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There are many types of rods and they come in different lengths, action ratings, power levels, they are made with differing materials, and so much more. Finding the right drop shot rod can be tricky, especially when there are tons of options out there.
Today we are here to help you find the best drop shot rod for the money (the St. Croix Premier is our top pick), this buying guide covers everything you need to know, what to look for and our top 10 picks that we felt deserved a mention.
- 1 What Is A Drop Shot Rod?
- 2 What Makes A Good Drop Shot Rod?
- 3 10 Best Drop Shot Rods For The Money
- 4 1. St. Croix Premier Series Spinning Rod
- 5 2. Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
- 6 3. Dobyns Rods Fury Series Fast Action Spinning Rod
- 7 4. Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Rod
- 8 5. UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod
- 9 6. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod
- 10 7. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
- 11 8. Okuma Citrix Travel Rod
- 12 9. Phenix Maxim Freshwater Spinning Fishing Rod
- 13 10. Lews Speed Stick TP-1 IM8 Spinning Rod
- 14 Conclusion
What Is A Drop Shot Rod?
To be clear, there really is no such thing as a drop shot rod. Drop shot is actually a fishing technique, one which works best with your average spinning rod. The drop shot technique involves using a special kind of knot to attach the hook so that it sits horizontally in the water column.
This is a technique best used to catch fish that bite in the middle of the water column, but not at the top or bottom. It involves using a drop shot weight to weigh the hook down while you drag it behind a boat or reel the hook in. As you will see from our drop shot rod reviews, they are actually all spinning rods.
What Makes A Good Drop Shot Rod?
When it comes to any good drop shot rod, there are 3 main considerations that you will want to keep in mind. These considerations include length, action, and power.
The length of the rod is important to keep in mind. A good length for the drop shot fishing technique is 7 feet long. This is long enough to allow for a good casting distance and a medium amount of leverage.
This also allows you to maintain a high degree of control over the hook and it allows for good casting accuracy too.
When it comes down to it, you don’t want to use a rod that is shorter than 6 feet or longer than 8 feet.
Rod action is important for the drop shot technique too. You want the rod to be fast action. Anything less than medium-fast action will not do.
You are best off with a fast or ultra-fast action rod. You want the power to be transferred into the blank right away and you want only the front tip of the rod to flex.
This will allow you to set your hook really fast, it allows for good responsiveness for fast action and finesse fishing techniques like this, and it works great for smaller and medium-size fish.
Finally, you want something like medium or medium-light power for the drop shot fishing technique. No, you cannot use really heavy line or lure with a medium or medium-light power rod, which means that you cannot go for very large fish.
With this kind of power, it does not take much for the rod to flex and ultimately to break. In other words, they just can’t deal with too much pressure or weight, but this is perfectly fine when drop shotting for smaller and medium size fish.
The important part here is that your rod has enough flex to deal with a bit of pressure, but you also want the rod to be sensitive. The more sensitive the rod is, the more easily you can feel the nibbles.
10 Best Drop Shot Rods For The Money
Here are our top 10 dropshot rod reviews. These are what we think are some of the best options for the money at the moment.
1. St. Croix Premier Series Spinning Rod
This is one of our personal favorite drop shot rods out there. Yes, it is a spinning rod, but it works perfectly for the drop shot technique.
Let’s take a closer look at it. This rod is made with premium SCII graphite blanks and very high quality components for a whole lot of strength. It is lightweight for easy maneuverability, and comes with a cork handle for excellent grip. It’s fairly fast action and light power.
In terms of the length, this particular rod is 6 feet long. This will provide you with OK casting power, not the most, but OK. You will get alright distance out of it, but that is not really what you are going for. The shorter length of this rod gives you great control over the movement of the hook, plus it allows you to make quick positional changes, and it helps provide good leverage over some fairly big fish.
When it comes to action, the St. Croix Premier Series Spinning Rod is a medium-fast action rod. This means that it flexes mostly near the tip. This provides you with quite a bit of speed, or in other words, it allows the hook to respond quickly to your movements, thus making it great for a finesse fishing technique like drop shot.
This is a medium-light power rod. This means that it has a good balance of flex and sensitivity. It flexes a little bit, which means that it can handle medium sized lures and lines, and is therefore ideal for fish of a medium size, and for smaller ones too. It does flex fairly easily, which means that it doesn’t have too much power for larger fish, but it’s great for smaller ones. It does have outstanding sensitivity so you can easily feel nibbles.
- Great hook setting power and speed.
- Fast action for finesse fishing.
- Can handle smaller and medium size fish.
- Good maneuverability and lightweight.
- High quality materials.
- Not ideal for long distance casting.
- Not ideal for heavier fish.
2. Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod
This is another great drop shot rod to go with. This one is even lighter, lighter in power, and faster in action than the one we just looked at. It features an AAA cork handle for good grip with a sea-guide soft touch alien reel seat with a positive lock design. The carbon bound blanks are spiraled with carbon for a high level of strength, fast action, and great sensitivity.
The Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod comes in at 7 feet in length and is a 2 piece rod. Being a 2 piece rod is convenient because it helps when it comes to transportation and portability. The 7 foot length of this rod also means that it has a good mix of casting power and leverage.
It’s not so long that you can’t get good leverage on a fish, but also not so short that it will limit casting distance. It has a good mix of both.
This rod is a very fast action rod, which means that it bends only right near the tip of the rod. Now, this makes it ideal for small and medium-small fish. Although it is a very strong rod for what it is and the level of action it has, it’s not made for bigger fish.
The super-fast action design of this rod makes it ideal for finesse fishing techniques like drop shot. It allows you to control the hook really well and to make quick movements. The fast reaction time of the hook which this rod allows for is perfect for the drop shot technique.
Now, the Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod is an ultra-light power rod. This means that it does not take very much weight or pressure to make it flex. Although it is a strong rod, the higher amount of flex means that it cannot be used for any heavy fishing lines or lures, or for any kind of heavy fish.
With that being said, the level of flex does allow for a very high level of sensitivity and hook control. It’s great for feeling really small nibbles and to quickly set hooks in small fish, but not for medium or large fish.
- 2 piece design for portability.
- Strong materials used.
- Very high level of sensitivity.
- Easy to feel nibbles.
- Very light power – ideal for fast hook setting.
- Ideal for finesse fishing and small fish.
- Lack of flex means it cannot handle large fish, or even medium size fish.
- Guides are not the best.
3. Dobyns Rods Fury Series Fast Action Spinning Rod
Do keep in mind that this rod comes in a couple different lengths, but here we want to talk about the 7 foot medium one, just to be clear. This thing is made with high modulus graphite, which means that although it is strong and quite powerful, it does also have a high level of sensitivity and action, making it pretty good for finesse fishing like drop shot.
The Dobyns Rods Fury Series Fast Action Spinning Rod is 7 feet long. Once again, this is ideal for a good mix of casting distance and leverage. Being 7 feet long means that you can achieve pretty good casting distance with it.
However, it’s not so long that it makes this rod hard to maneuver, and it still allows for a good amount of leverage and power for medium size fish.
In terms of action, this is a fast action rod. So, it has a decent amount of strength to it, making it alright for small and even medium size fish. The fast action nature of this rod allows for quick movements and allows the bait to look natural in the water.
In other words, the fast action of this rod allows for great finesse fishing and precise lure control. It’s good for smaller and medium fish when something like drop shot is involved.
This is a medium-light power rod. This means that it has a little bit of flex. It flexes enough so you can deal with medium size fish and so you can use decent sized lures and lines. It can’t deal with the heaviest of fish out there, but for medium ones it will do fine.
Being a medium light power rod does mean that it does have an alright amount of flex, but not too much, which also means that it has a high level of sensitivity to feel nibbles, plus it allows for really fast hook setting too.
- Fast hook setting.
- High sensitivity.
- Decent amount of strength.
- Enough flex for medium size fish.
- Good mix of leverage, maneuverability, light weight, and casting distance.
- Cannot deal with very large fish.
- Handle could be a bit more comfortable.
4. Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Rod
This is also a great drop shot rod to go with. The Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Rod is made with 30 ton graphite, which is very strong, very lightweight, and also quite sensitive.
Here you get a UP locking ratcheting reel seat for easy reel attachment, plus a very comfortable handle too. This is a medium power rod with fairly fast action.
This rod is 7 feet long. Do keep in mind that you can select various lengths here, but we would recommend the 7 foot model. This will allow you to achieve pretty good casting distances thanks to the decent length of it.
Although, 7 feet is not so long that it will make the rod hard to maneuver or inaccurate. You get a good mix of accuracy, casting distance, lightweight maneuverability, and leverage with this thing.
The Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Rod is a fast action rod, which means that it only bends right near the tip. Once again, this fast action design is great for drop shot fishing and other finesse fishing techniques. It will allow for a great deal of hook control and fast hook setting.
In other words, you only need to move the rod a very small amount for the tip, and thus the hook, to react to your movements. It means easily being able to feel nibbles and it makes for very fast hook sets too.
This is a medium power rod, which means that it does flex a decent amount, but it can handle a decent amount of weight before flexing. For the most part, this is ideal for drop shot fishing. It has enough flex to it so it can handle some pretty decent sized fish, lures, and line. Yeah, you can use it for small fish, but it works well for substantial size prey too, but probably not for the largest of fish.
It has enough flex and backbone to be able to handle and alright amount of strain. However, it does also have a bit of stiffness to it, which makes it easy to feel nibbles, it allows for fast hook responsiveness, and it allows for medium-fast hook setting speeds too.
- Fast action for fast hook setting and finesse fishing.
- Medium power for a good mix of flex and sensitivity.
- Good for small and medium size fish.
- Good length for casting distance and accuracy.
- High quality materials.
- Won’t work for very large fish.
- Not ideal for slow action fishing.
5. UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod
Here you get a fishing rod that is made with both fiberglass and graphite, which provides a good mix of power, strength, sensitivity, and lightweight maneuverability. It features one piece stainless steel guides, a clear tip design, and lightweight EVA grips that are fairly comfortable to hold.
Overall, the UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod is a great drop shot rod to go with, one that has good action, power, and a good length too.
Here you can actually choose from a variety of lengths, but again, we would recommend going with the 7 foot model. This will provide you with a good mix of casting distance, accuracy, and leverage. The rod itself is quite lightweight, so it’s easy to maneuver and won’t cause you to fatigue quickly.
This is a fairly fast action rod, which means that it bends right near the tip. This fast action design is ideal for fast action finesse fishing techniques like the drop shot technique. This faction action design allows for very quick hook sets and a high level of hook responsiveness to your movements.
It’s ideal for fast action fishing and for going for smaller and medium size fish when used in combination with finesse techniques.
This is a medium power rod. This means that it has a medium amount of flex to it and can handle a decent amount of weight. Now, this allows you to use substantially heavy line and hooks, but not too heavy. It is a fairly sensitive rod, but not too sensitive.
This means that you can feel nibbles fairly easily, the hook sets at a decent speed, but it can still handle a fair amount of weight and pressure without fear of snapping.
- Lightweight design for little fatigue and high level of maneuverability.
- Good length for a mix of casting distance and accuracy.
- Fast action design for fast hook response and finesse fishing.
- Medium power for a mix of flex, strength, and pretty quick hook set.
- High quality handle.
- Ideal for medium size fish, but not for overly small or large fish.
6. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod
This is a nice 2 piece spinning rod. Coming with a 2 piece design doe help in terms of transportation and portability. It features a burled cork handle for a good amount of grip, handle durability, and comfort.
The graphite blanks here are lightweight, highly responsive, and have medium power with fast action.
In terms of the length, once again, here you can select from various rod lengths ranging from 5 to 8 feet. However, for this kind of fishing, we would go with the 7 foot rod. 7 feet is not too long, so it is easy to work with in terms of maneuverability and when working in tight spaces.
It allows for a decent casting distance, but also good accuracy, with a fair amount of leverage to it as well.
This is a very responsive fast action rod. This means that it only bends at the very top tip of the rod. This makes the Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod highly responsive to your movements and allows you to control the movements of the hook with very limited movement of the handle.
It’s very ideal for fast action fishing techniques that need a lot of finesse. It allows for super fast hook sets and really lets you feel those nibbles.
The Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod is a medium power rod. This means that it is pretty strong and can handle a fair amount of weight before it starts to bend or snap. It can be used with medium sized lures and medium weight lines. It does flex a decent amount, so it can handle a fair amount of pressure.
However, it does not flex so much that it limits the sensitivity too much. Its more than stiff enough so you can feel small nibbles, feel when the hook reaches the bottom, and it allows for hook setting at decent speeds.
- Very high quality blanks.
- Lightweight design.
- Good for smaller and medium fish.
- Can handle quite a bit of pressure.
- Good mixture of flex and sensitivity.
- Ideal mix of casting distance, accuracy, and maneuverability.
- The guides could be a bit better.
- Not ideal for exceedingly small or heavy fish.
7. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod features a high amount of graphite in the blanks, which allows for a lightweight yet strong design that is easy to maneuver, can handle a decent amount of pressure, and is fairly sensitive too. It comes with insert pop-out guides, cushioned hoods, an exposed reel seat, and a great cork handle.
As is the case with many rods out there, here you can choose from various lengths ranging from 5 to 8 feet. However, for the drop shot technique, we would always recommend a rod that is 7 feet long, a length which the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod does come in.
This allows for alright casting distance, but still allows you to retain casting accuracy and maneuverability, plus a good amount of leverage too.
In terms of the action, this is a fast action rod. Being a fast action rod means that it is ideal for finesse fishing and fast techniques. Bending only right near the tip means that you get a lot of control over the movement of the hook.
The hook will respond to your movements very quickly, thus allowing for fast hook sets so you don’t lose your fish. It also allows you to get good leverage on the fish.
This is a medium-light power rod. This means that it does not take too much pressure or weight to bend this rod, or in other words it has a bit of flex to it, but not too much. It can flex enough to handle small and medium-small size fish with ease, but it’s probably not the best option for heavier fish.
It does have a lot of sensitivity, so you can easily feel nibbles. It allows you to use lighter lines and lures with ease, which means it’s ideal for smaller fish.
- Fast action for finesse fishing.
- Medium-light power for smaller and small-medium size fish.
- Decent mix of power, flex, and sensitive.
- Pretty fast hook set.
- High quality materials.
- Good for smaller fish, but not for medium-large or large fish.
8. Okuma Citrix Travel Rod
We do like the fact that the Okuma Citrix Travel Rod is a 4 piece rod due to the fact that you can break it down to size for easy portability and storage. Although, coming in so many pieces may affect durability in a negative way. Here you get stainless steel guide frames, zirconium line guides, a lightweight EVA split grip, and IM8 graphite blank construction. It’s another great rod for drop shot fishing.
In terms of length, this particular rod is 6 feet 6 inches in length. Now, this is a bit short for casting distance. No, you won’t get too much casting distance out of it. However, the short design of this rod does allow for a good amount of casting accuracy and for decent leverage over a fish. It is lightweight and short, so it is easy to maneuver and won’t cause much fatigue.
The Okuma Citrix Travel Rod is a fast action rod. Once again, this is good in terms of hook responsiveness. It allows you to make really quick movements with the hook with minimal movements on your end. It has a high amount of hook responsiveness.
This makes this rod good for fast action finesse fishing techniques like drop shot. It allows for a faster hook set, it allows you to feel those nibbles with ease, and it offers a high level of control.
In terms of power, this is a medium light rod. This means that it does not take too much weight or pressure for this rod to flex. It can handle small line sizes and small lures with ease, thus making it ideal for smaller and small-medium size fish. It has a good mix of flex for smaller and medium fish, but also enough sensitivity to feel them with ease.
- Very durable.
- Nice handle.
- High quality materials.
- Fast action for hook sensitivity and responsiveness.
- Good for finesse fishing.
- Medium-light power for smaller fish, good flex, and decent sensitivity.
- Not ideal for slower fishing techniques.
- Not ideal for very large fish.
9. Phenix Maxim Freshwater Spinning Fishing Rod
This is yet another nice fishing rod to go with when using the drop shot fishing technique. The Phenix Maxim Freshwater Spinning Fishing Rod features high density EVA handles for a good grip and comfort. It comes with an up locking reel seat and a multi-axis carbon fiber scrim with SiC guides.
The length of this fishing rod is 6 feet and 10 inches. This is pretty close to the recommended 7 feet which is ideal for drop shot fishing. Being 6 foot 10 inches long provides for OK casting distance, but not the best. However, it is very lightweight and easy to maneuver. The length is definitely good enough for drop shot fishing.
This is a very fast action rod and it only bends right near the tip. This makes the Phenix Maxim Freshwater Spinning Fishing Rod ideal for fast action and finesse fishing techniques. As soon as you move the rod handle, the hook will respond. It has fast hook responsiveness for finesse fishing techniques.
This also means that it allows for fairly fast hook sets, plus the power gets transferred into the blank fairly fast, thus allowing for good leverage over fish and it allows you to feel those nibbles with ease too.
This is a very light power rod, or in other words, it does not take much at all to make this rod flex. Now, this is good if you are using small lines and small lures, or in other words, if you are going for small prey and don’t need to the rod to have too much strength or backbone to handle a lot of weight. The design of this rod does make it very sensitive. You can very easily feel nibbles with it and setting your hook will happen fast.
- High quality handle.
- Fast action for finesse fishing.
- High level of sensitivity and fast hook setting.
- Good for smaller fish.
- Good control and accuracy.
- Not ideal for heavy lines, lures, or fish.
- Not ideal for slower fishing techniques.
- The line guides could be a little more durable.
10. Lews Speed Stick TP-1 IM8 Spinning Rod
This is the final drop shot rod on our list here today, but the Lews Speed Stick TP-1 IM8 Spinning Rod is still a very nice option to keep in mind. This rod comes with a premium one piece graphite blank, which is both strong and lightweight, plus very durable and sensitive as well. It comes with an American made microwave guide system and skeletal graphite reel seats.
This particular rod comes in at 6 feet 9 inches long, which is just a couple inches short of the 7 foot recommended length for drop shot fishing. It might not allow for the farthest casting distance, but it’s not too bad.
However, the short length of this rod does make it nice for control and maneuverability, plus it won’t make you fatigue fast either. It is an accurate rod to cast with.
This is a fast action rod, which means that it bends mainly just in the tip of the rod. It is great for finesse fishing where you need the hook or lure to respond to your movements really quickly. It allows for a high level of hook responsiveness, and thus it’s good for fast hook setting.
Like we said, the Lews Speed Stick is also quite sensitive and it transfers power to the blank quickly, which means that you can easily feel nibbles, but still get good leverage over smaller and medium size fish.
In terms of power, this is a medium-light power rod. In other words, it cannot handle very much weight or pressure before it begins to flex, and ultimately snap.
In other words, it is ideal for small and medium-small fish, lures, and lines, but not for larger fish that are really going to fight you. Although this rod does have a bit of flex to it, it manages to retain quite a bit of sensitivity so you can feel nibbles.
- High quality materials.
- Great for finesse fishing.
- Good for small and small-medium size fish.
- High level of sensitivity.
- Fairly fast hook setting.
- Not ideal for excessively large or small fish.
- Somewhat limited casting distance.
As you can see, there are plenty of good drop shot fishing rods out there. Just remember to look for a rod that has good action, power, and a decent length for this fishing technique. Here you want a fast action rod that allows for a decent amount of leverage, fast hook response times, and fast hook setting too.
You also want a medium or medium-light power rod. When drop shotting, you often aren’t going for huge fish, so a rod with limited power will do fine, unless you want to go for large fish. The important part here is that the rod is sensitive so you can feel nibbles and fast action for quick hook sets. The rest is up to you.