the summertime, bass like to eat bait fish which means you’ll want to use a minnow-style lure rather than a worm lure.

The drop shot rig doesn’t put off a lot of action which makes it effective when fish are easily spooked. For example, in the springtime when the fish move shallow. When you find your target area cast the rig and lightly twitch the rod which allows the rod tip to transfer that energy to move the lure. You don’t need much action to get a strike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most commonly used knot to tie drop shot rigs?

The Dropper Loop is a common knot that gives your hook some extra action in the water. A dropper knot is another good option.

What is a common hookset used for this drop shot setup?

A reel set as it allows anglers to feel the bite after which they can lift the rod and start reeling in the line. The thin wire hook can slide up into the fish’s mouth quickly and smoothly. If the hook sets too hard, it could bend out of shape, and you will lose your catch. 

What gear do I need for drop shot fishing?

Use spinning gear if you are drop shot fishing. It allows the bait to fall straight down to the bottom and won’t flow back toward you. 

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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