Thoughts & Opinions On The "Alabama Rig" or "Umbrella Rig"
For those of you that don't already know, a product called the Alabama Rig or Umbrella Rig has taken the fishing industry by storm. So much in fact, that nearly every major lure manufacturer has gotten into the game, and has stamped their name on a variation. So what is it?
The lure/rig was developed by an individual named Andy Poss, and took nearly two years of development before it was released to the bass fishing world. Essentially, the product is a multi-armed rig, that allows an angler to fish multiple lures at the same time - usually soft plastics. This is an amazing recreation of a small school of fleeing baitfish, something that fish find very difficult to resist. The rig is responsible for winning many various fishing tournaments, and often catches larger fish, preying on those schooling baitfish. But is having a rig with 5 lures on it cheating? I can tell you that many states have but a ban on the rig, while others make the case that this is a rig that Saltwater anglers have had in place for quite some time.
I have used the rig myself, and have formed my own thoughts & opinions, and would like to share them with you.
- In terms of the ability to re-create a swarm or school of baitfish - the rig definitelydelivers. I've found that using soft plastics with either curly or paddle tails gives the rig the most action, and aids in .
- The lure -despite it's bulky design- is actually rather versatile. If rigged correctly it is virtually tangle free. It can be used in a variety of water conditions and depth, and can also be fished at varying speeds depending on the mood of the fish. Not to mention that the range and types of lures that can be fished on this rig is unlimited.
- Now for the bad.... Without the right equipment, this rig is nearly impossible to cast or utilize. I suggest that you use a heavy rod reel combination and choose the weight of line you feel necessary to support the particular rig you have created. When I used this particular rig, I found 50lb. Braid or better to be the most appealing.
- If you noticed, if the preceding bullet point - I choose to draw attention to, when I used the rig.... past tense. That's because I've made the decision not use the rig going forward, and there are a number of reasons for that.
1. If you were to snap-off or simply lose the rig - you've essentially lost 5-lures and the rig itself, making it a rather expensive endeavor. As anglers, we know we're going to lose baits from time to time; however, they don't usually add up to $20+ dollars or more on a single cast
2.I find no sport in using something that I equate to a "castable Christmas tree" - just doesn't appeal to me, nor lend itself to my style of fishing.
3. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when a fish is caught and prepares to do battle the angler (which, let's face it - is the reason why we do this), I've found the fish is generally on the "losing end" of all those extra hooks. I've caught fish on the rig, and upon landing them, noticed either A) quite a few flesh wounds as a result of getting tangled in the rig during the fight, or B) had to remove two, sometimes three of those additional hooks from the sides of these game fish. That alone is enough for me to NOT utilize this rig.