The amount of innovation in fishing never ceases to amaze me. When you think we’ve come up with everything imaginable to help us catch more fish, the bar is raised yet again. Look at sonar for example; there was a time just a few decades ago when guys first started running depth finders with literal paper printouts of the bottom contour and that was groundbreaking. Then they saw bottom appear on a tiny black and white screen for the first time and their jaws must have hit the floor. Fast-forward a little more to tech that could show you what’s off to the side of the boat, then all around and now we have the ability to clearly see what’s under the water dozens of feet in front of us.
What will they think of next?
Well, this product review kind of strikes the same chord on a different note. The VMC Spin Shot Drop Shot Hook is such a neat and innovative take on a drop shot hook. This product has been out for a while now, winning Best of Show in Terminal Tackle at ICAST 2011. So it’s not like this is groundbreaking tech at this point or the hottest new thing, but it is still such an innovative take on the same old thing. Though we’re more than a decade down the road from its invention, we’ve never reviewed it here, so now’s the time to take a closer look at what sets this thing apart.
Let’s dive in.
The “spin” in Spin Shot
What sets this hook apart the most from other drop shot hooks is clearly the swivel running through the eye of the hook. One of the biggest drawbacks of drop shotting, especially when using anything but braided line as the main line, is the tendency for line twists to develop. If the bait isn’t rigged absolutely perfectly, it tends to spin in the water on the fall and when it’s being reeled in.
So throughout a fishing trip, there’s this constant process of re-rigging and repositioning the hook so the bait doesn’t spin, or you end up with line twists that you have to unwind and untangle. VMC took a radical approach to solve this problem and put a swivel through the eye to not only give the hook the ability to spin freely around the swivel, but also for any line twists that do develop to unwind by letting the swivel rotate within the eye of the hook. The latter helps eliminate the inevitable slight line twists that might occur when the hook and swivel get in a temporary bind, on a cast for instance.
Rigging a drop shot using the Spin Shot hook is a little different but that’s a good thing. With a traditional drop shot, you tie your knot to the eye of the hook and leave a long tag end to run back through the eye and down to where you attach a drop shot weight. With the Spin Shot, there’s less guess work, making it especially ideal for anglers new to drop shotting. Simply tie your main leader line to the eye of the swivel on the top when the hook point is oriented upwards. Then cut off a short piece of line to use for your drop leader down to your weight and tie that on the bottom eye of the swivel.
One additional benefit to rigging your drop shot this way is that you can use a slightly lighter pound-test line now for your weight. So if you choose 8-pound test for the main leader between your braided line and your hook, you can choose 6-pound test to use for that last foot or so of line between your hook and your weight. This gives you the chance of breaking your line between the hook and the weight prior to breaking off your whole rig. I’m not suggesting you want to go through a bunch of tungsten drop shot weights this way, however. Instead, I’m pointing out that it’s better to lose the weight and that last foot or so of line when you occasionally hang up rather than lose your whole setup and have to re-rig starting with just your braided main line.
The hook VMC paired with the swivel to create the Spin Shot is a solid one—strong and sturdy with a super sharp point and a large gap, comparative to its overall size. This larger gap gives the hook plenty of bite to latch into the fish while still allowing you to go with a much smaller and less noticeable size than even the 1/0 I tested out for this review. I also really like the pronounced V in the bend of the hook. This is probably intended, in part, to help the hook lock into the fish. But it also does a good job of holding the bait in position.
This hook is meant for nose-hooking baits. The intent is to run this hook through only a very small portion of the bait at the nose. This allows for the rest of the bait to have a super realistic, free flowing look to it, not encumbered by a longer hook running down the body of it like it would if it were Texas rigged. You can also rig this bait fairly wheedles by nose-hooking the bait right on the point and leaving it covering the point. Either way, you’ll want to be sure to let the fish get the bait well before setting the hook. Reason being, rigging a drop shot this way can lead to some short strikes and early snatches, which I learned the hard way myself when trying a hook like this out for the first time.
I really like the packaging of these hooks. A nice little paper holder in a clam shell package keeps the hooks secure and ready to go when they’re called upon. At $3.99 for a 4-pack, they come in at a little over a dollar apiece when figuring in tax. But remember, you can rig these a little different and run less of a risk losing them than you would rigging another hook on a traditional drop shot. Ranging in eight sizes from 8 to a 2/0, you have lots of options there.
By incorporating a swivel, the Spin Shot Drop Shot Hook has made drop shotting a little more approachable for the angler who is a novice to both the finesse fishing and fancy knots games. VMC has also helped eliminate a lot of line twists with this hook, fixing one of the biggest drawbacks to drop shotting all while providing a super sharp, well-designed hook that keeps your nose-hooked bait in place. A well thought out and revolutionary hook that I’ve enjoyed putting to the test.
The VMC Spin Shot Drop Shot Hook is available at the following online retailers: