Long before Alabama rigs became popular in the bass fishing world, umbrella rigs have been used for salt water. With the recent surge in popularity for fresh water, there are new regulations in many states limiting their use. Because on the large size and regulations about too many hooks, let’s leave the Alabama rig for someone else to worry about.
An alternative that has been used for years by many anglers can be just as fun and is easier to throw. This is known as the double rig, tandem rig or the Zulu rig (see video of KVD below).
Double Rigs For Smallmouth Bass
In Fisherman recently did a feature on Alabama Rigs that talked about the double rig for smallmouth bass. This set up is a Doug Stange favorite and he describes it here:
Long before the Guntersville tournament, long before umbrella rigs were applied to freshwater, In-Fisherman Editor In Chief Doug Stange had used multi-rig setups on the Missouri River for walleye, tying a pair of hair jigs in tandem. Soon after, he applied the same rig to smallmouth fishing at Pipestone Lake in Ontario.
Stange explains that the spacing of lures on the line is important for the best action, as well as to avoid snarling. “I call it the rule of 2 X 1. Rig it by tying in a length of line to the mainline that’s about 10 inches long with a Surgeon’s Knot. Position it so it hangs 10 inches above the tag end of the mainline. The key is for one leader to be twice as long as the other. It works best with 10- or 12-pound fluorocarbon.”
He’s found that smallmouth bass can’t resist a pair of 4-inch minnowbaits, such as Berkley’s Power Minnow, rigged on 1/8-ounce jigheads. “There’s something about fork-tail minnows and the length of line between them that creates an underwater walk-the-dog action, ”he says. “Retrieve it while lifting and dropping the rod in a steady, rather brisk cadence. The lures crisscross back and forth, sashaying along like a pair of frisky minnows. Bass can’t resist it. Given the competitive nature of smallmouth bass, when you hook one, a schoolmate often takes the second lure and you have a double.”
KVD and The Zulu Rig
Kevin Van Dam has a similar setup he calls the Zulu rig. He is seen here catching largemouth bass with flukes but I wanted to let you see the setup and action in close detail so you can utilize this bait. Kevin mentions its effectiveness for smallmouth bass.
Here’s is some more cool video utilizing a double fluke setup for smallmouth bass:
If you have been itching to give the Alabama rig a try, get a couple of swivels and tie on thisdouble rig for smallmouth bass instead. It’s easier, cheaper and legal almost everywhere!