3 min to read
Greg Gutierrez & the umbrella rig
Category : FRONT DECK
Bass Angler Headquarters continues with the latest in our in ongoing series of exclusive discussions with Greg Gutierrez. Greg is a former Bassmaster Elite Series competitor, two-time Bass Master Classic Qualifier and Bass Open & FLW Champion. Today Greg competes on the FLW Everstart Tour Western Division and the WON Bass Tour.
So join us as Greg talks about the specifics of the umbrella rig including his personal set up and tackle choices.
BHQ: Greg, the last time we talked, you mentioned that you were still experimenting with the umbrella rig, how has that been going?
Greg: I was skeptical at first, a little resistant, but now I am all in. Baits come out all the time that receive lots of hype. Some of them are not very good and some are legitimate. The umbrella rig is definitely a tool that anglers will want to have in their tool box.
I first started throwing the umbrella rig at Shasta, it caught fish, but they were no better than the ones that I was catching on a darter head.
I was practicing for a tournament on Clear Lake. The conditions just seemed right so I picked up the umbrella rig. First cast and I caught a good one. That peaked my interest. Since that time I have spent a lot of time fishing it and learning about it.
The umbrella rig has been around for such a short period of time. I think as time goes by we will find more and more applications for it. I have been experimenting with it under different situations and conditions. I am excited to see what happens.
BHQ: Is there a specific umbrella rig that you like?
Greg: I have tried a number of different umbrella rigs and the one I have been using is made by Frenzy Baits. It is a cool bait. The head comes in skirted and unskirted versions. The arms are a little shorter and it has a good profile. Most importantly it is well made with quality wire and snap swivels.
BHQ: Can you tell BHQ readers about the tackle you use?
Greg: It is really important to use the right tackle with the umbrella rig. If you don’t, fishing the umbrella rig will really wear you out and you won’t catch the number of fish that you could if you were using the right setup.
I use a 7’11” heavy action Swimbait Rod with an Abu Garcia Revo Toro Casting Reel. The Toro is a step up in size from the standard Revos. It has the power and durability I need for throwing the umbrella rig. The fish are definitely not line shy when it comes to the umbrella rig. I use 65lb Spiderwire Braid.
BHQ: What types of baits do you use with the umbrella rig?
Greg: I like the Skinny Dipper by Reaction Innovations. The Skinny Dipper is a 5” solid body swimbait. It has lots of action and is loaded with salt. In clear water the color I like is called Bad Shad. If the water is dingy I like Pearl Blue Shad.
When I want to imitate larger baitfish, I use 5” Berkeley Powerbait Hollow Belly Swimbaits in shad colors. They have a bigger profile than the Skinny Dipper.
I pour my own lead jig heads. I use either 1/8oz or 3/16 oz round ball heads with extra strong 4/0 or 5/0 hooks. It is important to use extra strong hooks. When you get multiple hook ups and have two big bass going in opposite directions, regular hooks can fail.
BHQ: Can you tell the BHQ readers how you set up your umbrella rig?
Greg: The center bait seems to get the most bites. I rig the two decoys on the top wires with 1/16oz heads that have the hooks removed. The three hooked baits are attached to 1/8 oz to 3/16 oz round ball heads with 4/0 to 5/0 heavy wire hooks. This setup keeps the rig running true and it won’t spin out.
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