When I make an earring, a large circle of sterling, I position the
earring back from the center of the circle (the solder spot) and the
top of the clip-on is level with the top of the earring. This
prevents the droop. Secondly, I open the spring very slightly so that
the ears do not get pinched with the pressure of the clip. Imagine
just a breath of space between the top of the circle and the actual
clip-on. Works every time. No padding needed. If the earring is
small, the whole clip-on uses the whole back of the earring.