Best Drop Shot Fishing Rods in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

If you want to catch any of the big fish that don’t appear as much on the surface of the water, the best technique to adhere to is drop shot fishing – also known as finesse fishing. This technique is popular because it tricks fish as it doesn’t only place the bait right under their noses, but also makes it look alive!

How does it do that? By using the Palomar knot, making your drop shot hook lie horizontally in the water so that the bait looks alive thanks to the natural movement of the water. Also, the line remains steady, thanks to the weight tied to its bottom.

As a result of this technique getting more and more popular, manufacturers have made drop shot rods to make fishing a lot easier and more fun. Such rods have certain specs, including being around 7 feet long with medium or medium-light power and fast action.

Since there are a lot of those rods on the market, we’ve decided to compile a list of the best ones. You’ll also find some of the frequently asked questions and a short, yet comprehensive buying guide. So, are you ready to meet your best drop shot fishing rod?

Comparison Table :

Rod

Action Power Length Material 

Weight 

Ugly Stik GX2 

Medium-fastMedium 7 feet Graphite and fiberglass0.7 lbs. 

St. Croix Mojo Inshore 

Fast Medium 7 feet Graphite 0.35 lbs. 

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF

Fast Medium-light 7 feet Graphite 0.05 lbs. 

Fenwick Elite Tech Bass 

Fast Medium-light 6 feet 10 inches Graphite 

1.4 lbs. 

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS

Moderate fast Medium 7 feet Carbon0.2 lbs. 

The 5 Best Drop Shot Fishing Rods in 2020

1. Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Overall 

Ugly Stik GX2

Ugly Stik GX2 is an excellent drop shot spinning rod for many reasons. To start with, its balanced graphite and fiberglass construction gives it the best of both worlds- the sensitivity of graphite and durability of fiberglass. Moreover, Shakespeare’s clear tip design makes up for the graphite’s stiff nature by adding extra sensitivity.

The rod comes in various powers, action options, and lengths. The most suitable model for drop shot fishing has medium power, medium-fast action, and is 7 feet long with 1/8 – 5/8 Oz. lure weight ratings and 6 to 15-pound test.

Such features give you the ability to cast for long distances and feel the slightest of bites on the other end of the rod. Plus, this impressive pound test means that you can catch massive fish without worrying about the rod breaking.

If you’re worried about wrist fatigue, I’m glad to tell you that this won’t be an issue with Ugly Stik GX2, thanks to its strong and steady EVA grips.

Also, say goodbye to insert pop-outs because this nice rod features the durable Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides. These allow you to use all kinds of fishing lines without compromising the durability of the guides.                                         

Moreover, the drop-shot friendly model comes in a two-piece configuration, so you can easily travel with it.  

Pros:

  • 7 feet and medium power combination is perfect for drop shot fishing
  • Two-piece configuration increases portability
  • EVA grips for added comfort
  • Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides
  • 7-year warranty

Cons:

  • Less sensitive than full graphite rods

Bottom Line

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is one of the best -if not the best- drop shot fishing rod for its durability, sensitivity, and comfortable handle.

2. St. Croix Mojo Inshore – Runner-Up

St. Croix Mojo Inshore

If you’re looking for a drop shot fishing rod that combines lightness, durability, and sensitivity, look no further than St. Croix Mojo Inshore with its premium SCII graphite construction and 0.35-pound weight.

You’ll appreciate how customized it is to drop shot fishing as it’s sensitive enough to the extent that it transmits the slightest of bites so you won’t miss a catch. It’s also one of the best rods that endure fish fights without breaking.

What’s more, you’ll love its split-grip premium-grade cork handle that gives you control because it doesn’t only boost the rod’s sensitivity, but also ensures a firm grip no matter what fish you fight.

St. Croix Mojo Inshore comes in various models with powers ranging from medium-light to heavy. For drop shot fishing, I recommend going with medium-light or medium power models with fast action. 

You will also find that the rod comes in 7 feet or 7 feet 6-inch long options from which you can choose according to your preference. If you’re a beginner, the 7 feet long and medium light-power rod is the easiest to learn with.

Do you want to catch heavy fish living in saltwater? This tough rod will enable you to do that as it enjoys a 10-20 pound test, has a lure weight of 1/2-1 1/4 oz. and is corrosion-resistant. You’d think that all of this comes at an expensive price, but it delivers superb performance at a low cost.

If you love fishing with braided line, you should stay away from St. Croix Mojo Inshore because its guides can’t handle it. However, they’d do an excellent job in freshwater as they’re made of hard aluminum-oxide and have corrosion-resistant black frames. Moreover, it’s not travel-friendly, given that it comes in a one-piece configuration only.

Pros:

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Split-grip premium-grade cork handle
  • Lightweight
  • Sensitive graphite construction
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • Does not accept braided line
  • One-piece configuration

Bottom Line

St. Croix Mojo Inshore is definitely one of the best drop shot fishing rods as it is one of the most sensitive rods out there with its cork handle and graphite construction. Moreover, its ability to handle fights with tough fish without breaking is a huge plus since you’ll mostly encounter this challenge when drop shot fishing.

3. Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF – Most Lightweight

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF

At 0.05 pounds, Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF is the most lightweight drop shot fishing rod on our list. Working with a lightweight rod is comfortable and comes in handy during traveling.

Moreover, you won’t experience wrist fatigue because it has a unique AA cork handle with a hi-density Hypalon butt/foam handle, where the foam is comfortable on your forearm. As for the cork, it boosts the rod’s sensitivity by allowing it to transmit feedback through the rod blank into your hands.

Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF is an excellent drop shot fishing rod as it comes in a 7 feet long model with medium-light power and fast action, which is the perfect combination of specs for drop shot rigs.

Even though it does not offer various lengths, the 7-feet model is excellent, as it allows you to cast for a far distance. Plus, having a 7-feet rod will enable you to fish in close headquarters as it is suitable for dropping vertically. Moreover, you’ll appreciate that it has a 6-12 pound test and 1/8-1/2 Oz lure weight when you catch tough fish and find that the rod does not break!

Another fascinating aspect of this rod is versatility. To clarify, you can use Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF for different techniques other than drop shot. It’s nice to have this option on days when you plan to use the drop shot technique but can’t because of conditions or lack of bites.  

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good sensitivity
  • Versatile
  • ​Fuji reel seat
  • Kevlar wrapping
  • ​Excellent handle

Cons:

  • Comes in 7-foot length option only
  • One-piece configuration  

Bottom Line

If you’re searching for a lightweight and versatile drop shot rod, Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF is an ideal choice. Plus, its drawbacks aren’t too serious to deter you from buying it.

4. Fenwick Elite Tech Bass – Best Handle Design

Fenwick Elite Tech Bass

Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spin Rod features an innovative handle design known as “hidden handle reel seat.” This design combines functionality and comfort, which is something that every angler looks for.

You’ll love how the design doesn’t make you feel the threads in your hand, allowing for better feedback to come through the handle from the rod blank. Moreover, you can always have a good grip of the handle even when your hands are wet or sweaty because it’s made of a mix of cork and TAC. It will also allow you to feel every bite, as it’s very sensitive.

If you’re searching for a drop shot rod to fish for bass, Fenwick Elite Tech Bass Spin Rod will serve you well. It comes in various models, three of which are suitable for drop shot fishing.

You can either go for the 6’9″ rod with medium power and moderate fast action, the 6’10” rod with medium-light power and extra-fast action or the 7′ with medium power and fast action. 

Also, I should mention that the 6’9″ rod comes in a two-piece configuration, unlike the other two that only come in a one-piece configuration. It’s important to note that the pound tests and lure weight ratings will differ according to the model you choose.

You’ll absolutely appreciate the durable titanium frame guides, especially after you realize that they stay as good as new no matter how many years you use them. They’re also better than the stainless steel ones as they’re much lighter.

Sadly, Fenwick, Elite Tech Bass Spin Rod is the heaviest one on our list, so that’s something to consider if you’re going to be moving around a lot.

Pros:

  • Titanium frame guides
  • Cork and TAC handle
  • Sensitive
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Most models come in a one-piece configuration
  • Heavy

Bottom Line

If you want to land some bass using the drop-shotting technique, the Fenwick is the ideal choice for you. Also, you’ll love how comfortable and functional its distinctive handle design is.

5. Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS – Best for Versatility

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS is a versatile rod as it offers some of the best baitcaster and spinning rods. Since you’re looking for a drop shot rod, I recommend choosing a spinning rod as they’re better at handling lighter lines and rigs.

Its versatility extends to the spinning rods because they come in different lengths ranging from 6 feet 9 inches to 7 feet two inches. Among all of Okuma’s models, the best ones for drop shot fishing are the ones that are 7 feet and 7 feet two inches long with 1/8 – 1/2 Oz. lure weight ratings. The former comes with medium power, the latter comes with medium-light power, and both have moderate fast action.

Moreover, you’ll treasure how good the rod is at eliminating wrist fatigue, thanks to the EVA split grip and EVA foregrip. Want to use a braided line? The hard aluminum oxide guide inserts allow you to do that!

Among the other features that make Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS one of the best drop shot fishing rods on the market is its 30-ton carbon blank construction. Why, exactly, is this appealing? First of all, carbon is excellent when it comes to boosting sensitivity, as it transfers all the vibrations through the rod to your hand.

What’s more, it’s about 40% lighter than graphite or fiberglass rods. For example, this rod weighs 0.2 pounds only, making it one of the most lightweight options on the list.

What came as a surprise to me is that even though the rod is made of the known-to-be-tough carbon, it’s not as durable as it’s supposed to be.

Pros:

  • Versatile options to choose from
  • Baitcaster and spinning rods
  • Sensitive
  • Lightweight
  • Works with braided line

Cons:

  • High chance of breaking

Bottom Line

Okuma Scott Martin Tournament Concept Rods TCS is the ideal choice for those who would love to have the freedom to choose between a baitcaster or a spinning rod.

How to Choose the Best Drop Shot Rod

Having a checklist before buying anything is an effective way to ensure that you won’t make a wrong decision. For this reason, you must have all the needed information to make an informed choice before buying a drop shot fishing rod. 

In the following buying guide, I’ve compiled some of the essential factors that should be on your checklist.

1. Action

Action describes the place where a rod bends. There are fast, medium, and slow action rods that bend in the top third, top half, and lower third sections of the rod, respectively.  

A fast action rod is the best one for drop shot fishing because it is excellent when it comes to casting over long distances, and gives the bait a life-like look. It’s also very sensitive so you’ll feel the slightest bites on the other end. Moreover, it won’t break because it has enough fish-fighting strength.

2. Power

A rod’s power indicates the optimum weight of line or lure to work with the rod. When it comes to drop shot fishing, it’s recommended to go for medium or medium-light power. They allow you to cast lightweight drop shot rigs over long distances. 

Besides, such rods easily transfer the slightest of bites to the handle so you can feel them and have sufficient flex, allowing for good hook sets. They are also strong enough to fight big fish.

Going for an ultralight rod wouldn’t be suitable because it’s too light for heavy fish, and catching heavy fish is the reason why you’re buying a drop shot fishing rod after all, so it makes no sense. 

3. Length

The rod’s length is about controlling the casting distance and accuracy. It also dictates the amount of contact and control you have over the lure.

When it comes to drop shot fishing, the places where you’ll fish determine the suitable length of a drop shot fishing rod. For example, if you’ll fish in small canals and rivers, a 6-foot rod will help you cast accurately and have control.

If you are not sure where you’ll fish or if you’ll fish in different venues, you can go for the safer choice – a rod that’s 7 to 8 feet long. This is the ideal length for fishing in medium to larger waters.

4. Weight

When you’re searching for a drop shot fishing rod, there are many weight aspects to consider, including the rod’s weight, the fishing line pound test, and lure weight rating the rod is designed for and the drop-shot weights tied at the end of the leader line.

The rod itself should be lightweight because this makes it flexible, sensitive, and easy to handle for extended periods of time. Also, going for a spinning rod that requires 4 to 10-pound-test lines and 1/8 oz to 1/4 oz lure weights is highly recommended since drop shot fishing is a finesse technique.

Moreover, you should consider the weight of the drop-shot weights tied at the end of the leader line to keep it straight and give the bait a life-like nature. If you need a kind of weight that suits vertical fishing under sparse cover, go for round ball weight. It’s dense enough, which helps you feel the action easily. What do you do if you’ll fish in snaggy and weedy venues? Go for long, pencil weights.  

5. Handle

Sensitivity and comfort are some of the critical factors that should be on your checklist. Both cork and EVA foam handles are very comfortable. However, if you’re going after sensitivity, cork handles are your go-to. They transfer more vibration into your hands, allowing you to feel every bite.

6. Material

When looking for a drop shot rod, your best choice would be a graphite one as they are sensitive, have a better taper, and allow for a quicker tip section.

Fiberglass or S-glass rod blanks are okay, but they are way less sensitive when used with light baits.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Drop Shot Fishing?

Drop shot fishing is a finesse technique that tricks fish into thinking that the bait is alive by using a weight and a Palomar knot, making the bait lie horizontally in the water. It’s an excellent way by which to catch predatory species as well as an effective fishing technique when the weather is terrible. Drop shot fishing is also suitable for fishing in canals and slow-moving rivers.  

What is the Best Fishing Line for Drop Shot Rods?

Since it’s a finesse technique, a light line with low visibility is the most suitable line.

Fluorocarbon in 6-8 pounds or a lighter braided line with a 2-feet long fluorocarbon leader are both excellent choices for most situations.

Why are Spinning Reels a Better Choice Than Baitcaster Ones?

Unlike spinning rods, baitcasters don’t perform well with light lines and rigs. And since you know that drop shot fishing demands lighter lines and rigs, going for baitcasters would be an unwise choice.

Final Thoughts

After reading the article, I hope that the whole process of choosing the best drop shot fishing rod has become easier now. Since there are many factors to consider, I will recommend some of the best models on the list.

Ugly Stik GX2 and St. Croix Mojo Inshore are the best ones on the list with comfortable handles, durability, and impressive sensitivity. The significant difference between them is that the former comes in a two-piece configuration, and the latter comes in one-piece only. This means that Ugly Stik GX2 is the one you should go for if you will travel with the rod.

In case you’re searching for lightness and versatility, Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF won’t disappoint you as it weighs 0.05 pounds only. It’s also the best option if you’re not sure that you’ll stick to the drop shot fishing technique as it works with other techniques, too.