Improving Your Drop Shot Fishing

Improve Your Drop Shot Fishing
 Over the past few years drop shotting has exploded in popularity in the UK. Most anglers have been using the tactic, which originated in Japan, to target perch, but it does work brilliantly for other predators such as pike.

What exactly is drop shotting you ask? In a nutshell, drop shotting is a finesse lure fishing tactic, whereby a soft plastic imitation bait is suspended just above the bottom, with a weight attached to the end of the line about 18 inches below the bait. This simple set-up allows you to bump, hop or crawl the weight along the bed using a small through-actioned rod, and this in turn works the lip hooked soft plastic bait so that it imitates prey that’s just asking to be eaten by a hungry perch.
Stillwater 50pc Drop Shot Kit
Savage Gear Drop Shot 22pc Pro Pack
So, to begin with, let’s look at the basic kit needed for getting you started drop shotting.

The amount of tackle needed to begin drop shotting really is minimal and affordable. There are several rods that would ensure a good day at the office when drop shotting.

There are some fantastic drop shot rods on the market, but a number of light lure or spinning rods between 6ft 6in and 8ft in length will also do the job. The basic requirement is a light rod with a sensitive tip, but one that also boasts a fair bit of power in reserve for setting the hook. The added power also enables you to bully fish a little more, helping to tire them out quicker. Using a rod with a stiff backbone also enables the same rod to be used for a number of other tactics, such as jigging. The rod should be matched with a small front drag fixed spool reel, loaded with a thin braid.

Stillwater Rokshot Drop Shot Rod

Wychwood Agitator Drop Shot Rod
There are a great many braids available on the market which will do the job admirably when it comes to the drop shot.

Daiwa J-Braid

Savage Gear HD4 Adrenaline V2 Braid

When tying a drop shot rig, start by taking a length of fluorocarbon measuring around 40in long. This is your leader. Double up the fluorocarbon and then attach the hook using a Palomar knot so that it is positioned half way along the leader.

Palomar Knot
You then need to tie a small swivel at the top of the leader, which is used to attach the mainline and to help reduce line twist, and your weight at the other end. Many professional bass anglers in the USA fish fluorocarbon straight through as a mainline when drop shotting, but some prefer to use braid, because of its much thinner diameter, which helps you cast further and more accurately, and as an added bonus it offers greater sensitivity when feeling for bites.

Most of the time anglers use a drop shot rig to cover areas that they’ve already searched with other lures such as jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. When it comes to drop shot lures, Savage Gear is one of the market leaders.

The way to fish the drop shot is to cast out and let the weight hit the bottom while holding the rod tip up at an angle. Then, moving your wrist, twitch the rod tip by just two to three inches at a time, working the bait slowly back towards yourself, making the smallest movements on the rod tip to make the soft bait twitch and undulate just like a dying or injured prey fish.
Savage Gear Dying Minnow Drop Shot Pro Kit
A big selling point of the drop shot rig is that you can cast it to any fish-holding structure, such as an overhanging bush on the far bank, and hold the rig there for as long as you like so that the soft bait is suspended, teasing the predator in its own strike zone.
Stillwater Rokshot RS Front Drag Reel

Grandeslam Blade Drop Shotting Reel
Most of the time the fish you catch, whatever the species, are hooked right in the scissors or in the top of the lip.

However, it’s important to remember when specifically target Pike, this requires the use of wire in your rig.   The goal is to recreate the same rig set-up of hook sitting at a 90 degree angle, leader and weight, but replacing the usual fluorocarbon with wire.  One way to do this is to use a snapper drop shot hook attached to knottable wire.

Snapper Drop Shot Hooks
Simply cut a suitable length of wire to run from your mainline swivel to the hook (ensuring the hook sits up at 90 degrees).  Then either loop round the top end of the hook swivel and use a crimp, or use a very strong half blood knot.  You can then attach a length of fluorocarbon (to save wire) from the bottom end of the hook swivel to your weight.  Adjusting the position of the weight from the hook will determine how close to the bottom you will be fishing.  Lastly, attach your drop shot lure or shad as required.
Stillwater Drop Shot Weights

Another possible example is again to use wire attached to your mainline, but position a drop shot hook with a bead and crimp at either side.  Position your hook on the wire at the desired length from the weight.

Using Crimps & Beads
As highlighted, when it come to toothy critters, wire is advisable, as is strong knots and crimps to ensure a solid rig.

On its day, drop shotting can be an unbeatable method for catching perch, so why not give it a try? Be warned, it can be highly addictive!

If you are planning on drop shotting for Perch and the like, don't forget that we have a massive selection of coarse fishing tackle at

If you would like more information regarding drop shotting then feel free to call and speak to one of our expert staff on  0141 212 8880.

And if you fish in the East Coast, don't forget you can shop for all your essentials at Edinburgh Angling Centre.

This article was brought to you in association with Improve Your Coarse Fishing Magazine.