Strike King's Drop Shot Half Shell

Strike King Lure Company introduced its Drop Shot Half Shell to the angling world at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show on July 13, 14, and 15 at Orlando, Florida. But before that introduction, it had been honed into its final manifestation by a year or so of work by its field testers, such as Kevin Van Dam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Mark Zona of Sturgis, Michigan.

Van Dam says it was designed so that it would have an absolute horizontal presentation when it is rigged on a drop shot. He used it at times to win the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite tournament at Cayuga Lake, New York, on June 23, 24, 25, and 26.

And according to Zona, it is the ideal soft-plastic bait that smallmouth bass anglers can employ when they are confounded by a mayfly hatch.

It is 3 1/2-inches long, and from the tip of its head to the tip of its tail, its entire underneath side is flat and smooth skinned. The top of its head is somewhat dome-shaped. From the back of the head to the junction of its tail, its back is encompassed with 14 significant ribs. The shape of its tail is somewhat Reaper-like, but it sports two fins. One fin begins in the middle of the 13th rib, and its length encompasses about 35 percent of the tail. The second fin is longer than the first one, but it is not as high. It begins where the first one ends and extends to the tip of the tail.

To manufacture it, Strike King employs a process they call an Open Pour Technology, which replicates many of the attributes that many finesse anglers relish about hand-poured soft-plastic baits. This tactic allows Strike King to create several layers of laminated colors.

It is impregnated with salt and a coffee scent.

It is available in the following colors: Bold Bluegill, Desert Craw, Edge, Firetiger, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Purple, KVD Kick, KVD Magic, Magic, Morning Dawn, Prizm Shad, Pro Blue Neon, Sexy Shad, Siren, Smoke Gold Purple Flake, and Triple Magic.

The Bold Bluegill Drop Shot Half Shell.

Midwest finesse anglers are not drop-shot devotees, and across the years, they have affixed the much-heralded drop-shot baits to a small mushroom-style jig, such as Gopher Tackle's 1/16-ounce Mushroom Head jig or Z-Man Fishing Products' 1/15- or 1/20-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig or Prescription Plastics' 1/16-ounce Ozark Finesse Head jig.

Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate trimmers and customizers of soft-plastic baits. And when they use the Drop Shot Half Shell, they will remove the head, which allows the torso to fit flush to the back of the mushroom style jig. Those who have tried it say that it exhibits a unique gliding action when the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve is employed. (See the Midwest Finesse column at this link for more information about the swim-glide-and-shake presentation:

Anglers can purchase a package of nine Drop Shot Half Shells for $4.49 at one Internet retailer.

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