Drop Shot Basics

Every angler has a special “go-to” technique for bass, a particular method with which he is most comfortable and confident. A method that will always put a few bass in the kayak, even when conditions are tough. We are going to talk about drop shot basics.

For some, this method is the Carolina rig; others, it may be a jig or a spinnerbait. For me, it is the drop-shot rig.

Drop-shotting is usually thought of as specialized for deepwater scenarios, a finesse technique using 4-inch skinny plastic worms. 

Smelt Finesse ShadZ
Smelt Finesse ShadZ

On the contrary, I consider drop-shotting to be a simple way to catch fish. It can fish slow or fast, use a wide assortment of plastic baits, and catch bass at any water depth. Being a technique to catch pressured bass, I think you can catch bass using a drop-shot rig in Southeast Georgia.

The history of drop-shotting is controversial with some claiming it originated on the East Coast, some saying California or Japan. The drop-shot rig is nothing more than a line with a weight on the end and a hook. While simple in nature, this rig allows you to detect even the lightest bites. When you fish it properly, you will not feel the resistance of the weight.

Drop-Shot Tackle

Drop-shotting has soared in popularity in recent years. While it helps to have some items specific to drop-shotting, in many cases using generalized equipment help catch bass. To set yourself up to catch bass in Southeast Georgia with a drop-shot rig, you do not have to waste money.


Specialty drop-shot weights are great, and they are offered in different shapes specific and weight sizes. A very nice feature of these weights is the groove in the wire on top of the weight.

Additionally, if you get stuck, the line pulls off the weight easily so that you don’t lose the entire rig. All you would have to do is re-tie the weight and not the entire setup. 

Woo! Tungsten

WOO-Tungsten drop-shot weights are my choice when I use this technique.WOO offers a drop-shot package on their website. I use a 1/8-ounce weight when fishing in 15 feet of water or less. A 3/16, or ¼-ounce weight, in water from 16 to 25 feet. A 3/8-ounce weight for anything deeper than 25 feet. I tie the end of the line to the sinker using a simple clinch knot.


Hooks are not a place to skimp on cost. It is important to use a quality hook. I prefer Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap Hook. This is just the drop shot basics hooks that are available.

Finesse Wide Gap Hook
FInesse WIde Gap Hook

Finding bass rarely take these hooks deep into their mouths, and typically my hooksets are in the upper lip.


Most kayak bass fishermen use spinning rods when drop-shotting. While you can spend hundreds of dollars, you can also use an all-around rod for drop shot basics.

For many years I used a 6-foot, 6-inch medium-power Berkley Lightning Rod and a Quantum 2000 size reel. My current rod is a 6-foot 6-inch medium fast-action. 

The rod you buy will depend on your preferences in terms of cost and length. More than likely, you already have a rod-like this at home that can be used for drop-shotting.


When choosing a reel for drop-shotting, go with something light with a smooth drag. Use a relatively inexpensive Quantum 2000 size reel. If you have a reel you like that has these qualities, give it a try. Set the drag on the loose side. I know I have the drag set properly when I can hear the drag.

Quantum Reel
Quantum Reel


As far as lines, start by using Yo-Zuri Braid in the 8  to 10-pound range for your mainline. Using an FG Knot, tie a 6 or 8-pound leader, also Yo-Zuri, to your mainline. The leader is usually around 2 feet long, due to tying the FG Knot and then the hook. Now you are ready to choose the type of plastic you want to use.

Plastic Baits

The selection of plastic baits for drop-shotting is endless. There are, of course, specialized drop-shot baits. There is only one brand I use for my drop shot baits. Z-Man Plastics is the only way to go, because of the elastic type baits. These can catch multiple fish without having to change them. 

Zman Finesse ShadZ
Zman Finesse ShadZ

Where to Fish It

Drop-shotting is not just a finesse technique to be used in deep-water situations. I have caught bass throughout Southeast Georgia in water depths from 2 to 15 feet.  The habitats range from rocks to fallen trees to aquatic vegetation. In every situation, I have confidence in drop-shotting.

I cast the drop-shot rig to just about every place I would cast any other subsurface plastic bait for bass. Obviously, it is difficult to fish this rig directly in aquatic vegetation or in wood. 

However, this technique excels when fishing the edges of aquatic vegetation.

The drop-shot rig is the most important technique in my bass-fishing arsenal. It can increase your bass fishing success. Remember, it can be fished fast or slow, at any water depth. Also in just about any type of habitat, and with a wide assortment of plastic baits.