by David A. Brown
f there’s one thing Aaron Martens won’t tolerate, it’s
spin. But we’re not talking politics here; rather, it’s
the unwanted rotation of a dropshot bait that the native California pro abhors.
“However, you rig a bait, you want it to keel as true
as possible, because it will catch up to you and give you
problems,” Martens said. Using a swivel to link braided
main line to a fluorocarbon leader helps on the macro
end; but, Martens dissects every aspect of his operation
and for him, the key to spin elimination is precision hook
“I think if you asked 100 people to rig a dropshot, a third
of them would spin,” he said. “You have to stay centered in
the (bait) and come out in the right place, so it doesn’t have
any bend in it. Any kind of bend is going to create spin. If
you have a lot of bend in the bait, it’s going to spin a lot and
you’re going to get really bad twist. If you have a little bit
of bend, it’s going to spin slowly and the twist will build up
“How you rig it may be different on some baits; some
may be bulkier in the front and thinner in the tail. You have
to look at the worm and balance it out.”
Martens applies this principle to a handful of dropshot hooking styles, each with its own unique benefits.
Nose Hooked — Leveraging one of the most common styles of rigging a dropshot bait, Martens runs his Gamakatsu G-Finesse Drop Shot hook through the last 1/3-inch or so of the bait’s head. Biggest benefit, he says, is the dance. “I like action that it creates,” Martens said of the natural pivot point. “It makes the whole bait react as one; it gives it a nice fish-looking movement.
But if you think that’s all we’re going to get from one of the greatest tactical minds in bass fishing, think again. Martens’ version of nose hooking differs subtly from the usual method of impaling the bait’s head; so, it rests in the hook bend. He inserts the hook into the bait’s underside, but instead of bringing it all the way through, he pushes the point to the bait’s nose for a more imbedded placement that’s ready to go on a moment’s notice.
“I leave the hook inside the bait so the point sticks out just to where you can touch the point,” Martens said. “That connects the hook to the worm more securely and it doesn’t spin as bad. It’s a little bit brush proof too.”