The most amazing thing about the ever-popular Alabama Rig, or A-rig as we shall call it, is the fact that it is extraordinarily easy to manufacture. Nothing more than a glorified umbrella rig, the A-rig consists of little more than wire, swivels, and snaps. It is merely a new means to present old baits. As the next installment in my series of articles on the A-rig, this How to Make an Alabama Rig will put the power of the A-rig in your hands for a mere fraction of the cost.
In my humble opinion, the store-bought, professionally manufactured Alabama rigs offer no advantages over my homemade version to justify the cost. This article follows me step-by-step as I craft a four-arm A-rig out of simple, store-bought materials using common hand tools.
Before we delve into the process, I must put up one disclaimer. If you are the suing type, please don gloves, eye protection, a helmet, a personal flotation device, an athletic supporter, and any other pieces needed to form a protective ensemble that will stave off injury and litigation.
Now, without further adieu, here is the step-by-step guide on How To Make An Alabama Rig.
- diagonal cutters
- needle nose pliers
- channel lock pliers
- orange flagged, survey stakes
- medium gauge project wire
- JB Weld epoxy putty
- large, 1/0 swivels
- large swivel snaps
- Doubled survey stake wire.
- Continue to bend the wire into the form of an eyelet with channel lock pliers.
- Thread swivel onto all wires so it sits evenly.
- Clip off the desired length of the project wire with diagonal cutters.
- With needle nose pliers, thread wire through wires and forcefully form wire into a coil around A-rig arms.
- Coiled wire secures the swivel in place and provides strength and rigidity during battle.
- Bend 270 degrees until an eyelet is formed.
- Secure the outside bend of the eyelet in your vise and, with needle nose pliers, wrap the tag end of the wire around the shank of the A-rig arms spinner bait style. This provides a near-unfailing lure attachment.
- Swivel snap lure connectors
- Tear off small, dime-sized segments of epoxy putty and work with fingers until it is properly mixed as called for by directions.
- Shape around coiled project wire, careful not to impede the swivel action of the line tie.
- Finished A-rig, ready for swimbaits and battle!
Your Alabama Rig is ready to be outfitted with whatever swimbaits you deem necessary to create the deception of a school of baitfish. I prefer using 1/8 or 1/4 quality jig heads with a quality paddle tail swimbait that puts off plenty of vibration.
To create a six-arm Alabama rig, simply add one more piece of wire in the beginning step. A killer combo is a six-arm rig with one arm dedicated to a willow leaf blade. A great piece of advice is to hold off pre-bending your rig arms until you tie it on, or you will not fit it into your regular tackle box. Also, carry some small-diameter, strong rubber bands to wrap around your rig arms and make a tidy package for storage.
With the Alabama rig, you can increase your chances of a successful catch without having to work harder. This innovative fishing rig consists of multiple lures attached to a central hub resembling an umbrella. When cast, the rig mimics a school of baitfish, enticing larger predatory fish to strike. It’s a versatile and effective tool for targeting a wide variety of fish species, from bass to striped bass and even saltwater fish. Good fishing, everyone, and feel free to add questions to the comment section.