Finesse drop shot rigs seem simple enough to make — fix a weight on the end of your line and tie a hook and small plastic above it. But like most things in bass fishing there's more to it than that.
"A basic drop shot is simple, but it's got to be done right. I don't care how good your fishing hole is, without the proper rig you won't catch as many bass as you should," says Elite Series angler Marty Stone. "And the biggest problem with finesse drop shotting is line twist. The combination of reeling the rig straight up and down with an open-faced reel creates an awful problem."
Step one towards eliminating — or at least controlling — line twist is selecting the right reel. "I want a reel that's matched to my rod but it's got to have a big spool. Too many anglers use reels with small spools because they're fishing with light tackle. That makes line twist worse. A big spool creates less twist."
Step two is fishing with the right line. "I always use fluorocarbon in 6- or 8-pount-test. It's almost invisible and has great sensitivity. I personally like Seaguar. It's limp and doesn't have much memory. That helps minimize line twist."
The final, and most important, step is attaching the weight correctly. "Tungsten is the best weight material on the market. It's smaller, denser and harder than lead. The feel is much better," Stone says. "But I know it's expensive."
To help with line twist and cost, Stone recommends putting Tru-Tungsten worm weights to double duty.
Run your line through the weight with the concave face (fat part) towards the end of your line. Then tie a barrel swivel to the line. After that, cut the swivel in half with a pair of side cutters. You'll be left with a ring and short, stubby piece of wire hanging off it.
As you drop and retrieve your bait the weight will spin around the line, not with it. Plus, it saves money; one sinker will work with two techniques.
Stone warns, however, that this only works with solid ring swivels and tungsten weights. Split rings hang the weight and cut the line. Lead weights aren't hard enough, or smooth enough to spin freely against the ring.
Your tag line, hook and bait will be above all this. Stone recommends using a straight shank 1/0 hook with nose hooked plastics and an EWG model for Texas rigged baits.
Stone talks about rods last, but that doesn't mean he thinks they're least important.
"A good rod is critical. It needs to be long — at least 6 feet, 9 inches — with a good backbone and a really fast tip. The best one I've found is American Rodsmith's Homer Humphreys Wacky Worm model. It's just right for finesse drop shotting. The length and backbone let me handle big fish, and the fast tip is perfect for bouncing my bait."