There is a brown trout laying on the floor along with a fishing rod. The purpose of this picture is to show Drop Shot Rig For Trout

Drop Shot Rig For Trout: All Useful Tips & Tactics You Need To Know in 2023

A Drop Shot Rig is a fishing rig used for catching fish species such as trout. It was first developed in Japan to catch heavily pressured fish. It involves tying a hook to the end of a line, adding weight above the hook, and casting the rig into the water. Further, a drop shot rig allows anglers to present their bait or lure at different depths and levels in the water, making it an effective way to target a big fish like trout in a variety of environments.

There are several benefits to using a Drop Shot Rig for Trout, including increased sensitivity and the ability to present the bait or lure in a natural, lifelike manner. If you are curious/wonder or have a question as can you use the drop shot rig to catch trout? The answer is YES, you can! In this guide, we will answer the questions relating to drop shot rig for trout and will go in-depth into the topic. Lets Dive:

Drop Shot Rig for Trout:

A man wearing light blue T-shirt showing a targeted brown trout with his right hand, by  bringing it out from the fishing net.

Continuing your crustily, the Drop Shot Rig for Trout is a popular and versatile technique as you can present your bait or lure at different depths and levels in the water which is an effective way to target a trout in every environment. It is a simple and effective technique for trout fishing that is easy to learn and can be adjusted to suit a variety of fishing environments and conditions.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, it is worth trying out this rig for yourself! For this purpose, you need to learn the strategy properly. You need to learn from tying a drop shot rig and for that, you will require a few basic materials. First, you should have a fishing line, typically a monofilament or fluorocarbon line with a low diameter and good sensitivity. Moreover, you will also need a hook, which can be a wide gap worm hook or a finesse hook depending on the size and species of trout you are targeting. You will also need a sinker, typically a small, split-shot sinker that can be positioned up the line from the hook.

Once you have all the required materials, you will tie your hook to one end of your line, add your sinker to the other end, and then tie a leader line of about 6-12 inches from the hook to the sinker. The Drop Shot Rig for Trout is ready for your use! Now, simply attach your bait or lure to the hook and adjust the length of your leader line to achieve the desired depth.

Can You Drop Shot for Trout?

Yes, drop shotting can be an effective technique for fishing for trout. Although a drop shot rig is known for being a bass fishing technique but with years of experience in fishing, we found that it can also be a great way to catch trout in the right situations with the right strategy. Over the years we have caught several trout while targeting bass and concluded it as a trout fishing technique too. However, as we consistently pulled up trout on this rig, we realized the potential it had as a great method to target trout that often gets overlooked. 

As far as you are going to target trout, this technique can be helpful especially in clear water, as the light line and natural presentation of the bait or lure can be less noticeable to the wary trout. You should use drop shot to target specific depths, which can be especially useful when fishing for trout in a thermocline or near underwater structures.

When drop shotting for trout, it is important for you to select the right bait or lure, pay attention to the water conditions, and experiment with different techniques to determine what works best for you. Whether fishing in a river, lake, or reservoir, drop shotting can be a great technique for catching more trout. In the following paragraphs, we will share everything relating to drop shot for trout we have learned in our years of fishing.

Drop Shot Rig for Trout: Set Up.

A trout is laying on the grass along with telescopic fishing rod lying besides it. It is to show a drop shot rig for trout.

You never need the most expensive rod or reel to get started and be effective while catching trout. A lightweight, medium and sensitive rod and reel combo will help you detect subtle bites and detect the structure of the bottom. In our recommendations, a 6’6″ to 7′ medium-light to medium power rod with a fast tip paired with a 2500 series reel is always ideal. A spinning reel in the 1000-2500 size range is ideal for drop shotting.


We suggest Monofilament or fluorocarbon line with a low diameter and good sensitivity as it is ideal and best set up for drop-shotting in most trout situations. If you are targeting a bigger trout, you definitely need to size up. But in general, choose a line that has a low memory and a smooth surface to reduce friction. The recommended line test is 4-8 lb.


A Palomar knot or a Uni knot are both strong and reliable knots to use when tying your drop shot rig. However, our personal favorite knot for a drop shot rig is the Palomar knot and we are always going with it for years but we suggest you to try your own what is best for you. In addition, you should remember that It is always important to lubricate the knot before tightening it to reduce friction and prevent breaking.

Leader Length:

The leader length will depend on the depth of the water and the size of the fish you are targeting. A good starting point is around 18-24 inches, but you can adjust the length to fit your needs. If you are just started out, we would recommend you to stick with 18 inches first, and then after you can modify this with experience as you adapt this technique to different situations.


The weight you use will also depend on the depth of the water and the flow of the current. While selecting a drop shot weight, we recommend you choose the lightest weight that can still allow your bait to have contact with the bottom but not go heavier than ⅜ in most situations other than deeper water.  A 1/16th to 1/4 oz weight is a good starting point, but you can adjust the weight based on your conditions.

As a general guideline, you can adopt these figures:

  1. For 4 Feet or less = 1/8 – ¼ ounce weights
  2. For 5-10 Feet = ¼ ounce weights
  3. For 20 Feet plus = 3/8 ounce or heavier

 There are many weight types for drop shot that are designed to adapt to different circumstances. However, our personal favorite type is the lead skinny drop shot weights.


A drop shot rig typically uses a wide gap hook, which provides a larger hooking area and reduces the chance of the hook coming out of the fish’s mouth. There are many hooks options to choose from but in our opinion, the best one to start with is a circle or octopus-style hook with a recommended size of 1 to 1/0. In addition, you are advised to choose a hook that is appropriate for the size of the bait or lure you are using.

Baits and Lures:

One great thing here is that when we come to drop shotting for trout, we find numerous bait and lure options to choose from. Both live bait and artificial lures are available and can be used effectively but the right choice will depend on the water conditions, target species, and your personal preference. Live bait options for drop shotting include worms, grubs, and minnows. Artificial lure options include soft plastic baits, jigs, and spinners.

Our recommendation here is that while choosing a bait or lure, consider the size, color, and scent to match the hatch and the conditions of the water you are fishing in.  Furthermore, we suggest you to do experiments with the different types and find what works best for you. 

In a nutshell, choosing the right components for your drop shot rig for trout can make a big difference in your success when fishing for trout. By selecting a lightweight and sensitive rod and reel combo, a low diameter line with good sensitivity, a strong knot, an appropriate and recommended leader length, the right weight, a wide gap hook, and a bait or lure that matches the conditions, you will be well on your way to catching more trout with a drop shot rig.

Drop Shot Fishing Tips and Tactics:

A person is showing What size spinning reels for surf by having reel in his left hand and rod in his right hand.

Drop shot fishing is a versatile technique that can be adapted to different conditions, making it a great option for catching trout. Here is a step-by-step guide on some tips and tactics for drop shot fishing:

When to fish a drop shot:

As it is considered a finesses fishing technique, we suggest you drop shot early morning and late evening. These are the times when the water is the coolest and the light is low, making it an ideal time for drop shotting in our experience. If you fish in these times, your chances of catching more trout will bright. Further, you should fish on overcast days as overcast days can reduce the amount of light in the water, making it easier for you to present your bait or lure without spooking the trout.

Where to fish a drop shot for trout:

A man wearing white full sleeve T shirt and blue gloves bringing out a trout out of the fishing net.

The drop shot is a universal rig and can be fished everywhere. But we will share our experience with you so that you may get more than you thought. We suggest you to look for drop-offs, rocks, ledges, and underwater structures where trout are likely to be found. You can also fish in the thermocline as it is a layer of water where the temperature changes dramatically. You will find many species of trout in this area just like us. Further, we have also found that drop shotting for trout can be effective in deeper water, especially when fishing near the bottom. 

Let’s discuss the techniques and ways of drop shotting briefly with one or two recommendations that we think you learn before trying any technique:

The Retrieval:

  • Slow and steady: When retrieving the drop shot rig, work the bait or lure slowly and steadily. This will create a more natural presentation and increase the chances of a bite.
  • Experiment with different retrieves: Try different retrieves, such as dragging, deadsticking, vertically, and swimming to determine what works best in different conditions.


  • Dragging is a slow and steady retrieve that can be used to cover a large area of water.
  • Use a slow and steady retrieve speed and make sure the bait or lure moves as naturally as possible.


  • Deadsticking involves letting the bait or lure sit still for a period of time.
  • Use deadsticking in areas where the trout are more sluggish, such as in the thermocline or in deeper water.


  • Vertical drop shotting involves dropping the bait or lure straight down and letting it sit still.
  • Use a vertical drop shotting technique in areas where the trout are near the bottom or in deep water.


  • Swimming involves slowly and steadily moving the bait or lure through the water.
  • Use swimming retrieve in areas where the water is deeper or where the trout are more active.

Final Thoughts:

Mostly, all anglers relate drop shot to a bass fish rig only but we have found the Drop Shot Rig for Trout as a versatile and effective technique for catching trout. It requires a few simple materials and is relatively easy to set up. By selecting the right bait or lure, adjusting the rig for different water conditions, and using the right fishing techniques, you can increase your chances of success when drop shotting for trout.

Remember to always follow fishing regulations and to practice catch-and-release techniques to help preserve our aquatic resources for future generations. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, drop shotting for trout is a fun and rewarding experience that can be enjoyed by anglers of all skill levels. We hope we have delivered everything we knew about the topic and, we expect this article will open a new era of information for you to fish trout. Now, go out and try our guide practically; you will not be disappointed. Happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes, a drop shot rig can be effective for trout fishing. By using the right bait or lure, adjusting the rig for different water conditions, and using proper techniques, drop shotting can be a productive way to catch trout.

To rig a drop shot for trout, tie the hook to the end of the line, add a weight above the hook, and cast the rig into the water. Allow the bait or lure to sink to the desired depth and retrieve it slowly, or hold the rod in place to allow the bait to sit still.

A Drop Shot Rig is a fishing rig used for catching fish species such as trout. It involves tying a hook to the end of a line, adding weight above the hook, and casting the rig into the water. The bait or lure is allowed to sink to a specific depth and retrieved or held still.

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