Carolina Rig Video: Rigging and How To

Learn how to rig the Carolina Rig, plus tips on how to fish it in this instructive video!

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My name is Gene Jensen I'm with BassResource.com. Today, let's talk about a Carolina Rig now a question about a Carolina Rig came up in the forums I think last night. It was about why should I use a Carolina Rig over a Texas Rig. Well, I'm going to try to answer that question today and at the same time give some basics about the Carolina Rig.

Carolina Rig is a rig where the weight is several inches above the hook and that changes the dynamics of a lot of things when you're fishing. First of all the Carolina Rig consist of a sinker I like to use a half ounce or bigger, a bead, swivel and of course a hook.

Now traditionally the way you rig these is you put the weight on the line, the main line. You put the bead on your line then you tie it to a swivel. Then on the other end of the swivel you tie a leader however long you want it 18, 24. I heard people fishing with 4 foot long leaders. A little tough to cast but they do it. Then you tie your hook onto the end of the leader and you fish it.

That's all fine and dandy I don't do it that way just because I found a easier way years ago to have a Carolina Rig and be able to adjust the leader. Man, it's hot. Georgia in August. What I do is first of all, there are several different kinds of weights you can use for a Carolina Rig. You can use an egg weight, bullet weight; any kind of weight works what I prefer is a cylindrical weight some people call them mojo weights. Just because they don't get hung us as much and there a lot easier to get through grass and cast.

Okay. Back to the way, I rig it. I put my weight on, and then I will put a bead on. I can use a bead or not use a bead the reason the bead is used for a regular Carolina rig is to protect the know from the weight. Your weight will actually work away and weaken your knot. Then I use what's called a Carolina Keeper it's a product I found several years ago. It's a little piece of I don't know if you can see it or not it's a cylinder of plastic with a slit right down the middle.

What you do is you take your pliers and you squeeze that piece of plastic till that slit opens up to be a hole. Then you stick your line through and you pull it down to about the length you want your leader and tie your hook on. There you have it, it's a Carolina Rig.

Sinker, bullet, Carolina Keeper and hook. And the reason I like this Carolina Keeper is because I can easily adjust the length of the leader just by reaching in with my pliers and squeezing that Carolina Keeper and slide it down. And know I have about an 18-inch leader and I'm ready to go fishing. If I need to lengthen, it lengthens right up.

The Texas Rig is more for throwing to a spot, throwing into a brush pile, throwing to a stump, throwing to something. A Carolina Rig is if you got a school of fish that is flat or on a point, or in rocks you throw up in there and you drag down through, over the point, over the rocks or over the flat. And you cover that whole area you work it really good. The Texas Rig you can do that with but I feel the Carolina Rig covers it a lot better.

The lakes I fish has a lot of hydrilla, a lot of milfoil sitting on the bottom and what I do with that I will adjust my leader depending on the height of the grass. I want my worm to be well above the grass so I'll throw up in the grass and I'll drag through the grass. And that weights catching all of it and the worm is staying up above the grass.

Another reason why I use a Carolina Rig is if I want to feel the bottom. I want to know what is on the bottom drop offs, rocks, stumps, hard bottom, soft bottom it really does make it easier to feel the bottom with that heavy weight and you still catch fish.

Another thing I use it for is my big fish bait. The reason is an old weary bass will grab a hold of a Texas Rig and he'll feel the weight to it. And a lot of times, he'll spit it right back out but with a Carolina Rig your weights way up above, in front of your hook and it can't feel the weight. It will grab a hold of that worm and it will hold it for a little bit longer and give you an opportunity to set the hook.

There's a lot of different baits you can put onto a Carolina Rig. Lizards any kind of soft plastics lizards, crawls, Senkos, French-fries. My favorite worm in particular is the new Rage Tail Thumper. This is the 10-inch version. I was actually talking to the owner of well actually the inventor of the Rage Tail the guy who designs all of these baits. And he said when your Carolina rigging it most people will rig bait with a hook tail like this with the hook up. He said don't do that rig it upside down and what happens as your dragging it along the bottom the water catches the flange on the tail and it kicks the tail up. So you'll drag it and it kicks the tail up and you drag it and it kicks the tail up and the bass will absolutely annihilate it.

Another thing I like about the 10-inch worm is as your catching fish the tip always gets worm off. Well he got these nice little score marks all the way down and you can just cut them off at the score marks and you can fish it all the way down about that long and fish it like a grub and anything else. It comes in a 10-inch version and it also comes in a 7-inch version called the Baby Thumper.  I absolutely kill big bass on this worm I love it and you know I fish all different kinds of things I'll fish a Senko; I'll fish a lizard in the springtime. I absolutely love a lizard in the spring time on a Carolina rig.

All right, let us go fish a Carolina Rig. What I'm going to do is hook a 10 inch Rage Tail Thumper nose hook it, hook it weedless just like you would a Texas Rig. Using a Gamakatsu EWG wide gap this one is only a 3/0 on it I think you don't use them very big. And what I've done is I already dipped this thing in clear JJ's so it smells really good it smells like garlic. It covers up my scent and any other scent the bass might not like. What I got out here I've got a flat out in the middle its actually sand bar. Out in middle of the lake and it's got some stumps and logs laying on it things like that.

Now what you do with a Carolina Rig is I'm just going to cover this flat and make a nice long cast then let enough line out so where it will hit the bottom. Once it hits the bottom, I'm just going to drag it, just like this. I'm going to drag it with my rod out to the side that way it will stay on the bottom. I'm just going to drag it. Now when a fish hits, now with a Carolina Rig you do not want to set it over the top of your head. Something about the weight being to far in front of the hook and stuff like that a lot of times it causes the fishes mouth to blow open and you never get a hook sent.

The hooks that you want on a Carolina Rig is a low sweeping hook scents when you feel the bite you pull it up you pull your tension reel towards the fish then you set the hook to the side really hard. Either side doesn't really matter just keep your rod tip low and set it and set it hard and just reel the fish in. Like I said your more out to loose a fish if you hook it over your head.

That's about it with a Carina Rig just drag it along, hop it along feel the bottom.


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