Carolina Rig Fishing: How to Rig and Fish

When it comes to bass fishing, there is perhaps no other rig as effective or as popular as the Carolina rig. This simple rig is one of the easiest ways to get your bait in front of fish and can help you seal the deal on big bass. If you are wondering how to assemble a Carolina rig or how to properly fish with it, then you have come to the right place!

What is the Carolina Rig?

So what exactly is a Carolina rig? The Carolina rig is a fishing rig that is used to target fish like bass. Sometimes known as a “C-rig”, this rig is made with a plastic lure with a weight affixed above the hook. Its design allows it to target the bottoms of the water, and it is one of the most popular bass fishing lures of all time. 

One of the reasons that the Carolina rig is so popular is because fishermen of any skill level can effectively use it and catch plenty of fish. It can be used from either the shore or on a boat, as it situates your lure on or near the bottom almost perfectly. With this rig, you can cover plenty of water in a short amount of time. 

Carolina Rig Setup

So how exactly do you set up a Carolina rig? Luckily it is very easy to assemble and only requires a few basic things in order to set up. The first thing you will need to acquire is some egg or bullet style sinker weights. These can be anywhere from ½ to 1 ounce in weight. Bullet style weights tend to be the favorite, as they can more easily pass through weeds and grass without getting snagged. 

Next, you will need a simple plastic bead. Your fishing line will go through this bead and protect your knot from wear and tear due to the weight sliding up and down while fishing. It can also cause some extra noise that helps attract hungry bass. In addition to the bead, you will need a swivel to attach to the end of the line. This should be an appropriate size compared to the line and weight that you are using. 

Lastly, you will need some hooks and a plastic lure. Offset style hooks work extremely well with this rig, and most bass fishermen will use 3/0 to 5/0 sized hooks. For lure selection, you will have hundreds, if not thousands, to choose from. There are plastic worms, crawfish, lizards, and flukes. Pick whatever lure you feel will work best in your area, and you are now ready to assemble all of your pieces into a Carolina rig!

How to Rig a Carolina Rig

Now that you have all of the proper equipment, you are finally ready to assemble your Carolina rig. The first step is to take your hook and attach your bait to it. Once you have your bait attached, you should cut a length of fishing line for a leader, generally anywhere from 12 to 36 inches long. 

Tie one end of this leader to your baited hook and the other end to your swivel. This swivel will help keep your line from twisting and release unwanted tension. Its main purpose in this rig, however, is to help stop the weight on the line. 

The next step is to slide your main fishing line through your weight, and then through the bead. You will now attach the end of this line (after sliding the bead and weight on) to the open end of the swivel. Once this is complete, you are officially done and have assembled a basic Carolina rig!

How to Fish a Carolina Rig

As you can see, a Carolina rig is very easy to assemble. But even though it is very basic, it does an excellent job of catching fish! In order to properly fish with a Carolina rig, you will first start by casting it out into promising water. Next, you will drag the rig across the bottom of this target area. To do this, you need to move your fishing pole back and forth, using a simple sweeping motion in order to move the lure around the area. 

Depending on how well the fish are reacting, you can choose to slow down or speed up your retrieval of this rig. If the fish are being extra finicky, you can even throw in sporadic jerks and pauses in order to entice a stubborn fish to commit to your lure. 

Carolina Rig for Bass

The Carolina rig was specifically designed for bass fishing, so it is no surprise that catches them with ease. There are, however, a few simple things that you can do with your Carolina rig in order to increase your success when using it with bass. 

Bass love this rig because it targets and triggers their natural instincts. Because of the design, this rig will bump into rocks and other things underwater. This causes the bass to think that it is injured prey that is unable to fully control their movement, making them an easy target. 

Magreel Fishing Tackle Kit 229pcs, Texas and Carolina Rig Kit Including Fishing Offset Hooks Beads Sinkers Swivels Swimbaits for Bass Trout Salmon Perch
Texas Rig Set

When fishing over something like hard bottoms and rocks, you can also “pop” the line to give it more life. This means giving it light jerks every so often, keeping your rig from getting snagged and causing a strike from nearby fish. 

The Carolina rig was designed for bass, and there is really no wrong way to use it. It can be used at all times of the year, whether the bass are pre-spawn, spawn, or even post-spawn. 

Carolina Rig Tips

The great thing about the Carolina rig is that it is super easy to use. You don’t have to worry about mastering any sort of tricks or techniques before you can use it to successfully catch plenty of fish! There are, however, a few tips that the pros will use in order to take full advantage of this rig.

One of the biggest tips is to use this rig in order to search for fish and find them. It is very versatile and can cover large areas quickly. Once you find the fish, you can then move into more precise and finesse fishing to catch them. It can also be used to fish hard to reach spots that other lures otherwise can’t. 

You should also not be afraid of playing around with the length of the leader. If you find that the fish are hanging out deeper, shorten the leader. If they are up and feeding, you can get away with a longer leader. Use your best judgment and don’t be scared of mixing things up!

Carolina Rig: FAQ

Texas Rig vs Carolina Rig: What’s the Difference?

The Texas rig is extremely similar to the Carolina rig and is in fact a variation of it. So what’s the difference? The main difference between the two is the location of the weight in the setup. The Carolina rig has the weight above the bait, whereas a Texas rig will have the weight right up against the weight. Texas rigs are generally used for fishing heavier cover, while the Carolina is better suited for deeper water or less extreme cover. 

What is the Best Rod for a Carolina Rig?

While any rod can be used in conjunction with a Carolina rig, the most popular and best-suited rods tend to be medium to medium-heavy, fast action rods. You will want one at least 7 feet in length in order to get the best use out of this rig.  

What Are the Best Carolina Rig Baits?

The Carolina rig is designed to be used with soft plastic lures. These come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. You can use plastics like flukes, worms, lizards, and crawfish. All of these plastic lures will work wonders on bass, but the specific color and design will come down to your own preference and what is working best in your area. 

Conclusion

There are many reasons why the Carolina rig is as popular as it is, and why so many bass anglers continue to rely on it. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of this rig, how to assemble it, and how to properly use it. The Carolina rig can be a powerful weapon in your fishing arsenal, so don’t be afraid of using it!