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Rods And Reels For Carolina Rigs: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Rods And Reels For Carolina Rigs: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you are in the search of what features you should look for when choosing a rod and reel for Carolina Rigs, you landed at the perfect spot. In this article, I will give you all the information you need to know, including the action, length and power of the rod as well as what reel would be the best match for it.


For Carolina Rigs, use a 7' to 7'6" Medium Heavy Power, Fast Action Casting Rod. Match it with a 6.X:1 or faster baitcasting reel. Although spinning gear can be used, baitcasting gear will perform better.


Getting the proper gear for specific techniques can be critical for your performance. I will get into why this gear will perform better with this type of rig. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this article, you will no questions about this topic. One quick disclaimer I do want to make is that when talking about rods and reels for any purpose, take the recommended features as a reference, not as a must-follow exact match. Nothing in fishing is an exact science, and if you think you would perform better with a different length, power, or action, by all means go for it.


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What is the right length, action and power of the rod?

My suggestion would be to go between 7’ and 7’6”, Medium Heavy-Fast. Some people prefer Heavy instead of Medium Heavy, although I don’t. You need something that has enough backbone, and has good casting distance, and at the same time, you can have control over the fish when you get a bite.


The fast action rod will give you more sensitivity and faster power for hooksetting. The longer length will let you cover more water and will provide casting distance.


With this being said, there are other anglers who prefer even longer rods. For example, Jay Kumar likes to use a 7’11” and it works great for him. Like I said, feel free to adapt these suggestions:


If you want another great reference, take a look at what Flukemaster uses. He uses a 7’4” and suggests to use something longer if possible.



Is it recommended to use a that is shorter than 7’?

I initially stated to take these features only as suggestions. Most anglers go between 7’ and 7’6” for their C-Rig rod, and another group of anglers like to use something closer to 8’. And there is another small group who prefers to use spinning gear instead of casting.


With that being said, I can’t think of any logical reasons of why you would want a shorter rod. I also haven’t met anyone who uses a shorter rod for Carolina Rigs. I’d say stick with the suggestions from this article.


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What is the recommended matching reel?

I would recommend matching your rod with a reel that is somewhere in the 6.X:1 gear ratio. If it’s closer to 7.X:1, it’s better. A faster reel lets you pull your line in very fast when fishing the Carolina Rig on a longer rod like the one we suggested above.


What rod material should you be looking for?

Go for a composite blank, or carbon fiber. This will give you the sensitivity and the backbone you need. Most bass fishing rods fall into one of these categories.


What makes a good Carolina Rig Rod?

It must have enough backbone as well as enough sensitivity. You need casting distance as well, which is where a longer rod comes in place.


Can you use a Spinning Rod for Carolina Rigs?

Using a spinning rod might not be ideal for Carolina Rigs, but if you are starting out and you don’t know how to use a baitcaster, you can definitely use it. I would say to aim for the same features (7’-7’6” Medium Heavy). About the spinning reel, a size 3000 should work well.


Some anglers argue that there is one advantage on using spinning gear, which is that you will have more sensitivity than with casting gear. My take on this is that you can get a baitcasting rod with enough sensitivity, there are some pretty good options out there.


What guides are recommended on a Carolina Rig rod?

My take on this is to go for Mid-Micro Guides (also known as Semi-Micro Guides) if you can. Think about this. You are fishing with a longer rod, thus you will be fishing with a physically heavier rod, so it’s important to bring this into consideration.


When it comes to guides, micro guides will reduce the overall weight of the rod because they are smaller. Although, they are not wide enough to pass leader knots. So the best way to go around this is to get Mid-Micro guides. They are big enough to pass leader knots, but they are smaller than standard guides, thus the weight of the rod is reduced.


Take this as a secondary factor in your purchasing decision. This is a “plus”, not a “must”.


Can you use a Carolina Rig rod for other techniques and baits?

Of course you can! In fact, a Medium Heavy casting rod is generally known as an all around rod. It’s the most versatile action and power there is. As a fun fact, it’s likely you already have a rod with these features in your arsenal.


What rod do I recommend for Carolina Rigs?

My personal suggestion is the Kodiak Macro by Big Bear. Big Bear, in my opinion and even though it’s not one of the big box brands, has one of the best rod designs in the bass fishing rod industry. My favorite feature is the grip. Without getting too much into it, there are two reasons I’m recommending this rod for Carolina Rigs specifically:

*The grip of this rod has amazing sensitivity, which is something essential for Carolina Rigs. On the other hand, it also provides you with powerful hook sets. There are a few more features that are unique and amazing about the grip, but those are the ones that make it the perfect rod for Carolina Rigs. This grip design is exclusive to Big Bear.


* The Kodiak Macro has Semi-Micro guides. They are big enough to pass leader knots, but smaller than standard guides. This ends up reducing the weight of the rod. It’s not only the guides, but also the blank and the reel seat deliver an overall light and sensitive, yet powerful rod. The lightness of the rod is important because you will be using a longer rod.


You can learn more about the Kodiak Macro and purchase it through Reel Fishermen by clicking here.


What reel do I recommend for Carolina Rigs?

Just go for a fast gear ratio baitcasting reel. A 6.X:1 or 7.X:1 will be fine. If you have a little bit of budget, the Apex Grand by Ardent is a great option (you can learn more or purchase it with us by clicking here). If you are on a lower budget, I recommend the Phantom X by Piscifun (you can learn more or purchase it with us by clicking here). You are going to be surprised how much Piscifun overdelivers quality in relation to price.


A few more resources

To complement what you’ve learned in this article, I would like to provide you with these last 2 resources about Carolina Rigs. I think they will be helpful for you.




Thank you for sticking until the end. My end goal, as always, is to help you become a better angler. I really hope this article gave you all the information you needed. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the comment section below! I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


“Reel Fishermen Can Tackle Anything”

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2 Comment

  • Tim, I am glad you enjoyed it. “X” represents any number from 1 to 9. For example, 7.5:1

  • I am relatively new to fishing. I thoroughly enjoyed your article thank you very much. I’m a little confused as to the gear ratio you recommend. What does the X mean in 6X1 or 7X 1.? Thank you sir for your time. Tim

    Timothy Horan

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