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ChrisD46

Your Usage Theory On Drop Shot Weights ?

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Only just a few years ago it seems the norm was to throw lighter drop shot weights (down in the 1/16th oz.  , 3/32nd oz. & 1/8th oz. range) for various small worms and shad type soft plastics . Now I see the trend is to often use heavier drop shot weights of 3/16th oz. , 1/4 oz. , 3/8th oz. and above with the same baits  - even in shallower water . I'm not sure I understand the theory behind the move to heavier  drop shot weights - unless we are talking deeper water tactics ? Is it a case of absolutely making sure that drop shot weight does NOT come up off of the bottom while working a drop shot soft plastic ? Previously you would see guys using the lighter 1/8th oz. drop shot weights and it would be ok to more often come up off the bottom a bit as they are working the drop shot baits . *With the above said , what determines the drop shot weight you use with soft plastics (outside of water depth)  ? Is it  just enough drop shot weight to work a drop shot bait without the weight coming up off the bottom OR are you in the newer camp of:  "I want that drop shot weight more firmly planted on the bottom while working a drop shot bait" thus moving to the heavier drop shot weights of 1/4th oz. and above ? Lastly , if you have moved to heavier drop shot weights in general - have you noticed any difference in hook up percentage ? ... Thanks in advance !

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I use the lightest weight that allows me to keep bottom contact under the conditions I am fishing. Too heavy of a drop shot weight tends to snag too often for example. Too light of a drop shot weight you loose contact with the weight when shaking slightly slack line and miss strikes. It's a trail and error thing to determine what works for me. 

My drop shots weights are; 1/8, 3/16, 1/4 and 3/8 oz. I can feel the bottom in 50' of water using a 3/8 oz weight with 5 lb to 7 lb line in the wind using soft plastics up to 5" so don't use a heavier weight. I usually start with 1/4 oz in 15' to 30' of water vertically.

Tom

 

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Very roughly, I think there are two ways to drop shot.

 

First, you cast the bait far and retrieve it somehow. The retrieve can be anything from swimming the bait to dragging it with long pauses. I don't do too much of this, so I don't have an educated opinion, but light weights seem to work best.

 

Second, in deeper water (say 15+ feet) you use your electronics to pitch the bait to something interesting, drop the bait vertically near something interesting, or drop it on fish you see. In any of these cases, you never move the weight. This is what I normally do. Here, I like using heavy weights for a couple of reasons: [1] If I see a smallie on my graph, I want to get the bait in front of it ASAP, because there's a good chance it'll move; [2] If I want to pitch or drop to something specific (for example, the shady side of a boulder) I don't want the current moving my bait a long distance before it hits the bottom.

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Valid , practical replies Tom & Dink - just what I'm looking for !

I'm would be more in the camp of the "cast and retrieve" drop shot approach blind casting in shallower water less than 15 foot deep ...   

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I never think about it. Have used the 1/4 oz. for more years than I care to think about. Has never given me pause.

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For me it really depends on wind. No wind I try to go as light as possible down to 1/8th. Bump it up as it gets windy. I like you pitch and flip it to targets in shallow water as well as fish it deep.

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I think between your logical deduction and the responses from Tom and Portiabrat, it's mostly covered.

 

I mostly fish the drop shot horizontally (like you - cast and retrieve) in 2'-12' of water along bluff walls, rocky transitions, and point edges.  With that in mind I find myself using a 1/8th or 3/16th most of the time depending on wind.  I love being able to maintain bottom contact but too much weight does get me snagged in the rocky bottom.

 

If I'm power-shotting I'll usually start at 3/16th on a dead calm day and go up from there.  If I'm power-shotting through emergent grass, I'll use 3/8th or even 1/2 depending on the thickness of the grass.  But it's not very often that I find that to be my best approach to grass.

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I don't DS with less than 1/2 oz.  More likely, 3/4 oz.  I DO NOT want the weight to move, unless I move it.  Anything lighter, and it's moving, whether you know it or not.

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Fishing mostly from the bank, I have came up with a system that seems to be working for me.   When I think the fish are up shallow I go for a 3/16 and below.     Once the fish pull off the bank I go heavier weights.  1/4 to 1/2 .  The  heavier weight falls faster and let’s me cover more water.     But it can all change depending on what the fish want.   If they are biting on the fall, drag, hop, or swim, this can all change the weight size used.   

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Here's my thoughts on going shallow.  Spoiler alert, I go even heavier when shallow.

 

https://www.bassresource.com/fishing/dropshot-bedding-bass.html

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Awesome read.  Quick question.   What length rod do you prefer and how long of a leader are you tying.   

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I fish lake Erie about every weekend during the season, and I definitely cast my DS more than I vertical fish it.

 

I have 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 ounce weights. I almost always use 3/8 regardless of the condition.

 

I want my rig to the bottom asap, I want to keep bottom contact without trying too hard, and I want to be able to easily move my bait with out moving the weight a ton if at all.

 

With even moderate wind or waves, a 3/8 or 1/2 is necessary for me to do this, so the 1/4 rarely gets a ride unless is particularly snaggy, or I am fishing pretty shallow, or virtually no wind.

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Went to a seminar last year where Brandon Palaniuk was speaking at and he mainly uses 1/4oz unless it's really windy.  I don't think I've ever used anything but 1/4oz, but I don't fish the DS much.

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7 minutes ago, Chefster said:

Awesome read.  Quick question.   What length rod do you prefer and how long of a leader are you tying.   

 

The leader is usually about 3' from mainline to the hook, and whatever length tag I want to use after.  I use a 6-9 MXF rod for shallow stuff.  For vertical, I use a shorter 6-3 MLXF or 6-3 MXF.

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I stick with 1/4 ounce unless the wind is blowing like crazy, then I'll go up to 3/8. Having the same weight helps me keep things consistent. 

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2 hours ago, Crestliner2008 said:

I never think about it. Have used the 1/4 oz. for more years than I care to think about. Has never given me pause.

This! In fact, I normally buy the 1/4 oz weights in bulk packs of 25 or more. I drop shot in a few feet to as much as 30. For simplicity sake, not a lot of reasons to change your weights. The action of your bait should not be affected much at all by the weight other than when it is first cast out and sinks the bottom.

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I never leave the dock without a DS tied up.  All of the above are good reply's and are spot on.  I'll add 2 points.  I fish the DS in pretty much all configurations but there is a deadly application that I use it for, dragging it while drift fishing.  On St Clair when most would drag a tube, I pull out the DS and it is very effective.  I stay with 1/4 unless we can't slow the drift with socks and then I might step it up in weight.  Also a huge factor is the quality of your DS weight.  I have gone through a lot of cheap weights during my week on St Clair and I have gone an entire week with 2 weights.  I couldn't believe it.  The difference was in the quality of the weight.  A weight manufactured with a quality harp and proper shape is what made the difference.  My DS weight of choice is a QuickDrop.   

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Quick Drop makes a quality DS weight - what do readers think about tungsten DS weights which seem to be on the rise in popularity ?

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@ChrisD46: Massachusetts simplifies the tungsten-vs-lead issue by making it illegal to fish lead weights under one ounce. Personally I have done little drop-shot fishing, but I am a big fan of tungsten for the little I have tried the drop-shot and I definitely appreciate the compact size for other applications such as Texas-rigged worms and critter baits. (Tried the steel alternatives but even the 3/8-ounce was about the size of a ping pong ball! LOL!)

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For spinning rod, light line, light wire hook, finesse drop shotting...1/4 oz is my go to size, unless it's windy, then I bump it up to 3/8's oz. If I am doing a "drift and drag" with a drop shot..I use 1/2 oz.

 

Power shotting, I use 1/2 oz. most of the time, but have gone up to 1oz. depending on the cover and/or wind conditions.

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I almost always use a cheapo 3/8 casting sinker tied on the dropper. Not many rocks here and I usually lose a rig due to hook snagging on wood. I use a weedless #1 hook. I like a shorter 6' ML rod so I can drop straight down if fishing vertical. 15# braid to 8-10# flouro leader. 

 

Never understood the advantage of a light weigh for DS unless you have rocks I guess. 

 

Went to Wallymart to get more 3/8 lead sinkers and only thing they had in 3/8 were Steel. They are huge! Wonder if that would help in not getting caught in rock crevasse.

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Casting and dragging a drop shot isn't for me, I cast and drag a slit shot rig because it's more effective where I fish. Heavy drop shots will not move where I fish because they snag easily.

Tom

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I do the cast and drag from the bank and use a 3\16 weight most of the time.  For me, the DS is the best way I have found to present a soft plastic close to the bottom in places with a muck or leaf covered bottom.  A heavy wight seems to drag too much and get covered with debris where the lighter weight just skims over stuff. 

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I use the lightest weight I can get away with for aDS. Normally I use 1/8 to 1/4oz anything heavier and other lures work better. 

 

Allen 

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