The drop-shot rig is a simple presentation, yet it’s one of the most effective bass fishing techniques. Drop shots will catch fish year-round and can be rigged with various soft plastics baits.
Any drop shot rig has three components: the hook, a weight, and a soft plastic worm or fluke. While the bait and sinker are essential variables, using a specialized hook will drastically improve your hook-up ratios, underwater action, and overall success.
Hook Qualities for Drop Shots
Small, finesse-style hooks are used for drop shot fishing. While many manufacturers make custom models for this rig, some are better than others. The two main hook categories are nose hooks and straight shank designs.
Nose Hooks: This style is best for tip-hooking worms and other soft plastic baits. Nose hooks are slightly curved, which keeps your bait secure and improves hook-up ratios.
Straight Shank Hooks: This style allows you to bury the hook’s tip inside your bait, creating a weedless presentation. When fishing with a weedless drop shot rig, a stronger hookset is required to pull the hook through the bait.
Regarding size, 1/0 or 2/0 hooks are best for bass, walleye, and other large freshwater fish. Smaller 5/0 to 8/0 hooks can be used for panfish. Generally, you want to use the smallest hook possible to keep a realistic presentation.
Technique-specific drop shot hooks are also shaped to maximize your hook-set ratio. The best ones will hook bass in the corner of the mouth, regardless of the strike angle or how deep the bait is swallowed.
1. Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hooks
4.7 Stars | 377 Angler Reviews
Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hooks are the best drop shot hooks on the market. These hooks have a slight curvature design and are custom-built for drop shot fishing. Gamakatsu boasts the best hook-up ratios in the industry and always makes the sharpest, strongest tackle.
These hooks are designed for nose-hooking baits and have a super sharp point. While we’ve tested many brands, nothing compares to Gamakatsu. Some brands, such as Eagle, make tackle that quickly rusts. Gamakatsu Drop Shot Hooks that won’t rust in either saltwater or freshwater.
If you’re missing bites with regular hooks, give these a try. However, if you’re still learning good hook-set timing, circle hooks may help you put fish in the boat.
2. Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hooks
4.6 Stars | 2,046 Angler Reviews
For anglers on a budget, the Berkley Fusion19 Drop Shot Hooks are affordable with a technique-specific design. They feature a sharp needle-point and an intermediate shank design. This unique shape reduces hang-ups without sacrificing your hook-up ratio.
We’ve caught plenty of largemouth and smallmouth bass with the Fusion19 hooks. They don’t rust and have a solid construction that doesn’t bend easily.
However, Berkley hooks aren’t as strong as the ones from Gamakatsu. Fusion19 hooks also become dull faster than Gamakatsu hooks.
3. Trokar Drop Shot Fishing Hooks
4.7 Stars | 19 Angler Reviews
Trokar Drop Shot Fishing Hooks are the second-best hooks for drop shot fishing. This model features a three-sided point, making it sharper than most others on the market. The Trokar brand is also known for its consistent build quality, so you can rely on every hook being equally sharp.
This drop shot hook model has a low-profile barb, making it slide into the bass’s mouth easier and requiring less hook-set force. Trokar hooks are ideal for finesse fishing or when using a sensitive rod with a weaker backbone.
These drop shot hooks are denser, with more carbon content than other models. Denser hooks have fewer impurities and more tensile strength.
4. Owner 5133 Down Shot Hook
4.5 Stars | 17 Angler Reviews
The Owner 5133 Down Shot Hook has a weedless design that’s not traditionally used for drop shot fishing. However, the light wire material and forged shank make this hook light enough for finesse fishing.
Most importantly, the Owner 5133 has a downwards-facing eye position, allowing the hook to extend perpendicular to your line. This is the most important factor for drop shot fishing, as it prevents your bait from tangling with your leader.
This hook lets you stick the tip back through the bait, making your presentation weedless. Since most of the hook is unexposed, larger sizes will improve your success.
5. Harmony Razor Series Dropshot Hooks
4.7 Stars | 54 Angler Reviews
Lastly, the Harmony Razor Series Dropshot Hooks are highly-rated and have exceptional build quality. Harmony uses a chemical sharpening process to reinforce the tips, making even the smallest hook sizes very strong.
This model is designed to be as versatile as possible. Harmony makes the Razor Series for targeting smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass in deep or shallow water. These hooks are also designed to be paired with Roboworms, Zoom Baits, Strike King KVD Dream Shots, and other popular soft plastics for drop shot fishing.