How to Set Up a Drop-shot Rig
For many years, that's how the saltwater fishermen set up their rig for bottom fishing as far as I can remember. Drop-shot rig is similar, but more finesse. This rig is also for deep water "bottom" fishing. It is most effective in deep water, but it can be used from three feet of water to as deep as 100 feet or more.
Depending on the depth, the distance from the hook to the weight needs to be adjusted. For shallower water, it is recommended to place your hook three to six inches above the weight. For deeper water, the hook can be adjusted to nine inches from the weight to no more than a foot and a half because of the leverage. In addition, the weight needs to be heavier for deeper water as there may be some undercurrent.
Here are the tackles necessary for setting up a drop-shot rig - either an octopus hook or a drop-shot hook and a terminal sinker. In this photo, it is a size 8 Gamakatsu Octopus hook and a 3/32 oz tungsten weight.
Picture #1: These are the tackles (hook, sinker, Hawg Shad) required for rigging a drop-shot.
First, the size of the hook is dependent on the size of your bait. Based on common sense, the gap size of the hook should be proportionate to the width or girth of your bait so the sharp end of the hook can protrude to set the hook into the fish's mouth.
Second, the weight of your sinker should be heavy enough (but not too heavy) to touch the bottom of the lake or the body of water you are fishing.
Third, line up the eye of your hook so the sharp end of your hook is pointing upward so you can thread your line through the eye of your hook twice forming a loop with the end of your line in excess of the length you want to maintain between the hook and the sinker as shown in figure 1 in the diagram below.
Fourth, tie a Palomar knot over the hook and insert the end of the line down through the eye of the hook with the sharp end of the hook pointing upward. Secure the line tightly with a dap of your saliva over the knot and pull firmly on both ends of the line without breaking it. See figure 2 to 5 in the diagram.
Lastly, secure your sinker at the end of the line with a simple knot or pull tightly to the clip of the sinker if it has one.
Picture #2: Insert the fishing line through the eye of the hook.
Picture #3: Using the end of the fishing line, run it back through the eye of the hook again so there are two strands of lines through the hook.
Picture #4: To create a Palomar knot, hold both ends and make a simple loop
Picture #5: To continue making the Palomar knot, insert the hook into the noose.
Picture #6: As you pull both ends to tighten, wet the "bundle" of lines with your saliva before you tighten it into a knot; then, thread the end of the line back on the top of the eye of the hook and tighten.
Picture #7: Pull both ends of the line to tighten the knot.
Picture #8: Clip a tungsten weight at the end of the line.
Picture #9: Here's a ready-to-use drop-shot rig.
Picture #10: Shows a complete drop-shot rig with a Hawg Shad.
Here is a video with John Hutchins demonstrating how to set up a drop-shot rig:
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