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March, 2001

Carolina Rigging Tips
with Dan Brewer

The worst nightmare on a Carolina Rig situation is to get the fish hooked up and then break off just before you get to the boat.

That break off happens in the first 6" from your swivel up your main line because of the friction these brass weights and these rattles play up and down this line. Below are some tips to help you boat more fish while Carolina Rig fishing.

I take a drill motor and a 1/8" drill bit. Lock the weight in a pair of vise grips, then ream the weight's hole out just a little bit while holding the weight with the vise grips.

Take the filler tube out of a BIC ink pen. Slide it into the hole in the weight until you have about 1/8" sticking out the back end of the weight. Take a cigarette lighter and heat the end of the ink pen tube sticking out. Don't catch it on fire, just heat it. Then let it cool, whatever you do, do not stick your finger on the end of it to flatten it, because it will burn you, believe you, me. This flares out the end of this tube and it rests in the countersink in the back of the weight.
Take your pocket knife out and go approximately 1/8" in front of your weight and cut it off. What you have done is shorten this tube up so that you can heat the other end of it. Put your finger on the back side of this weight and take your cigarette lighter and heat the plastic sticking out the front of the weight, it doesn't take a whole lot of heating. 

What you have just done is take that brass weight away from the monofilament line. Any time you run that brass up and down that monofilament line, which is going to wear out first, monofilament or brass? Monofilament line will, anything you can do to stop the weight from abrading your main line is what you want to do. What you have now added is a monofilament filler inside of this weight. Monofilament will not wear out monofilament half as much as brass against monofilament will.
We have the weight on the main line, next we will add a bead to the line. I use red beads in clear water and black in stained water.

Now you have your weight and bead on the line, what is the next step? What is the next weak point on the line? It is the knot right next to the swivel. Every time that weight slams against the knot when you cast it, it is banging that knot up. Every time you make a nick in this monofilament line, you are losing about 4 lbs of test tensile strength, so if you have 6 or 8 scuff spots in this line you are taking a 20 lb main line down to 10 lb. If you stick a 6 lb fish on a 10 lb line, you better be real careful or you are not ever going to look at that fish.

To protect the knot, I use a rubber stopper between the bead and knot. I use the Arky "Speed Rig Carolina Stops and Beads". I do use the rubber stoppers, but I don't use the clear beads. Take your main line and slide it through the stainless steel eye and get one of the stoppers and pull it down on your main line. These are actually used as stoppers rather than a swivel because once these rubber stoppers get wet they will slide down the line.



The next step is to take the swivel, dark swivels are what I prefer, and tie it to the end of your main line. I use a palomar knot, but there are other knots that can be used. Wet the line before you pull it tight so that you won't *burn* the monofilament line and weaken it's tensile strength. Pull your tag end and clip it off. Pull the weight, bead and rubber stopper down next to your knot.
Next tie a hook to a piece of line, the length depending on how long you want the bait to follow behind your weight. Be sure and wet the knot down before pulling it tight. I use a wide gap hook on thick bodies baits. Hook size depends on what I am throwing, I go down to a 1/0 if I am throwing a real small baits like spider grubs, french fries, small diameter tubes, etc.  Next tie the drop line with hook to your swivel to finish your Carolina Rig. 


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