How to Make your Own Alabama Style Fishing Rig
I made a custom umbrella rig, inspired by the Alabama Rig lure. It's incredibly easy to do and very inexpensive. It's also relatively lightweight. Those interested in making heavier versions will need ferrules, heavier wire, and a ferrule clamping device, all available at local hardware stores.
For more awesome custom Alabama-syle Rigs and umbrella rigs, check out http://www.tackleunderground.com
Basic Design: Wire, Pliers, Wire Cutter, 4 Swivels, Weights (split shots, egg sinkers, etc, as needed)
Lurehead: Balsa Wood stick, clear sealing epoxy, paints
This will probably not hold up to several large bass or stripers. However, it should be of sufficient strength for schoolie-sized bass, crappie, smallmouth and other fish. Wires will definitely need to be re-adjusted after landing a fish, but they maintain the umbrella rig shape nicely between casts. Forget the ultralite gear when fishing this contraption, bust out the heavier gear to handle it with ease.
Blog: http://www.HuntingTheRiverKing.Blogspot.Com (SoCal Fishing)
Basic intructions: Cut two pieces of wire, one slightly longer than the other. Take the longer piece, and wrap it in the middle to create a fishing line eye. You'll be wrapping the wire around itself, using the pliers, as tightly as possible. This can be rather difficult!
Next, take the second piece of wire and wrap it from the middle around the initial, longer piece. Do this just below the eye piece, and layer your wire loops tightly against one another. Three to four loops is needed and it must not wobble when complete!
Next, you'll need to create eyelets for the swivels at all four ends. It's easiest to do this using a needle-nose plier and wrapping the wire around the point, creating even loops. You'll need to first threat the swivel on, before wrapping. Use the wire cutters to chop off the excess wire after wrapping and pinch the sides down with the pliers. Do this for each end. Then, attach your hooks or jig heads to the snap swivels, threat your soft plastic lures of choice on (flukes, twisty-tail grubs, etc), tie it on your main line and you are set!
If the rig feels like it needs more weight to sink quicker, add a large split shot on the central wire, just under the lure eye. Crimp this on TIGHT with pliers, to avoid it sliding. Alternatively, you can use egg weights, texas-rig weights and other ones, if you threat them on from the start.
Finally, if you would like to add a decorative lure head on with eyes, you'll need to cut the shape out of balsa, sand it and polish it down, then slice it in half. Seal the halves around the wire below the lure eyelet. Then, paint, foil-finish, or photofinish the head. Seal it with clear epoxy (purchased from hardware stores, even Dollar Tree stores). Allow it to dry and you'll be good to go!
This is not the Alabama Rig used to win $100,000 for Paul Elias recently. Rather, this a homemade, DIY project for anglers who like to create their own lures. It's a variant of the popular umbrella rig, using lighter wire and less strands (4 instead of 5).
Audio: Barn Beat from SoundJay.com