Drop shot fishing is a method of fishing that is growing in popularity in the fishing community, and it is traditionally done with a spinning reel and rod setup. Often, the reel and rod are smaller and more lightweight than a standard spinning setup. Given that this type of fishing is most commonly done on a spinning rig, is it possible to drop shot with a bait caster reel and rod?
You can use a baitcaster reel for drop shot fishing. This rig may not give the same feel as a dedicated rig but can be used for this fishing method. The main issue with a baitcaster is the rate the line comes off the spool, which may be a little slow if you need to get your rig down deep fast.
There are dedicated rigs in the way of specialized rods and reels that are marketed as drop shot rigs. These rigs have been set up as the perfect combination for drop shot because of the rod and reel characteristics. However, this does not mean that drop shot methods are in the exclusive domain of this gear setup. There are other fishing rigs that will work equally as well, such as a baitcaster reel and rod combination.
If you are looking for out guide how to start drop shot fishing then we have a larger article on the site with gear recommendations and links as well. just click the link below.
Drop Shot Fishing With A Baitcaster Reel
Most bass fishermen will have at least one baitcaster reel and rod combination for their traditional bass fishing methods of cast and retrieving of lures and other bait.
If you want to try drop shotting with this rig, there is nothing stopping you from trying it out. Spinning gear does have a few advantages in certain circumstances of drop shot fishing, but none that will prevent you from using your baitcaster rig to give this fishing method a go.
The key considerations in a dedicated drop shot spinning rig are a lightweight spinning reel and a shorter rod that have a much more flexible tip.
The ABU Garcia reels are lightweight ( we have them) and low profile. This helps with drop shot fishing as the light weight helps to balance the rod better. you can check it out on the link below.
- PREMIUM CONSTRUCTION: The Abu Garcia Revo X Baitcast Reel is made from an X2-Craftic alloy frame, providing...
- RECOVERY RATE: Recover 27” | 69cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.6:1. Made with a D2 Gear...
- BRAKE SYSTEM: The MagTrax brake system gives you consistent brake pressure throughout your cast. Lube port allows...
- DRAG SPECS: Carbon Fiber Star Drag, Max: 18lb | 8.1kg. The Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system provides smooth,...
The Drop Shot Reel Vs. Baitcaster Reel
The reason that a lighter reel is used is to reduce the weight on the rod since the action of the rod is often a key feature in the techniques used to move the drop shot rig at the end of the line in a certain way.
A small baitcaster reel is already light and would not be a restriction in any rod movement for drop shot fishing.
A baitcaster reel does have some challenges that it poses for drop shot fishing that relate to the mechanism of the reel and how the line comes off the reel. We will cover this particular issue further in the section regarding problems drop shot fishing with a bait caster reel.
A bait caster certainly has more power than a spinning reel, especially when reeling in a large catch.
The Drop Shot Rod Vs. Baitcaster Rod
A dedicated drop shot rig uses a specialized rod that is shorter and has a flexible tip for promoting a better feel of what your lure and the weight at the end of the line are doing and to better feel when you get a bite from a fish.
This is because drop shot is often the preferred method of fishing to use on fish that are reluctant to bite.
A baitcaster rod is already a shorter rod than most spinning rods, so it has that in its favor. In my experience, a baitcaster rod has enough flexibility in the tip to give a sufficient “feel” for that gentle bite on the bait. It may not give the same extent of feel as a dedicated drop shot rod would, but it gives enough.
As long as your baitcaster rod has a medium-light action, it should provide enough sensitivity to perform well as a drop shot rod.
The place where a dedicated drop shot fishing rod will give you better sensitivity is when you are drop shot fishing at depths greater than around 15 or 20-feet. A baitcaster rod will give you adequate sensitivity at these depths, but beyond that, a drop shot spinning rig will have better sensitivity.
The advantage that a baitcaster rod will give you is the additional power to be able to handle bigger fish should you hook them.
The Problems Drop Shot Fishing With A Baitcaster Reel
The reason why a spinning reel is preferred for drop shot is because of the way that the fishing line comes off the spool of the reel with very little resistance.
Often with the drop shot method, very light weights are used at the bottom of the line. If there is resistance on the line from the reel, the weight may not be heavy enough to produce a far cast, and the weight may not be heavy enough to pull line from the reel to sink to the bottom of the dam, lake, or river.
Sometimes with drop shot , especially in vertical drop shot fishing where the fish are directly under the boat, you want to get the bait down to the depth of the fish fast. A spinning reel is ideal for this once again because of the ease with which the line comes off the spool with little resistance.
With a bait caster reel, the way that the line spools onto and off the reel is not as free-flowing as on a spinning reel. If you have a very good quality bait caster reel that has a very slick action, this may be less of a problem, but it still offers resistance to the line coming off the spool.
In some cases, especially if you are using lighter drop shot weights, the weights may not have enough inertia in the cast to pull the line off the reel to cast the lure far.
Vertical drop shot with a bait caster may also be a little challenging because you do not have the whiplash of a cast to pull the line from the reel. The line is pulled off simply by the weight of the drop shot.
What Fishing Rig Are You Comfortable With
Many fishermen have been fishing with one type of rig for many years and have grown accustomed to fishing with that rig and feel comfortable with the gear. They have mastered a certain level of proficiency with this gear and feel most familiar with it.
If you consider yourself fitting into this category and are most familiar with baitcaster reels and rods, then it makes sense to use this gear to try out drop shot techniques.
However, if you are more familiar with spinning gear, then drop shot fishing with this gear is probably better for you.
Either way, this style of fishing can be done with any equipment but may require you to adapt your own techniques and style to the method. Of course, the dedicated drop shot gear will always work well because it has been fine-tuned to this type of fishing, but it is not the only way to go.
While a dedicated drop shot rig is a pleasure to fish because it has all the features necessary to make this fishing method easier, it is not the only rig that can be used.
The drop shot method of fishing can be done with any fishing gear you have, and that includes a baitcaster reel and rod. Using this gear may not give you quite the same feel for the bait movement and the sensitivity for when a fish bites, but you can learn to make adjustments as a fisherman to make the best use of the gear that you have.
It is not necessary to go out and spend a couple of hundred dollars on a dedicated rig to simply try out this fishing method. You can do it very successfully with a baitcaster rig, and if you find that you enjoy this fishing style and you will be doing it on a regular basis, then look and a different setup that would be better.
Until that point, enjoy drop shot fishing with your baitcaster reel and rod, and don’t let anyone tell you that it is only possible with a dedicated drop shot fishing rig!