How To:


Deep Dropping


Author: Bullbuster Team

What Is Deep Dropping?


Deep Dropping
Colby Uva with some fish caught while deeo dropping off of Bimini Bahamas

Deep dropping is exactly what it sounds like.  Dropping that bait DEEP. Deep dropping can be distinguished from bottom fishing when you are dropping baits deeper than 300 feet. Most anglers who deep drop and have a good depth sounder or good numbers can find an abundance of tasty bottom fish. Deep dropping is often employed as a way to fill the cooler quickly. 

Why Deep Dropping?

Fish caught on the bottom in deeper waters often congregate in large numbers and are usually pretty good eating fish and are not hard to get to bite. 

What Species Are Caught While Deep Dropping?


Snowy Grouper Deep Dropping
Flying Fish Charters with a nice snowy grouper caught offshore Key West.

In the Atlantic and Caribbean deep dropping can yield deepwater snappers and grouper as well as other deep water species such as tilefish and barrel fish. Anglers may also hook other species while deep dropping such as Thresher Sharks  and Manta Rays as well as other rare deepwater fish. 

Common Snappers Caught While Deep Dropping In The Caribbean: 

  • Yellow Eye Snapper

  • Queen Snapper

  • Blackfin Snapper

  • Vermillion Snapper (Beeliners)

Common Groupers Caught While Deep Dropping In The Carribean: 

  • Warsaw Grouper

  • Snowy Grouper

  • Kitty Mitchel Grouper

  • Yellow Edge Grouper

In Southern California deep dropping can yield deepwater rockfish. 

What Tackle Is Used For Deep Dropping?

Electric Reels For Deep Dropping

Because of the depth and the depth of the water and the size of the lead required anglers often use electric reels to target the deep.  These reels are usually spooled with 130Lb - 200Lb braided fishing line and usually hold over 2000 yds of braid.  Popular electric reels for deep dropping include:  1) LP Reels 2) Krystal Electric Reels 3) Hooker Electric Reels, 4) Electramate Reels. 

Manual Reels For Deep Dropping

Some anglers use manual reels for deep dropping. There is a lot of cranking involved here so you may want to employ a reel that has a decent gear ratio an 80 wide size reel spooled with 80-100Lb braid is best used for this type of fishing, however some anglers use 50 wides and 30 wides spooled with lighter braid (50-65Lb braid). 

Rigging For Deep Dropping

Most anglers who deep drop use a heavy leader (300LB Test Plus) for multiple uses and fish multiple circle hooks. The rig which can be up to 8 feet long often has 3-6 hooks circle hooks and ends with a snap swivel to connect a large lead.  Leads can be anywhere from 2 Lbs up to 15 lbs depending on the depth and current speed where fish are being targeted. 

(Check Out This List Of Deep Drop Rig Manufacturers)

What Baits Do Anglers Use For Deep Dropping?


Deep Dropping
A string full of Yellow Eyes topped off with a Queen Snapper caught by Landshark outdoors

The two most important factors for deep dropping baits is scent and staying power. You are dropping a bait several hundred to over 1000 feet down there is very little light down there.  You want the fish to be able to smell it and then to be able to bite at it for a while until each hook has a fish on it. 

Common Baits For Deep Dropping Include:

  • Squid

  • Barracuda Chunks (Skin on)

  • Bonita Chunks (Skin on)

  • Notice above we noted “skin on”, this is because skin is the toughest part of the bait and you will want to put your hook through the skin of the bait to keep it on for longer.

Tips To Help You Choose Your Line For Deep Dropping



Double Threat deep dropping with Bullbuster line.

We wrote this article for those who are looking to get into deep dropping. Below we will cover what line you need to fill your electric reel to deep drop over and over again! We also have a solution for you that will get that line to you and have you out on the water in no time!

What Braided Fishing Line Should I Use?

We recommend using 80-200Lb braided fishing line for deep dropping. 

Get The Braided Line Capacity For Your Specific Reel Or Reels Here

What Monofilament Fishing Line Should I Use?

We recommend sticking with braid for deep dropping, however you may want to use a wind-on leader.

Find Out How Much Monofilament Fishing Line You Need For Your Specific Reel Or Reels

What Monofilament Leader Material Should I Use?

Most deep drop rigs are made with 150-400Lb grander leader. 




Line For Making A Deep Dropping Rig

What Fluorocarbon Leader Material Should I Use?

Fluorocarbon is not really needed for deep dropping. 

List Of Deep Drop Rig  Manufacturers

Rigs for deep dropping are something you can make yourself.  However, many anglers opt to purchase pre-made rigs.  We put together a list of deep drop rig manufacturers. 

1) End Game Tackle Company -- This amazon seller has a great selection of rigs for deep dropping with decent ratings to boot. 

2) Captain Harry's Fishing Supplies - Captain Harry's fishing supply, a local Miami Tackle Retailer with an international reach and brand carries  a good selection of deep drop rigs.  What is nice about the Captain Harry's selection is they break it down by the species you are targeting. This is actually a pretty nice way to set this up, especially if you have an idea of what type of fish are biting in your area. 

3) R&R Tackle Deep Drop Rigs - These rigs designed by a well known South Florida Captain (Ray Rosher). They come with 5/0, 7/0, 8/0, and 10/0 size hooks. What is nice about these rigs compared to the rigs we have mentioned so far is the quality of the hook you are getting with the rig. These high carbon steel hooks are a lot sharper than you are going to find on your average deep drop rig. 

4) Three Buoys Deep Drop Rigs - These rigs which are on the Hooker Electric website (a manufacturer of electric reels for deep dropping) are not only high quality hand made but also have high quality sharp hooks and come labeled by species. 

5) Catch All Tackle Rigs - These are standard deep drop rigs that can be purchased on Catch All Tackle


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