How To Tie A Dropper Rig (The Quick & Easy Way)


In this video, I’m going to show you how to tie a dropper rig so you can catch more sheepshead and mangrove snapper (plus a ton of other species).

One of the best ways to catch these fish is by fishing with live bait, like shrimp or fiddler crabs, on the bottom, and one of my favorite ways to rig them is with a dropper rig.

However, many people tie this rig the wrong way, which leads to them getting easily broken off by big fish.

Watch the video below to see step-by-step instructions on how to tie this rig the quick and easy way.


How To Tie The Dropper Rig [VIDEO]

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Modified Dropper Rig (Stronger) Using a T-Knot [VIDEO]

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Here’s how to tie the dropper rig step by step:

Step 1: Form a loop about 2 feet long

dropper rig loop

Step 2: Pinch the line about 2/3 of the way to the end of the loop

dropper rig step by step

Step 3: Tie 3 or 4 overhand knots at the pinch

dropper rig tutorial

Step 4: Cut one side of the loop so that it’s no longer a loop

dropper rig for sheepshead

Step 5: Tie a loop on the tag end for the weight

dropper rig for mangrove snapper

Note: be sure to tie this loop on the end that’s not inline with the mainline. That is the stronger part of the rig and is where you tie the hook.

Step 6: Attach a weight to the loop by putting the loop through the eye of the weight and looping it around the weight

inshore dropper rig

Step 7: Tie the hook onto the rig

dropper rig step by step

Note: make sure that the hook is above the weight like in the picture above.



Using shrimp, fiddler crabs, or sand fleas is a great way to catch sheepshead, snapper, or other game fish that hang out near structure.

There are many ways to rig them, but the dropper rig is one of my favorites.

What’s your favorite rig for fishing live bait near structure?

Have any questions about using the dropper rig?

Let me know in the comments below.

And if you know someone who needs to learn how to tie this rig, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Steve Miller
1 month ago

Wouldn’t a three way swivel simplify this even more??

Timothy Weddle
2 months ago

From AZ not much water had to find the drop shot rig !!In the AM it’s on small us!!

Norm Oleson
1 year ago

Your video is a real gem. Both the presentation and technique are excellent. Those new to tying dropper loop rigs should kiss your ring as this is the simplest method I have found in years of searching. For non believers check the internet. It is littered with dozens of DIY videos that require the dexterity of a surgeon plus the patience few anglers posses or surrender to the use of the ultimate insult . . the peg board.

Richard Fiorentino
1 year ago

If you put the weight on before you cut the loop, you can’t confuse the two lines.

Greg Prevatt
1 year ago

What a simple way to tie a dropper rig. I always thought it looked like such a complicated setup.
I could see this working well in deeper offshore waters for Lane Snapper, Triggers, Mangrove, etc as well.

Richard Shepherd
1 year ago

Great demo Tony,
I would add at the beginning of the knot tying when you lay the lines side by side take a highlighter or sharpie ,rub it on the main line so when you cut the end for the hook you know witch end is not relying on a knot.
I’m hope this was ok.

Russell Lacoste
1 year ago

Good video on the dropper rig, do you add a second dropper? Showing the rod with the heavy cord is a wonderful idea for us guys with less than perfect eyesight.

Michael Van Laanen
1 year ago

What do you use for bait on this rig when going after bait fish??

Michael Van Laanen
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks Tony.

Robert Cirulnick
1 year ago

Hi Tony,
Great meeting you at the Meetup, and thanks for another great video!

I have very spotty results when in most cases the crabs are getting robbed. I am trying to set the hook when I feel a bite or nibble but I’m not having much success. I am using a 2oz triangle weight. Any ideas???

Thanks again,

Adam Collier
1 year ago

I like my variation a little better and it works great for live croaker to catch trout

Adam Collier
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

It starts with a 3-4’ leader. Fold in half. Tie a overhand loop knot. On one end tie another overhand loop knot for the sinker. On the other side I use a Palomar knot to tie a croaker hook on with it 4-6” shorter than my sinker to keep him off the bottom and above grass etc. the top loop knot gets a swivel slipped on. I have pictures of it all that I can send if you tell me where.


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