In this blog, I will discuss the proper equipment needed to successfully fish the all-popular A-Rig. Then I will cover proper rigging of the A-rig in part 2 of this blog, and then in the 3rd and final blog on the Alabama rig, I will cover where to fish and what to look for.
We will start with the proper rod; with the wrong rod, you be doomed from the start. I throw all my A-Rigs on a Carbonlite 7’6” heavy action rod from Bass Pro Shops. This rod weighs very little, which will help in the overall weight of the whole setup. It is very important to have the long, heavy action rod for castability and the weight of the rig that you will be using. Too short of a rod and not a heavy enough action rod will only lead to broken equipment and frustration.
Next: the proper reel. I prefer to match my Carbonlite rod with the Carbonlite baitcast reel, in a 6.4:1 gear ratio. This reel only weighs 5.9 oz. With this gear ratio, I feel I have better off when I need to speed up or slow down my retrieve speeds. When you use the 7.1:1 or higher, you have problems slowing the rig to a crawl, which I have found how most of the bass want the rig, at least in the spring of the year.
Proper fishing line for the rig is equally important as the proper rod. I use the new XPS Advanced Braided line from Bass Pro Shops. This line is the smoothest-casting braid I have used. I tend to use two different size lines -- 50-lb and 80-lb line, and nothing smaller. The 50 I will use in sparse cover to open areas. I will use the 80 when around cedar trees and thick brush piles. I do not recommend any other line material for this type of fishing; it will not hold up to the weight of the rig.
With the proper rod, reel and line setup, you will be more successful and have a better day on the water. All that is left to properly equip will be a good, strong, large-opening net to land your fish.