Two of America’s bass fishing legends turned artificial lure designers realized soon after the umbrella rig craze subsided somewhat that, indeed, the almighty mousetrap could be improved.
Really, it didn’t take long for twins Bobby and Billy Murray, both full-time employees at Fort Smith, Ark.-based PRADCO Outdoors Brands, to realize the potential in modifying those umbrella rigs that consistently picked off so many huge bass and other gamefish that had never been touched before.
They understood that there are limitations to umbrella rigs. For example, many castable umbrella rigs are too heavy to use with regular fishing gear, and the stiff wire meant the most-effective artificial lures on the business end would be soft-plastic swim baits. Plus, many anglers simply shied away from using something with five or six hooks, which is also illegal in some states.
So the Murrays rewrote the playbook, so to speak, to introduce a way to add a “bait chase” look to the game when they helped design the Booyah Boo Series unveiled at this summer’s ICast Show.
The Boo Rig, the Boo Teaser, the Boo Spin and Boo Flex are scheduled to be available this month (there’s a handy, neat “playbook” brochure that goes with them outlining the capabilities).
“My brother and I kind of hatched out the Boo Rig,” said Bobby Murray, who will be 68 in December.
The Murrays keep up with the latest trends, such as “long-lining” crankbaits, a technique that became popular the past few years among bass tournament competitors. That technique proved to be an inspiration to improve the presentation with a modified umbrella rig.
“I got with my brother one day and I told Billy, ‘That’s crazy. There’s got to be a better way of getting the bait down,’” said Bobby Murray, noting that the tactic’s practice of casting out, peeling fishing line off the reel and maneuvering the boat a long distance before reeling in a crankbait cuts into the advantage. “B.A.S.S. is a timed event; the guy who makes the most use of time is at a big advantage.
“Once we got the Boo Flex done, got the vehicle right, you don’t have to do all that mumbo jumbo” and peel off hundreds of yards of fishing line.
“We asked, ‘How can we make it look better? What can we do with spinners?’” Bobby Murray said. “We wanted to get it where the average guy can use it. The thing has been engineered to the hilt.”
He said adding the wire gauge and positioning of elements like the split rings were keys to building the Boo Flex.
The Murrays built the rest of the series around the Boo Flex, with the design dominoes falling right into place.
“When we finally got the Boo Flex, that’s one thing right there that will help every angler in the country, especially the ones who fish from the bank, where you’ve got to make long casts,” Bobby Murray said.
The Boo Rig and the Boo Teaser enhance the likelihood of getting fish to bite, he said.
“This gives you the opportunity to fish any depth you want with spinners and teasers,” Murray said. “It goes with everything in your tackle box. They take what you’ve got and make it better. You can make it flash. You can give it the baitfish look with spinners and teasers (small, pearl white soft plastic curly tail grubs).
“It’s been fun messing with them. We’re not done. That’s the first generation of Boo Rigs.”
The Boo Rig has a flexible lure arm that allows the use of crankbaits and other artificial lures on a castable umbrella rig. It has four stiff outer arms with small, willow-leaf blades and a high-tech spinnerbait-style head in three weights — ¼, 3/8 and ½ ounce.
The Boo Rig can be fished at any depth and matched with any artificial lure, notably a soft plastic or crankbait of your choice.
The Boo Teaser also has a flexible arm that lets you use crankbaits and other artificial lures. The four stiff outer arms can be adorned with curly tail grubs, which are included in the package, and features the same three leadhead weights as the Boo Rig. Just attach a crankbait, even a lipless crankbait, a jerkbait or a soft plastic grub.
Lawrence Taylor, PRADCO public relations manager, said that versatility is one of the keys to the rig.
“The real advantages of these two (Boo Rig and Boo Teaser) are that you can use a crankbait and that you can set up the umbrella rig look with just a single hook, which gets around many of the regulations in many states on the number of hooks,” Taylor said.
The erratic and easy swimming motion of the trailing artificial lure is the key to the Boo Series, which includes the Boo Spin and the Boo Flex.
“It’s sharp,” Bobby Murray said. “There isn’t an angler in the country who doesn’t need … that in the tackle box. You can go anywhere in the country and catch anything. It’ll help.”
On the horizon are Boo Rig-style outfits for shallow-water adaptations and for the saltwater fishing scene.
For more information on the Boo Series and other Booyah products, go to www.BooyahBaits.com or call 479-782-8971.