SOFT plastics have established themselves as a popular and effective means of taking many species. As the use of plastics has spread, so has the availability of perfectly balanced tackle to allow anglers to extract the full potential from these lures. More than any other fishing system, the name of the plastics game is staying in touch.
Specialised rods, reels and ultra-fine braid line are the norm, and I've watched the development of this unique tackle with great interest. When I recently had the chance to test an ultra-light and responsive G.Loomis Drop Shot rod mated to a smooth Daiwa Capricorn 2500 threadline reel, I jumped at the chance! The drop shot system of fishing isn’t new, but this powerful yet sensitive rod certainly is.
The system has been used in Japan and the USA for some time, and involves using split shot (just enough to do the job) to deliver a bait or lure, via non-stretch line, down to where fish are holding.
This technique is designed to take resting or switched-off fish. The rig usually uses a split shot or other small weight right on the bottom, and the bait or lure is placed some distance above on a dropper. The idea is to vibrate or gently wriggle the offering enough to get the fish interested, while the ultra-sensitivity of the rod plus non-stretch line keeps the angler in touch with things.
That's drop shotting in a nutshell. If you want to get the full potential of this system you need an extremely sensitive rod that lets you detect tentative enquiries at some depth, yet still be capable of turning a fish from cover once hooked.
The G Loomis DSR 820 S is an ultra-light stick just 6'10" long and weighing a couple of grams. This state-of-the-art rod featured durable Fuji Alconite guides stacked forward to accommodate the extremely fast taper of the blank, and a smooth working but strong upwards locking reel seat. Premium corks plus immaculate detail work compliment the overall moss green with green-brown wraps of the little drop shotter.
Finish of the rod is exceptional, and totally in keeping with its niche at the top end of the market. Anglers who want the best will find it right here in this rod, and will understand that the value for their dollar is in aesthetics as well as top performance.
On the first outing with the rod, at Maroon Dam, I was virtually scoring a bass per drop on Squidgies dropped from the little Capricorn on 4lb Fireline. This was with hardly anything showing on the Lowrance X 75 sounder other than the odd fish.
The extreme sensitivity of the rod's tip allowed to me to detect the most tentative of small touches or bumps, and saw me lifting gently to 'feel' for a fish (this is how the tackle is best used. There's no need for big strikes). Once hooked, I quickly subdued the fish with the great reserves of strength in the butt of the rod.
Following my success at Maroon Dam, I set out in my Gale Force centre console for a morning at Jumpinpin. We launched just on light, and the run down to the bar area was a treat. With the current gradually slowing and the water murky, I was expecting to score some good flathead. However, it was actually a nice jew that inhaled the Slider. In 14 metres of water I felt a hard bump as I slowly retrieved, and then the ultra-fine rod tip bucked down hard. Ten minutes later Denise slipped the net under my first jewie taken on a soft plastic. I bet there'll be more!
All in all, I was very impressed with the performance of the DSR820S. It’s not a cheap rod but, when you actually put it to hard work, you know you’ve got value for your money. I loved the test rod so much, I bought it.
1) The author with the fat jewie taken on the little Loomis Drop Shot rod.Reads: 3238