The latest and hottest bait to hit the market since the SLAMMER is the Alabama Rig, or is it. The Umbrella Rig which is virtually the same thing as the Alabama Rig has been around since the early 1960's.
The entire rig without hooks weighs less than 3/8 of an ounce. There are no leaders used on the rig. When rigged correctly, the lures will not tangle and it is very easy to cast. You can catch multiple fish at once to quickly get your limit. It can be fished from top to bottom or used to find suspended fish. You can fish it fast or slow and you can use a wide range of lures with this rig to cover a lot of water to find schools of fish.
Recently FLW Pro Paul Elias won $100,500 at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 102 lbs 8 ozs. He used the Alabama Rig which has since been banned by BASS for the Bassmaster Classic and its Elite Series, however it is still legal in other BASS events. For now the FLW has stated that castable umbrella rigs will be permitted in their 2012 tournaments.
While I would like to try one of these rigs out on my home waters, the MNR regulations state that only 4 hooks can be used on a fishing line therefore this rig would have to be modified in order for it to be legal.
I recently saw a video of Pro David Chong using one of these rigs in a tank and watching the fish react to this bait was quite amazing. I also saw a video of another pro catching 3 bass at the same time on this rig and all were in the 4+ lb range, quite amazing. I myself have had 2 fish on at the same time using a donkey rig, but been broken off by one fish.
The controversy will continue as some people argue that this bait is illegal since it is really 4 or 5 lures at once where others say it is perfetly legal.