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Hook, Line and Sinker for Carolina Rigs

By Kastking | 24 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Carolina Rigs are easy to put together with a sinker, hook, bead and a swivel. Here’s how:



The Carolina Rig can often be overlooked, but it can also be a very effective means to catch fish when other techniques fail.  It can be used with great success as a search bait on large flats or long points.  It allows the angler to learn more about the bottom composition.  It can also help an angler find isolated clumps of grass, small areas of rock, and other cover that might hold fish, while still covering a lot of ground.


The most popular sinker weights are ½ oz. ¾ oz., and 1 oz.  The weight used will depend, in large part, on how deep the angler is fishing.  The angler wants to ensure that the weight is heavy enough to keep bottom contact even while retrieving the bait at a fairly good rate of speed.  There are a variety of types of sinkers including lead and Tungsten.  Some anglers say that Tungsten weights allow them to feel the bottom better.  I personally use Brass or a RockyBrook sinker.  Both of those are pictured here.


 sinker, carolina rig

Various sinkers for a Carolina Rig


The brass sinker, on the left, has a more clear sound as it clicks across the bottom.  It is much like that of a fleeing crayfish.  I also like to use a RockyBrook sinker, pictured in the middle.  When I use this sinker, I also use a very small one with it, as shown.  The sinker on the right is also a RockyBrook sinker.  This can be used with a normal glass bead.  What this does is not only click against the bottom, but also the limestone sinkers click against each other.  This produces a very distinctive sound that is very realistic in the fish’s environment.  It sounds even more like the clicking of crayfish.


A wide variety of soft plastics work well on a Caroline Rig.  If an angler is facing a tough bite, streamlined soft plastics such as trick worms may be just what is needed to get the fish to turn on.  In this case, using a smaller weight than normal may help, too, as it will slow the fall rate of the bait.  Bulky baits with flapping appendages will help slow the fall rate, too.  An angler may have to change baits and weights throughout the day to learn what combination the fish want.



sinker, sinkers,  carolina rig

Hook, sinkers, swivel and bead



Rigging a Carolina Rig is fairly simple.  You will need:  A hook of suitable size for the soft plastic you intend to use, a weight, a barrel swivel, and a glass bead.  Many anglers use braid for a main line, but the line of choice is up to the angler.  The leader, however, should be monofilament or fluorocarbon.  Especially when the bite is finicky, it is important to have the lightest line possible so the fish are not spooked by the line.  The clearer the water, the longer the leader should be.  This also means a heavier weight, of course.  The most common length of leader is about 2 feet, but some anglers will use leaders up to 4 feet.  Regardless of the weight or bait used, here is how to set up a Carolina Rig:


sinkers, carolina rigs

Three types of sinkers with beads for Carolina Rigs used by the author.


First, slide the sinker and glass bead onto the main line.


Sinker, bead, line

Sinker and bead on main line



Then tie your swivel on to your main line using a Palomar knot.  The glass bead will help to protect your knot.



 hook,  palomar Knot

Tie your hook using a Palomar Knot




Next, tie your hook to your leader, also using a Palomar knot.  Once you have your hook tied on, you can adjust the length of your leader, if need be.


carolina rig, hook, leader, swivel, bead, sinker

Assembly of the Carolina Rig showing hook, leader, swivel, bead and sinker.



The last step is to tie the leader to the other end of the swivel.  A Palomar knot my be used for that as well.


Carolina Rig, sinker, soft bait,

Carolina Rig with soft bait in place.



Regardless of the type of soft plastic bait used, it is important, as with most rigs, to keep the bait perfectly straight on the hook.


Some tournament anglers view the Carolina Rig as a rig for a non-boater to use from the back of the boat and nothing more.  Those that have used it, though, understand that this rig can be used for so much more.  It is a great choice for not only learning bottom structure, but also for enticing finicky fish to eat when other techniques fail.


— By Beckie Joki


Beckie Joki is an avid bass fisherman in Northern Wisconsin. She has an eye on conservation and the environment as it relates to all types of fishing. She is a member of the Hodag Bassmasters, and is a member of the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters. She understands the importance of maintaining fisheries and looks to get younger generations into the sport of fishing. Beckie writes regularly for the Northern Wisconsin Fishing Examiner.






Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing™ fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

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