Fishing

The 9 Best Drop Shot Rods of 2020

Best Drop Shot Rod

Photo: Cadence

As the name suggests, a drop shot rod is used for drop shot fishing. This type of fishing provides finesse presentation of lure/bait that fish can’t resist and is ideal for catching the ones in the middle of the water column.

That said, most of the rods used for drop shot fishing are spinning rods and these come in various sizes, power, and action. This means that there is a wide variety of them to choose from.

To help you in the selection process, we have reviewed 10 of the best drop shot rods to consider buying in the market so that you can quickly get down to fishing.

9 Best Drop Shot Rods – Review 

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Abu Garcia 1430476

1. Abu Garcia 1430476 (Best Overall)

  • Sensitive fast-action tip
  • Tight fitting reel seat
  • High strength armor sublayer
  • Robotically optimized casting system
Berkley CWD701MLC

2. Berkley CWD701MLC (Most Affordable)

  • Affordable
  • Light and strong SS304 guides
  • Grippy, comfortable cork handle
  • Multiple power and length options
Okuma TCS-S-701M+

3. Okuma TCS-S-701M+ (Best for Large Fish)

  • High 8-15 test lb
  • 30-ton ultra-sensitive carbon rod
  • Customized C-40X carbon reel seat
  • Hard aluminum-oxide guides
Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod

4. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod (Best from Fenwicks)

  • Chip-resistant cork handle
  • Multiple size options
  • Durable stainless-steel guides
  • Sensitive 1-piece graphite blank
St Croix Triumph

5. St Croix Triumph (Best from St Croix)

  • Sensitive graphite blank
  • hard aluminum oxide guides
  • Full-length cork handle
  • 2 flex-coat coats
St. Croix Mojo Inshore

6. St. Croix Mojo Inshore (Best for Saltwater)

  • Corrosion-resistant construction
  • 2 flex-coat coats
  • Sensitive SCII graphite blank
  • Fuji DPS reel seat
Cadence CR5-701S-MLF

7. Cadence CR5-701S-MLF (Has Sensitive Blank)

  • Sensitive 30-ton graphite blank
  • Carbon veil wrapped blank
  • Smooth stainless steel SiC guides
  • Travel-friendly 2-piece design
Ugly Stik GX2

8. Ugly Stik GX2 (2-Piece Dresign)

  • Travel-friendly 2-piece design
  • Strong clear tip
  • High 6-15 test lb
  • Full-length EVA handle
Dobyns Rods FR 702SF

9. Dobyns Rods FR 702SF (Has Kevlar Wrapping)

  • Durable Kevlar wrapping
  • High modulus graphite blank
  • High precision Fuji reel seat
  • Hi-density Hypalon butt

PRODUCT

1. Abu Garcia 1430476

(Best Overall)

Abu Garcia 1430476
  • Sensitive fast-action tip
  • Tight fitting reel seat
  • High strength armor sublayer
  • Robotically optimized casting system

2. Berkley CWD701MLC

(Most Affordable)

Berkley CWD701MLC
  • Affordable
  • Light and strong SS304 guides
  • Grippy, comfortable cork handle
  • Multiple power and length options

3. Okuma TCS-S-701M+

(Best for Large Fish)

Okuma TCS-S-701M+
  • High 8-15 test lb
  • 30-ton ultra-sensitive carbon rod
  • Customized C-40X carbon reel seat
  • Hard aluminum-oxide guides

4. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod

(Best from Fenwicks)

Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod
  • Chip-resistant cork handle
  • Multiple size options
  • Durable stainless-steel guides
  • Sensitive 1-piece graphite blank

5. St Croix Triumph

(Best from St Croix)

St Croix Triumph
  • Sensitive graphite blank
  • hard aluminum oxide guides
  • Full-length cork handle
  • 2 flex-coat coats

6. St. Croix Mojo Inshore

(Best for Saltwater)

St. Croix Mojo Inshore
  • Corrosion-resistant construction
  • 2 flex-coat coats
  • Sensitive SCII graphite blank
  • Fuji DPS reel seat

7. Cadence CR5-701S-MLF

(Has Sensitive Blank)

Cadence CR5-701S-MLF
  • Sensitive 30-ton graphite blank
  • Carbon veil wrapped blank
  • Smooth stainless steel SiC guides
  • Travel-friendly 2-piece design

8. Ugly Stik GX2

(2-Piece Design)

Ugly Stik GX2
  • Travel-friendly 2-piece design
  • Strong clear tip
  • High 6-15 test lb
  • Full-length EVA handle

9. Dobyns Rods FR 702SF

(Has Kevlar Wrapping)

Dobyns Rods FR 702SF
  • Durable Kevlar wrapping
  • High modulus graphite blank
  • High precision Fuji reel seat
  • Hi-density Hypalon butt

1. Abu Garcia 1430476 – Best Overall Drop Shot Rod

Abu Garcia 1430476

Photo: Abu Garcia

  • Power: M
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 6-12 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 3/16-5/8 oz.
  • Weight: 5.3 oz.

Abu Garcia’s 1430476 takes the top spot because it is a fast action drop shot rod. This means it has a very sensitive tip that lets you move the lure/bait easily. It also allows you to easily feel the fish’s bite.

This is made possible by its 30-ton graphite blank, which is very stiff and passes on movement/vibrations with ease. The blank is also very lightweight and gives a balanced design that is easy to hold.

You also get an armor sublayer that contains high strength fibers for enhanced durability and hoop strength.

Other features include a length of 7’, which is ideal for drop shot fishing, a UP locking ratcheting reel seat that gives a secure, comfortable fit, a high-density EVA handle, a robotically optimized casting system for maximizing the casting distance and durable titanium alloy guides.

The only problem is that the rod is relatively heavy, weighing in at 5.3 oz.

Pros:

  • Fast action with a sensitive tip
  • Stiff 30-ton graphite blank
  • High strength armor sublayer
  • Tight-fitting reel seat
  • Robotically optimized casting system

Cons:

  • Heavy

2. Berkley CWD701MLC – Most Affordable Drop Shot Rod

Berkley CWD701MLC

Photo: Berkley

  • Power: ML
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 6-14 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-5/8 oz.
  • Weight: 4.8 oz.

If you are on a tight budget, Berkley’s CWD701MLC is the best drop shot rod to buy because it is very affordable.

Despite this, the unit has a hybrid design blank that is made using graphite and fiberglass. This makes it very sensitive with medium-light power and fast action for quick transmission of vibrations to the handle. However, it is not as sensitive as the full graphite blank.

SS304 guides are built into the rod and these are 55% lighter than the conventional aluminum oxide eyes. They are also 20 times stronger and factory tested for maximum durability and dependability.

Other features include a comfortable cork handle that is very grippy and a 7’ length. There are multiple options though that include 5’6”, 6’ and 6’6” length sizes with medium and medium-heavy power.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Light and strong SS304 guides
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • Multiple power and length options

Cons:

  • Not as sensitive as fully graphite blanks

3. Okuma TCS-S-701M+ – Best Drop Shot Rod for Large Fish

Okuma TCS-S-701M+

Photo: Okuma

  • Power: M
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 8-15 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 3/8-3/4 oz.
  • Weight: 4.6 oz.

Okuma’s TCS-S-701M+ was built to catch the largest fish under thick and heavy cover. It was designed by Scott Martin, who is one of the best professional bass anglers, for concept tournament applications where large fish are winners.

This can be seen in its test lb. rating, which is quite high (8-15 lbs.). This means the unit is capable of pulling out very large fish from the water.  

The rod also has an ultra-sensitive blank that is made of 30-ton carbon. This blank is very stiff and passes on vibrations quickly to the handle so that you can feel the fish’s bite. It also allows you to move the bait/lure with finesse, which makes drop shot fishing easier.

Other features include customized C-40X carbon reel seats that can hold casting or spinning reels, hard and durable aluminum oxide guides, and an EVA split grip plus foregrip, which reduces the weight and feel of the rod.

On the downside, this unit is quite expensive.

Pros:

  • High 8-15 test lb.
  • Ultra-sensitive 30-ton carbon rod
  • Customized C-40X carbon reel seat
  • Durable hard aluminum oxide guides
  • EVA split grip and foregrip for balanced holding

Cons:

  • Expensive

4. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod – Best Fenwicks Drop Shot Rod

Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod

Photo: Fenwicks

  • Power: ML
  • Length: 6’, 6.6’, 7’
  • Test LB: 4-10 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-5/8 oz.
  • Weight: 4.13 oz.

Fenwicks has been making fishing rods from the early ‘50s and has gained a reputation for making high-quality fishing equipment for over 50 years.

Their Eagle spinning rod model stands out because it has a traditional B2 burled cork handle that is chip-resistant for maximum durability and very comfortable to hold.

It is not split and therefore, you get a full-length cork handle for comfortable holding at the point where the rod feels balanced.

The rod is available in multiple sizes and each one has stainless steel guides with stainless inserts for corrosion-resistant performance, sturdiness, and a lightweight feel.

You also get a sensitive single piece graphite blank with a line rating of 4-10 lbs. However, with its medium-light power, the rod has a moderate fast action that is not as effective as the fast action units at drop shot fishing.

Pros:

  • Comfortable, chip-resistant cork handle
  • Multiple size options
  • Durable stainless-steel guides
  • Sensitive 1-piece graphite blank

Cons:

  • Moderate fast action

5. St Croix Triumph – Best St Croix Drop Shot Rod

St Croix Triumph

Photo: St Croix

  • Power: ML
  • Length: 6’, 6.6’, 7’, 7.6’
  • Test LB: 4-10 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-1/2 oz.
  • Weight: 3.4, 4, 4.2, 4.5 oz.

St Croix has carved a niche for itself in the fishing rod market and the company prides itself on making some of the best rods on earth. Looking at the Triumph model, it is easy to see why.

For starters, it has a premium SCII graphite blank that is lightweight, durable and very sensitive. This blank has high strain fibers that are more resistant to breaking under heavy loads.

You also get durable hard aluminum-oxide guides, two flex-coat coats for enhanced durability and a high-quality full-length cork handle that is comfortable to hold and gives a grippy non-slip performance.

More features include multiple power and size options, the option of Fuji ECS or TCS reel seats with frosted silver hoods on casting rods for maximum compatibility and DPS reel seats with frosted silver hoods on spinning rods.

However, the rod is quite costly, especially for its largest size.

Pros:

  • Sensitive SCII graphite blank
  • Durable aluminum oxide guides
  • Full-length cork handle
  • 2 flex-coat coats
  • Multiple reel seat options

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

6. St. Croix Mojo Inshore – Best Drop Shot Rod for Saltwater Fishing

St. Croix Mojo Inshore

Photo: St Croix

  • Power: ML
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 6-14 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-1/2 oz.
  • Weight: 4.5 oz.

St Croix’s Mojo Inshore is specifically built for fishing on saltwater because it has hard aluminum-oxide guides with corrosion-resistant frames. The entire rod is also corrosion resistant and it has 2 coats of flex-coat layers for maximum durability.

Apart from that, the unit has a premium SCII graphite blank that is highly sensitive and lightweight. This blank is also very durable because it has high strain rate fibers, which means it is more resistant to breaking as compared to other drop shot rods.

Other features include a medium-light power with fast action and a Fuji DPS reel seat with a black hood.

On the downside, this rod has a split grip cork handle, which is not as comfortable and grippy to use as compared to the full-length handle. It is also quite expensive.

Pros:

  • Durable, corrosion-resistant construction
  • 2 flex-coat coats
  • Sensitive SCII graphite blank
  • High strain rate

Cons:

  • Split-grip handle
  • Relatively expensive

7. Cadence CR5-701S-MLF – Sensitive Drop Shot Rod

Cadence CR5-701S-MLF

Photo: Cadence

  • Power: ML
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 6-12 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-5/8 oz.

Just like Abu Garcia’s 1430476, Cadence’s CR5-701S-MLF has a 30-ton carbon matric graphite blank that is very stiff and sensitive. This makes it very effective at drop-shot fishing because you can move the bait/lure with finesse and feel the bite easily. 

Additionally, you get a carbon veil wrapping on the blank for enhanced durability while a precision-built Fuji reel seat gives high sensitivity and perfect fitting.

Durable SiC guides are built-in and they have stainless steel frames that ensure smooth line movement to avoid sticking.

Other features include a 2-piece design that can be easily dismantled to fit in the trunk of your car, multiple power, size and action options, and a handle that is built using cork and EVA to enhance performance.

However, this handle is split, which means it has a smaller grip surface area for comfortable holding.

Pros:

  • Sensitive 30-ton graphite blank
  • Carbon veil wrapped blank
  • High precision and sensitive Fuji reel seat
  • Smooth stainless steel SiC guides
  • Travel-friendly 2-piece design

Cons:

  • Split handle

8. Ugly Stik GX2 – 2-Piece Drop Shot Rod

Ugly Stik GX2

Photo: Ugly Stik

  • Power: M
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 6-15 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-5/8 oz.

Ugly Stik’s GX2 also has a 2-piece design that can be easily dismantled to fit in your trunk. This makes it very travel friendly.

Aside from that, the rod has a strong yet balanced fiberglass/graphite blank that makes it easy to hold it out when fishing. However, this design is not as sensitive as the full graphite blank construction.

On the bright side, the rod has a strong clear tip design that enhances sensitivity and it can hold up to 15 lbs. in weight, making it ideal for catching large, heavy fish.

Other features include a full-length EVA handle that is easier and more comfortable to use, medium power and a 7’ length that is ideal for drop shot fishing.

More Detailed: UglyStik GX2 Review

Pros:

  • Travel-friendly 2-piece design
  • Strong clear tip for maximizing sensitivity
  • Holds up to 15 lbs. in weight
  • Comfortable full-length EVA handle

Cons:

  • Not as sensitive as the full graphite rod

9. Dobyns Rods FR 702SF – Drop Shot Rod with Kevlar Wrapping

Dobyns Rods FR 702SF

Photo: Dobyns Rods

  • Power: ML
  • Length: 7’
  • Test LB: 6-12 lbs.
  • Lure Weight: 1/8-1/2 oz.
  • Weight: 4.8 oz.

With its Kevlar wrapping, Dobyns Rods’ FR 702SF has a durable design that ensures its sensitive high modulus graphite blank is strong enough to hold up to 12 lbs.

That said, you get a 7’ medium-light spinning rod with fast action, which is ideal for drop shot fishing.

Other features include a precision fitting Fuji reel seat and a lure weight of 1/8-1/2 oz. Also included are a comfortable hi-density Hypalon butt and an AA-grade hi-density cork handle for enhanced grip.

However, this handle is split, with the back-split side being made of EVA. As compared to a full-length handle, this design limits the grip surface area.

Pros:

  • Durable Kevlar wrapping
  • Sensitive high modulus graphite blank
  • Precision fitting Fuji reel seat
  • Comfortable hi-density Hypalon butt

Cons:

  • Split handle

How to Buy the Best Drop Shot Rods

How to Buy the Best Drop Shot Rod

1. Power and Action

A rod’s power is a measure of how much force is required to bend it. This works hand in hand with the rod’s action to determine the unit’s performance.

That said, there are different power options, which include ultra-light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy and extra heavy. Extra-heavy rods are the stiffest of them all while ultra-light pieces bend the most. 

Hypothetically, you can drop shot using a rod with any of these power options but medium and medium-light rods are considered the best. This is because they have the right mix of balance and flexibility.

On the other hand, action shows where the rod flexes on the blank. It is usually given as extra fast, fast, moderate fast, moderate and slow.

The faster the action rod, the stiffer it is and thus, it bends closer to the tip. Moderate action rods bend halfway while the slow action type bends back to the handle.

Being a finesse fishing technique, drop shotting requires a fast action rod. With a sensitive tip, you will be able to move the lure/bait easily by whipping the rod up and down. You will also be able to easily feel the fish’s bite so that you can hook it then pull it up.

Buying Guide: With all that in mind, Abu Garcia’s 1430476, Okuma’s TCS-S-701M+ and Cadence’s CR5-701S-MLF stand out from the rest because they have medium/medium-light power with ultra-sensitive, fast action 30-ton graphite blanks.

2. Length

Generally, a 7’ long rod is recommended for drop shot fishing. This will give you enough casting power to master this finesse technique. However, this is not standard as it depends on if you are strong enough to handle such a long rod.

For some, a shorter or longer rod would be ideal. It all comes down to which length you are comfortable handling.

3. Weight

There are several factors to consider about weight. First is the weight of the rod itself and the lighter it is, the easier it will be to handle when fishing for long hours.

The other factor is the test lb., in which 4-10 lb. is recommended. Even though this means it is not ideal for catching large game fish, the line that will be used will be thinner and lighter, resulting in a lightweight rod to carry.

Therefore, Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod is ideal because it is lightweight and has a light 4-10 lb. rating.

However, if you intend to catch large fish, make sure you go for Okuma’s TCS-S-701M+ because it has an 8-15 test lb. This means it can carry a heavy load.

As for the lure weight, the name says it all. Since the difference between the different rod models is very small, there is no major performance improvement from a small to large lure weight. All are ideal to use.

4. Bait

For finesse fishing, you need a bait/lure that mimics the natural movement of prey in water. They should be buoyant and have a very similar resemblance to worms, small fish and other foods that the fish you are targeting preys on.

5. Hook

If you are using live bait, the hook should suspend it in a horizontal position in the water (right angle to the line). The goal is to make the bait move as naturally as possible to easily attract the fish.

Conclusion 

In summary, power and action play a big role in determining the best drop shot rod. That said, we recommend Abu Garcia’s 1430476 as the overall best unit because of its medium power, fast action 30-ton graphite blank. It also has an optimized casting system and an armor sub-layer.

However, if you are interested in catching large, heavy fish, Okuma’s TCS-S-701M+ is your best bet due to its high 8-15 test lb. If you are on a tight budget though, be sure to check out Berkley’s CWD701MLC because it is very affordable.

Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?
Related Reads
Long fishing rods are very practical because they allow you to cast the bait far out. However, this ...
Crankbait rods are usually used for bass fishing because, as the name suggests, they are designed to ...
Surf fishing involves catching fish while wading in the surf or standing at the shoreline. As such, ...
People who enjoy fishing will take leisure in indulging in it while traveling as well. Such buyers ...
The fishing rod is the most practical and useful fishing tool that you can buy. It comes in a wide ...
The fly rod is the oldest and most traditional type of fishing rod that is normally used with live ...
Most of the time it can be difficult to get started with fishing with a reel and a rod. First, you ...
Catfish is a fierce and strong fish species that gives you intense fight while fishing. If you ...
What We Like Built to suit specific techniques Feels sturdier and more stable Non-slip and more ...