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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I am seeing that many people tend to use somewhat light weights on their Carolina Rigs. By light I am talking about 1/2oz or less. While there is a time and a place for light weights on Carolina Rigs, I am a firm believer in large weights on Carolina Rigs.

A 1oz weight is the most common size I will use. A lot of people may think of 1 oz of weight and think that it is over kill. However it is far from being that.

Using a 1oz weight has many advantages over lighter weights.

The first advantage is the ability to work your Carolina Rig at a fasted paced rate of retrieval. After all the whole beauty behind a Carolina Rig is the ability to work large expanses of water quickly. One of the most important aspects of the Carolina Rig is the leader length. Many times the leader length can make the difference between loading up your livewell and culling or coming to the scales with an empty bag and an embarassed grin. However, leader length doesn't mean a thing if your weight is not on the bottom. Trying to retrieve a light weighted Carolina Rig at a high rate of retrieval can quite often mean your weight is spending more time a couple feet or more off the bottom. This, in turn, is the same as adding that distance to the length of your leader. A 1oz weight will ensure that your weight stays on the bottom as much as possible even during faster rates of retrieval.

Another advantage is during high winds. When the winds kick up and I reach for a Carolina Rig, the 1oz weight will help me keep a tight line with minimal slack so that I can focus on motor control and whats happening at the business end of my line. If you were to use a lighter weight, the chances of the wind bowing your line and you missing pickups increase greatly! Sure you can use super lines and florocarbon but witout the heavier weight you are still handicapping yourself.

These are only a couple of the advantages of using a larger weight on your Carolina Rig. If you have only ever used lighter weights on your Carolina Rig, why not give a 1oz weight a shot and see what all the fuss is about.

Tattered Thumbs n Bigguns, Jared
 

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I reckon it depends alot on where I am useing a Carolina Rig at to the weight of my sinker I will use.

For instance, if i'm in a place with alot of hydrilla around, I will opt for a lighter weight. For me anyways, it comes through it alot better. I will also use a ' bullet ' style weight more so then a ' barrel ' style.

But I will agree a ' heavier ' sinker will allow you to work it faster and stay in contact with the bottom better.
 
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Another thing that you may want to consider is that using the lighter weight will allow you to fish for bass that are suspended, while still using a soft plastic lure (could be used in conjuction with jerkbaits, etc.,), and make you more efficient while doing so.

If I know for a fact that the bass are on the bottom, I will use a 1 oz. weight. If I know that they are suspending, I will use enough weight to get the lure to the level of the bass, and will go as slow as needed to fish that area thoroughly.
 

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Weight of the sinker could be reduced to 1/2 oz or less in very shallow water. I want a C-rig to quickly get to where I've figured bass to be, and a light sinker could waste a lot of time letting it sink to deep bass.

I usually use a 1 oz sinker or heavier for really deep bottoms, getting away from lead, to tungsten. One of the big advantages of a C-rig is feeling what knid of bottom is there. I want to know when I find a transition from mud to rock, mark that, and spend a lot more time fishing that zone instead of dredging bottom all day with a C-rig. A light sinker isn't likely to put off enough vibration to feel much about bottom, and like Jared pointed to, you get too much line bow in wind.

The heavier tends to hug bottom better, while a light one floats into holes. One of the feelings I go by is loss of feeling, something that happens much more with the light weights. I like the constant heavy feel so when anything different happens, I know it.

My preference is floating creatures on that rig. I work to let it take line so as to float above weeds. Sometimes it takes leaving it in place 5 minutes to set up a rythym of the leader extending out, then pulled back through the sinker, then let out again. Pulling against a light sinker scoots the sinker instead of managing the leader passage through the sinker. When a bass inhales it or takes off with the bait to chew it, I don't want it raising that sinker and feeling the load of it before I can sweep the rod. I want the bass pulling the leader which pulls the mainline, letting me in on the action.

Another reason for a heavy sinker is to stick a bass quicker to set it up for a second sweeping hookset. Light sinkers let the sinker rise off bottom, something that can cause the bass to spit the bait before you detect the tug was not the sinker. I want that sinker staying put while the bass is messing with the bait and I'm getting that initial hookset. There's just so much more direct control over bait and bite detection with a heavy sinker.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GaBassAngler said:
Another thing that you may want to consider is that using the lighter weight will allow you to fish for bass that are suspended, while still using a soft plastic lure (could be used in conjuction with jerkbaits, etc.,), and make you more efficient while doing so.

If I know for a fact that the bass are on the bottom, I will use a 1 oz. weight.  If I know that they are suspending, I will use enough weight to get the lure to the level of the bass, and will go as slow as needed to fish that area thoroughly. 
Sorry John but that is completely incorrect! Weight has no bearing in this matter at all! The Carolina Rig is designed to catch suspended bass. That is it's main purpose. Whether you have a 1/2 ounce or a 2 ounce weight, it will catch suspended bass. The determining factor is leader length not the weight of the lead when it comes to targeting suspended bass at specific depths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ouachita said:
Another reason for a heavy sinker is to stick a bass quicker to set it up for a second sweeping hookset. Light sinkers let the sinker rise off bottom, something that can cause the bass to spit the bait before you detect the tug was not the sinker. I want that sinker staying put while the bass is messing with the bait and I'm getting that initial hookset. There's just so much more direct control over bait and bite detection with a heavy sinker.

Jim

I agree completely Jim! Having that big ol weight down there really helps stay in touch with all thats happening.

One more thing that I think I also think is nice about the heavier weight is casting distance. Man you can chunk that big ol weight a country mile lol Most often thats not wanted or needed but it is fun to see how far that bad boy will fly lol
 
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I have to disagree. Take this for example. You are marking fish 7 ft. above the bottom. You want to use a C-rig to get a soft plastic down to the fish. The longest rod that you use is a 7'6" rod. Granted, that longer rod will allow you to have a longer leader, but are you telling me that you are going to use a 7 ft. leader on a C-rig? Ever tried to cast one like that?

I agree that leader length does determine a great deal when using a C-rig, but it's not always going to be practical to use a longer leader when you can accomplish the same function when using a weight that is not going to make contact with the bottom all the time.

On Lake Weiss, when the bass are suspending off the points, they aren't always going to be near the bottom, where a C-rig attracts the most attention, especially when using a heavier weight. Even with a 4 ft. leader, you are going going to be able to get any attention from 4 ft. off the bottom.

You may ask, why not just use a T-rig. The thing with bass on Lake Weiss is that, especially in summer, they tend to spook off when they see a T-rig. I have fished the lake for the last 8 years, and I see it each summer. So, using a C-rig, where they just see the bait swimming along merrily, is going to get you more bites than having a T-rig with the lure being controled at the nose by a weight.

I have done this a lot on Weiss, and even on Guntersville, and I have caught bass. Remember, bass fishing is not always about using what is "right", but it's about using and adapting to what the bass are giving you. If you are fishing an area that is 30 ft. deep, and the fish are suspending more than 4-5 ft. off the bottom, using a light C-rig is going to catch fish. I know from experience. ;)

And it's especially effective 2 days after a good rain. There are nightcrawlers still being pushed into the water, and if you can find a steep bank, with grass, you will be able to get bit using a worm on the C-rig. The last couple of summers, I have used the same rig on the Rocky Mountain PFA with a fluke, and have caught a lot of good bass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have cast up to 6 foot carolina rig leaders... but... thats beside the point... If youre dragging your worm along without your weight touching the bottom... youre not using a carolina rig... youre using a swimming worm rig. And if the fish are suspended 7 foot off the bottom then more than likely a plastic bait is not your best choice for extracting those fish... crankbaits, spinnerbaits and suspending jerkbaits, just to name a few, may be the best answer then.
 

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Jim, thanks again for all your wisdom and advise. I am gonna have to re-think things now, on how ive done things in the past. and TRY to make some corrections here and there.
 

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Re-thinking too much what's been working for you might be a mistake because you know your waters better than we do. Just consider ADDING some tips to come up with different presentations. I always first stick with what I already know works. Experience from experimenting and discovering better ways catching more and better bass amounts to safe 're-thinking'. As soon as I build some confidence in a technique or bait, I seal that down tight, then gradually alter it. It's like when I started playing a little baseball. I knew I could keep my eyes on the ball and swing hard, and get hits. It took me another 10 years to figure out what a coach tried to teach me, to eye the ball, but at the last moment trust an inner feeling about where the ball would be and when. It took that long to watch enough balls and subconsciously "know" all that without completely relying on tight ball watching. He wanted us to learn to read the field, making a split decision where to put the ball. A great place to put it is slightly behind 2nd baseman while second baseman is distracted over a steal to 3rd. I think improving fishing is a lot like that, hard to describe specifics. Confidence first, then new ideas.

As for John's application, fish suspeded 7' off bottom need what Jared suggested, but certainly not a C-rig dangled off bottom. For that switch to a Drop Shot or older model split shot worm. Another better choice is a dancing spoon or jig fished vertically slightly above suspended bass. A slow rolled spinnerbait even in winter would be better than dangling a C-rig in open water, not connected to bottom.

Jared, that extra weight certainly does make casting better, if you have enough rod to handle the sinker plus leader, hardware, and lure. That can add up to a whopping total of 1.25-1.5 oz, not a common weight range on average rods, and that requires a bit more line strength, too. But there's another side to this. I have noticed a heavy weighted C-rig doesn't tumble and self-foul nearly as much as one with say a 1/2 oz sinker. If the bait, hook, swivel and leader outweigh the sinker, you will have problems. There was an internet craze for a while promoting light sinkers, but I don't see that suggested now.

If fished over tall submerged vegetation you simply must have enough sinker to pull it to bottom, especially using a snarly lizard. In short vegetation you wouldn't need that pull-down feature, but it will come in handy not letting the sinker ride up onto plants, instead plowing through on bottom.

Jim
 

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Great discussions in this thread, thats why I bumped it. I always use at least a 1oz sinker, sometimes going up to 1.5 if the current is bad. Here lately I have been using the tungsten sinkers since they really transmit whats going on down there much better in my opinion. A combination of braid for my main line and a tungsten sinker really gives you a great feel for the bottom composition, and its really easy to detect strikes.
 

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here is a twist the the c- rig that i have used for many years, and as far as competition goes probably chould not evenmention it. but, i am getting older and do not tournament fish so much anymore. so here goes. instead of the normal barrel swivel, i use a three way swivel. here are the reasons why. first, you alway have a direct connection to your bait. it will allow you to detect strikes even before you feel the pressure of the fish. second, it is much easier to throw. then, you can jiggle you bait without moving your sinker, and this can really make a difference on finicky fish. they just can not stand that little quiver. the next and most important thing about using a three way swivel is that instead of a sinker on the drop for the weight, i use a 1/4 ounce alpha jig along with a sip sinker to make up the difference in weight for how heavy that i want the drop to be. therefore you are dragging a jig as well as whatever bait you have on your main line. you never know which bait will get bit first, and i have caught hundreds of doubles on this rig. normally when in a good school others will be following the bass you hook and will grab the free lure. also the alpha jig is much more snag resistant than sinkers. just give it a try next time you are c- rigging, and you might not ever go back to the regular rig. all of my close buddies all use my three way rig in place of a c-rig. we have always just kept it under our hat for competitive reasons.
 

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merc1997 said:
here is a twist the the c- rig that i have used for many years, and as far as competition goes probably chould not evenmention it. but, i am getting older and do not tournament fish so much anymore. so here goes. instead of the normal barrel swivel, i use a three way swivel. here are the reasons why. first, you alway have a direct connection to your bait. it will allow you to detect strikes even before you feel the pressure of the fish. second, it is much easier to throw. then, you can jiggle you bait without moving your sinker, and this can really make a difference on finicky fish. they just can not stand that little quiver. the next and most important thing about using a three way swivel is that instead of a sinker on the drop for the weight, i use a 1/4 ounce alpha jig along with a sip sinker to make up the difference in weight for how heavy that i want the drop to be. therefore you are dragging a jig as well as whatever bait you have on your main line.
Interesting, a 3 way rig set up like a C rig, but using a jig as the drop weight. How long of a drop line are you using from the 3 way swivel to the jig, and then how long of a leader do you use from the 3 way to the biat? Also, do you have any trouble with this rig getting tangled up on the cast?
 

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merc1997 said:
here is a twist the the c- rig that i have used for many years, and as far as competition goes probably chould not evenmention it. but, i am getting older and do not tournament fish so much anymore. so here goes. instead of the normal barrel swivel, i use a three way swivel. here are the reasons why. first, you alway have a direct connection to your bait. it will allow you to detect strikes even before you feel the pressure of the fish. second, it is much easier to throw. then, you can jiggle you bait without moving your sinker, and this can really make a difference on finicky fish. they just can not stand that little quiver. the next and most important thing about using a three way swivel is that instead of a sinker on the drop for the weight, i use a 1/4 ounce alpha jig along with a sip sinker to make up the difference in weight for how heavy that i want the drop to be. therefore you are dragging a jig as well as whatever bait you have on your main line. you never know which bait will get bit first, and i have caught hundreds of doubles on this rig. normally when in a good school others will be following the bass you hook and will grab the free lure. also the alpha jig is much more snag resistant than sinkers. just give it a try next time you are c- rigging, and you might not ever go back to the regular rig. all of my close buddies all use my three way rig in place of a c-rig. we have always just kept it under our hat for competitive reasons.
3 way swivels are a great way to present baits...It's an old method that we have used for Walleye and Salmon for years...Actually the C-Rig itself is nothing more than a spin off of one of the oldest presentations used for Walleye...Most called it "Lindy Rigging".
It's actually quite funny how many of the "new" bass presentaions are tried and true methods, just slightly altered, or called something different.

As light as you can go, while still being able to maintin contact with the bottom is what I have found to be the most effective. While some may say the want to get to the bottom as quickly as possible, and go heavy to do so, others will argue that the slower drop rate will get you many fish on the way down if there are suspended fish in the area. The slow drop will bring fish up off the bottom many times, also...There's a reason there eyes are on top of their head...Fish will rise up for a bait much more readily than they will go down after one...
Obviously in current, you have to go heavier, based on the amount of current, and the depth you are fishing at.
 

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Pro Reel said:
Interesting, a 3 way rig set up like a C rig, but using a jig as the drop weight. How long of a drop line are you using from the 3 way swivel to the jig, and then how long of a leader do you use from the 3 way to the biat? Also, do you have any trouble with this rig getting tangled up on the cast?
I used surgical tubing that would make the line stick out and away from the swivel and the main line Kevin. Tubing just big enough to fit snugly over the 3 way, and stick out a couple inches.......One on the lure line and one on the drop line...Adjust your lengths of line to whatever you want...I typically went with about an 18-24" drop, and a 12" lure line...You can't "sling it out" like a regular cast of course, but a lob cast will usually get you enough distance..
 

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kevin, i use a 12 to 18 inch drop to the jig and sinker. the main line you just adjust according to where the fish want it. also as i stated previously, this is much easier to throw because you have a swinging weight. i know that it would seem that your lines would hang to one another but if you get in some clear water where you can see the rig dragging along the bottom, you will see that it straighten out. i am sure that capt. mo's tip about using the tubing might help some. i think that it is more important to use a three way big enough to start with, say one of at least a 1/2 inch diamater. you will find that not only will you detect strikes earlier, but will do a much better job in setting the hook. you do not have a big sinker in the middle of your line to absorb your energy.
 

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Boy im glad I bumped this thread! This is the kind of info, I was hoping to get. Im definitly going to give the 3 way swivel a try next season. :thumbup01: :clap: :clap:
 

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Thank you to Jared for starting this thread, I have been twisting mercs arm to share this information as of late. (some things he holds close to the chest)
For lack of a better term I call it a "Missouri Rig" , Bo calls it a threeway. In my opinion there are many advantages to using this setup, perhaps tomorrow I can get Bo on video to tie 1 up and discuss it in further depth.
 
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