September 25, 2021

HardCore Game Fishing

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The Mighty A-Rig

Mike Iaconelli

It won’t be long and the water will start to cool. That means early in the cycle the bass will have a tendency to suspend. Later on it’ll get really cold. A lot of anglers struggle under these conditions. But, that is not necessary. Success is all about fishing with the right lure combination and setting it up correctly.

One of the best ever lure combinations for suspended bass and cold water conditions is the A-Rig. Nothing puts them in the boat like it.

They look crazy when you first see them. There are wires and spinners everywhere. You’d think that a bass would get scared or confused when an A-Rig was headed their way. But that’s not what happens. They get mesmerized. It’s like they go into a trance that makes them attack. They don’t see anything else. They just go vicious. It’s crazy.

I’ve fished with a lot of different ones over the years. The best one I’ve ever found is made by Shane’s Baits. They come in several different designs. Check all of their models out at shanesbaits.com before you make a decision to buy one from them or from someone else.

Mini Blades of Glory
Mini Blades of Glory

In this blog I’m going to talk about the Mini Blades of Glory. That’s not because I think it’s better than the others, though. It isn’t. It’s because I think more anglers will fish with it. With four wires and another one in the middle it’s smaller, lighter and more compact.

So anyway, the deal with this A-Rig is that it’s really well made. Everything goes together perfectly and it’ll survive heavy use, even the wires and the spinners. But, should an arm break or something else need repair you can get replacement parts that are the same as the original. You don’t have to buy a whole new rig which is much more expensive.

VMC Darter Head
VMC Darter Head

The first thing I do when I take my rig out of the tube is spread the arms out, away from the center wire. I want them in a star pattern. Then I attach my jig heads with the clips on the end of the wires.

The most important thing about a jig head for an A-Rig is that the line tie is at 90 degrees. My choice of heads is a VMC Darter Head or a VMC Finesse Half Moon. I use weights between 1/16 and 1/4 ounce depending on how deep I’m fishing.

VMC Finesse Half Moon
VMC Finesse Half Moon

All I have to do after that is put my swimbaits on. But my swimbaits won’t be all the same. No! The center one will always be different. It might be bigger or smaller or it might be a different color, but it will stand out from the others.

My swimbaits are usually Berkley Powerbait Power Swimmer Swimbait ones. I typically use the 2.8 size for the outside four arms and maybe a 3.3 or a 3.8 for the center arm. But, that’s not an absolute rule. It’s really more art than science. There’s no hard and fast rule. Experiment until you find what works best for your style of fishing.

Berkley Powerbait Power Swimmer Swimbait
Berkley Powerbait Power Swimmer Swimbait

This rig is not going to be as heavy as you might think so you don’t need super heavy tackle to fish it. I like a medium-heavy Abu Garcia IKE Power Series Casting Rod in the 7 foot, 6 inch size. It has a fast taper so it’ll launch my A-Rig about a mile.

I pair it with an Abu Garcia REVO IKE casting reel. For most applications I’ll use the 6.6:1 gear ratio. If the fish are especially aggressive, I’ll up that to a 8:1 speed, but that’s not very often. I spool up with Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Professional Grade line. Anything between 15 and 20-pound-test will work.

Abu Garcia Ike Power Series Casting Rod and Abu Garcia REVO IKE Casting Reel
Abu Garcia Ike Power Series Casting Rod and Abu Garcia REVO IKE Casting Reel

Don’t be fooled by the early versions of the A-Rig. I know some of them were heavy and some others didn’t hold up all that well. Shane’s Baits solved those problems. I’m telling you, I love their A-Rig and I love catching bass. That is a dynamite combination, for sure.

Fall and winter aren’t that far away. Think about getting ready for them with an A-Rig.

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By: Mike Iaconelli
Title: The Mighty A-Rig
Sourced From: blog.mikeiaconelli.com/2020/08/the-mighty-a-rig/
Published Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2020 16:00:00 +0000

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