Westernbass Magazine February 2012, Page 10

Westernbass Magazine February 2012, Page 10




a RIG known as


here are controversial moments in the

sport of bass fishing. In the past 10 years

we’ve seen hoaxes for the world record;

witnessed anglers get caught cheating or hinting at cheating, arguments about who makes

the best products, and of course; the lure knock off

debate continues to rage on.

With all of those points of discussion to choose

from, one item seems to have captured the attention

of anglers everywhere and it has become one of the

most hotly contested debates out there.


With roots in the trolling rig known as an “Umbrella Rig,” Andy Poss of Muscle Shoals, Ala. created a modified umbrella rig that featured a weightless head with five six-inch wires protruding from the back. Those wires have snap swivels on them to which you attach five swimbaits.

The rig requires a swimbait rod and a sturdy arm to throw and at first glance - to anyone who saw it before October - the thing looks like a practical joke. At least that’s what I thought when I came across a YouTube video of it in June. I giggled

and quickly dismissed it, because after all, we need to go as light as possible to catch pressured bass.

Paul Elias proved differently when he won the final FLW Tour Open of the year on Lake Guntersville with the Alabama Rig - in wire-to-wire fashion. His performance woke the world up and showed what can be done with an Alabama Rig. It also lit a fire of controversy.

It didn’t take long for anglers to start complaining about the rig; how it looked to see anglers casting it. The appearance of it being more like commercial fishing than sport fishing and how unfair it was going to be to the angler who actually worked to put together a jig, jerkbait, frog or any lure pattern. That “truly skilled” angler would get beat by a much less skilled soul, who would just happen to randomly run

across 5 or 5,000 fish that would bite his or

her “unskilled presentation.”

I’ve personally been at this

game for almost 20 years; I’ve

fished tournaments since 1993.

While there are people who have been at it longer,

I love the history of our sport, and have made

Takahiro Omori Casting Alabama Rig Photo by Dan O’Sullivan - AdvancedAngler.com