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Soft Plastic Rigging Guide: Carolina Rig
What Is It?
The Carolina rig is actually very similar to the Texas rig in terms of how the plastic bait is rigged onto the hook, the main difference between the two is the weight; by definition, a Carolina rig must use some sort of weight (Texas rigs can be fished weightless) and the position of the weight is always somewhere on the leader between 3 and 18 inches above the hook/plastic - it is never pegged right to the hook.
By keeping the weight above the lure, the rig produces an entirely different action than a Texas rig, creating more of a circular swimming motion as the lure descends through the water column or is retrieved along or near the bottom back to the angler.
Another notable difference between Texas and Carolina rigs related to weight is size. Unless punching through cover, many situations where you fish a Texas rig only require weights between 1/16 ounce and 1/2 ounce (or no weight at all). While Carolina rigs will typically use at least a 3/8 ounce weight, and sometimes as heavy as 2 ounces or more depending on what species you are targeting and water conditions.
How To Rig It
For soft baits, there a wide range of options that pair well with Carolina rigging - ribbontail worms, stick baits, soft jekbaits, lizards, creatures, and craws are all good choices for this rig. This means you can pair whatever size and profile bait is best for the given situation.
To your mainline add a sinker using an egg, bullet, or cylindrical-shaped weight. Behind that add a bead then tie to a swivel. Decide on a leader both in type and length. At the end of your leader tie on a worm hook or EWG worm hook big enough to accommodate whatever size plastic you have chosen.
How To Fish It
The Carolina rig is typically fished by casting then dragging the rig across your target area along or near the bottom. To properly drag the rig, you want to position your rod parallel to the surface of the water and use a sweeping motion to move the lure over the target area you are fishing. No need to jerk the rig, just a nice smooth sweep will work.
Tips & Tricks
How to Rig and Fish the Carolina Rig
How to Fish the Carolina Rig
The Perfect Carolina Rig Combo
Features: The Mustad 38105 Ultra Lock is a wide gap soft bait hook that features Mustad's Z-Bend offset that securely anchors a wide range of bait...View full details
Features: The Mega Bite Worm Offset Shank Hook is designed for soft large plastic worms and other soft baits. Opti-Angle Needle Point and 4.3 Ultr...View full details
Features: Bayou Rattler SoNar BallZZ are small spherical fishing rattles that can be threaded onto your line and used with nearly any lure or rig....View full details
Features: The Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten Carolina Riggin' Weights are tungsten weights specially designed for Carolina rigs. Barrel-shaped wei...View full details
Features: The Strike King EZ-Rig is a 2 pack of pre-rigged weights for Carolina rigging. Pre-rigged system will save you loads of valuable fishing ...View full details
Features: The 13 Fishing Lizzy is an 8 inch soft plastic lizard that uses 13 Fishing's Rabbit Ear appendages for its legs and tail. Unique appenda...View full details
Features: The Gary Yamamoto Sanshouo is a 4 3/4 inch soft plastic salamander-like creature bait. Designed to be flipped, pitched, punched, Carolin...View full details
Features: The Strike King Rage Lizard is a 6 inch soft plastic lizard with Strike King's patented "Rage Tail" flange on the end of its appendages. ...View full details
Features: The Zoom Magnum Lizard is the standard-setter any place big bass live, flipped to laydowns and grass, or Carolina rigged across a textbo...View full details
Features: This modern take on the original ring worm can be pitched into holes in the grass or around laydowns to tempt even the wariest bass Size...View full details