Do you feel like you aren’t catching and landing as many fish as you'd like when fishing a drop shot? If so, you might be using the wrong fishing rod. It’s a common mistake can make a big difference in your catch rate. In this article, I'll explain why choosing the right fishing rod is so important for drop shot fishing and provide tips for selecting the perfect rod for your technique.
As you know, this technique is basically a weight at the end of your line and a bait or lure suspended above it. The idea is to keep the bait at a fixed distance from the bottom of the lake/river or suspended over and around some type of submerged structure.
What makes drop shot fishing unique is the sensitivity required to detect even the slightest bites plus the downsized terminal tackle to fish it effectively. With the right fishing rod, you are able to feel when a fish picks up the bait and set the hook with precision without pulling out of its mouth.
So, how do you choose the right fishing rod for drop shot fishing? There are a few factors to consider, like always - length, power, action, and materials are deciding factors. For this article, I’m going to stick with the standard presentation – fishing vertically with spinning gear.
Length is important because it affects the distance at which you are dropping your lure in front of the boat. A shorter rod in the sub-7-foot range is ideal. This allows for the bait to be dropped directly off the bow of the boat so you can keep the bait in your sonar cone easier. A shorter rod also imparts less action to the bait. This makes it easier to make subtle movements to illicit strikes on heavily pressured bass
A light power, fast action rod is best. Combined, these features will help you feel slight bites and quickly set the hook. Since most anglers are going to use lighter lines (4-8# fluorocarbon, etc), a lighter rod does a better job at protecting the line. Broken lines don’t put fish in the boat! The light power paired with the fast action will also help “shock absorb” any runs a fish makes helping you stay buttoned up with the fish.
Sensitivity is perhaps the most important factor when choosing a fishing rod for drop shot fishing. If you are comparing two rods, the rod that is physically lighter will typically be more sensitive as vibration energy moves through it better. Drop shots are one of the techniques where I typically make a little more investment (both rod and reel). I want a well built rod made using top quality carbon fiber construction.
My Personal Experience:
I learned the importance of choosing the right fishing rod for drop shot fishing the hard way. When I first started drop shot fishing, I thought any spinning rod would do. I missed fish, couldn’t keep my bait in the sonar cone, and even broke off a lot of fish. The bulk of the problems were cured by moving to a drop shot dedicated rod.
One additional word of advice - look for a rod with guides that will pass a leader knot (if you use leaders). Nothing is more frustrating than opening the bail of your spinning rod and seeing the line not feed because the leader knot is hanging in the guides.
In conclusion, choosing the right fishing rod is critical for drop shot fishing. By selecting a rod with the right features, you'll be able to detect bites more easily and land more fish. So, before you head out on your next fishing trip, take a closer look at your fishing rod and make sure it's the right one for your drop shot technique. Happy fishing!