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FlyRod

DropShot Revelation

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I'm assuming that most of us employ spinning tackle for dropshotting and shakin'.

For my part, my reasons for doing so were twofold; ease of casting when you have two components on the line, and the assumption that the ergonomics of working the lure were more suited to spinning.

I was wrong!

Over the past two weeks I've been dropshotting with the following baitcasting setup: St. Croix Avid AC69MLXF rod, Chronarch 50MG reel, 20 lb. Yellow TUF-Line braid, and a 12 lb. fluoro leader. I find that if you're careful on the casting (sidearm is good in some cases) you have a rig that is easier to enliven the lure with and is markedly more sensitive.

I tie on a leader of at least 8-9 feet so that I can retie the hook a few times without having to deal with the Deadly J-Knot too often. (Ever try to do a J-Knot in a stiff breeze?) Note: Use a "leader" grade fluoro, such as P-Line's Fluorocarbon Leader rather than regular fluoro line. Seems to be more durable, knot-wise.

Moreso by far when compared to a spinning setup, the choice of rod is critical.

The AC69MLXF was designed as a dropshot rod (and there's a matching spinning model) and is labeled as such. I bought three of them with the intent of using them for subtle presention of small and lightly weighted or unweighted (4" Tiki Stix, as an example) and tossing the smallest Rapala ShadRaps or similar very light hard baits. I should add that the combo is fantastic for white bass, crappie, or various sunfish too, using small jigs, underspins, etc.

These rods have delighted me in my original applications, with far more backbone than one might expect but also their ability to offer "ultralight" capabilities with a baitcasting rig.

Of course, the right reel is critical, and the 'Narch 50MG IS the reel of choice. It's feather light, casts the lightest stuff for miles (with the right rod, o'course) and yet retains more than enough power to fight any bass.

I seldom dropshot "straight down", usually making long casts (especially in clear water). Here's where the sensitivity of the right rod and the braid/fluoro combo is demonstrated. With this combo I've felt bass take the worm in their most delicate and stealthy manner...Hurrah for Avids!...far moreso that with a spinning rig, and with SHARP hooks the whippy AC69MLXF effects a solid hookset. The fight of even a dink is greatly more enjoyable with this combo as well.

If you use a braid that has a tendency to "dig in" you'll be in trouble with this rig unless you find a line that resists digging. I had all manner of trouble throwing light baits with some braids, even the P-line Spectrex, but find that the TUF-Line just doesn't seem to misbehave...cheaper too! I recommend the Yellow since the green is virtually invisible to the angler and you need to watch your line.

A last ramble...

I realize that buying a rod that costs 160 bux, a 250 dollar reel, and pricey line and leader isn't easy, but the rewards are great.  The combo weighs next to nothing, especially v. a spin rig. The fatigue factor is greatly reduced, though, while the sensitivity increases exponentially.

If you can, try it. With a little patience and practice you'll increase your dropshot enjoyment and success ratio immensely.

F. Rod

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Same here Flyrod,    I use an ole bantam light shimano 1000 that can handle small stuff with no problem employed with a Falcon low rider series rod.  Notice your not exactly throwing small stuff.

Flyrod, rarely do I drop shot shallower than 10ft.     Do you dropshot at all depths, or do you limit your target zones with drop shotting?

Matt

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I mentioned in another post I see guys using light casting tackle for dropshot a lot. They still seem allergic to superline/leader though.

For me, it's never the weight of the rig I'm using, it's the way I have to hold it. Palming a casting reel for more than a few hours is more tiring than letting the weight of a spinning reel hang under with ol' gravity helping, at least for me.

I do like the braid/flouro leader. Sensitivity beyond belief. I let my brother-in-law borrow a rod when fishing on Beaver Lake last year. He's a "flourocarbon cures cancer, etc." type. He starts using my 7' med/light spinning rod with 4/10 Fireline with 8 ft. Orvis 3X leader.(about 9.5.lb. test.) and start jerking it about evey ten seconds.

When I ask what he's doing, he says he's getting taps but keeps missing them. I cast over near his finesse worm and realize he's feeling cobble rocks on the edge of a gravel flat. He never felt anything like that before.

Sounds like you've got a winning set-up.

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I also use baitcaster set-ups for drop shotting. I have tried spinning gear and everytime I get one of those darn loop knots I swear off using spinning gear ever again haha. I have used rather expensive reels and cheaper reels and all make loop knots. Some just less then others.

But I am more then capable of throwing even the lightest lures with my baitcasters so I just prefer them over spinning gear. The only really good purpose I can see a spinning gear set-up is when shooting docks. Maybe some can do this fine with baitcasters but it is allot easier with spinning gear.

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Regular readers might already know that I hate/get my butt kicked by spinning so I do everything with baitcaster.

My setup is a 7-6 Airrus Co-Matrix med/light with med action.  Quantum tour PT reel.  8 lb Pline floro - no leader. Pallomar knot works just fine for me and if done right the hook practically stands up at attention.  

I havent narrowed down to a favorite bait yet.  A majority of my drop shotting is straight down in deeper water... by deeper I mean about 20 FOW right off of points/drops.

The braid/floro leader sounds interesting!  Thanks for suggesting it!  Have you tried PowerPro?  

If you do dropshot shallow how has that worked out for you?  Do you use different plastics for shallow vs. deeper?

B

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Same here Flyrod,      Notice your not exactly throwing small stuff.

  Do you dropshot at all depths, or do you limit your target zones with drop shotting?

Matt

I DO throw lots of small stuff with this rig. I use a drop weight of 1/4 oz or less and toss a lot of unweighted 4" Tiki Stix, and that smallest ShapRap is a featherweight.

(Or did I misunderstand?)

And...I've D.S.ed in as little as four feet of water, but only if the water is fairly turbid OR I make a long cast into clear shallow water.

Many are the times when a small and very soft (See: Wiggly) worm danced almost on the surface in shallow water, above a drop weight, has triggered an attack, especially if you drag it slowleeeeeeeee past cover and make it do "My Hips Don't Lie". (God! I love that video!) A 4-5" finesse worm, either the ZOOM OR the 3X (even more live) will do the trick.

FR

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Regular readers might already know that I hate/get my butt kicked by spinning so I do everything with baitcaster.

Pallomar knot works just fine for me and if done right the hook practically stands up at attention.  

I havent narrowed down to a favorite bait yet.  A majority of my drop shotting is straight down in deeper water... by deeper I mean about 20 FOW right off of points/drops.

The braid/floro leader sounds interesting!  Thanks for suggesting it!  Have you tried PowerPro?  

If you do dropshot shallow how has that worked out for you?  Do you use different plastics for shallow vs. deeper?

B

I use the Palomar for the hook, of course with the tag end brought through the eye, top to bottom, again so as to make the hook ride point up.

The J-Knot is for attaching the leader to the line. There are others, but I'm a masochist.

I've used PowerPro but find the cheaper TUF to be more mannerly...(See: Dig-in) If you're heaving heavy stuff then ballistics and inertial forces will negate a dig-in...usually. But when you are tossing light stuff, dig-in is death. The TUF seems to rarely, if ever dig in, even after fighting a phish or pulling a snag free.

Shallow: See my response to Matt Fly

Enjoy!

FR.

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I mentioned in another post I see guys using light casting tackle for dropshot a lot. They still seem allergic to superline/leader though.

For me, it's never the weight of the rig I'm using, it's the way I have to hold it. Palming a casting reel for more than a few hours is more tiring than letting the weight of a spinning reel hang under with ol' gravity helping, at least for me.

I do like the braid/flouro leader. Sensitivity beyond belief. I let my brother-in-law borrow a rod when fishing on Beaver Lake last year. He's a "flourocarbon cures cancer, etc." type. He starts using my 7' med/light spinning rod with 4/10 Fireline with 8 ft. Orvis 3X leader.(about 9.5.lb. test.) and start jerking it about evey ten seconds.

When I ask what he's doing, he says he's getting taps but keeps missing them. I cast over near his finesse worm and realize he's feeling cobble rocks on the edge of a gravel flat. He never felt anything like that before.

Sounds like you've got a winning set-up.

Maybe it's due to atrophy from seldom casting with my right hand, as I do a spin rig, but my shoulder goes after a fairly short period of dropshotting or shaking with the spinner. I crank left w/spinning, BTW, but cast left, crank right with baitcasting.

Perhaps with practice I'd get my groove back with spin rig, but the BC will remain my reel of choice...but who knows what the morrow will bring?

If you can manage to acquire the specific rig I use, which means a rod and reel combo weighing barely ten ounces, you might possibly become a convert. I admit that it's a big investment though.

There's just something about the AC69MLXF Avid that seems miraculous. Ditto the 'Narch 50MG.

FR

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"There's just something about the AC69MLXF Avid that seems miraculous"

The rod my in-law was using is a custom I made on the 7' med/light/fast Avid spinning blank. They are awesome for the money.

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As Flyrod's fishing partner I can attest to this.  After watching him use  a baitcaster to catch these fish and not really liking using a spinning reel I found a rod today that should do the job nicely, although not a high dollar rod like the Avid.  I got a Falcon saltwater rod-a coastal topwater rod to be exact.  On sale, too :).  Looking forward to trying it out when Flyrod and I hit the lake on Saturday.

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this is all very interesting.  i usually use much lighter baits than 4 inch tikis for dropshotting though and also prefer much lighter line than 12 lb.  ive never used line lighter than 8 lb on my baitcasting gear and wonder if it is a good idea.  i have no problems with my dropshot rig but always looking for something new.  i have used a baitcasting setup for a power drop shot through weeds and such but not in the sort of application your talking about.

matt

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Rebbasser,

Who has falcons on Sale?

Matt.

Matt,

Rebbachelor is out working (poor stiff) so I'll answer that one due to time constraints on the sale.

Academy is having a rod sale this week (through Saturday). The discounts are considerable...up to 30% or so.

He bought his at an Academy in Corpus Christi. The "inland" Academies might not have most of the saltwater rods, though. Get yerself down to Acad and if they don't have the referenced rod (Saltwater 6'9" 3/16-?, CASTING!) I can look at two of the Acads here and let you know. Better hurry. Better yet, if you've got a bud in the Corpus area he/she might be able to nail one for you.

I've not seen, much less used, this Falcon, but I believe that Rabblerouser knows what he's doing on this one in that he's handled my Avid enough to know what to look for.

He can outline the details re which reel and line he intends to use. They will not be the same as what I've "prescribed" but will, no doubt, serve him well.

NOTE: There are some good reasons for which I use braid with a fluoro leader on my DS rig; One, the increased sensitivity. Two, the smaller diameter per lb. test rating lessens the depth increase on the spool during a cast. This might increase distance and lessen the severity of an "overrun". Three, braid is far more forgiving of overruns when it comes to clearing one and there's no risk of kinking the line. Four, frequent re-ties of the hook, with mono or pure (expensive) fluoro line will result in a need to respool with greater frequency=$$. By using a leader, one can tie one on that is of sufficient length to allow for a few re-ties before replacing ONLY the leader, thus negating the need to respool entirely. Five, since fluoro will not fluoresce under UV, and is less visible than a standard mono in daylight, using YELLOW braid will allow a greater chance of visible strike detection. Also, if you douse your YELLOW braid with mebbe three applications of, say, Spike-It Chartreuse worm dye, it becomes even more visible under UV or daylight...repeat periodically. It won't hurt the braid, BTW.

FR

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