A Drop Shot vs Shaky Head - What’s better for catching big bass?

The BEST Finesse Bass Slayer: Drop Shot vs Shaky Head

A battle between giants. Two goliaths go head-to-head to see which is better for your application. Both rigs are extremely effective but fish very differently. Here are a few differences and how/when to fish each effectively.

Shaky Head over Drop Shot

A basic shaky head rig consists of a lightweight jig head 1/16-1/4 oz. matched with a finesse soft plastic. This is my preferred method when targeting a bass in the open (with an exposed hook) or when flipping into heavy cover and rigging the bait weed-less. Vary your weight based on how fast you’d like to sink, but I like to stay as light as I can to avoid getting caught in vegetation. It also allows the bait to stay in the “falling” strike zone longer.

Drop Shot over Shaky Head

A drop shot rig is made by tying a small hook onto the mainline of your rig at the desired height to reach your fish. There is a weight tied at the end of your mainline to maintain consistent distance to the lake floor. Your soft plastic selection will vary based on forage and surrounding vegetation or structure. The drop shot excels over sand or gravel bottoms in clear water. I prefer drop shotting in deeper water (over 15’) and present the bait horizontally. If fishing deeper than 20’, I will fish a more verticle presentation and it won’t spook the fish.  I avoid using paddletail baits and prefer fluke style baits or finesse worms. The paddletail baits often don’t sit or ride correctly and will put fish off more than a fluke.

The two techniques catch loads of fish, and are both great tools for an angler to practice. Knowing the depth you are targeting will allow you to better determine which technique will suit your needs in that moment. Is it the shallower water slayer shaky head? Or is it the deeper water technique in the drop shot? Try out both and learn which works best for you! Get out there and hook a monster! Tight lines!

Colton Orbaker
Author, teacher, guide, content creator...


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A Drop Shot vs Shaky Head - What’s better for catching big bass?

A Drop Shot vs Shaky Head - What’s better for catching big bass?

May 31, 2019 Fishing Tips

The BEST Finesse Bass Slayer: Drop Shot vs Shaky Head

A battle between giants. Two goliaths go head-to-head to see which is better for your application. Both rigs are extremely effective but fish very differently. Here are a few differences and how/when to fish each effectively.

Shaky Head over Drop Shot

A basic shaky head rig consists of a lightweight jig head 1/16-1/4 oz. matched with a finesse soft plastic. This is my preferred method when targeting a bass in the open (with an exposed hook) or when flipping into heavy cover and rigging the bait weed-less. Vary your weight based on how fast you’d like to sink, but I like to stay as light as I can to avoid getting caught in vegetation. It also allows the bait to stay in the “falling” strike zone longer.

Drop Shot over Shaky Head

A drop shot rig is made by tying a small hook onto the mainline of your rig at the desired height to reach your fish. There is a weight tied at the end of your mainline to maintain consistent distance to the lake floor. Your soft plastic selection will vary based on forage and surrounding vegetation or structure. The drop shot excels over sand or gravel bottoms in clear water. I prefer drop shotting in deeper water (over 15’) and present the bait horizontally. If fishing deeper than 20’, I will fish a more verticle presentation and it won’t spook the fish.  I avoid using paddletail baits and prefer fluke style baits or finesse worms. The paddletail baits often don’t sit or ride correctly and will put fish off more than a fluke.

The two techniques catch loads of fish, and are both great tools for an angler to practice. Knowing the depth you are targeting will allow you to better determine which technique will suit your needs in that moment. Is it the shallower water slayer shaky head? Or is it the deeper water technique in the drop shot? Try out both and learn which works best for you! Get out there and hook a monster! Tight lines!

Colton Orbaker
Author, teacher, guide, content creator...

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