I read some pretty crazy statistics in a recent issue of Bass Master Magazine, it spouted off some numbers that blew my mind.. the number of anglers on the pro circut currently using the Alabama rig, and the number of wins already racked up for this "fad" or "gimmick".. Yeah I said those words, or typed them anyways. I have been skeptical to say the least when it comes to the Alabama rig, but recently while at the Toronto Fishing & Boat show I made a couple purchases that made me question my own sanity.. yes I too now own an Alabama rig (or 2)
If you are a Canadian Bass Angler I would be pretty surprised if you have not heard of Bass Magnet lures. Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, Bass Magnet started making hand poured lures back in 2002, and today they boast a collection of some of the best soft plastics on the market today.
Adding to that soft plastic line, Bass Magnet has also recently joined the growing ranks of companies producing the..Alabama Rig (or Umbrella Rig). The Canadian market has been slightly behind the the fast growth scene in the US market.. first because we are skeptical, and second because the standard Alabama rig is illegal to use in the biggest market in Canada (Ontario).. The 5 arm bandit that is the Alabama rig is not designed with Canadian anglers in mind, so companies like Bass Magnet needed to go back to the drawing board to product a version of the Alabama rig that will allow it to be fished in our home waters (up to 4 arms)
Released in Feb 2012, the BM Alabama rig comes in one size and one color only, it is built tuff, with 4 stiff but bendable arms capped with 30lb rated ball bearing swivels. The Bass Magnet version of the A-rig provides a substantial cost savings to the Canadian angler, beating out traditional A-rigs which sell for anywhere from $22.99 to $27.99 the Bass Magnet version comes in nicely at $16.99.
I got to see an handle this rig at the Toronto fishing and boat show this past weekend. I liked the look and feel of it, and liked the fact that unlike the US version (I also own a Mann's Alabama Rig) I dont need to find filler for that 5th arm...Yes you can fish a 5 arm A-rig in Ontario it just cant have a hook on it. I have mine rigged up with a willow blade. I feel overall the Bass Magnet version of the Alabama rig holds up well to the OG version ("original Gangsta", for those not in the know) even though it may not offer all the bells and whistles, and it feels slightly stiffer
Also released this year, and I dont think by coincidence is the Shift'r Shad, a great swim-bait that is the perfect match for an A-rig. Personally I was just as excited to see these beauties as I was the A-rig itself. In typical Bass Magnet fashion they have produced a high quality swimbait with a great ribbed body in an awesome selection of colors. The Shift'r shad is available in two sizes a 3.5" and a 5" model. Both give off a great profile would look great in the Alabama rig school.
If your not a fan or intrigued at all by the Alabama Rig, dont discount the Shift'r shad, like other swimbaits it has many uses, and can be fished on a weighted or unweighted EWG hook, or used as a jig trailer.
If you have been holding off on picking up a Alabama rig, I dont know why.. yes it may just be the current version of the banjo minnow, or the flying lure, but I dont think it is going anywhere soon. So put away your pride and hide one of these in your tackle box. I wont tell if you dont
Note: At time of publishing this blog I have been advised that Bass Magnet has decided to no longer carry the Alabama Rig, citing discussions with anglers and others in the industry. They sold out of all stock at the Toronto Sportsman show and have since removed it from their website and product list.. I guess mine is now a collectors item