The best drop shot rods help you efficiently and effectively catch fish which you’ll never find swimming to the surface of the water.
To help you choose the right rod that’s going to increase your skill in drop shot fishing, we’ve put together buying tips on how to make the right choice and listed the best rods you’ll find today.
Drop Shot Rod Reviews
The top-rated rods for drop shot fishing are:
1. Cadence Spinning Rod CR5
This is the one that most experienced anglers favor over all the drop shot rods sold online today. It’s a spinning rod; however, it’s preferred for drop shot fishing.
The CR5 of Cadence is made of carbon fiber that makes it lightweight and capable of offering superior strength in comparison to the old-fashioned materials.
One of the common failure mechanisms for most rods is a broken tip or a broken guide. You need to ensure they’re made of high-quality materials to get the most value for your money. The Cadence CR5 boasts of stainless-steel guides and SIC inserts which aren’t just extremely durable, they are also resistant to corrosion.
We always prefer high-quality, durable gear that can last for years even with frequent use as the last thing you’d want on a fishing trip is a damaged rod.
2. Dobyns Rods Fury Spinning Rod
The Dobyns Rods Fury rod series also offers one of the best drop shot rods today. It’s a go-to-choice for those that are looking for a reliable and affordable rod for drop shot fishing.
Choose the 7ft medium/light power fishing rod with fast action of the series. At 7ft, you’ll get a good casting distance. The rod is also just at the right length for when you’re dropping vertically as you fish in close quarters.
The medium/light option has enough backbone while retaining sensitivity. The split foam/cork handle is also something to love about the rod. It’s a solid choice if the Cadence CR5 is sold out.
3. Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod
The Abu Garcia Veracity is also an excellent drop shot rod. It has a 40-ton carbon fiber blank with 3M Powerlux resin that’s baked into it, which means it’s sensitive, lightweight, and very strong.
The rod is 7ft long with medium power and fairly fast action, but keep in mind you can also choose from various lengths. We recommend you opt for the 7ft model.
It’s going to help you achieve a pretty great casting distance from the decent length. It’s not that long, which is good as anything longer can make your rod inaccurate or hard to maneuver.
With the Abu Garcia Veracity, you’ll get a combination of casting distance, accuracy, and leverage.
4. Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
Fenwick is known to be an innovator in the world of fishing and the HMG rod is a testament to its reputation. The medium/light model is best suited for drop shot fishing.
It has extra fast action. Line rating of the spinning rod is in the range of 4 to 10 lbs. and casting weight rated at 1/8 to 5/8 oz.
The titanium frame guides, cork and TAC handle, and ‘hidden handle’ reel seat are some of the great features that make it one of the best drop shot fishing rods.
5. St. Croix Premier Casting Rod
The Premier Casting Rod of St. Croix has medium-fast action. It flexes near the tip, providing you with speed and allowing the hook to react instantly to your movements.
This is why it’s excellent to use the finesse fishing technique or drop shot fishing. For power, it’s medium-light which means it offers a good balance between flex and sensitivity. It’ll handle medium size lines and lures, ideal for small to medium size fish.
Flex is fairly easy so it doesn’t have power for large fish. It’s, however, perfect for smaller ones. The sensitivity of the ultralight rod is outstanding, securing its spot on our list of the best drop shot fishing rods.
6. St. Croix Mojo Rod
The Mojo series is very popular with a reputation for being durable and high performing.
It’s able to deliver both a reasonable price and great performance. A Mojo rod has a high strain, high modulus graphite material construction, so it’s not just tough – it’s also very sensitive.
It’s been built with the brand’s Integrated Poly Curve technology which gives greater feedback starting from the tip of the rod to its handle.
7. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
The GX2 is a new product of Ugly Stik. It’s made using the latest technology and given modern materials, which is why it’s both gorgeous and efficient.
If you are a fan of Ugly Stik’s reliable and classic design, you’ll be happy that the rod retains the great features of its predecessors which were very popular. This means its reliability hasn’t been sacrificed just to get a fancier look.
The drop shot rod has medium power and medium-fast action to give enough power in lifting fish on your fishing line and provide the sensitivity that you need.
The blank is a combination of graphite and fiberglass which makes the rod feel stiff but extra powerful and durable. It has a clear tip to help balance the stiffness with extra sensitivity.
8. Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Rod
Last on our list of the best drop shot rods, the Berkley Cherrywood has a fiberglass blank which ensures durability.
The stainless-steel guides of the rod are 20x stronger and lighter compared to the traditional guides of rods made of aluminum oxide.
Its full cork handle is added with sliding rods not only for grip but added comfort as well. It’s lightweight and sensitive enough to help you achieve drop shot fishing success.
How to Pick the Best Drop Shot Rods
From our drop shot rod reviews above, you may already have a good idea of what makes an excellent rod suitable to use whenever you’re drop shot fishing.
In order to help you find the best drop shot spinning rod for your specific needs and personal preference, we’ve listed the features that you should pay attention to before you make your final choice.
Drop shot fishing rods typically have medium-light power. Medium-light power rods are capable of casting lightweight drop rigs at a long distance.
They also have the right mix of flexibility, strength, and sensitivity. They are sensitive enough that they can transmit even the slightest bites of fish to your rod’s blank handle.
They also have sufficient flex and a backbone for hook sets on thinner wire hooks without getting or ripping the hooks from fish’s mouths and for fighting running fish and bringing them from cover all while keeping the fishing line intact.
With drop shot fishing, a 7-ft long rod delivers the user the best performance.
This specific rod can cast a good distance, is great to use when fishing at tight spots, and can handle the most ideal weight range (5 and 15 g) for most small to medium weight lures. It’s also great for junior and beginner anglers who are looking to master drop shot fishing.
There are anglers who are experienced in drop shot fishing and they prefer the shorter lengths which offer a lot more control and accurate casting.
The longer lengths are better for longer casts, heavier weights, fishing from boats, and the more seasoned anglers.
To have the best drop shot rod and reel setup, several different aspects pertaining to the rod’s weight have to be considered.
First of all, a drop shot fishing rod has to be lightweight, so it’s sensitive, comfortable, and flexible. You would want to have the best experience when fishing for long hours as you’re dropping rigs.
Another aspect of rod weight that you should consider is the line pound test, as well as the lure weight rating that a rod is specifically designed for.
As it’s a finesse technique, a drop shot fishing application requires 4lb to 10lb test lines and lure weights of 1/8 to ¼ oz. Spinning rods that have the lure weight rating and line are great to use when dropping drop shot rigs.
There are also drop-shot weights that are tied onto the end of a leader line in keeping the bait life-like and the line steady.
Roundball weights are dense so they are easier to acknowledge the action. They suit vertical fishing with sparse cover. Long pencil weights would be the go-to for fishing in rocky, weedy, or snaggy settings.
Dropshot weights often have a swivel so they can be easily clipped onto a fishing line and easily move the weights when an angler needs to make adjustments to the lure position.
Using a bait or lure that fish is going to bite is necessary to ensure drop fishing success. Baits for drop shot fishing are neutrally buoyant. This means they just hover on water, mimicking natural movements to tempt fish to bite them.
The most effective drop shot fishing baits include Senko worm, shaky worms, wacky crawlers, creature baits, craw baits, shad style bait, and finesse worms. Nose hook baits of no more than three inches and watermelon colors often work great.
Hooks that are used for drop fishing must have sharp points in order to hook the baits in a way that they’re able to appear life-like or make life-like movements.
The unique shape of the hooks keeps the lures horizontally and at the correct angle to the fishing line.
The best drop shot rod for the money is sensitive as it’s much easier to feel what’s actually going on with lures and to set hooks at the right timing.
This is the reason why drop shot fishing rods are given a soft tip. Get a drop shot rod with the fast action tip which bends right at the top third part.
It helps when casting long distances, has excellent sensitivity, transmits even slight nibbling of fish to the handle from the end of a terminal tackle, its action allows a good hook set and gives bait life-like or natural-looking movements.
Fast action tip has enough strength for fighting fish and complements light-weight fishing line that’s used with a drop shot rig preventing breakage of the line when fighting fish.
Fishing rods nowadays are made of various materials such as carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass.
Each type of material used for creating fishing rods has its own set of advantages. For example, graphite rods are very strong, sensitive, and lightweight.
Fiberglass is much heavier in comparison to graphite but it’s more affordable. You can also find several rods that have been given more than one kind of material for its construction.
Rod handles play an important part in determining the success and your experience of drop shot fishing. Most rods that you find on the market are given handles that are made of cork, foam or both.
The choice for which handle you should pick out will depend entirely on your personal preference. But, the length has to be also given importance. If you want longer casts, you’ll need one with more length.
Line guides are important parts of dropshot spinning rods. Line guides made of stainless steel are most common.
There are brands that offer titanium hardware. Although titanium is sturdier, it’s costlier compared to stainless steel.
There are also those that are made of ceramic, alconite, SIC, and zirconium. All of them can significantly reduce heat buildup and friction, but they increase a rod’s price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does drop shot fishing mean?
A finesse technique, drop shot fishing makes use of a Palomar knot and a weight to make a hook lie horizontally on the water so bait suspends on the water looking natural with life-like movements so fish finds the lure irresistible.
Drop shot fishing will help catch predatory species like zander, pike, and perch that like staying suspended on the water.
It’s also effective when the environmental conditions are tougher than usual from foul weather or rain, during the winter season, and above cover. Drop shot fishing can be done in still waters, slow-moving rivers, and canals.
How can I drop shot effectively using the best drop shot rods?
In order to drop shot both efficiently and effectively, you’re required to have a good drop shot rig that’s composed of the best rod for drop shot, reel, leader and line, weight, lure, and hook. How to rig drop shot the correct way will be explained later.
Drop the rig down from your target position up until the fishing line goes slack. Then, reel until the fishing line is taut, almost straight down with the weight at the bottom just keeping your line steady.
Without lifting your weight from the water, gently shake the rod in order to wiggle your lure. Suspend it so it’s where the fishes are at. Wait for the fish to bite patiently. You may feel slight tugs or motions. It could also be more weight added to your line.
You’ll need a very sensitive rod for drop shot fishing as you want even slight nibbling and biting of fish transmitted by your rod. As soon as you’re absolutely certain fish has bait hooked in its mouth, that is the time that you set the hook.
What is the proper way in rigging a drop shot?
Drop shot rigs are composed of a primary fishing line tied to the hook and trailing leader line that has a weight that’s tied onto its end so it’s at the bottom with the bait and hook above it.
You’ll need a 4lb to 10lb test fishing line for rigging a drop shot and a leader and drop shot hook, weight, and bait.
Here’s how you can set up a rig:
Pick the hook in between your fingers. Then, push the fishing line through to the top of your hook eyelet. Just leave a foot for the leader. Make use of a light braided line as the primary line and fluorocarbon for the leader.
Next is you tie a drop-shot hook to the line with a Palomar knot for about 12 to 20 inches from the end. Your hook must be perpendicular to your line. The line twist can be reduced by making use of a swivel above your hook. Add a drop-shot weight at the leader line’s tag end.
Bait the hook using a lure by taking the worm and impaling its tip on the hook. Try to push it down to the bend in order to have an open hook. Make sure you point the hook upwards so it’s going to stick fish better, and that’s it! You have rigged your drop shot.
What’s the best kind of fishing line to use with the best drop shot rods?
Line selection will depend on whether you’re fishing with a spinning reel or bait caster on a drop shot rod. The weight of a fishing line has to reflect the species of fish that you’re angling for.
For instance, if you’re working in an area of a lake that’s known for having 12 to 15lb walleye or other species, a 6lb test line is going to provide you with the sensitivity in feeling the strike; however, ensuing battle with the fish will end up with you having a snapped line.
If your line is too heavy, you’ll end up with lower sensitivity. The rod you use for drop shot fishing will have a rating for the recommended pound test fishing line.
Adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications so you can have the ideal setup. Seasoned anglers drop shot with a fishing line from 10 – 14 lbs.; however, there are those that prefer a lighter weight while others use a 20lb test.
What is the ideal length for my drop shot leader?
The ideal leader presents the bait just around six inches from the weed bed that you’re fishing. Choose anything lower and you’ll snap.
Anything higher also will discourage the fish that you’re targeting. A weed bed can be deep, depending on the area where you are fishing. Kelp that’s off the coast in California sometimes runs 300 ft deep.
You won’t be able to find kelp beds in the drainage in Mississippi, any of the ponds and rivers that are close to the Great Lakes, and on the high-altitude lakes and the plains of the west.
However, you’ll find weed beds that vary from a couple of inches to hundreds of feet in depth. Determining the correct depth is important in adjusting your leader properly. It’s probably the hardest aspect of drop-shotting.
All the products on our list of the best drop shot rods are effective at the finesse technique of fishing.
With the right fishing rod, especially the Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod, you’ll be amazed at how exciting this technique is at catching fish.
Give it a try and learn an entirely new way of fishing effectively even in tough conditions!