Tackle Tips

Drop Shot Rig: How to Rig Bass Fishing Soft Plastics

(Photo: 247Sports)

A drop shot rig has grown to be one the most effective ways to fish for pressured bass or spooky bass in clear water. It's effective fished vertically or in deep water around small targets. It features a weight at the bottom of the line and a worm on a hook up the line to give the worm a very natural presentation with the slightest movement of the rod tip. Here are several considerations with this popular soft plastic rig.

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Tie a hook up the line

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The drop shot features a hook up the line with either a leader or long tag end to attach a weight at the bottom. New drop shot hooks feature swivels and can make rigging a little easier and more streamlined. We will usually tie a hook onto the line with a 12 to 18-inch tag end. We then feed the tag end back through the eye of the hook on the top where the point is facing up and run it out the bottom to make the hook stand out straight on the line.

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Add a weight to the bottom

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Add a weight to the bottom of the line. Either tie on a typical bell weight or use a specific drop shot weight with a clip.

Pro tip: We will tie a knot in the end of the line, even with the quick clips on most drop shot weights. The weight stays on fine either way while fishing, but when you are fighting a fish and they jump, they will often throw the drop shot weight off if it's not tied to the bottom of the rig. 

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Nose hook or Texas rig the plastics

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Add the worm to the hook, with either an under-the-chin and out-the-nose orientation or you can even Texas rig it onto the hook. 

Pro tip: Light wire hooks are often better with a drop shot rig. Light line in deep water with smaller guage wire will penetrate a little better. Hooks with small keepers will hold a Texas rigged plastic are also preferred. Most of the time, we nose-hook our soft plastics when drop shotting, but will switch to Texas rigged around cover.

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Experiment with weights and leader lengths

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The drop shot, much like the Carolina rig, can be modified with longer leaders between the worm and the weight and with heavier and lighter weights. Generally we try to use the lightest weight we can and still feel the lure and bottom for a more natural presentation. Most of the time we start with 1/4-ounce, but we've fished as heavy as 1/2-ounce and as light as 1/16-ounce. There are tons of great plastics now for drop shot fishing, so color and profile options are endless!

Pro tip: You can pendulum a drop shot through suspending fish by using a very light weight, such as a 1/16-ounce. It's also effective fished vertically off the bottom for suspended fish you see on your electronics.

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Different weights and hooks for drop shot

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A more round weight will hold a drop shot a little better on smoother bottoms. A cylinder weight can be nice on rockier and more cover laden bottoms. Most of the hooks we use will be between a No. 6 and No. 1 size hook. We often fish 4 to 6-inch plastics.

In this gallery we used the following tackle:

VMC Ike Tungsten Drop Shot Weights

VMC Spin Shot and Spin Shot Neko hooks

VMC Neko Hooks

Strike King Dream Shot Perfect plastics

5 Best Rigs for Bass Fishing Soft Plastics