DROP SHOT 101
To drop shot successfully it is important to have the right equipment and presentation.
A drop shot rod needs to be a medium light action, very light in weight, sensitive tip, and it must be flexible for shaking the worm, but enough backbone for setting the hook. Daiwa and I developed a few dropshot rods for this purpose. (TD-X series and Cielo Drop Shot). The silver TD-X rod with 6 lb test, and the SOL 2000 reel is a perfectly balanced outfit. The Cielo has a titanium tip that easily lets you see and feel even the lightest strikes. The Cielo works great with 4 lb test.
The line I always use is fluorocarbon 4 through 12 lb test, depending on water clarity, cover, and fish size. Using as light of line possible is key for the action of the bait, and line visibility to the fish. Lighter line will usually allow for more “bites”.
Always use a Palomar knot when tying your hook. The proper way is to always enter the eye from the point side of the hook. When completed, put the tag line through the eye of the hook again from the point side. That way it will keep your bait perpendicular to your line.
HOOKS and WEIGHTS
To avoid retying frequently it is important to use the right hooks and weight.
I use a Roboworm Rebarb hook from size 1 through 2/O matching the bait size. I texas rig a rebarb when fishing grass, wood, and brush. I use Gamakatsu drop shot hooks for fishing sandy, gravely, and rocky areas.
I like a weight size from 1/8 through 3/8 oz. depending on depth and wind. The round is good for sandy, gravely, and rocky areas. The mojo weight for grass, wood, and brush.
Generally in grass I use a light weight so the worm will be above the grass. A heavier weight will bury your worm so the fish can’t see it easily.
Bait size varies - standard is 4” through 6”; however, there are times I drop shot worms up to 10” also.
There are a lot of color variations that work well. Generally, choosing a color is determined by water clarity and the current food source that the fish are feeding on. Roboworm, Open Water Custom Baits, and Maverick Worms, specialize in products great for drop shot and finesse.
Baits I use include, worms, small brush hog, tubes, grubs, and reapers. A texas, nose, and wacky rig, are presentations that work and will all present a different action.
The starting point for the leader line length between hook and sinker is 12”. If the fish are feeding on the bottom, shorten the distance. Fishing grass or brush then the leader line might be 12” – 3’.
During cold front conditions you want to generally go with lighter line, lighter weights, smaller baits, tighter to cover, and fish slower.
The most important thing to remember is let the fish tell you what they want. Are shad close to the bottom? Are you fishing grass? Do you want your bait in grass holes, above the grass, or on the weed line? Use your electronics - are the fish close to the bottom or suspended off the bottom. These are clues to leader length. Sometimes you need to fish a worm wacky rigged or straight. Pay close attention do they want a short or long leader, no shake, light shake, or heavy shake.
Keep on fish’n