How to Tie a Carolina Rig for Fishing

How to Tie a Carolina Rig for Fishing
Astute bass anglers use the Carolina rig as a favorite method of soft plastic bait presentation while fishing in lakes and moving waters. The Carolina rig works by the angler meticulously reeling in the presentation, which has a weight attached that stays in contact with the bottom of the water. As the weight careens off stones, boulders, stumps and other aquatic obstacles, the trailing plastic bait moves about, attracting fish. While the Carolina rig is a poor fit for heavily weeded spots and places where the bottom is all rocks, it works great in almost all other venues.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rod and reel
  • Bullet sinkers or egg weights
  • Glass beads
  • Barrel swivel, size 5, 6 or 7
  • Line for a leader
  • Offset worm hooks
  • Soft plastic baits, such as worms, lizards and crayfish
Step 1
Slip on a bullet weight or an egg weight to your fishing line. Choose weights that are least 3/8 oz. This will assure the weight stays in touch with the bottom. Attach the egg weight so that the narrow end is facing up your line toward the rod tip.
Step 2
Place a glass bead behind the weight and then tie the line to your barrel swivel with an improved clinch knot. The glass bead serves two functions in a Carolina rig. It protects the knot from the constant banging of the weight, and it creates noise when the weight hits it, attracting curious bass.
Step 3
Tie at least 18 inches of line as a leader to the other end of the swivel. The Fish Info website suggests using this amount of line if the water is up to 10 feet deep. You can use another 18 inches for water up to 20 feet deep. Fluorocarbon line works well as a leader because fish cannot detect it due to how it refracts light. Always use a Trilene knot, which tends not to slip, when tying fluorocarbon line to your swivel.
Step 4
Tie the offset worm hook to the other end of your leader using an improved clinch knot.
Step 5
Poke the nose of your plastic bait with the point of the hook and work it through so the point comes out about 3/8 of an inch from where it entered the nose. Slide the bait, held on now just by that 3/8 of an inch, all the way up past where your hook offsets so the right angle by the eye holds the head of the bait in place.
Step 6
Turn the bait to face the point of the hook and allow the bait to dangle straight down freely. Stick the hook point into its "belly," keeping the bait as straight as you can. The bait must be as straight as possible, which will permit it to move through the water in a more natural manner at the end of the leader, fooling fish as the Carolina rig bumps along the bottom. Keep the point in the soft plastic, rather than poke it all the way through. This keeps the sharp end of the hook from snagging on anything as the bait floats along.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.