Shimano’s Crucial Umbrella Rig rod is a 7-9 that adds an extra 1 1/2 inches to the handle compared with other rods of this length, with heavy action and a fast tip. The company says the heavy lower sections make long casts easy with the ungainly rigs, while the fast tip makes strong, repeated hook sets easy.
Wright & McGill’s Skeet Micro Honeycomb umbrella stick is 7-5, and 20 inches of that is the man-size handle — leverage is king when handling the rigs. It’s a fast taper designed for 15- to 40-pound-test line.
Longer rods equal longer casts.“I use a 13-footer in some of my competitions — obviously too long for a bass boat, but in general, the longer rod you can handle, the easier it will be to get more distance.”
Thin lines cast farther.“The diameter definitely makes a difference,” Rajeff says. “If you’re crankbaiting or throwing an umbrella rig, you might want heavier line to avoid losing lures, but thinner line does cast farther.”
Lure shape has an impact.“Some swimbaits and crankbaits are as aerodynamic as a tennis shoe. Choose lures weighted toward the tail and as streamlined as possible for long-cast situations.”
Keep reels clean but not over-oiled. “You obviously don’t want any dirt in your reel, but be sparing with a very thin grade of oil on any parts involved in the cast; oil can be ‘sticky’ and slow a cast otherwise.”
Tune your reel.“Use less centrifugal or magnetic braking rather than more. Back off on four of the six centrifugal brakes, and you’ll be about right for most lure weights and setups, but tune it to what you’re trying to accomplish.”