Rigging and tackle


No surprise, the bulked-up drop shot’s assignments typically require stouter tackle. Starting with the hardware, Hackney likes a 3/0 to 5/0 Owner Jungle Flipping Hook. The keeper helps keep his larger bait straight and in the perfectly horizontal position necessary for clean hook sets.

Unlike the traditional drop shot deal, Hackney replaces a spinning outfit with baitcasting gear. He finds a 7-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy Lew’s flipping/pitching rod provides the right blend of lighter tip action for effective bait motion with the muscle needed to separate big fish from cover.

While his light duty spinning rods carry the standard braid-to-fluorocarbon setup, Hackney goes straight fluoro on his bulked-up outfits. The bulkier rig accommodates 12- to 16-pound line – as much for heavy cover necessity, as for the bait dynamics.

“You use that light line to get that action out of those little baits,” Hackney said of traditional drop shot setups. “If you put a Dream Shot on 15-pound test, you don’t get much action out of it because the line is so stiff.

“When you’re bulking up your drop shot, you’re able to use bigger line because it doesn’t impede that bigger bait’s action.”

Hackney’s tackle tip: “The deeper I fish, the lighter line I use. If I’m pitching that bulky drop shot up shallow, I’m going to use 16-pound line; but if I’m fishing it deeper, around grass lines and stuff like that, I’ll downsize the line to get more action out of the bait.

“I believe the more water you have over your bait, the more action you need. It’s not that I’m worried about the fish seeing that 16-pound line, I’m just trying to get the maximum action out of that bait.”