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How To Tie a Drop Shot Rig

Whether you fish fresh or salt, a drop shot rig is a great way to suspend a bait near the bottom, keeping it out of muck and weeds and putting it where it counts: right in front of the fish. Originally a saltwater technique, anglers on the west coast quickly adopted it as a finesse technique for bass.

Since then, it has grown in popularity, and when rigged with a worm or senko, it can be devastatingly effective in high-pressure lakes.

And more good news--it’s simple to rig!

If you’ve wondered how to tie a drop shot knot, rigging a single hook to a cylinder weight, we’ve got you covered.

What is Drop-Shotting? The Basics

A drop shot rig suspends your hook above a weight. It’s a simple idea with some profound consequences.

Unlike standard worm fishing, the weight--rather than your line--is taking the abuse of the bottom. Right there, you’ll find this yields more bass, more often. But the drop shot rig’s advantages don’t stop there.

Since you can run as much distance between the hook and the sinker as you wish, you can adjust the height of the hook for weeds and other vegetation. That allows you to target your depth precisely. And because the weight is attached to the line and not your hook or bait, the worm is free to do its thing.

This results in an ultra-enticing action, whether you nose hook, Texas rig, or wacky rig your soft bait.

Looking for a rod? Check out our guide on finding the best drop shot rod!

How to Tie a Drop-Shot Rig

How To Tie Drop Shot Rig

Begin by tying your hook with a Palomar knot--intentionally producing a very long tag end.

If you’re not sure how to tie this knot, start at 1:24:

When you finish your Palomar, you’ll end up with a tag end that’s running back along your main line. I’ve tied a #1 Gamakatsu circle hook with 6-pound Trilene here.

Run that long tag end back through the eye of the hook to redirect it.

As you pull the tag-end through the eye, you’ll end up with something like this:

As you can see, the tag end is now running past the hook, just waiting for a cylinder weight!

Finally, tie or attach your weight to the end of the tag end, adjusting the length to suit your needs.

Our Favorite Drop-Shot Tips

To make the most of this technique, you need to keep in mind that it’s all about finesse.

Line selection - While you might run a big jerkbait with heavy-weight braid, it’s important that your drop shot line combine sensitivity with subtlety. You want a strong, sensitive mainline, and we recommend Suffix 832 in 10-20 pound test. In combination, we like to run a 6-10 pound fluorocarbon or mono leader from there to offer a touch of shock absorption and provide lessened visibility near our terminal tackle.

Our top choices are Seaguar Invizx and Stren Original. If you’re not running the Seaguar, simple mono really will outperform other fluorocarbons. If you’d like to know why, check out our detailed “Myths Busted” article.

Hook selection - We strongly recommend Gamakatsu drop shot hooks in size 1-1/0. They’re quite simply the best hooks on the market. If you want to run this rig weedless Texas-style, take a look at their offset hooks.

Soft bait selection - Drop shotting really lets an excellent worm strut its stuff. I particularly like the 5-6 inch Yamamoto Senkos and Zoom Trick Worms and Brush Hogs.

Weight selection - Use the lightest weight you can, starting at 3/16 to ¼ ounce at the maximum. We like cylinder weights, as they bust grass better than other styles. Whether you choose tungsten or lead, both work well.

I like Fishing Vault’s tungsten cylinder weights and Eagle Claw’s lead alternative. Both offer a no-tie option, though I have had a few weights pulled free because I didn’t knot them.

Technique - The idea is to twitch your rod tip, very gently dancing the soft bait to really work its action in a way that looks natural. A touch of slack in your line is essential here, as you want to leave that weight where it is. You’re not trying to work the water column--keep that weight on the bottom!

Final Thoughts

Whether you need a finesse presentation for skittish bass, or just need to keep your bait near--but not on--the bottom, a drop-shot rig is ideal.

Easy to tie, easy to use, it will enhance your repertoire and quickly become a go-to technique in your angling arsenal.

If this helped you out, or if you have a suggestion to offer, please leave a comment below!

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. Whether he's casting a line in a quiet freshwater stream or battling a monster bass, fishing is his true passion.