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10 Swimbaits for Castable Umbrella Rigs
Posted by Jason Sealock on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 12:10 AM
We've been asked a lot lately on our recommendations for throwing swimbaits on castable umbrella rigs, like T
he Alabama Rig
. There are so many different swimbaits on the market and we won't even attempt to cover them all, but we'll instead give you 10 options that cover a wide spectrum of choices and tell you what is unique about each and how folks have employed them effectively.
Some considerations are how many come to a pack, the price, the sizes offered and the colors offered as well as how well they attach to a jighead as opposed to a weighted belly hook. A lot of anglers have found success using four smaller sizes and then a bigger one in the middle.
Lance Walker who caught and released a fish that likely would have beat the Tenn. State Record largemouth bass
, and his fishing buddy
Jimmy Mason who has caught numerous fish over 10 pounds
on Umbrella rigs often uses four 3 1/2-inch money minnows with a 5-inch money minnow in the middle.
We've found that keeping all the baits the same color or close to the same color seems to help so that they look like a naturally occurring pod of baitfish. I've seen times where one bait being just slightly different can often yield a lot of hookups as we see the bass may be keying on that different looking bait in cleaner water. Jury is still out on that as a concrete rule though.
We have seen where changing the profile of the swimbaits totally makes a different. For example, I might have five Zoom Swimming Flukes on my
castable umbrella rig
and my partner has five Berkley Split Bellies on his rig and one of us will really blast them for a while and then the other profile baits will get hot for a while. So there is definitely something to the changing profile. We figure it's like getting a school going on one color of crankbait and then when it cools off pick up another color to get them going again. Or switching from a jig to a worm to catch a few more fish out of a school. Same seems to be true at times with castable umbrella rigs.
The following are 10 popular and also not as common options that have been getting a lot of success on the various castable umbrella rigs. Click on the underlined swimbait below to go to an online ordering source.
Berkley PowerBait Split Belly
- This is the more recent iteration of the Berkley swimbait that began as the Hollow Belly swimbait. We like the Split Belly swimbait for a few reasons. They have great looking natural colors. The split belly has a more durable head that seems to rig more consistently on the jigheads for us. The fact that the swimbait is not a double laminate pour gives the tail much more noticeable action on the rig as opposed to other hollow bellied swimbaits. 3-pack $5.49
Yum Money Minnow
- very similar to the split belly, but it has a narrower minnow like profile which we like and the different sizes and natural baitfish colors have worked really well on various umbrella rigs. The swimbaits rig well on jig heads but seem to tear up a little faster than some of the other options. Plastic glues like
work wonders to repair torn baits though. 4-pack $8.99
Big Hammer Swimbait Tails
- These shad bodied tails come a large variety of colors and have some great translucent finishes and unique colors for more stained water. They feature a big square pad tail that really kicks and makes the baits swim and roll through the water on an umbrella rig. They come in a large range of sizes too so you can downsize and upsize accordingly to fit the changing moods of the fish. 4-pack $3.49
Zoom Swimmin Super Fluke
- The Zoom Swimming Fluke offers a much more finesse approach to castable umbrella rigs. We really like it on the thinner wire rigs and in clearer water where big bulk profiles might just be too distracting for the fish. They also come 6 to a pack which makes them a convenient, affordable option to load a five-bait rig quickly and easily. 5 pack $3.79
Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper
- The grass choice for us is the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. If we're fishing around grass beds or in shallow water, for some reason the fish just really seem to like this swimbait and it seems to be equally well in the larger sizes out deep too. It comes in two great sizes, lots of great colors and again offers a more subtle swimming action which can often be the key in highly pressured areas. 7 pack $4.89
Go2Baits Jolt Swimbait
- The softest swimbait we've tested thus far has been the Jolt Swimbait. The tail just lays over passed the head when you do the upside down test to measure tail kick on a swimbait. If you hold a swimbait head down by the head and let the tail flop over to the side, you can see how much action the tail is going to have in the water. Will it be a big wobbling tail or just a tight wiggle. This bait has a shimmy and shake that makes it very unique and that soft plastic they use at Go2 is going to make this a killer option. 5 pack $6.29
Lake Fork Tackle Live Magic Shad
- The uniquely jointed body of the Magic Shad has put this swimbait in a class of its own in other applications and the same seems to be holding true on a castable umbrella rig. It's interesting to see this bait swim with more of a side to side snake action than the typical wobble roll of many other swimbaits on the market. Again the change of profile and action have yielded some great catches. This is another broad bodied bait that offers many colors and sizes. 4 pack $5.99
Optimum Double Diamond
- We already loved the Double Diamond for deeper swimbait applications and on the backs of swim jigs, but now it's proven to be another great change up shape and action. It has a rounded paddle tail boot with a wedged body that displaces and makes the baits wobble and kick out occasionally. It can be precarious to rig on a jighead, but biting a little off the end can make it go on a jig head a little easier because of it's narrow neck design. 10 pack $9.99
Poor Boys Baits Silly Rabbit
- This solid, hand pour split belly swimbait offers very unique colors, a flat kicking tail, lifelike eyes and more that make it a real unique offering. The fact that they are not as easy to find locally also makes them a nice ace in the hole when we know no one else is throwing this exact bait on our local fisheries. 3-Pack $8.59
Mizmo N-Seine Shad
- A spin off of the Rabid Shad, the N-Seine Shad is a smaller profile shad type body style that mimics those young 2-3 inch shad. The bait features a unique upside down tail that actually kicks really well and gives the bait a good uniform school look on an umbrella rigs. We've been experimenting with them with some smaller castable rigs and really like how they look in the water. Another good smaller offering to mix it up on the fish. 6 pack $5.50
Those are 10 swimbaits we've liked so far on
castable umbrella rigs
that give us a lot of different looks and presentations with the rigs. As we all know, changing it up and keeping it interesting for the fish is the name of the game. We want it to look like a school of fish, but not everyone else's school of fish if you know what we mean.
The Berkley split bellies come 4 to a pack.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:26 AM by
Thanks for the info! I've not had any luck with the umbrella rigs. Does anyone think I should cut off the extra 2 wires on the yumbrella. I lice here in Tennessee and can only have the 3 baits. I was thinking that could be why I'm not having any luck
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:20 AM by andy
4-inch Split Bellies come four to a pack. 5-inch, which is what we tried to compare in this article unless 5-inch was not available or viable, are three to a pack on split bellies.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:00 AM by Jason Sealock
Andy, I can tell you that five baits is always better than three baits on the castable umbrella rigs. I haven't found anyone who says otherwise who've thrown it at any length. I can also tell you it is not the cure all everyone says it is on every fishery type. I would say maybe making your swimbaits larger and just three wires could give it that bigger profile that the five bait one. I would say cutting the wires could help but I really can't see the other two wires being the problem unless the rig itself is spinning because there is not weight evenly distributed across the rig. You don't want the umbrella rig spinning in the water as you retrieve him.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:06 AM by Jason Sealock
I have been using the Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer in Sexy shad and chartreuse shad on Table Rock. last weekend in two events i had 10 bass that weighed over 38 pounds with a 8 pound 3 0z. kicker' great bait that has great action, using the 3.75" with a BPS Deadly 5 rig.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:17 AM by Mike Eutsler
NetBait BK swimbaits have consistently outperformed any of the above that I've used. Plus, they stay on your hook better without having to use superglue.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:49 AM by BassinK9
I use the small Lake Fork Magic shad on my rig in different colors.
Going to tale your advice and use same colors to see if my catch ratio is better. Thank you.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:53 PM by Bob Perry
Love the two rig umbrella. I can cast it anywhere and pretty accurate. To old to handle the five unit umbrellas but i troll them sometimes with mixed results. But please help me - I have the Yum 3 unit and can NOT get it from running upside down. I have bent the wires everywhichway to no avail. I then put on a swivel on the head -no avail. It makes no difference if fast retrieve or slow. HELP. I am with Andy - I haven't caught one fish on these rigs yet. I have talked to several pros during the big tournaments on Lake Norman and they say you have to wait until there are new pods of bait fish.?
Posted @ Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:42 AM by bob
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