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Carolina Rig Diagram: A Complete Breakdown (C-Rig Mini-Guide)

Carolina Rig Diagram: A Complete Breakdown (C-Rig Mini-Guide)

Are you wanting to understand and learn about the components of a Carolina Rig? You are at the perfect spot! In this article, besides just giving you a Carolina Rig Diagram, I am going to go in depth into each one of its components. By the time you finish reading this article, you are going to know everything about each component of the Carolina Rig.

  1. Lure
  2. Hook
  3. Knot
  4. Swivel
  5. Bead
  6. Sinker /Weight
  7. Leader
  8. Mainline


The Carolina Rig is one of the most used rigs in Bass Fishing. Besides knowing the components of it, it’s also important to know each one of those components individually. What baits are the best ones for this rig? What type of bead should you use? What weight size and type performs best with a Carolina Rig? You need to know about those type of topics

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With that being said, let’s jump into this!


Carolina Rig (Part 1 of Diagram): The Bait/Lure


Carolina rigs are great to use with soft plastics. Lizards, creature baits, beavers and finesse worms are great to fish the C-Rig. When it comes to the size of the bait you are going to use, take this into consideration: if you are fishing in clear water or very tough conditions, use a smaller bait. Remember to adjust the size of your hook when you do so.


With that being said, here is a small list of the most commonly used baits:

  • Flukes
  • Senkos
  • Brush Hogs
  • Lizards
  • Creature Baits
  • Finesse Worms
  • Tubes
  • Beavers


Carolina Rig (Part 2 of Diagram): The Hook


The are several types of hook types. The one I recommend is a Offset Round Bend Worm Hook (AKA Worm Hook). This hook has a straight belly. The point of the hook is not very aligned to the height of where the eye of the hook is. Make sure it has an offset on it. When it comes to size, choose something between 3/0 and 5/0.


If you are wondering how to set the hook on the bait, do it the same way you would do a Texas Rig. I have another article on how to Texas Rig a Fluke, which you can check out here. You can use it as a reference. It’s the same exact process: set the hook through the nose and slide it until the offset part of the hook. Twist the hook 180° horizontally. The point of the hook should be facing the bait. After that, just slide the hook through the bait and you’re ready.


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Carolina Rig (Part 3 of Diagram): The Knot

When it comes to making a knot to attach the hook to the leader, the leader to the swivel and the swivel to the main line, I recommend the Palomar knot. It’s easy to do, and it does well what its meant to do.


Here is a quick and simple step by step tutorial. I will be talking as if you were tying the tip the hook to the leader:

  1. Take the end of your leader and double it over to form a loop.
  2. Take the loop and put it through the eye of the hook. Pull the line through as it forms a bigger loop.
  3. Take the end of the loop and pass it over the top. After doing that, put it through the hole you just formed. In other words, do a simple overhand knot. The hook has to be inside the knot. Not on top or below the knot, but inside.
  4. Make the knot tight by pulling it. Cut the remaining line.


To make it is easy and more visual, take a look at this tutorial. It’s very easy and straight forward to follow:


Carolina Rig (Part 4 of Diagram): The Swivel


The objective of a swivel in any scenario is to connect the line with the leader. Go for a black barrel swivel. Barrel swivels are usually made of a nickel-plated barrel with brass pins.


When it comes to choosing the right size, just go for the smallest size possible. Although, make sure that the swivel is not so small that it enters the bead hole. That would be a problem. Generally, between a size #10 and a size #12 will perform perfectly fine. Small swivels are stealthier.



Carolina Rig (Part 5 of Diagram): The Bead


You can either use glass beads or plastic beads. Although if you follow the advice of the next step, which is to use a Tungsten barrel weight, it’s better to use it with a plastic bead.


The Tungsten weight is so hard that when it touches the bead, if its a glass bead, it will end up damaging it along with the rest of your line. For this reason, it’s better to go with a plastic bead. A plastic bead that is 8 milimeters will perform just great. It will also protect your knot, and make some sound when it clashes with the weight.


Carolina Rig (Part 6 of Diagram): Weights/Sinkers


You can use any type of weight with a Carolina Rig. Feel free to go for a worm weight, a bullet weight, an egg sinker. But there is one common one that most anglers really love for the C-Rig: the Tungsten barrel style weight.


A Tungsten barrel weight penetrates cover very smoothly. Using a hard and heavy weight will help you understand what’s on the bottom. The hardness and the density of this weight will give you a lot of “feeling”.


Carolina Rig (Part 7 of Diagram): The Leader

The leader is another piece of line that is a little bit thicker and more resistant than the main line. They are made so they can resist the bite of the fish without breaking so easily. Go for a fluorocarbon leader line

When picking the size of your main line, it’s advisable to go down one size from your main line. For example, if your main line is #15, choose a size #12 for your leader.


When it comes to choosing the length of your leader line, it’s convenient to choose a length that barely floats above the cover. Another factor to consider is the type of water. When you are fishing on clear water, use a longer leader. If you are fishing on murky water, use a shorter leader. If you want a guideline, choose something between 18” and 48”.


Carolina Rig (Part 8 of Diagram): The Main Line

Feel free to use any line the line of your preference. Use the line you would normally use for other baits. Although, some anglers do suggest not to use mono. Go for fluorocarbon or braid. If you are not sure, just try it out with both and see what works best for you.


Completing The Carolina Rig Diagram: Rod and Reel

For Carolina Rigs, I recommend using a 7’ to 7’6” Medium Heavy Power, Fast Action casting rod, along with a 6.X:1 to 7.X:1 casting reel. Although, depending on each angler, you could be better of with a longer rod, and/or a faster gear ratio on your reel.


I go into depth on how to choose the correct rod and reel for Carolina Rigs in another article. You can check it out by clicking here. I highly suggest checking it out if you don’t know what rod and reel you should use for this rig.


One Last Helpful Resource

Some of the things I talked about in this article are based on this video. Feel free to watch it, it’s very insightful and will help you a lot:


Thank you for sticking with me until the end. I truly help this article helped you out and gave you all the information you needed to know. At Reel Fishermen, our goal is to help you become a better angler. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to leave them on the comment section bellow. I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.


“Reel Fishermen Can Tackle Anything”


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