Soft Plastics

Carolina Rig

Discover more about using the Carolina Rig for fishing, including what it is, how to fish it, the best lure choices, and much more!

Recommended Line

Fluoro Mainline

6-10lb

Braid Mainline

10-20lb

Mono Leader

6-10lb

Recommended Rod & Reel

Rod Type

Baitcaster

Rod Length

7’0”-7’3”

Rod Action

Fast

Rod Power

Medium-Heavy

Carolina Rig

Diagram

Video Guide

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The Ultimate Guide to Carolina Rig for Bass Fishing

Catching more and larger fish is a never-ending quest for anglers. This is why it makes sense to learn about a number of different fishing techniques so that you can adapt your approach based on the type of fishing you are engaging in. The Carolina Rig represents one of the most popular ways of presenting and fishing a lure if you want to catch a large amount of big Bass! With that being said, continue reading to discover everything you need to know about using a Carolina Rig for Bass fishing. 

What is a Carolina Rig?

The Carolina Rig was developed by Bass anglers in the United States, and it has since gained prominence all across the world. The Carolina Rig is a bait rig made from plastic, which is very much like the Texas rig. The difference between a carolina rig vs texas rig is that rather than the weight sliding down it, it is fixed above the hook. If you are new to the world of fishing, this is rig is a good option to consider.

The Carolina Rig was designed to fish a soft plastic ‘creature’ bait near to the bottom and amongst the thick weed, which is why it is such a good option when it comes to Bass fishing, in particular. One of the main reasons why so many anglers like to go down this route is because Carolina Rig is virtually Snagless. The use of the special wide gape offset hook is to thank for this. 

When the Carolina Rig is placed in water, the bait will be attached to the rig, moving in a circular manner. This movement attracts Bass, which are, therefore, more inclined to bite the lure. 

carolina rig setup

Best Carolina Rig Setup 

Now that you have a good understanding of what the Carolina Rig is, we are going to take you through the setup of this rig so that you can get a better understanding. The good news is that you are only going to require a few simple pieces.

Firstly, we have the reel, rod, and main line. A Fast Action, Medium, Heavy casting rod is the best choice for a Carolina Rig. With a longer rod, you are going to have the ability to make the large, sweeping hook set that is able to rapidly take up any slack line. Plus, the hook will be penetrated into the mouth of the fish with greater ease thanks to the fast action. The good news is that your line can be pretty much anything, i.e. whatever you decide to use for other baits. 

Aside from this, you need to consider the bead, weights, and swivel. The brass bullet weight is the most common Carolina Rig weight. More noise is produced than lead with brass. Another option is tungsten weights, which is smaller than lead and will go through the cover without as much snagging. The swivel is pretty straightforward. Simply choose a size 2 ball bearing swivel, or go for a size 8 or 6 barrel swivel. These sizes will be large enough to handle big Bass without getting snagged in cover or grass. In terms of the bead, a black or red glass bead will work well if you decide to go for a brass weight. However, a regular glass bead can shatter if you use a tungsten weight. So, if you do go for this weight option, it is a good idea to go for the likes of Vike Force Beads or Eco Pro Beads. 

Finally, you need to consider the hook and the leader. The offset shank wide gap hook is the best choice for a Carolina Rig. Make sure you select the suitable size in accordance with the bait that you are going to be fishing. Aside from this, when it comes to the leader, our advice is to choose monofilament for the majority of your Carolina Rigs. 

how to fish a carolina rig

How to Fish a Carolina Rig

There are a number of different techniques that you can use when it comes to the Carolina Rig. We will take you through some of the different options so that you can get a better understanding. 

Firstly, we have the Rock Pop method. This is a technique that is especially suitable during the spring months when Bass are hunting for food actively. So, what do you do? Well, you should cast your lure past where you believe the fish are hiding. When you feel the lure touching the bottom, give it a fast jerk so that it pops up within the water. You should then reel in any slack link, and keep repeating the popping pattern while you retrieve it back to your boat. Should you feel a tap on your line, give it a quick jerk. You will know whether it is a Bass or not.

Another method that you may want to consider is the Bang and Shake method, which is most effective when working in areas with rocks and logs. This is because the action to entice the Bass depends on bumping your weight into the underwater structure. So, let’s discuss how you go about performing this technique. You should begin by casting your lure to where you believe the fish are hiding next to a rock or log. Allow the Carolina Rig to settle at the bottom. Your rod tip should be kept pointing toward the Carolina Rig, and you should reel in any slack in the line. When you feel the Carolina Rig on the end of your line, the rod should be jerked toward the structure underwater so that the weight hits it. Do it a number of times, and then make the lure wriggle by shaking your rod slightly. Enable the Carolina Rig to settle back at the bottom for a few seconds, and then repeat the process. Bass will tend to strike throughout the wriggling period when using this method. Give your line a quick jerk if you feel a tap, as it could be a bite.

When to Fish a Carolina Rig 

You can use the Carolina Rig whenever you want to catch Bass! However, it is worth pointing out that there are some significant benefits associated with the use of the Carolina Rig during the colder seasons. For example, the rig’s heavier weight means that the bait can get to the bottom of the waters, and this is where you are likely to find fish during the winter period. 

The Carolina Rig can also work well when the conditions are windy. Again, we have the heavy weight to thank for this. This makes it a lot easier for you to cast your rod while the wind is howling. 

It’s great that you can use the Carolina Rig at any time of the year, isn’t it? However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to fishing with a Carolina Rig. You should avoid using the Carolina Rig on rip shorelines, as the bullet-style weight will get snagged in the rock crevasses. Instead, parallel casting with the edge of the rock can work really well. 

It can be a lot of fun to use a Carolina Rig in short grass beds. This does not mean matted-up vegetation, but those that are only a few feet tall. Make sure that the length of the leader is long enough so that the bait dances to the top of the grass and then work the weight with a slow lifting motion. 

Drains and ditches also represent a good opportunity when it comes to Bass fishing with the Carolina Rig. the depressions amongst the big flats on lakes are Bass magnets during the post- and pre-spawn phases. You should throw the Carolina Rig up and then down, and then across the ditch, to determine whether any good fish are being held. 

best carolina rig lures

Best Carolina Rig Lures

Finally, you will want to make sure that you have the best lure for your Carolina Rig. There are a number of different options for you to select from here. This includes ribbon-tail worms. You will struggle to find many other soft-plastic lures that work as well as this one! If the water is murky, make sure you opt for one of the bolder and more vibrant colors. Should the water be clear, a natural color, like green pumpkin or watermelon, is a good choice. 

In addition to this, plastic lizards have long been a popular choice when it comes to using a Carolina Rig. You can also use Flukes or Creature Baits. You have 100+ creature baits to select from, so you won’t be short of options here.

So there you have it: everything that you need to know about using a Carolina Rig for Bass fishing. We hope that this guide has given you all of the details you need in order to fish for large-sized Bass with greater ease. 

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