The drop shot fishing technique is responsible for many of the bass records across the country. This finesse style of fishing is highly effective when targeting lethargic bass or enticing finicky fish to strike.
As this technique gains popularity, more and more anglers are building technique-specific setups for this rig. In this guide, we'll discuss the best drop shot reels for bass fishing, along with the qualities we factored in to make our determinations.
Reels Reviewed (clickable)
If you're building a setup from scratch, we also recommend reading our guide to the best drop shot rods. Combined, these two articles will help you build the perfect drop shot combo, put fish in the boat, and start winning tournaments.
Reel Qualities for Drop Shots
Since drop shot fishing is a finesse technique, you'll want to use a spinning rod and reel. The reel should be compatible with a lightweight braided line, and sizes between 1000 and 2500 are best.
The best drop shot reels are lightweight and sensitive size 1000 to 2500 spinning reels
While you don't need to break the bank on the most sensitive reel to catch fish, the new ultra-sensitive spinning reel models give anglers a massive competitive advantage over outdated models and low-end products.
Best Drop Shot Reels
1. Daiwa Tatula LT - Best Drop Shot Reel Overall
4.7 Stars | 209 Angler Reviews
The Daiwa Tatula LT is, without a doubt, the best drop shot reel on the market. Although it looks simple, this reel has highly specialized technology that makes it powerful, lightweight, and incredibly sensitive.
Weighing in at a mere six ounces, it's impressive how capable this spinning reel is. The body is made from "high density" carbon material that is much lighter than traditional materials. A unique air rotor was designed to reduce the LT's weight by 15% and simultaneously disperse pressure evenly around the shell.
Since this model features a 6.2:1 gear ratio, it's more responsive yet just as sensitive as other models. You'll love how much feedback it gives, keeping you in the loop about what's going on under the surface.
If you frequently fish drop shots in deep lakes, this reel is especially useful. When your bait is far below the surface, a reel like the Tatula LT makes it possible to feel light bites and small obstacles.
High-density carbon body
Lightweight ZAION Housing
7 Bearing System
2. Abu Garcia Revo Ike - Highest Ratings
4.9 Stars | 149 Angler Reviews
Anglers have vouched for the quality of Abu Garcia's Revo Ike Spinning Reel. This product has a near-perfect rating on Amazon, which is no surprise given how well it performs.
10 stainless steel bearings, an integrating drop shot keeper, and Abu Garcia's AM gearing system make the Revo Ike ahead of its time.
The cranking is smooth, the casting distance is impressive, and the drag system is flawless. Whether you're fishing finesse lures such as drop shot rigs or casting lightweight search baits, this model will blow you away.
You'll also notice that the styling team went out of their way to make the Revo Ike absolutely gorgeous. While we don't always recommend top-of-the-line reels, this model is truly worth every penny of your hard-earned money.
IM-C6 body design
9 stainless steel bearings
Carbon Matrix drag system
Rocket line management system
3. Penn Clash - Most Versatile Drop Shot Reel
4.7 Stars | 500 Angler Reviews
If you're looking for a drop shot reel that's suited for the most situations, the Penn Clash Spinning Reel is what you need. This reel was originally designed for saltwater fishing; however, bass fishermen quickly discovered its freshwater capabilities. Not only does this make the Clash Reel extraordinarily versatile, but extremely durable as well.
Technical anglers will appreciate this model's precise casts and feedback. It's super smooth, and the carbon fiber drag washers and wave spring create a drag that never bottoms out. Whether you're fishing monster striped bass or finessing eager smallmouth, the Penn Clash is a fantastic option.
Another stand-out feature is this reel's line-lay system. This reel has the straightest line-lay we've ever seen, and the ocean-grade components keep it this way forever. We don't doubt that these qualities will last over years of intensive use.
Fully machined CNC gear train
HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
Techno-Balanced rotor for smooth retrieves
8 sealed stainless steel ball bearings
4. Shimano Stradic FL - Best High-End Reel
4.8 Stars | 462 Angler Reviews
We know that some of our readers are undeterred by higher price tags. If you've got the money to spend, the Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel is an incredible machine. While we're not sure it's entirely worth the higher price tag, this drop shot reel does perform noticeably better than anything else on the market.
Shimano's rigid Hagane Body eliminates any flexing whatsoever. This means that 100% of your power is converted to the line, and there's no sacrifice of efficiency. The carbon fiber drag is the smoothest the world has ever seen, and every component is seamlessly fitted together.
Our favorite quality is this reel's altered center of gravity. Shimano moved the bulk of the weight closer to the rod, which substantially reduces the amount of effort it takes to cast. After a long day out on the water, you'll feel much less strain from the Stradic FL.
Shimano MicroModule Gear II with SilentDrive
X-Protect water-repellent coating
Water channeling frame
Shimano Cross Carbon Drag system
5. Piscifun Carbon X - Best Budget Reel
4.7 Stars | 613 Angler Reviews
On the other end of the spectrum, many of our readers don't intend to spend hundreds of dollars on their bass fishing equipment. If you're looking for an affordable option, the Piscifun Carbon X Drop Shot Reel is the best budget reel of the year.
With the body, side plates, and rotor all constructed from carbon fiber, we don't know how Piscifun can price this reel so low. It only weighs 5.7 ounces, which makes it sensitive and reduces the strain on your wrist.
We love the buttery-smooth cranks of the 5.1:1 size 1000 model. The eleven ball bearings don't create an ounce of friction as they pass by one another. This model also has an oversized washer that provides a surprisingly powerful and consistent drag for the price.
The Carbon X is a very smart purchase. Sometimes you don't have to be the wealthiest one to win bass fishing tournaments; you just have to be the smartest.
Carbon fiber body, rotor, and side plate
10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings
Zinc Alloy drive gear
Hollow nest-shaped spool
Smooth positive click drag