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Carolina Rig

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Can someone explain this setup to me? Topwaters, search baits, and flipping cover is probably the three things that fits my wheelhouse best but fishing deep structure is one of my biggest weaknesses. How does this work? When is it presented best? Fill me in.

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Fishing structure can be accomplished using a variety of baits.  However, if that structure is below 15ft. The number of baits that can be used narrows considerably.

’Deep’ is a relative term as it is determined by what depths are available.  I mentioned 15ft. For a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that a majority of anglers rarely fish below that depth when deeper water is available.

A C-Rig isn’t only a deep water presentation, but it is an excellent choice for deep water because it reaches and stays on the bottom without the angler working any harder to do so.  In doing so, it transmits a lot of information back to the angler. Lastly, the bait used can be presented on the bottom, or well off of it by adjusting the leader’s length and material. A football jig can do all but the last, although at times it’s a better option.

It is best presented when the location of fish is unknown and you need to cover a lot of real estate fairly quickly.  It allows you to multi-task and catch fish in the process.

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because of the heavy sinker you can search deeper water fairly quickly and still have a subtle presentation with a soft plastic. it allows you to feel the bottom and see whats  there , muck, rocks ,grass etc.also a little easier to fish in wind because of the heavy weight. I use it as a search tool for deep water, after you locate them and catch some you can pinpoint them and work them with a drop shot and usually catch a few more.

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R, the Carolina rig can be used all year on lakes, rivers and ponds.

 

Are you asking us how to rig the Carolina rig; what baits work best; or when and where to throw it?

 

The set up is designed to keep the 1/2 ounce weight on the bottom as the worm or lizard follows on a leader about 12 to 18 inches.  This allows the bait to move without being impacted by the weight.

 

Lizard's are a bass' favorite snack and they will hit plastic lizards on a C-Rig.  Finesse and trick worms work well, too.  Some guys use a crankbait. Others creature baits. Anything goes. It's a Carolina rig.

 

Cast, let sit for about 10 seconds, and then drag it slowly back. You are going to do two things: First, feeling the bottom for rocks, grass, wood, tires, and in New Jersey, dead bodies, etc.  Second, you are actually fishing for the bass with your bait.

 

Now, to be different, I use GLASS BEADS.  Clear glass beads. I also have some "weird" beads I purchased at a bead store in order to have a different "click" from the glass and red plastic beads. Bead size is up to you, just make sure they protect the swivel knot and are not too large.

 

Buy your beads at Joanne Fabric as they are less expensive then in a tackle shop or via the Internet and they have an excellent selection.

 

As for color, as stated above, I use clear beads. But the glass cut reflects light better than plastic beads which is an advantage. I usually throw a green pumpkin with black flake Zoom lizard or a Junebug Zoom Trick Worm. Since you will be on the bottom in darker water you can always dye the plastic's tail in yellow JJ's Magic or another brand.

 

So get your "heavy" rod with your baitcasting reel spooled with 20 pound test fluorocarbon line (some use mono for this presentation), a 1/2 ounce weight with a strong swivel of the size of your choice, your two glass beads and then add about 18 inches of your 12 pound leader with an EWG hook size of your choice depending on the size of your bait and start casting.

 

Put a small spot of fast drying glue on all three knots to help protect them from coming apart.

 

Have fun and let us know how you do.

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I hardly fish the carolina rig anymore but at one time used it a lot . Its so hard to detect strikes that its become a forgotten technique for me . Like others I use it mainly as a deep water search bait , like on a main lake flat . I use  a 3/4 ounce egg sinker and about a two foot leader . About any soft plastic can be used .  I have mostly replaced it with deep diving crankbaits.

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I am probably one of the few on this site that religiously use the C-rig.  I like the lazy slow pace of fishing it.  Then again, I'm not a tourney angler either.  I use a MH rod with 15lb mono line and usually 12lb mono or flouro for the leader.  Glass beads are good but break more often so have a steady supply of them.  Use either a 1/2 or 3/4 egg sinker and really any creature bait you prefer.  I use lizards, brush hogs, and wooly buggers more than anything, but I've also thrown good ole curl tail worms like power worms.  It does allow you to find what is on the bottom but for me, I like the slow retrieve.

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3/8 oz is the only place I vary from the above...uhh besides a French Fry!

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4 minutes ago, Catt said:

3/8 oz is the only place I vary from the above...uhh besides a French Fry!

Won some money over the years River Fishing on a 3/8 oz. C-Rig with a French Fry or a Luck E Strike Sneaky Snake.

PS: The Sneaky Snake is Top Secret.:ph34r:

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I don't fish a traditional C-rig with heavy egg sinker, bead, swivel on the main line with a leader tied to the swivel and hook. The reason being in our rock deep structure lakes the sinker snags too often. 

I do fish a modified or finesse C-rig called the slip shot rig in lieu of the split shot rig.

The difference being you use the main line with a cyclinder (mojo) weight, glass bead, Carolina Keeper (or peg the bead) for a weight stopper and hook, no swivel. The slip shot rig requires 1 knot verses the C-rigs 3 knots and easy to adjust the line length between the weight and hook without re tying.

I use the slip shot rig whenever casting and dragging along the bottom with finesse worms and very effective technique for bass in a neutral feeding mood. This is the first rig I use to introduce new anglers to bass fishing because they catch bass a higher percentage of the time.

Tom

 

 

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I love the c-rig. Probably my favorite way to fish besides topwater and productive all seasons. Speed craw or a lizard in winter/spring and a finesse worm/centipede summer and fall. 

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ok i have to put in my $2. i will use a c-rig with 20 lbs floro and a 2 ft floro leader mostly. but if in a touchy situation against banks and roots. i will switch to a MH braid flipping rod, and a 1 ft leader.

 

bait wise i like to use anything from grubs to brush hogs and the wacky worm. 

if you use a wacky weedless you can get it in and around some junk and bounce it off the crap and get a reaction bite. 

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Always got one tied on fishn the Savannah and Chattahoochee rivers.It is a consistent fish catcher more times than not.Like bout a 2 ft leader around rock and wood, and about 3 to 5 ft in hydrilla & grass.Use Big game mono for main line & leader

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all great advice above. I love the c rig. There are so many variations, and most mentioned above. One of my favorites rigs to fish when I need a limit is a finesse version of a C Rig. I take a 3/16 oz tungsten, then put 1 or 2 punch stops, and then my hook. I can adjust as needed. I like to throw this anywhere from 1-10 feet around scattered vegetation. Almost any bait will do. A few of my favorites  are a 6 inch finesse worm and lizard, but a 3.5" tube is my favorite. It mimics everything, a craw, shad, bluegill, goby or darter. That rig with a small tube has outfished a wacky senko many many many times. Another little tip, I like to use spinning gear with 8lb high viz braid with a mono leader. Some bites are very subtle, that high viz helps a ton. 

 

I also love to drag around 3/4 oz on the ol ball an chain with a 8 inch lizard or 10 inch zoom ol monster. 

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6 minutes ago, RyneB said:

all great advice above. I love the c rig. There are so many variations, and most mentioned above. One of my favorites rigs to fish when I need a limit is a finesse version of a C Rig. I take a 3/16 oz tungsten, then put 1 or 2 punch stops, and then my hook. I can adjust as needed. I like to throw this anywhere from 1-10 feet around scattered vegetation. Almost any bait will do. A few of my favorites  are a 6 inch finesse worm and lizard, but a 3.5" tube is my favorite. It mimics everything, a craw, shad, bluegill, goby or darter. That rig with a small tube has outfished a wacky senko many many many times. Another little tip, I like to use spinning gear with 8lb high viz braid with a mono leader. Some bites are very subtle, that high viz helps a ton. 

 

I also love to drag around 3/4 oz on the ol ball an chain with a 8 inch lizard or 10 inch zoom ol monster. 

I like your style. Referencing the tube, How do you retrieve it? I want to try this bank fishing and I’m envisioning the Action underwater Thanks!

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it's hard to explain, I use my rod tip to kind of drag it and jig it. Almost like you would a shakey head. I try and move the weight a few inches and add a little jig if need be. If I get caught on vegetation, i will give it a little pop to free it up. A lot of bites come that way. When I first started throwing this rig, I took it to a price lake with gin clear water, worked the rig so i could see it. That helped me learn what the tube was doing with certain movements. I guess you could say I'm obsessed with tubes, I have the nickname "tube."

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Wow...what a thread..can't add much here except the hookset on a C-Rig  should be a reel down into the fish and sweep. At least that's what works for me especially heavier weights.

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C-rig w/ a sally is a pretty solid rig. Don't be afraid to let it sit for long moments. I think anything over a 1/2 oz makes it more difficult to feel the bite IMO.

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If you're just starting out with the C-Rig, I'll make a couple of suggestions that may help.  First is your main line choice; Base it on the type of bottom you'll be fishing.  I prefer braid for its sensitivity and fluorocarbon for abrasion resistance. Second is the weight; Egg, bullet, needle, Lindy will all work. I prefer tungsten weights when I'm not at risk of loosing them.  Third is your leader line; There is no doubt in my mind that a quality mono leader will get you more bites than fluorocarbon. It floats and even when using 6lb. test, the stretch isn't a factor. No, it won't float most soft plastics, but it won't pull them down to the bottom and the beauty of a C-rig is that it presents your bait just off the bottom.  Lastly is leader length; Starting out I recommend keeping it short 12in.-18in.as it's easier to cast and detect bites than longer 2ft.-4ft. leaders.  

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I rig a lot up here on Champlain and St Larry.  I use a 1 oz for 15ft and deeper.  20lb Seaguar Abrazx to a size 8 Spro Swivel attached to a 3-6ft leader of 12, 15 or 17lb mono.  My key is a regular offset hook.  Sometimes a smallie will nose down and try to crush a bait, with an EWG the bait/hook rolls over (think sailboat on it's keel on dry land). Regular offset hooks are less prone to that.  I use a zoom uv speedcraw or a skinny dipper.   I'll play with lead and tungsten weights and combos of glass, plastic or tungsten beads.  I built a rod on a NFC 807 spiral wrapped with an 8:1 Daiwa reel.

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On 2/12/2018 at 1:41 PM, WRB said:

I don't fish a traditional C-rig with heavy egg sinker, bead, swivel on the main line with a leader tied to the swivel and hook. The reason being in our rock deep structure lakes the sinker snags too often. 

I do fish a modified or finesse C-rig called the slip shot rig in lieu of the split shot rig.

The difference being you use the main line with a cyclinder (mojo) weight, glass bead, Carolina Keeper (or peg the bead) for a weight stopper and hook, no swivel. The slip shot rig requires 1 knot verses the C-rigs 3 knots and easy to adjust the line length between the weight and hook without re tying.

I use the slip shot rig whenever casting and dragging along the bottom with finesse worms and very effective technique for bass in a neutral feeding mood. This is the first rig I use to introduce new anglers to bass fishing because they catch bass a higher percentage of the time.

Tom

This is the same way I run mine- with a carolina keeper. I like it because it allows adjustments of distance between the weight and lure. I don't really run c-rigs very often though because I find it hard to keep the lure off the bottom, and it always gets covered in mud, grime, grass, or scum by the time I pull it up. I've never really caught anything on it, but it is a good way to feel around what's down there. Good rig to throw to test out a new environment but I always end up turning the rig into something else at some point. Maybe I'm just not real good at detecting bites because of all the snags in the places I fish, idk.

 

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3 tips; use mono as it tends to float off the bottom and use light wire strong hooks with floating soft plastic that also tend to stay off the bottom. 

I use 5 lb Maxima Ultra Green mono for finesse and 8 lb for larger plastics with Owner #5133 hook and Roboworms or Iovino hand pours for with Top brass Pro-Jo weights. 

Attention to details makes a big difference. 

FC line drags on the bottom, not a good choice for C type rigs.

Tom

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8 minutes ago, WRB said:

3 tips; use mono as it tends to float off the bottom and use light wire strong hooks with floating soft plastic that also tend to stay off the bottom. 

I use 5 lb Maxima Ultra Green mono for finesse and 8 lb for larger plastics with Owner #5133 hook and Roboworms or Iovino hand pours for with Top brass Pro-Jo weights. 

Attention to details makes a big difference. 

FC line drags on the bottom, not a good choice for C type rigs.

Tom

As I continue to struggle with this technique do you use a liter line after the swivel or are you using the same as the main line.  I have been using 12 lb copolymer on both main and leader.

Edited by Angry John

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12 minutes ago, Angry John said:

As I continue to struggle with this technique do you use a liter line after the swivel or are you using the same as the main line.

You might to read my initial post on this topic...I don't use a swivel and only use my main line. If you rig worms straight they don't twist the line, just check it along side the boat to make sure it's running without twisting, wobbling back and forth is OK.

The downside to this type of rigs is you feel the weight not soft plastic, the upside is the line moves through the weight allowing you to feel strikes most of the time but bass can and will swallow the worm quickly using this rig hooking themselves and it happens when new to this presentation.

Tom

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Your right I missed that.  Just considering that I may need to go back to my roots and fish a very lite setup to start getting bites.  My fear is all the rubbing on the bottom rubbing a soft line.  I think I will try your system exactly and see if I can get some better results.  Have some Berkeley xl mono in 6 lb or I would have to order new line.  Would you use that.

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2 minutes ago, Angry John said:

Your right I missed that.  Just considering that I may need to go back to my roots and fish a very lite setup to start getting bites.  My fear is all the rubbing on the bottom rubbing a soft line.  I think I will try your system exactly and see if I can get some better results.  Have some Berkeley xl mono in 6 lb or I would have to order new line.  Would you use that.

Maxima Ultra Green is a higher memory line with good abrasion resistance and very strong, XL will work but is softer and not nearly as strong, give it try. I wouldn't go over 1/8 oz weight or 1/0 hooks with 6 lb line. It's alway good to know what depth range to target, so do your sonar metering survey first so you know where to fish.

Good luck.

Tom

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