“I’ve messed with the Damiki rig some in warmer temperatures, but it seems like it shines the most in cold water scenarios,” Palaniuk said. “You can still catch them on it in warmer water, but there are more efficient ways to catch them. So I’d go to a drop shot more then.”
He also prefers a drop shot when fishing in or around heavier cover like brush piles. The exposed hook on the Damiki rig makes this style of fishing much more suited for the drop shot. And unless the fish are suspended well off the cover, the drop shot is typically more effective and efficient at getting bit.
“I’ll Texas rig my drop shot when I’m around cover, or sometimes if I’m using something small like a 3-inch bait, I don’t like to Texas rig it because it effects the action,” Palaniuk said. “If I have a bait that’s thin enough like an X Zone Slammer, I can hook it so that I come up in the bottom of the bait at an angle but you don’t come all the way through the bait. You just have to make sure you leave enough distance between the bend of the hook and the hook point so you can still penetrate through the plastic and get to the barb on the fish.”
Palaniuk also mentioned that a drop shot is better in current and in dirtier water. Though both baits excel in clear water, the subtler Damiki rig loses its effectiveness as the stain in the water increases. And there are some generalities depth-wise on when Palaniuk will pick each presentation.
“I would say I’d probably pick a drop shot in 25 feet and less and a Damiki rig in 25 feet or more, if I just had to choose,” Palaniuk said. “And there’s obviously some overlap there. But in the wintertime, just based on how the fish are positioned, I think that would be the breaking point, 20 to 25 feet.”
He will also make this determination based on how far the fish are from the bottom.
“Generally if the fish are sitting 4 feet or more off the bottom, I’ll go with a Damiki rig,” Palaniuk said. “Sometimes they’ll follow a drop shot down to the bottom like that but I’ve seen situations where a fish would follow a drop shot down, and once it got to the bottom, they’d lose interest.
“But if you put something up in front of their face, they’d eat it. I think sometimes the fish get harder to catch too once you lose that element of surprise and you would have been better off to just start with the Damiki rig.”