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DADto4

Drop shotting for dummies

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As I have never used this technique, I need a little help and guidance from you guys.

What kind and size of soft plastics work well

craws, worms,grubs

What type of weights do you prefer

What kind and size of hook

circle,straight,etc

What kind of line(mono,braid,flouro.)

and do you use a swivel above the hook?

What rod and reel works best spinning or baitcast,etc.

As you can see I am clueless with this setup, and with so many choices out there to buy, a guy could go broke trying them all :D..

Thanks in advance -John

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As I have never used this technique, I need a little help and guidance from you guys.

What kind and size of soft plastics work well

craws, worms,grubs

What type of weights do you prefer

What kind and size of hook

circle,straight,etc

What kind of line(mono,braid,flouro.)

and do you use a swivel above the hook?

What rod and reel works best spinning or baitcast,etc.

As you can see I am clueless with this setup, and with so many choices out there to buy, a guy could go broke trying them all :D..

Thanks in advance -John

I prefer worms and shad immatations over craws and grubs. My favorite being Roboworms 4" & 6" straight tails for Smallies. Though, I'll be giving their new fat version a try this season. Trick or Finesse worms also produce. In some situations a smaller bait is needed such as a 3" wacky rigged bait. All depends on the feeding habits for that day, but found the 4" and 6" work most of the time. I use the "Stand-up drop shot hooks or a size 1 or 2 Gammi wide gap. I'll also use a 1 to 3/O hook w/a full size bait like a Fluke/Zoolu or Lizard texas rigged. How high I tie the hook with this technique depends on what I'm fishing. If I'm fishing pads, I'll tie the hook @ the depth where I've seen the bass suspending under the pads, so the bait will be in their face. If I'm fishing submerged weeds, the hook and bait will be suspending just inside the top of the weeds. If I'm fishing beds(my Favorite application) I'll only tie the hook about 3" to 5" off the bottom. I haven't used the DS for suspending Smallies as of yet, purely becuase I haven't needed to. But this is an outstanding technique for Smaillies suspended in deep water. I use a 1/8 to 1/2oz weight. Lower end for suspending fish and heavier weight for weeds,grass and moving water such as rivers. When fishing suspended or spooky fish I'll go w/lighter floro or mono in the 8lb to 10lb range and 12lb test all the way up to 65lb braid, when fishing in the pads or thick stuff. Lighter line I use spinning gear and the heavier lines casting. Most of the time I don't use a drop shot weight, I use a bullet weight w/a small split ring tied at the end of the line. It comes through grass easier in addition to having less hang-ups. When the bite is tough the drop shot can be a magical producer :o

Hope this has helped! :)

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Over 100 smallies caught from mid May to the 1st week of June on this set-up. Here's one of the dinks ;D

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Here's a video on a day that I decided to use the Slammer and baby brush hog rather than the dropshot. Needless to say I got smoked by who ever this silly looking kid is and his dropshot.

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Thanks for the info, now we're getting somewhere..

Great pics and video thanks for sharing.

Do you normally hook the plastics like a you would a texas rigged worm, or do you guys nose hook them as well..like a real minnow?

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Thanks for the info, now we're getting somewhere..

Great pics and video thanks for sharing.

Do you normally hook the plastics like a you would a texas rigged worm, or do you guys nose hook them as well..like a real minnow?

Most of the time I texas rig because I'm using larger baits, but when using the smaller baits nose hookem or wacky rig. :D

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Good info to have thanks,

The way you setup your weight is unique and very inexpensive----

I love it

I always have extra splits and bullets laying around.

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hey that looks like my crappie rig except 1 hook ....i sometime catch Lm bass when crappie fishing the deepest part of the lake on minnows.. im going to try this drop shoting now .!!! :D

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Do you normally hook the plastics like a you would a texas rigged worm, or do you guys nose hook them as well..like a real minnow?

I had no idea of what dropshot was till I looked it up.  As a kid my father used this set up with live minnows and called it a chicken rig or trolley rig(with a sliding swivel), with or without a leader.

I think I'll try it.

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I'm glad you asked Dadto4 Its somthing i didn't quite understand either but this helps big time - read some of the dropshot articles but i think the paintshop pic helped the best and a few of the articles RW posted i never saw.

Thanks will give this a shot today after work.

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Here's a video on a day that I decided to use the Slammer and baby brush hog rather than the dropshot. Needless to say I got smoked by who ever this silly looking kid is and his dropshot.

WOW! Never saw that footage. That was about 3 weeks after the spider-bite and I couldnt stand up. Great/awful day  ;D

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Here's a video on a day that I decided to use the Slammer and baby brush hog rather than the dropshot. Needless to say I got smoked by who ever this silly looking kid is and his dropshot.

WOW! Never saw that footage. That was about 3 weeks after the spider-bite and I couldnt stand up. Great/awful day ;D

I've got 2 or 3 more vid's of you after the spider bite. Great/awful day is right! You where never quite yourself due to that arachnid >:D

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I've been drop shotting for about 1/2 doz. years now and have tried a lot of riggings. The following shows two of the ways I rig my pre-tied DS rigs. I believe I've posted this here previously, but in case you missed it, I thought it would be a good time of the year to re-post:

MyDropShotRigsresized.jpg

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Google "Rich Zaleski Dropshot" and take the second link in the list for the way I have done it for years.  Very simple, yet effective rig.

Crestliner, I know we disagree on rigging this, but I wonder if you have tried micro swivels from Raven.  They are meant for salmon and steelheading, but they are super strong, and very small.  Granted, we are using much longer, slower action rods, but the line weights are comparable - 8-10# main, 4-8# leader - and the fish are MUCH bigger and more powerful than smallies.  Just thought I'd throw that suggestion out there.

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Google "Rich Zaleski Dropshot" and take the second link in the list for the way I have done it for years. Very simple, yet effective rig.

Crestliner, I know we disagree on rigging this, but I wonder if you have tried micro swivels from Raven. They are meant for salmon and steelheading, but they are super strong, and very small. Granted, we are using much longer, slower action rods, but the line weights are comparable - 8-10# main, 4-8# leader - and the fish are MUCH bigger and more powerful than smallies. Just thought I'd throw that suggestion out there.

An excellent explanation and even better video about the rig... Thanks!

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Another cool dropshot rig is putting a shakey Head on the bottom and a hook up top so you have a shakey shot lol

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Rich Z's article is the best!

Drop Shotting Rocks. Here is a piece I wrote about what I've learned from using it:

Islandbass' Take on the Drop Shot

I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have grown fond of the Drop Shot technique in my short, four-season fishing journey. I have been using it for just over a season's time. This is a very productive method to catch fish in a variety of states. In my first outing for smallies this season, I hooked and caught 3 smallies on three consecutive casts. It is the only method that has done this for me to date, and from the shore to boot. At the very least, I can share with you what I have learned through trial, error, and experience (which isn't much).

Basic Drop Shot Diagram

Here is a generic set up.

dropshotrig.jpg

Rod and Reel Type

You don't need a Drop Shot specific rod. A medium-light to medium-action rod from 6'6" on up to 7' should work for you for now. If you find drop shotting to your liking, you can then opt to go with a Drop Shot specific rod of your choice. As a rule of thumb, a longer rod will enable you to have more line control and leverage; two big pluses in drop shotting.

I prefer spinning reels (a size 20 or 2500 reel is an excellent choice) because they require less work to give the bait a better (IMHO) descent than a baitcast reel. Sorry baitcast reel users, but the way a spinning drops the bait (for ¼ oz weights and less) smokes a baitcast reel any and every day for drop shotting. To those who use baitcast reels exclusively, please note I said for drop shotting in its basic, finesse form (lighter lines, weights, and smaller baits). There will not be a need to strip line off just to make the bait fall.

With that said, casting reels can also be used. I just prefer a spinning reel. You may use whatever reel you want. Even a Barbie pole can get it done for drop shotting! However, I would not hesitate to use heavier line, weights, larger baits and a baitcast reel if I were to drop shot heavy cover. Something I call Alpha Shotting!

Drop Shot Weight and Type

A 3/16 - 1/4 oz weight is a good starting weight. Going any lighter might make it harder for you to read what is going on until you get experience. As for the shape, I like to use either the teardrop or cylindrical shape. I have not experimented with other shapes. Windier conditions and stronger currents might make you want to choose a heavier weight, but let's not worry about that for now.

Line

Because you are drop shotting, lighter line is preferred if the cover you are fishing allows it. Go up in # strength if the cover dictates this. I like and use 6# fluorocarbon, particularly Seaguar's Invizx. This line kicks fanny. No doubt about it. The plus in going with fluorocarbon in a higher # test if needed is despite having a slightly thicker line diameter; the angler retains the benefit of fluorocarbon's trait of near invisibility as advertisers so claim. Whichever line you choose, I think the fluorocarbon line of your choice will be fine.

I know that some also prefer to use braid. I know the benefits of braid and am not against it and maybe someday I'll use it with a fluorocarbon leader. Given the amount of sensitivity my rod and line provide me, I just don't have a need to take it up a notch to braid for the typical depths I fish, which is usually no more than 20'. If you plan to fish greater depths, braid may very well be the ticket. The enhanced sensitivity braid provides can be a plus.

Baits

Keep an open mind here. Many baits of a variety of shapes can be used. The general rule of thumb is a tendency to use smaller baits since we are "finesse" fishing (translates to downsizing in general). The typical length of a drop shot bait usually ranges from 3" - 4.5" but this is NOT set in stone. Roboworms, Senkos, Sniper Snubs and Bolts (the latter two are locally made baits), Reaction Innovations Flirts, and heck, even Baby Brush Hogs and Tubes can be used. Think out of the box. I have used longer worms too. This season, the 4.5 Roboworm (in Aaron's Magic) and Sniper Snubs in Watermelon and Dark Brown have been so effective that to date I have not seen a need to try something else or other colors. It might be different for bass in other waters. If you wish to know, so far the most effective baits for me have been, the snubs and roboworms.

Here is a picture of a smallie I caught on a longer Roboworm hoping for a bigger smallie. The darn Roboworm is nearly as long as the smallie!

AlexandSmallie003.jpg

Hooks/Knot

I prefer to use size 1 or 2 (mostly size 2) Owner Mosquito or Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot hooks. If I am fishing a grassy area in which grass can catch the exposed hook, I opt for the Owner Down Shot hook, which is in essence a mini version of an EWG (extra wide gap) worm hook. Naturally, if you plan to drop shot much larger baits, you might need to go up in hook size.

I attach the hook to the line with a Palomar knot and after it is tied, I insert the extra line (tag end) through the hook's eye before attaching the weight.

Leader (Tag end) Length (Distance from the hook to the weight)

The best way to figure this out is to experiment. I have had success with leaders (tag ends) being as short as 4-6" to nearly but not quite 24. Because drop shotting is not limited to a purely vertical presentation, a longer leader is a good idea if you wish to work it somewhat like a Texas or Carolina rig. The longer leader length or tag end (which I define here as the distance between the weight and your hook, perhaps 18" as a ballpark figure) will enable you to keep the bait off the ground with the shallow angle that will result from a long cast. For a more vertical presentation, a shorter distance from the hook to the bait can work. Another influencing factor is the depth at which the fish are staying. You might need to adjust your tag end accordingly.

Imparting Life to the Lure

Despite the initial perception of working this lure, it is not all about jiggling and wiggling the bait to death. An angler can indeed work the bait this way, but I can tell you from personal experience, that wiggling and jiggling the bait to death (continuously) has accounted for the fewest number of catches. By no means am I saying to not wiggle and jiggle it to death. That is only one method.

So what should one do in addition to the wiggling/jiggling tactic?

Keep the weight on the bottom for the most part and leave enough slack to let the bait sink on its own weight. Then, when you think the bait is near the bottom lift/twitch the rod just enough to move the bait a little (without moving or minimizing the movement of the weight on the bottom) and repeat. In effect, what you are doing is working a semi-slack line and this is what is imparting action to the bait. No hits? Repeat if you wish, or add a little dead sticking to the mix or, drag your bait to the next spot. All are good choices. The dragging of the weight from one spot to the next also imparts life and action to the lure and can help to draw a strike. In addition, working with the slack and dead sticking have been far more effective for me compared to wiggling and jiggling the bait to death.

Not sure what the bait will do? Find some shallow water and drop your bait down. The depth should be one where you can see all the way to the bottom. Once the weight is on the bottom, let your bait fall by lowering your rod. Before the lure hits the bottom, raise the rod's tip enough to bring the lure up, and do your best to keep the weight in place. Watching this will give you an idea of what will likely be happening when you are not able to see the bait with your own eyes. Visualizing what the bait is doing when I can't see it helps me to focus on what I am trying to do, and that is catching fish.

Concerned about not being able to feel the bite on this semi-slack line if you are using fluorocarbon or braid? Let me put you at ease. It is not an issue. Either of those lines combined with a sensitive rod is more than adequate to feel the bite when the line has a bit of slack.

The Strike or Hit

The strike or hit can vary depending on the activity level of the fish, the quality of your set up to a certain extent, and the line you are using. More sensitive rods do a better job of transmitting what is going on to you. I have had the blessing of drop shotting with my Berkley Cherrywood Rod, which is decent and not too shabby, but comparing it to my Lamiglas Certified Pro Drop Shot rod is something else. Here is my analogy:

If the Cherrywood rod provides stereo sound to me while watching a DVD movie, the Lamiglas rod gives me the sound in THX, for the full cinema experience. The latter rod is not necessary to enjoy drop shotting, but it makes it a lot easier to feel and detect the subtle strikes.

The line you use can also influence the feel of the strike. My experience working with both mono and fluorocarbon is that the latter always seemed to give me a better picture. We all know now that although FC line can have as much or more stretch than a comparable monofilament line, it is likely that its density still enables it to beautifully transmit information from the end of our line, to the rod and to our hands. We all know how well braid transmits data back to the angler too so I don't think I need to elaborate further.

The hit or strike can feel like:

1) A mushy tug or tick, which could translate to a complete inhalation of your bait or the fish attacking the lure from the hook's side.

2) A nibble or nibbling, that transmits vibrations through the line to you. Sometimes you can see or feel the line vibrate through your semi-slack line. More sensitive rods tell you this much better and more clearly. I believe when the hit is like this (my best guess anyway as I visualize the strike), it is possible that the fish might have taken the lure from the side opposite the hook and the nibbling/vibrations you feel is the fish taking in the bait into its mouth, eventually getting to the hook.

3) Bam! An aggressive hit and it's on!

The Hook Set

For one and three, just reeling up the slack and adding enough tension to make the line taut is sufficient for most cases to drive the light wire hook home. For case two, you have to wait until the fish gets to the hook and then do as mentioned above. If you don't, you will pull the lure from the fish's mouth. Since it didn't get to the hook, there is no way the fish can get hooked.

I have written this based on the experience I gained from drop shotting. Take it for what it's worth, an opinion at best. I will close by giving you a final warning:

WARNING: Drop Shotting is as addictive as it is effective.

Good luck and go get'em!

-ib

(Alexander Arceo)

Review of the 2007 Season

The Drop Shot technique has been so effective for me even though it is my first season learning and using it. It has accounted for 100% of the smallmouth bass and about 70% of the largemouth bass I have caught this season, and I caught a lot, the most ever!!! And here is the thing that makes this even sweeter. They were all caught from the shore. No, this is not a testament to my skills, but a testament to the effectiveness of the Drop Shot technique.

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Rich Z's article is the best!

That should read, "Rich Z's articles are the best. He's been writing outdoors articles since I was born. Ive been following him since the mid 80s. He most recently had a great article called "State of the Smallmouth" for In~Fisherman magazine.

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I've been drop shotting for about 1/2 doz. years now and have tried a lot of riggings. The following shows two of the ways I rig my pre-tied DS rigs. I believe I've posted this here previously, but in case you missed it, I thought it would be a good time of the year to re-post:

MyDropShotRigsresized.jpg

Crestliner

Could you elaborate on your wiggle rig? Specifically on where to get the spectastic cord and how long a piece you use?

Thanks in advance

reo

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I did a search on this sight and foud it (I should have done that to begin with)

Thanks

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Good stuff guys! I want to try the drop shot this year, and I think I have alot more info on it now ! Thanks :D

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