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6 Line Trolling Set Up - Umbrella Set Ups

About the Rig Creator

Cove Classic

Cove Classics are the time tested standards for the fish, technique, style and season of choice. We've laid out the details and stocked the components. You can spend less time figuring out which swivel works right with a particular rig - and more time fishing.

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.

Start with a heavier trolling rod. We've picked out a few good options to get you going. If you choose a Penn Senator rod, you will want the heavier, 3165RS version. Within the Talavera series, Shimano offers the TEC63HRS which fits this application well.

Additionally Bill has designed two Cove Regional Series rods specifically for this application - the CBT-G-60-H the Cove Glass version and the CBT-CB-60-H, a carbon fiber blend. The fiberglass option is a rugged durable brute while the carbon blend offer the same strength with less weight.


The Okuma CV55-L is a good starting point - reasonably priced and well tested on the Bay. The Penn 340 Gti is another good option. Okuma has a new offering this year, the SLR-15L which has been designed by the folks at Okuma to go after this class of trolling. If you wish to step up the a reel that will offer great versatility on the Bay or out where the water is blue, we recommend the Shimano TEK800, a well designed, versatile conventional trolling reel.


  • For the mainline, we recommend a good 30 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 pounds test version. Once again we recommend either the clear or high vis yellow.

Terminal Tackle

  • 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 will 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
  • For the lures, we've provided a few good options to the right. Ruby Lips and Bullets are good choices in sizes ranging from 8 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 to see which works on any given day. On overcast days, we like to switch to the black and purple heads.
Attach the lure to the umbrella with a 60-80 pound test section of line - crimped to the umbrella and crimped to the lure.