Dropper Loop Rig

When used for basic bottom fishing, the dropper loop rig is formed using a 5′ to 6′ leader line with two to three 6-8 inch (10 to 12 cm) dropper loops spaced 8 to 12 inches apart. The first dropper loop should be formed on the leader about 5 inches above the weight attached to the tag (“working end”) of the line. The second and third loops should be added to the leader line above the first loop. As a rule of thumb you want to keep loops at lengths that are less likely to wrap around the main line or cross over one another.

Dropper Loop Rig

When finished, the length of each loop should be 6-8 inches and your total rig should be around 24″ to 30″ inches. Cut off any excess length from the tag and standing ends of the leader line before attaching the weight to the tag end and securing the standing end of the rig to the main line using a knot or swivel.

Attach the hooks and weight to the loops and leader by making a slipknot around each eye. You can adjust the length of the loops and leader line as needed, but it’s important to make sure dropper loops are spaced far enough apart that don’t overlap and tangle. If your dropper loops are 6 inches long, then the loops should be spaced a minimum of 12 inches apart along the leader.

A dropper knot is traditionally used to create each loop on the leader line. Dropper knots are strong and help the loops to sit at a right angle to the main line. Quicker knots, such as the double overhand loop or tee knot, will also work for creating the loops, but they’re not as strong. Some anglers will opt to use a 3-way swivel in place of a dropper loop knot to attach loop to line. Three-way swivels are ideal when making a dropper rig using heavy line or trace wire.

When targeting bigger fish it is important to scale up hook size and leader strength. When targeting larger grouper or queen snapper, scale up your leader and hooks to 25kg and 8/0-10/0, respectively.

Finally, use a barrel swivel with crimped lines to attach the rig to your main line. Alternatively, an albright or bristol knot can be used to tie line to leader.

Pro tip: When using a dropper loop rig for fishing deep water species using a heavy-duty three-way swivel to attach loops and lines to reduce twist and maximize strength. Use a crimp to attach line to swivel.