Breaking Down the Carolina Rig Setup
Updated: Jul 19, 2022
One of my favorite techniques is a carolina rig. I have caught tons of fish on it. I’ve caught big fish, and small fish alike. I fished a team tournament years ago and my team partner and I caught 28lbs on a carolina rig. In this article, I am going to break down my carolina rig setup.
Can be fished everywhere
The carolina rig is a technique that can be fished shallow and out in deep water. I fish deep a lot here at home, and a carolina rig is a great choice. I’m ideally fishing it around rock, but it’s also something that can be fished through the right type of grass. I caught fish in the hydrylla at Sam Rayburn on a carolina rig.
ROD - 6th Sense Discount code is Luna10
The rod I use for a carolina rig is the 6th Sense Unicorn Rod in the 7’4 model. The rod is a heavy action with a fast tip. The rod is rated for weights up to 1.5oz. The rod is designed for the Carolina Rig, Swimbait, Heavy Offshore Jigs/Shakey Heads, Flipping bushes and more.
This rod is super sensitive. Thats one of the main factors when I choose a rod for a carolina rig. Anything presentation where I’m dragging something on the bottom, and need to feel everything, I go for the best and most sensitive rod I can afford. I’d recommend you do the same.
The heavy action is key with a carolina rig because you need to be able to cast a heavy weight, and be able to drive a hook into the fishes mouth on a long cast.
The fast tip is also important because it helps with sensitivity, and also allows for the rod to have backbone sooner, which is important when casting the carolina rig, and setting the hook.
The reel I choose for the carolina rig is a 7.3:1 gear ration Daiwa Tatula SV. The Tatula SV reels are my favorite right now by far. The main thing you need to make sure of with the reel on your carolina rig, is to not have a slow gear ratio. I’d recommend the 7.3:1 or higher gear ratios. You want these faster reels because you’ll be able to reel up slack as quickly as possible, and also reel fish out of the cover you are typically fishing with a carolina rig.
I typically am using 15-17lb test Seaguar InvizX or Sunline FC Sniper fluorocarbon. There are a lot of people that use heavier line, and depending on your situation, you definitely can. I wouldn’t recommend monofilament line for the main line because it has too much stretch, and on a long cast, your hookup ratios will go down due to the stretch. You just won’t be able to get the hook into the fish as well. Some people use braid and that is an option, but I’ve found that 15-17lb does the job well for me, and allows me to fish other presentations with the same rod and reel combo.
3/4 -1oz Egg Sinker Another option is the
Glass Bead Carolina Pre Rig from 6th Sense
Brass Clacker It has everything all ready to go.
LEADER LINE - 12 lb test monofilament
When it comes to the leader line, this is the line that you will tie to the swivel, or the carolina pre rig. I use 12lb test monofilament. Some people will say that’s too light, but I’ve found it holds up pretty well. Some people will question the monofilament as well, but I think it helps with the fall rate of your bait. The monofilament floats by itself, so there will be some resistance to it falling in the water allowing for a slower fall for your bait. If you feel you need a heavier leader line, feel free, but I would recommend it be a smaller size than your main line.
Leader length is an important factor to a carolina rig. I typically use a longer leader. Around probably around 4 feet long. Leader length will have an impact on the action your bait has. A shorter leader will have a more responsive action because of the shorter leader, and a longer leader will allow for more flow of the bait, especially when it comes up and over some sort of structure. You’ll need to play around and experiment with leader length to find out what length works best for you.
HOOKS - 6th Sense Round Bend or Wide Gap
Typically I use a 3/0 to 5/0 hook depending on the size of the plastic that I’m fishing. If I’m fishing around brush and grass I will generally use a round bend hook. I go with the round bend because the hook point stays inside the plastic and has less of a tendency to get hung up when compared to the wide gap versions. When I’m fishing around rock, I go with the wide gap versions. The hook has less tendency to hang on the rocks, and with the wide gap hook being texposed will allow for slightly easier hooksets.
Most of the time I will be using a 6th Sense Hogwalla or a Do-It Molds Boss Hog that I will pour myself. In certain scenarios, I will go for a smaller profile and choose the 6th Sense prawn. I think sometimes the fish want a more compact package, and the prawn can get bites when other, more traditional, plastics aren’t getting bit.
If you don’t already have the carolina rig as a mainstay in your fishing arsenal, you are missing out. If I’m fishing at home, I almost always have a carolina rig ready to go!
If you follow the outline that I have given you in this article, you’ll be on your way to catching a lot of fish on a carolina rig. Check out the products linked aboive in the article. I hope you enjoyed the article and learned something new about the carolina rig.
6th Sense Fishing discount code is Luna10
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