Carolina Rigging


There is nothing special about dragging a big old Carolina rig around all day, but there are times when that chunk of lead, a swivel, a bead, and some sort of soft plastic can be pure magic. This rig can be fished at most any depth, but really works best when fished offshore in deeper water. The best time to use the rig is post-spawn through the hot summer months. Carolina rigs are simple to rig up. The objective is to slide a fairly large sinker, ¾ oz and larger, up your mainline from reel. Most anglers prefer a tungsten weight because it gives better sensitivity when crawling across the structure. Next slide a glass, plastic, or brass bead up the line and attach to a quality ball bearing swivel. The weight clicks against the bead and the bead clicks against the swivel and that little sound can be the key in drawing a strike. It is important that your mainline be substantially heavier than your leader line so if you encounter a snag you will only lose the leader and hook and not the main rig. After tying your swivel, tie a leader line of fluorocarbon or mono and attach a hook of sufficient size to match your soft plastic.

Leader line lengths can vary depending on the time of year and structure. A shorter length, say 12-18 inches, may be good for early spring and a 4-6 ft leader may be the ticket in tall grass in the summer. Of course the longer the length the more difficult to cast. Most times when fishing a longer leader you are not casting at a specific target but covering a general area. Any size bait from a 4” worm to a 10” worm will work depending on your fishing situation. Using a light wire hook and a plastic bait that floats works even better allowing the lure to drift above grass lines. Finally, a very long 7ft to 71/2 ft medium heavy rod will make casting much easier. So remember when the bite seems off, have a Carolina rig handy on deck to keep them honest before leaving an area.

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