Carolina Rigging soft plastics is one of my favorite ways to catch bass. The great thing about it is you can employ this technique year round, in all depths of water, day or night, in any water clarity, on any body of water. Selecting the proper equipment and making the rig is key to one’s success when using this presentation.
My go-to setup for this technique is an Omen Black 7’3” heavy casting rod, paired with a Shimano Curado HG geared in 6.3:1. Line diameter will vary but as a general rule I fish 15-17 lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon.
The added length in the rod helps with longer casting distance as well as being able to handle a long leader (as much as 4 feet in some scenarios). On a long cast, a lengthier rod will make for a better hook set as well due to the fact that more line is moved with a single swing of the rod.
The high speed reel helps to gain control over the fish on those long casts, especially with the stretch that fluorocarbon has when compared to braid. It’s merely personal preference, but a 7.2:1 or similar will also work efficiently.
As for terminal tackle goes, I run quality tungsten weights from matheadtackle (matheadtackle.com), a Spro barrel swivel and an ultra sharp 3/0 round bend hook from Gamagatsu. The Palomar knot, or better yet, a Doubled Clinch knot will secure these components.
There are many exceptions to weight selection; current, line diameter, finesse approach, water depth, etc., but in most instances 3/8oz-3/4oz will work effectively.
I prefer a tungsten bead compared to glass. Glass tends to crack and form sharp edges. That’s the last thing you want rubbing on your line!
Leader length will vary upon conditions, but most of the time 16-24 inches will do the trick. In moving water the longer the better. Sometimes a 3 or 4 foot leader is needed allow the bait to swing through the strike zone more freely.
Bait choice is easy… texas rig your favorite soft plastic! I prefer all variations of the floating worm, ribbontail, creature bait or craw style baits.
This presentation is deadly on a shellbar or along a grassline. Luckily, Florida natural lakes tend to have plenty of both!
So, if your ready to add a new technique to your arsenal, tie up a Carolina Rig and give it a try. The more you fish it, the more you won’t be able to put it down.
Until next time, tight lines and good fishin’