For a feeding bass, more is always better; hence, the umbrella rig’s appeal. No doubt many manufactured rigs will produce right out of the package, but savvy anglers have come up with a variety of new rigging options to match on-the-water conditions. Here’s a handful of specialty tweaks.
▶ ANGLER: Mark Rose, Marion, AR
HOW IT’S RIGGED: Starting with a Strike King Tour Grade Titanium Umbrella Rig, add willow-leaf blades to two or three of the arms (depending on local regulations) and fit the others with 3½- or 4½-inch Strike King Shadalicious swimbaits.
TIME FRAME: Use it when the fall feeding frenzy finds bass ravaging shad in creeks.
PRESENTATION: Match the blades, which can be purchased separately, to your swimbait color.
▶ ANGLER: Steve Matt, Eureka Springs, AR
HOW IT’S RIGGED: Tie a 1⁄8-ounce Blakemore Roadrunner Marabou Pro 2.0 on each of the four arms of a Yumbrella Rig and a ¼-ounce Roadrunner on the center arm for stability.
TIME FRAME: Summer and winter are best, when crappies and/or white bass hold deep and resist single-bait presentations. It’s also great when crappies and white bass are chasing small shad.
PRESENTATION: Run the rig just above the school. Reactions are typically swift.
▶ ANGLER: Stephen Johnston, Hemphill, TX
HOW IT’S RIGGED: Starting with a Power Tackle Got ’Em Going umbrella rig, attach four willow-leaf blades to one end of a split ring swivel, followed by four 3-inch V&M Kicking Shads.
TIME FRAME: This is ideal for situations when largemouth and/or white bass are schooling on shad. Also, when suspending spotted bass are playing hard to get.
PRESENTATION: Straight or count-down retrieves seem to work best.
▶ ANGLER: David A. Brown, Tampa, FL
HOW IT’S RIGGED: Put a trio of Wave Tiki Toads or other soft-plastic kicking frogs on Gamakatsu Spring Lock or Daiichi Copperhead hooks. Standard five-arm rigs work, but the Yumbrella 3-wire keeps expectations more realistic.
TIME FRAME: Any time sunny conditions push bass under cover.
PRESENTATION: Man up with a long, stout rod and 65-pound braid, as frogging habitat often burdens line.