September 28th, 2013
Angler’s Choice Kill Shot Dropshot Bait – Product Reviewby Chris Murphy January 31, 2013
Sometimes the best lures are from small and medium-sized tackleJanuary 14, 2013
Drop shotting is a great technique used in a variety of fishing applications: deep water fishing in summer and winter, controlled depth fishing for suspended bass, and teasing finicky bass into strikes in shallow water. I use drop shot techniques often when fishing deep structure (rock piles, bridges) or when fishing shallow beaver huts and lay-downs when a softer presentation to coax tight lipped bass into feeding is required. Needless to say, I’m very particular on choosing a bait for my drop shot presentations, and the winter, when all of our boats are locked away waiting warmer conditions,is the perfect time to test new baits and get a sense of what they do under water
All you need is a kids fishing pole, a fish tank, and your drop shot rigs to do some valuable at home testing of potential baits. I strongly recommend testing all soft plastics in tanks before you use them in tournament scenarios, as having an underwater look at the action and effects of any changes you apply to your fishing equipment can only be seen if you test in this fashion (unless you own a swimming pool and have some good snorkel equipment!).
I was fortunate enough to have been sent some of the new “Kill Shot” Drop Shot Baits (www.AnglersChoice.ca) for product testing, and I will share with you the steps I take to test a new bait before putting into my tackle arsenal.
First, Angler’s Choice packages its product in heavy-duty plastic, resealable bags which will hold up well in rugged use. Although this is probably the least important aspect of any tackle I may use, its nice to know that I wont have to be transferring these to a secondary container and take up valuable space in my boat.
Next, the shape of the bait itself. The head of the Kill Shot is bullet shaped and perfect for nose hooking,having a solid base for long-lasting use. The Kill Shot has a unique ribbed main body and flat “diamond shaped” tail, making the bait quite flexible and responsive to the slightest movement. The ribs are designed to “allow it maximum movement and action while trapping air and releasing it as it moves.” Those ribs also do a few other things: maintains a larger body profile with a lesser defined edge, just like most natural baitfish will have in the water (we have all seen the “holographic” effect light has on swimming pods of baitfish) and, more to my liking, those ribs are the perfect receptacle for some smelly jelly and some craft glitter, which I like to apply to all of my baitfish imitations. This application allows “scales” to shake off the bait, in the same manner an injured or fed upon baitfish will have a burst of scales expelled from it when it’s hit by a predator. The Kill Shot, based on its engineering, would perform best using a nose through hook presentation, so those of you who like to Texas rig your drop shot baits will see a decrease in the overall movement of the bait.
Now, I know that outside of the package clearly states “not for human consumption”, but I ALWAYS give my plastics a taste test, it allows me to sample the salt quality and scent strength of the bait in a way I can tangibly measure and comprehend. I don’t eat them, I just bite down and get a little sample of what my prey will hopefully be scarfing down in the near future. I’m looking to taste a hint of salt and hopefully smell what I describe as a “bacony” scent, and the Kill Shot certainly fit the bill. It was a little light on the salt content for my liking, but since drop shot baits are weighted and don’t rely on the bait itself to effect sink rate, this won’t be an issue.
The Kill Shot has been designed in several colors which are tuned specifically to Great Lakes baitfish, and several color combinations have dark topsides with lighter under bellies, adding to the specificity and realism of a baitfish imitation (Smoke/Blue/Silver with Silver and Smoke Blue Pearl/Black/Silver/Gold with Pearl/Black Silver show this trait). The color combinations are general enough to match several baitfish species in my VA waters as well, so don’t think they are limited to Great Lakes fisheries alone.
It’s important to use the same equipment when testing that you plan on using out on the water. My drop shot setup consists of a Denali Rods Rosewood Drop Shot Rod (www.DenaliRods.com) paired with a Lew’s SS100a Speed Spin reel (www.Lews.com) spooled with 6-lb. Vicious fluorocarbon (www.vicious-fishing.com). For the sake of simplicity, I’ll forego trying to use the 7′ Denali Rods Drop Shot specific rod in my basement, and for my test I use my 2 year old sons collapsible kids rod instead. I’m not judging the feel of the rod at this point, I simply want to see the underwater action of the tested bait and how line movement affects the overall action of the bait. I will, however, tie a leader section of the Vicious line to the spooled monofilament and use the same VMC Spinshot hooks that I use in tournaments – it’s the only way to see how my set up truly works.
Now for the tank results! True to the claim made by Angler’s Choice, as soon as the Kill Shot hit the water, bubbles were trapped along the ribbed section and came loose with mild shaking of the bait. The bait, nose hooked, stayed upright and undulated with every subtle movement, and the tail had great reactionary movements to slight changes in-depth. The Kill Shot truly looked like a baitfish in the water, and even when no action was applied, the Kill Shot’s diamond tail was in a state of small but continuous motion, just like an actual distressed bait fish would display.
Overall, the Kill Shot’s design features were proven to accurately described by the company, and the Kill Shot looks “fishy” in the water, and I think it’s certainly going to be a fish producer. Part II of my gear review will focus on my on-the-water application and testing of the Kill Shot, and I’m happy to say that I am anxious to try it!!
NOTES: For more information on Angler’s Choice, check out their website, Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, if you are based on Southern Ontario, be sure to stop by the Angler’s Choice booth at the Spring Fishing and Boat Show in Toronto, February 15-18th, 2013.
About AuthorMore info about author
Chris Murphy is a Pro Angler who competes in the Bassmaster and Everstart tournament series. His lifetime passion for fishing led him to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech, where he could “occasionally” be found fishing the New River for smallmouth rather than attending class. Chris loves to share information about fishing techniques, strategies, and results, and is very active in the online social fishing community.More by Chris Murphy