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About the Rig
6 Line Trolling Set Up - Umbrella Set Ups
In the illustration of the boat spread to the right, we have an example of a classic Spring trophy season trolling spread for Rockfish / Striped Bass on the Chesapeake Bay. This is a 6 rod spread without planers or outriggers. There are many, many, many ways to set up these rigs, but we know this one works. We run the lines as follows:
Umbrella rigs on the 2 outside lines. These rigs will run deeper and shorter.
Tandems rigs on the next lines in toward the middle. These will run further out and a little shallower.
Single lures or spoons on the middle lines further out and shallow.
With this lay out, you will be able to navigate controlled turns without fouling lines.
The next illustration represents the set up for the two outside lines - the umbrella rigs.
In the Spring we start with a ST-60T-H Heavy trolling rod. This Carbon Fiber rod was designed for and fits this application well.
The Okuma CV55-L is a good starting point - reasonably priced and well tested on the Bay. The Penn Squall 30-L is another good option. Okuma has a new offering, the SLR-15L and the SLR-20L which has been designed by the folks at Okuma to go after this class of trolling. If you wish to step up to a all metal reel that will offer great versatility on the Bay, we recommend the Shimano TEK700, a well designed, versatile conventional trolling reel.
For the mainline, we recommend a good 50 pound test mono in either clear or high vis yellow. The high vis yellow offers a practical advantage - it is easy to see as you are setting lines or reeling in.
For the leader sections, there is no problem sticking with a mono - just step up to the 60 or 80 pounds test version. We recommend the clear.
End of the mainline - Coastlock Snap Swivel - Size 1. Some folks prefer the ball bearing version, but we have not found it necessary for the snap swivels.
Either end of the leader - Coastlock Snap Swivel - Size 1.
Middle of the 2 leader sections - Ball bearing swivel. This is where we like the ball bearing swivel. Having the ball bearing here guarantees the lure will maintain a natural motion.
The Coastlock snap swivels at the end of the mainline and the forward end of the leader allow you to add in-line sinkers of your choice.
The Coastlock snap snap swivel on the trailing end of the leader snaps directly to the umbrella rig.
As per the illustration, a typical umbrella rig consists of a frame, several shad attached to the frame by a snap swivel and a lure running 18"-24" behind the frame. The lure(s) can be set up to run either one straight down the middle or two on either side of the frame. Note, in Maryland, only two hooked lures are allowed per rod. Each lure can have more than one hook, so an Umbrella Rig with 2 lures - each with a main hook and a stinger hook or second, trailing hook, would be OK.
Start with a 20" frame rigged with 8 shad or twister tails. Note Twister tails create slightly less drag than the traditional Shads.
For the lures, we've provided a few good options above. Ruby Lips and Bullets are good choices in sizes ranging from 5 ounces to 16 ounces.
You will want the color of the lure to match the color of the shad on the umbrella. On a sunny day, we recommend a mix of yellow and white umbrellas to see which works on any given day. On overcast days, we like to switch to the black heads to create contrast.
Attach the lure to the umbrella with a 60-80 pound test section of line - crimped to the umbrella and crimped to the lure.
Shore Tackle Chesapeake Series 6'0" Heavy (ST-60T-H), Chesapeake Bay trolling rods, rockfish trolling, striper trolling, trolling rods, trolling parachutes. We also carry Shore Tackle Chesapeake Series rods in a 6'0" Medium heavy (ST-60T-MH) and a 5'6" Medium heavy (ST-56T-MH). The advantage in the 5'6" rods is ease of storage as well shorter rods up in the rocket launchers. As the season progresses MH rods tend to have more feel when fishing smaller and lighter baits.