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The Best Drop Shot Set-Up

Many people have a love/hate relationship with the Drop Shot technique and finesse fishing in general. The drop shot is a great way to get a lot of bites. It’s a great tournament fishing technique because it will get bit in high fishing pressure situations. The drop shot will also catch small and big fish alike. I will be going in depth through my drop shot setups. Everything from the rods, reel, line, and terminal tackle. After this you’ll know exactly what you need to be effective when drop shotting. There's link to, and throughout the article. I'd like to pass along a couple discount codes you can use to save some money on those websites:

6th Sense - Luna10

Omnia Fishing - OMLUNA22AUG (good through august 2022) *may not work on all items


Having the right rod when fishing a drop shot is key. Many people fish a drop shot with too heavy of equipment. You want a medium light up to a medium action rod. This action enables you to effectively cast the light presentations common with a drop shot, and also allows you to effectively use light line that is common with the drop shot.

Having too heavy of a rod doesn’t allow the castability you need when fishing a drop shot, and having too heavy of a tip will also not allow the sensitivity you need with light weights dragging the bottom.

I prefer a spinning rod when drop shotting because a spinning rod allows for easier casting of light weights, and better ability to fish lighter weights effectively on the bottom.


The reels are important as well. As with any finesse fishing technique, having a reel with a quality drag is a must. I have fallen in love with both the Daiwa Tatula LT and Shimano Vanford spinning reels. These reels are light in weight, super smooth, and have great drags that I have not had stick at all. You need a reel with a smooth drag when fishing light line and fighting above average fish. No one wants to loose fish due to a bad drag.


When it comes to line, I prefer to use a braided main line to a fluorocarbon leader. I have played around with different braided lines over the years, and really like Seaguar Smackdown. Another good braid is Sunline SX1. I’ve moved over to the Smackdown exclusively because it doesn’t fray like the SX1.

When it comes to the leader fluorocarbon line, I use as high quality fluorocarbon as possible. I’ll use either Sunline FC Sniper or Gamma Touch Fluorocarbon. I’ll use various sizes ranging from 5lb test - 8lb test. I’ll use as heavy of line as I can get away with, but most of the time I end up using either 6lb test or 7lb test.


Lead and tungsten weights are options when fishing a drop shot, and I still use both. During a tournament I’ll be using tungsten for sure because tungsten is more sensitive. Tungsten is more expensive by far, but in a tournament setting I feel it’s worth it. If I’m fun fishing or practice fishing I may use lead or tungsten interchangeably. A lot of this decision comes down to personal preference and how much you are willing to spend on weights. Tungsten is more sensitive than lead, so you’ll have to make the decision for yourself. Some states have banned lead sinker use as well.


Hook choice depends on the type of cover that I’m fishing. If I need a weedless presentation then, I'll go with a straight shank hook in a #1 or a 1/0 size. If I’m around rock or more open water scenarios, or super finicky fish I’ll go with a Drop Shot Hook like the one from 6th Sense. Nose hooking your bait on a drop shot allows for the most natural movement, but also gets hung up the most.


The choice for baits is endless. You can use almost anything as a drop shot bait. Small swimbaits, small worms, ned baits, and the list goes on. Typically, I’ll be drop shotting with a finesse worm like the new.


The drop shot is a technique that can be fished year round, and in the toughest of conditions. I find myself fishing a drop shot the most in the winter time, but it will still catch fish any time of the year. Often when the fish don’t seem to want to bite anything at all, you can still manage some bites on a drop shot.

Take the information presented in this article and apply it to your own drop shot fishing, and it will help you catch more fish.

Some links in this article are affiliate links. Purchases made through those links will result in me earning a commission. Thank you for the support it helps to continue making content like this.

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