Carolina Rig
Easy "How To" Rigging Guide

The Carolina rig is a great all year round fishing rig, and is fairly simple to learn.

There are quite a few modified variations for this that are used by many freshwater fishing anglers.

This can be considered as an extended version of the Texas rig, and also has the capabilities of being fished with by applying a multitude of different presentations and various techniques.

If you don't feel like putting together your own rigs, or would just like to have a bulk of them already made and ready to go, you'll have the option to buy some from our reliable resources shown near the bottom of this page.

Carolina Rigging Tackle

Lures and Baits Preferred For The Carolina Faithful

A wide selection of soft plastics are most commonly used for these fishing rigs. Other popular soft plastics that are also used include:

  • leeches
  • flukes
  • tubes
  • grubs
  • lizards
  • crawdads
  • and even snake baits.

Live baits are also another option that many anglers enjoy using with this set up, such as:

  • nightcrawlers
  • leeches
  • minnows
  • shad
  • and other types of bait fish.

Hook Options That Perform Best For Carolina Type Rigs

The size of your hooks should match the size of bait that you use. For most cases when using smaller baits, and small hooks to match, the small hooks will be enough to get a good proper hook set in the mouth of the fish. If targeting fish with smaller mouths, then definitely use a smaller hook.

Sinkers To Accommodate Carolina Fishing Rigs

Bullet weights are ideally what is used for the Carolina rig. Use lighter weights to allow for a slower sink rate, and heavier weights to get the bait down faster. And even more heavier weights should be used in fast moving currents in order to hold the bait down in the water column or down at the bottom.

Line Selection For Carolina Fishing Rigs

You can get away with using a heavy pound test fishing line as long as your leader is light and virtually invisible to the fish. I often like to use a heavy flourocarbon main line matched with an 18 inch clear monofilament leader, attached to a barrel swivel. The leader can range from 1 foot to about 3 feet in length. And it also depends on the species of fish to determine the test strength of the line type.

The Carolina Rig Set Up

For demonstration purposes, we are using the following, shown from left to right:

  1. a black ¼ ounce bullet weight
  2. brass noise ticker
  3. red glass bead
  4. barrel swivel
  5. red blood trail offset shank extra wide gap (EWG) 2/0 hook
  6. Zoom watermelon candy colored Baby Brush Hog
  7. braided main line
  8. with a monofilament leader.
carolina rig, watermelon candy baby brush hogCarolina Rigging Accessories

Note: You can use a variety of other types of baits or lures, sinkers, hooks, with or without the noisemakers, etc., as you prefer.

Rigging The Carolina Rig

Step 1: Tie your leader to your hook and to the barrel swivel.

Carolina Rig - Tie the leader to the hook and the barrel swivel.

Step 2: Run your sinker, clacker and bead onto your main line and tie it off onto the barrel swivel.

Step 3: To set it up for a weedless style presentation, insert the plastic bait upside down into the hook and push it about a quarter of an inch through the head before allowing the hook point to penetrate through the plastic.

Rigging a brush hog lure onto the hook of the carolina rig.

Step 4: Continue to run the head of the bait through up to the eye of the hook.

Rigging a soft plastic lure onto the hook of the carolina rig.

Step 5: Rotate the head of the bait 180° around the eye of the hook.

Rigging the bait onto the hook of the carolina rig.

Step 6: Determine where the hook point will end and push it through the plastic.

The Carolina Rig all rigged up with a green brush hog bait.Congratulations, you just figured out how to set up the Carolina Rig!

Have a look at our Texas rig demonstration to gain a better understanding for creating a weedless style hook.

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