How to Tie a Carolina Rig for Surf Fishing

Professional and amateur sport fisherman alike use the Carolina Rig. Carolina Rigs are the most effective rigs, and every fisherman ought to have one in his tackle box.

It can be a real challenge for some anglers to set up the Carolina Rig due to the over analysis of each component. This makes it quite complex to rig since there are many variables. 

How To Tie A Carolina Rig

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However, following these steps will make using the Carolina Rig very simple.

Step 1

Pick your hook. 

A Carolina Rig starts with the hook. A worm hook with a rounded point should be used, and the hook size should match the bait size.

Step 2

Attach the hook to the bait. 

You should only use soft plastic bait on the Carolina Rig. You don’t have to pick a specific type of plastic bait. Just choose one you have had success with previously.

Step 3

Attach the hook to the leader line.

This line is tied between the hook and the swivel, and should be between 12 and 48 inches in length, depending on how far they are positioned at the time.

Even if you prefer a more old-fashioned method of experimenting, you can use a fish finder to find the distance. The leader should be 18 inches in length if you determine the fish is 18 inches off the bottom.

There is no other way to put it. Whenever you are uncertain, a safe bet is to use 18 inches.

Step 4

Your leader line should be tied around your swivel at the opposite end.

The purpose of any swivel is to prevent the line from tying itself up. In the Carolina rig, its primary function is to act as a weight stop. The weight and strength of a swivel should be considered when choosing one.

So brown colored swivels are the best so that fish can see them in the water and catch them easily. Generally, brown swivels weighing 80 pounds are a good choice.

Step 5

It is imperative that your main line (the line that connects to your fishing pole) should have a bullet weight attached. 

Its primary function consists of driving the line down where the bottom is of the lake you’re fishing in. Ideally, the weight should weigh around 3/4 ounces.

The weight of the rope may have to be changed depending on the conditions such as fast currents or shallow currants.

Step 6

At the bottom of the bullet weight, slide the glass bead on. 

You should place it just below the weight and between the swivel and the weight on the main fishing line. There should be a hole in the middle, so you can simply attach it to the line. It has two purposes:

  • Fish are attracted to it because it bumps against the surface and creates a noise
  • The knot is protected from being damaged when it is attached to the swivel

Step 7

The other end of your swivel should be tied to your main fishing line. 

All the different fishing knots can be used for fishing. Choose the one you like best.

Step 8

Have fun with your rig! Once your Carolina Rig is complete, you are ready to head out and catch some fish.

Bonus Tips

  • You will only need a rod and reel for fishing. In order to use the Carolina Rig effectively, you should use a pole that is at least 7 feet long.
  • Carolina Rig fishing involves moving the bait so slowly that all you can achieve is how slow you need to move it by moving your pole slowly. You cannot achieve this speed using a reel retrieve.

Final Thoughts

If you previously were struggling with being able to tie a Carolina rig, then this article should have given you the tools and techniques to be able to tie one yourself. That means no more disrupted fishing trips, faffing around with lines. 

Happy fishing and good luck!

Fishing Pro at Tyger Leader
My name is Jacob Beasley and I want to be a leader for young fishermen and women who need their questions answered.

While I don’t mind having people walk up to me and ask me about fishing, it does violate an unspoken rule of fishing - leave each other alone. You might scare off my fish by walking over to me!

Also, I wanted to create a single space where newbies could come and read up for hours so that they head to their fishing spot confident and ready. You don’t want to be hovering over your phone all day trying to get answers to your questions.

So, stay and learn for a while. I hope that by the next time you go fishing, something you read on Tyger Leader will be of use.
Jacob Beasley
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