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Best Drop Shot Rod 2020 – [Buyer’s Guide]

best drop shot rod

​Drop shotting is a finesse technique so your heavy casting rod is not going to make the best drop shot rod.

When working finesse style bait rigs a medium/light or a medium rated spinning rod will be the best choice.

A good drop shot fishing rod should be medium power with a fast action in the 6'6" to 7' range

These types of setups require a much lighter touch and you need not only the ability to cast lighter weights but also the sensitivity in the rod tip to be able to detect softer bites and get a quick hook set.

That being said an extra fast rod tip that is just too still will be complete overkill and make your rod feel a little to snappy.

The ideal action for a drop shot rod is some where between fast and moderate but those rods are hard to come by and a fast action is pretty much the standard go to choice.

  • Power - when using lighter rigs and lines a rod rated medium/light or medium is best
  • Action -  sensitivity in the tip is paramount so fast action is preferred
  • Length - between 6'6" and 7' is the sweet spot for a drop shot fishing rod  

​Best ​Drop Shot Rods

The ​Fury Series FR 702F from Dobyns has been a go to choice for drop shotting for thousands of anglers.

As a brand Dobyns are producing ​some super slick rods at an affordable price.

​The FR 702SF is a 7 foot medium/light power rod with a fast action built on a high modulus graphite bank.

At 7' feet you get great casting distance and a rod that is not too long for when you are dropping vertical when fishing in close quarters.

​It is rated for line in the 6-12 lbs range and lure weights in the 1/8-1/2 oz range which is a perfect rod for drop shotting or pretty much any other finesse technique.

The medium/light rod blank has enough backbone and yet stills retains a lot of sensitivity. 

It also has a fairly unique split cork/foam handle. The foam is quite comfortable on your forearm and the cork handle which is closest to the reel seat helps to transmit as much feedback through the rod blank into your hands.

The best drop shot rod for the money you are getting high end rod performance without the big price tag!

Specifications:

  • ​Medium/light power
  • ​Fast action
  • ​Fuji reel seat
  • Kevlar wrapping
  • ​AA cork handle with hi-density Hypalon butt

​Built on St Croix's premium SCII graphite blanks the Triumph line of spinning rods are legendary for just about any type of light spinning

They offer super light and crisp performance from a really well balanced rod.

​Built on their tried and tested SCII graphite blanks you get a really sensitive rod that comes finished with some very high quality hardware.

The 7' medium/fast model is the right choice for drop shots. It is rated for line in the 6-12 lb range and a casting weight of 1/4-5/8 oz. 

Specifications:

  • ​SCII graphite blanks
  • Fast taper with a tuned action
  • ​Fuji DPS reel seat
  • Aluminum oxide guide inserts
  • 5 year warranty

​If you want the very best dropshot rod the available then look no further than the G. Loomis GLX 822S DSR range.

G. Loomis are legends in the rod building game and deliver the some of the most crisp, sensitive and powerful rod blanks around.

All that quality does come at a price though and these rods are a bit more of a stretch on the wallet than all of the other rods here.

The GLX range is aimed squarely at lighter style techniques and applications and have been etensively refined and tested to give the very best performance.

The key to this line is the quality and manufacturing process that goes into the rod blanks making them 15% lighter than the G. Loomis's other range the IMX.

They are not only lighter but considerably more sensitive than just about any other rod you will hold in your hand.

​As a dedicated dropshot fishing rod the ​GLX 822S DSR is second to none.

It has a medium power rating with an extra fast action, rated for line in the 6-12 lbs range and is best suited to throwing 3/16-1/2 oz weights.

At 6'10" it is right in the sweet spot in terms of length and can make pin point accurate casts when paired with a high quality spinning reel.

All the hardware to finish the rod is top notch with Fuji K-Frame guides using Sic inserts and a proprietary reel seat.

Specifications:

  • ​High modulus graphite blank
  • Split grip cork handle
  • Fuji K-Frame guides with SiC inserts

​Fenwick have been a long standing innovator in the bass fishing rod world and the Elite Tech Bass range is no exception.

They have a stellar track record in created rods that are perfectly matched to various bass fishing techniques.

The 6'10  medium/light is the model best suited to dropshot fishing and and has an extra fast action just like the G. Loomis drop shot rod above.

Line rating is in the 4-10 lbs range and is rated for 1/8-5/8 ounces in terms of casting weight.

​The Elite Tech Bass series features a very innovative reel seat that Fenwick call a 'hidden handle reel seat' that virtually eliminates the feel of the eat threads in your hand allowing for a lot more feedback to come through the handle from the rod blank.

The handle is a mix of cork and TAC that gives great grip even when wet or in the heat.

Specifications:

  • ​Titanium frame guides
  • Hidden handle reel seat
  • TAC and cork handle

​The Mojo Bass line is a super popular series of high performing yet really durable rods that deliver on both performance and price.

They have an up-rated rod blank than the one used on the St. Croix Triumph.

The 6'8" rod has a medium power rating and a fast action for line in the 6-12 lbs range and lures from 3/16 to 5/8 oz.

​Where the Triumph range used a mid-modulus, mid-strain graphite fiber the Mojo BASS uses a high-modulus, high-strain graphite fiber that builds a super tough rod that is even more sensitive.

They are built using Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology that creates a rod blank that removes any transitional points in the full length of the rod taper, giving greater feedback down through the rod from the tip to the handle.

Specifications:

  • ​Kigan hook keeper
  • High modulus graphite blank
  • Kigan Master Hand 3D guides
  • ​Aluminum oxide inserts

​Drop Shot Rods

When choosing a drop shot rod you need to strike a balance between length, power and action.

​Getting this right means matching the sensitivity of the rod tip to the correct line and lure rating that you will be using.

Can you buy a drop shot rod under 100 ?

Absolutely there are some amazing choices for dropshot rods under 100, some high end rods won't get you much change out of $500 but the difference between those and a mid-range rod is only marginal.

Most mid-range drop shot spinning rods will feel pretty close in terms of performance to some of the higher end rods but what sets them apart will be the sensitivity rather than the casting ability.

With such a light weight technique you need a drop shotting rod that can fully transmit every bit of feed back down through the blank.

Type

Although you do see a few anglers using a baitcasting rod the preferred choice will always be a spinning rod.

Why?

Spinning setups can cast lighter rigs and baits much better than a baitcaster.

Most baitcaster do not perform well on really light lines and rigs. The spool needs a minimum amount of weight for it to spin up correctly when you are casting.

A spinning rod for drop shots however will cast much lighter lines more easily.

This is because lighter line will fall off of the spool of a spinning reel with much greater ease.

The best spinning reels will be in the 2500 to 3000 size range when using light techniques like dropshotting.

However some tournament bass anglers have started to use much larger reels as they prefer the larger spools on them.

​The reason why they use larger reels is because when using fluorocarbon as your main line you can get a lot of line twist when throwing a drop shot.

Fluorocarbon is fairly stiff so if it is wound onto a small spool it can have a lot of memory, bigger spool less coils in the line.

​Material

when looking at finesse style fishing graphite or a more modern graphite blend is the only choice in town.

Fiberglass or s-glass rod blanks will normally have a lot less sensitivity in them.

​Although they are perfect for some thing like crankbaits or other big treble hook lures they really do lack the kind of sensitivity needed for lighter bait rig fishing.

Graphite is however a lot more brittle than fiberglass fishing poles so you do need to be a little more careful with how you treat them especially an expensive high pole like a G. Loomis drop shot rod.

Graphite rod blanks make the best rods for drop shotting as they have a much better taper and allow for a quicker tip section.

​Handle

When sensitivity is key I personally favor a traditional cork handle as a EVA foam can be a bit too soft and take a lot of 'the feel' out of the rod blank.

Cork will transmit a lot more vibration into your hands than a softer foam will.

​If you are paying for a dedicated rod for drop shots then it stands to reason that you should get the very best performance out of it and a soft grip is something that a lot of anglers will over look time and time again when choosing finesse gear.

However these types of decisions can often just be a personal preference, most spinning rods do come with a cork handle though so even if you were to look for a foam handled rod you might end up limiting your choices severely.

​Length

As mentioned earlier a sweet spot will as the best rod length for drop shots will be between 6'6" and 7' long.

Height should always be quoted in ranges as a pole for someone who is 6'4" tall may be far to big for someone who is 5'6".

That being said shorter rods are usually a bit more sensitive and have greater feedback through the rod blank.

The advantage that a longer rod will give you is better casting distance and it can also take up more line quicker when you are striking.

Slack lie in your system needs to be taken up quickly when a bass bites and even a small difference like 6 inches on a fishing pole can have a dramatic effect.

​Power

A medium/light or a medium power rated rod ​for drop shotting is crucial to getting the right rod for line rated in the 6 to 12 lbs range.

Power is basically how heavy a lure or line that the rod has been built to perform best with.

These figures are always quoted in ranges so there is a little crossover between each of the powers at either end.

Lighter techniques require a lighter rod. An ultralight rod however would just be to light and not really suitable for bass fishing.

​Action

Action and power are often confused and you will routinely hear them being used incorrectly to describe the same thing.

Rod action defines where on the rod blank the natural bend in the rod tip will start to form when you weight the line.

A fast action rod will bend higher up in the top one third of the rod blank whereas a more moderate or slow action rod will bend lower down towards the middle of the rod and the reel seat.

Faster action rod blanks will set the hook quicker and feel a lot more senitive in your hand. They also load up well when you are trying to cast light lures.

Sensitivity is definitely key when it comes to buying a good drop shot rod.

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