5 Best Dropshot Rods

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Fishing a dropshot is absolutely the most effective way to catch bass in certain situations. For instance, there is no better bait for targeting fish vertically that are relating tightly to cover. However, this isn’t a one trick pony either. This article will share the 5 best dropshot rods

Even with forward facing sonar and the rise in popularity of minnow-style soft plastic baits rigged on jigheads that pair with this new tech so well, a dropshot is still an effective tool at catching bass that are relating loosely to cover. It’s even effective in open water on bass that are on the bottom or suspending close to it. 

Choosing a Dropshot Rod

What characteristics come together to form a good dropshot rod? My personal preference, the weight of the dropshot and even the size of the angler can all impact the nuances of an exact setup. The ratings by each rod company come into play too, as the actions and powers of rods don’t translate exactly from one brand to another. 

Still, by and large, most would agree that a 7-foot, medium-light power spinning rod with a fast action is a great place to start for the most basic dropshot setup. With this general framework in mind, and in an effort to offer an option or two on the fringe, I’ve compiled this list of the 5 best dropshot rods. 

It’s worth noting as well that I am not, by nature, a finesse fishing fanatic. I’ve caught several 3- to 4-pound Coosa spots on a dropshot and have wrangled in a handful of Great Lakes smallmouth in the 5- to 6-pound class, but I don’t consider myself an expert in this arena based on personal experience alone. 

In an effort to speak with added authority on the topic, I did a considerable amount of research for this buyer’s guide. I shot inquiries around to a few phenomenal finesse fishermen I know and trust and even polled the general public to get their take on the best dropshot rods. After compiling my findings, I also peppered in my own personal experiences. That’s how this buyer’s guide came to be. Let’s dive in. 

Top Picks

Daiwa tatula elite dropshot rod

Best Overall Dropshot Rod

Daiwa Tatula Elite 7 feet medium light/fast

  • Length: 7 feet
  • Power: Medium Light
  • Action: Fast
  • Lure Weight: 1/16- to 3/8-ounce
  • Line: 4- to 10-pound fluorocarbon/15-pound braid
  • Price: $189

Few are as good at finesse fishing as California’s Cody Meyer. An angler who has made a living relying heavily on a dropshot at times, his 7 foot medium light/fast action Tatula Elite spinning rod is the preferred dropshot rod of many a common angler as well as several of Meyer’s own competitors on the pro circuits.

This rod is powerful enough to wrestle a 6-pound smallmouth, while also being delicate enough to detect the lightest bites from lethargic largemouth. You can fill your limit with this one and catch a kicker too, for a reasonable/middle of the pack price of $189.99. All of this considered, it’s easy to see why the 7 foot medium light Daiwa Tatula Elite takes the best overall spot on this list. 

*Best overall honorable mention: St. Croix Mojo Bass Trigon Spinning (6 feet 10 inches ML/XF) $175

ark reinforcer dropshot rod

Best Premium Dropshot Rod

Ark Reinforcer Series Spinning Rod 6 feet 10 inches medium light/extra fast

  • Length: 6 feet 10 inches
  • Power: Medium Light
  • Action: Extra Fast
  • Lure Weight: 1/16- to 1/2-ounce
  • Line: 4- to 10-pound fluorocarbon/15-pound braid
  • Price: $349.95

The Ark Reinforcer Series Spinning Rod may have flown a little under the radar for some of you up to this point, but this is one of those rods that simply oozes high quality when you pick it up. I personally tend to use a slightly smaller dropshot rod so this one at 6 feet 10 inches felt right at home in my hand. 

While this rod is obviously made using top notch components, what really sets it apart is the feel. I believe you could blindfold an angler and put this rod in his hand up against any other dropshot rod and he’d be hard pressed to put it down for another.

Despite giving up a couple inches in length compared to the standard 7 footers, the extra fast action paired with the Reinforcer’s medium light power still provides plenty of oomph to slip a light dropshot hook into a fish. Additionally, the rod is sensitive enough to detect a bass’s breath on your bait.

*Premium honorable mention: Temple Fork Outfitters Resolve Series 713 (7 feet 1inch ML/F) $299

Shimano Expride dropshot rod

Most Versatile Dropshot Rod

Shimano Expride B 7 feet 2 inches medium light/fast 

  • Length: 7 feet 2 inches
  • Power: Medium Light
  • Action: Fast
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-7/16 ounce
  • Line: 4- to 8-pound fluorocarbon/15-pound braid
  • Price: $279

This one came highly recommended by a few as well. When it comes to fishing rods and reels (and finesse gear in particular) it’s hard to find a more consistent and long standing record of quality, sensitivity and strength than what Shimano has established. The same can be said of Daiwa and their products. 

The Shimano Expride is a little longer, at 7 foot, 2 inches, but it still has that same medium light power with the fast action. Based on the opinions of several, it was a bit of a tossup between the Shimano Expride and the Daiwa Tatula Elite for which would get the best overall versus the most versatile. 

Being a tinge shorter, the Tatula Elite fit the best overall category better. The slightly longer Expride took the cake for most versatile. 

Fitzgerald Vursa Dropshot Rod

Best Value Dropshot Rod

Fitzgerald Vursa Series Spinning Rod 6 feet 9 inches medium/moderate

  • Length: 6 feet 9 inches
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Moderate
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-5/8 ounce
  • Line: 4- to 12- pound fluorocarbon/15-pound braid
  • Price: $139 

This is the spinning rod I have the most personal experience dropshotting with. Again, I don’t do this style of fishing for a living like those that are the best at it. If you’re just an average Joe, fairly experienced angler looking for a quality dropshot rod at a good price, the Vursa 6 foot 9 inches is a pretty sweet rod. 

I’ve had at least one of these exact rods for around 7 years. It’s pulled several 3- to 4-and-1/2- pound Coosa spots out of brush piles and put them in the boat. It’s fairly sensitive and plenty strong. An easy recommendation for me to make. 

Lews dropshot rod

Best Budget Dropshot Rod

Lew’s TP1X Speed Stick HM40 Spinning Rods 7 foot medium/moderate fast 

  • Length: 7 foot
  • Power: Medium
  • Action: Moderate Fast
  • Lure Weight: 1/4-5/8 ounce
  • Line: 6- to 10-pound fluorocarbon/15-pound braid
  • Price: $99

If you’re looking to introduce an angler to dropshotting, or you’re a novice at the technique yourself, the Lew’s TP1X Speed Stick is a great entry level rod. For right at $100, you can get a solid rod from a long-time, world-renowned brand that is sure to give you all the rod you need to learn this technique, all without breaking the bank.