Finesse Rods for Drop Shot Rigs
In this guide, we discuss the best drop shot rods of the year. We cover both spinning rods and casting rods in our review. Our team is dedicated to providing our angler community with 100% unbiased reviews of the best value fishing products.
The best drop shot rods are ultra-sensitive with a nice tip and well-balanced backbone. You don’t want anything too cheap because the quality shows with finesse fishing rods. Check out our guide to 2021’s best fishing rods for bass for more in-depth information.
Rod Quality vs. Price
Usually, we recommend plenty of budget rod options. However, finesse drop shot rods are the one type of technique-specific equipment where you truly get what you pay for.
You don’t even need an expensive reel, but a premium pole will give you a huge advantage. Mid-range to high-end bass rods are far more sensitive than other budget options.
If your budget isn’t hundreds of dollars, that doesn’t mean you can’t get decent equipment. However, compared to other technique-specific categories, high-end drop-shot gear has the most to offer.
Ideal Power & Length
The best drop shot rods are under 7′ in length. You won’t want rods that are too long because you’ll lose precision and control. Drop-shotting is all about using small motions and feeling what’s happening on the bottom.
When it comes to power, medium-light and medium ratings are best. You won’t get enough sensitivity from medium-heavy or heavy rods, and ultralight rods tend to sacrifice decent backbones.
Speed Demon Pro Drop Shot – Best Value Casting Rod
4.6 Stars | 686 Angler Reviews
The best value drop shot casting rod is the KastKing Speed Demon Pro. This series is constructed with carbon fiber blanks and is the most sensitive option under $150. KastKing specifically designed their 6’10” Medium-Light model for drop shot fishing, which up can view through the button above.
We are very excited to recommend the Speed Demon Pro to our community. Until KastKing released this rod, there weren’t any affordable finesse options that could compete with the high-end models.
This rod is well-balanced, allowing you to feel everything under the water. Its soft tip is essential for drop-shot fishing. You can actually see the bite in the tip of the rod before even feeling it, which is referred to as premium “deflection.”
Shimano Zodias – Best Value Spinning Rod
5 Stars | 9 Reviews | $200 – $220
The best value drop shot spinning rod is the Shimano Zodias. While it’s not cheap, the fine-tuned performance makes it well worth the money. This rod is far more sensitive than all other budget spinning rods on the market.
We recommend the 7′ Medium-Light model for drop shot fishing. The Zodias carbon grip technology is a great feature, as it allows all the vibrations to get through to your hand. Shimano’s custom materials and hollow structure give the Zodias 30% more sensitivity than other rods with a similar price tag.
Suppose you’re looking for a reel recommendation, the Zodias pairs remarkably well with the Shimano Stradic Ci4+. While the two units together are fairly expensive, it’s a remarkable combo for drop-shot fishing.
The reel seat on the Zodias was specifically designed to be paired with the Ci4+. Together, you’ll get the best rigidity, transfer of vibrations, efficiency, and balance on the market. We’ve tried many drop shot spinning setups, and nothing’s compared to this Shimano combo.
Dobyns Fury Series 702 – Best Budget Spinning Rod
4.6 Stars | 77 Angler Reviews
If you have a limited budget, Dobyns released a fantastic new spinning rod. For the money, the Dobyns Fury Series 702 is the most sensitive spinning rod on the market. If you’ve never fished with a high-quality, ultra-sensitive rod, the Fury Series will change your world.
You’ll have much more success fishing drop shots, working your baits, and registering strikes with a specialized rod. We recommend the 7′ Medium-Light Fast Action model for the ideal balance between strength and sensitivity.
Another reason why we love the 702 is that it’s versatile. Not only can you fish drop-shot rigs, but you can fish dart heads, shakey heads, small tube baits, and Ned Rigs as well.
Shimano Expride – Most Versatile Drop Shot Rod
5 Stars | 5 Angler Reviews
The most versatile rod that’s suited for drop shot fishing is the Shimano Expride. Specifically, it’s the 6’10” Medium-Light model that stands above the rest.
This product is far more sensitive than 90% of the rods on the market. If you want top-tier performance but can’t spend $500 or more, this is the best option. With the Expride, you can feel everything your bait comes into contact with under the water.
You can throw everything from weightless Senkos to darter heads on the Shimano Expride. The ability to throw multiple types of finesse baits will save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to invest in multiple lure-specific finesse spinning rods.
G. Loomis NRX – Best High-End Casting Rod
4.5 Stars | 14 Angler Reviews
The best high-end casting rod for finesse drop shot rigs is the G. Loomis NRX 852C JWR Model. To be blunt, the quality G. Loomis brings is out of this world. When you invest in the best equipment in the industry, you don’t make any sacrifices.
The NRX is as well-balanced as finesse rods get. With uncompromised sensitivity, strength, precision, and vibration-transfer, this is a rod straight out of the FLW Tour.
G. Loomis rates this model for shaky heads, drop shots, Senko worms, jerkbaits, and small topwater lures. If you’re going to spend a ton of money on a premium bass rod, it’s good you know that you’re getting your money’s worth.
G. Loomis GLX 782S – Best High-End Spinning Rod
4.5 Stars | <50 Angler Reviews
The best high-end spinning rod for drop shot rigs is the G. Loomis GLX 782S. This is a phenomenal finesse rod designed to handle Ned Rigs, drop shots, shaky heads, line bait, jigs, and more.
Since it’s built with two-power functions, you’ll get the benefits of a Medium Power rod, but with Medium-Light sensitivity. G. Loomis recommends lures that weigh between 1/8 and 3/8 ounces. We found you can even get away with fishing small jerkbaits and bladebaits on it too.
If you’ve never fished with a rod that costs over $300, you may be wondering whether the GLX is really worth the money. While it’s certainly not for everyone, this top-of-the-line product is considerably more sensitive, comfortable, and balanced in your hands.
We’ll describe the GLX with an automotive analogy. The GLX is the Ferrari of drop shot rods and makes entry-level poles look like Smart Cars.
KastKing Perigee II – Best Budget Casting Rod
4.5 Stars | 2,441 Angler Reviews
If you can’t afford the other options on this list, the KastKing Perigee II is the best budget drop shot rod on the market. This model offers incredible quality for the price and is the perfect place for novice anglers to begin.
You won’t find a decent carbon fiber rod that costs less than the Perigee II. KastKing features multiple premium components. These include Fuji line guides, EVA grips, and a Saf-T hook keeper that you would normally find on high-end bass fishing rods.
This is a great option for beginner anglers that want high-quality gear but can’t afford the high-end price tags. We recommend the 7’0″ Medium or 6’7″ Medium-Light casting models for drop shot and finesse fishing.
Boasting 29 unique models, the Perigee II series is perfect for anglers beginning to build a technique-specific line-up. Not to mention, this is by far the lightest bass rod you can get for under $100.