7 Essential Steps On How to Tie a Drop Shot Rig
Photo courtesy of: Daniel Maryville
As you progress as a bass angler, you will begin to look for different techniques to up your game. For those of you who have progressed past entry-level angling, learning how to tie a drop-shot rig is an essential finesse technique to pick up. A drop-shot rig allows the bait to suspend off the bottom of the body of water you are fishing. While it has a reputation of being strictly a finesse set-up, it is a versatile rig that can land you bass anywhere you fish.
Professional Angler Aaron Martens, often called the most versatile fisherman in the world, is a huge proponent of the dropshot technique, calling it the most effective bass-fishing technique there is.
While Martens gives his endorsement to drop-shotting, it is still a relatively difficult technique that takes time to master. You may be asking yourself, why should I learn how to tie a drop-shot rig? Is the benefit of learning the technique worth the effort? When would I benefit from using a dropshot? This guide on how to tie a drop shot rig will not only answer those questions, but will leave you ready to begin using the technique to land bass.
Equipment You Will Need
You will need specialized drop-shot hooks to complete this guide correctly. Drop-shot hooks may be labeled “finesse hooks,” “split shot hooks,” or “circle hooks.”
- Pro Tip: The world’s most versatile fisherman, Aaron Martens, prefers the Gamakatsu Finesse Heavy Cover hook for drop-shotting.
You should determine your line by the size of fish you are hopping to land. For bigger fish, I suggest using 10-pound Sunline SX1 braid. If you are looking to land smaller fish at a more consistent rate, I suggest 6-pound Hi-Seas 100% Fluorocarbon line.
I suggest using a fluorocarbon leader line while tying a drop-shot rig, as it sinks faster than mono lines. I suggest beginning with a Bass Bro Shops XPS Musky Fluorocarbon Leader. The leader is both affordable and durable.
Since the drop-shot rig mimics a suspend bait fish, a straight-tail worm or a shad-style bait are especially effective. I suggest using the Roboworm Straight Tail worm bait. The Roboworm is the standard bait to use while drop-shotting and is especially good to use if you hook your bait with a Nose Hook method.
The size of the weight you will need depends on the depth you will be fishing in. However, A 1/8 oz. weight is a pretty good universal measure. I would suggest going no heavier than ¼ oz. weight while drop-shotting. There are weights specifacly designed for drop-shotting that include a crimped swivel on top, which allows you to easily attach them to the bottom of your line. I prefer using a Bullet Finesse 1/8 Drop Weight.
You will need pliers to adjust your hooks. While using a drop-shot rig, I suggest opening the hook to increase your hook-up ratio. I suggest picking up a pair of Bass Smasher Multi-Use Fishing Pliers, as they are designed specifically for fishing.
7 Easy Steps On How To Tie A Drop Shot Rig
Step One: Connect Main Line to Leader Line
First, you will need to attach your main line to your leader line. This is usually accomplished using a “Crazy Alberto” Knot. Here is a video from 2015 Bass Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens, on doing a Crazy Alberto knot:
Step Two: Modify Your Hook
After you have connected your main line with your leader line, you will want to modify your hook so it is ready to attach. To modify your hook, uses pliers to make a slight outward bend to your hook. Check the video below on how to do it.
Step Three: Attach Hook
I suggest using a Palomar Knot. However, be sure to leave a long tag end of 12-30 inches, since you must attach a weight. Check the following video on tying a Palomar Knot.
Step Four: Attach Weight to Leader
Tie on your dropshot weight using an overhand knot. The overhand knot allows you to easily free your hook and bait if you get caught on something while fishing. For a video demonstration for tying an Overhand Knot, check this out:
Step Five: Attach Bait to Hook
Attach your bait using either a Nose Hook or a Wacky Rig. A Nose Hook involves attaching the bait to the hook near its nose, while a Wacky Rig involves attaching the bait at its center.
Step Six: Cast Your Rig
Contrary to popular belief, you can cast a drop shot rig. In fact. Aaron Marten believes that casting is the more effective method. Refer to the video demonstration below of Marten casting a drop-shot rig. If you prefer to drop your rig, continue to step seven.
Step Seven: Drop Your Rig
Drop your rig until your line goes slack, then reel up until the line is stiff and the weight is firmly on the bottom. Then, wiggle your rod to create a swimming effect with your bait.
There you have it, a step-by-step guide explaining everything you need to know about how to tie a drop shot rig for use. Drop-shotting is an effective way to catch bass because it places your bait at typical feeding depth for bass. You can use a drop-shot rig at any time of the year for bass fishing.
Did you enjoy learning how to tie a drop shot rig? If so, share this guide on Facebook or Twitter so your friends and fellow anglers can begin using drop-shot rigs themselves. Find a particular step helpful? Know another method to use while setting up a drop-shot rig? Tell us about it in the comments below!