Carolina Rig

The Carolina rig, also referred to as a slip-sinker rig,  is probably the most widely used rigging for catfish.  It is a great way to present any type of bait to catfish that are feeding on or near the bottom.  It is also a very commonly used rig by bass fishermen.

To tie a Carolina rig, we will need some terminal tackle:

  1. Leader line– usually a mono filament fishing line of slightly lighter test than your main line.
  2. Hook– j-hooks or circle hook  from 4/0 up to 10/0 (for very large baits), #4-#2 treble hook, or your favorite dip bait  holder.
  3. Swivel– large swivels without snaps size 1-2/0 will work for most catfishing.
  4. Sinker– bank, no-roll, and eggs are favorites for Carolina rigging.
  5. Bead– a spacer of some sort needs to be between your sinker and swivel on the mainline to protect the knot from being smashed.  ( I like to use the connectors from the glow bracelets we use when night fishing).
  6. Line clippers – to cut leader and tag ends.

First, slide the sinker onto the mainline so it can slide freely up and down the line.

Next, put on a bead or spacer.

Then, tie the swivel onto the mainline using a palomar knot.

Now, cut a piece of line for your leader.  This can be anywhere from 6 to 36 inches but 12 to 18 is optimal in most cases.

Tie the hook on to one end of the leader using a snell or palomar knot.

Tie the other end of the leader onto the empty side of the swivel using a palomar knot.

There is also slight variation of this rig called the Santee-Cooper rig which adds a small float, on the leader,  in between the hook and swivel.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Carolina Rig”

  1. Tyler Payne
    December 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Just wanted to say that this is an awesome illustration of the Carolina rig. When I first got into cat fishing this would have been a life saver resource and on top of that I’m still learning a lot from this site. It’s very refreshing to see it so clearly shown on this website as well as other great information!


  1. Catfishing Rigs - January 1, 2011

    […] Rigs Here are a few articles on my favorite catfishing rigs: carolina, 3-way, and slip-floats. Carolina Rig 3-way Rig Slip-float Rig Matt Bredfeldt Reply With […]

  2. Catfishing Stink Baits - punch bait, stink bait and dip bait - February 11, 2011

    […] down quickly in the water and must be re-baited often. Rigging for dip bait is usually a standard carolina rig, but any rigging should […]

  3. Flatheads for Beginners - March 26, 2011

    […] fishermen, myself included.  Most often, when I am using a float, I will use a slip float above a Carolina rig.  Floats allow you to suspend a bait at any depth and can decrease the odds of getting snagged […]

  4. Easy and Cheap “Disposable” Sinkers | Catfish Training-How to catch catfish. - October 24, 2011

    […] them up to your desired rig and go fishing!  They work great on Carolina rigs and 3-way […]

  5. River Rig – Carolina Mod. | Catfish Training-How to catch catfish. - December 5, 2011

    […] with nearly any catfishing technique from a boat or the bank.  It is a simple variation of the Carolina rig which utilizes a dropper line for the sinker.  This will allow a snagged sinker to be broken off, […]

Leave a Reply