HomeFeaturesSeaguar Hookpoints with Mark Menendez – The Carolina Rig photos and text by Jason Duran Today Mark Menendez is going to take us through the steps to setting up the Carolina Rig. This is a rig every angler can use and have success with. When fishing, you have constant contact with the bottom and it really helps you feel your way through deep structure as well as present a lure with a little finesse. In the Carolina Rig, as with any other technique, it is important to use a good quality fluorocarbon line. For the main line Menendez uses 15 to 20-pound-test Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon line. For his leader line, he suggests downsizing to 12 to 15-pound-test Seaguar InvizX. Leaders lengths can range between 15 inches all the way up to six or seven feet depending on the conditions. When trying to decide your leader length, remember the longer the leader the more natural your presentation will be. Use a shorter leader in less cover and for more aggressive fish. A longer leader should be used when bites are slow and the grass on the lake bed is thicker. Start with the main line and add a Tungsten weight like Strike King Tour Grade Tungsten bullet weight or Carolina Rig Weight. Menendez says that tungsten is important, especially with the Carolina rig. Depending on depth he typically fishes a 1/2-ounce for anything shallower than 15 feet and 1-ounce when fishing deeper. Next add a glass bead and a brass Carolina Ticker disk for added noise and knot protection. Next add a swivel to your leader line. Menendez ties a Palomar knot on the leader to add the swivel to the leader line. An important tip is to be sure to tie to the leader line first because you won’t be able to tie a Palomar knot if you tie the swivel to the main line first. On the other side of the swivel, tie a Palomar knot on the main line. The swivel will keep the weight from sliding all the way down the line to the hook and allow the bait float off the bottom. As always when tying knots with fluorocarbon remember to wet the line to lubricate to prevent damaging the line. Even a superior line like Seaguar Fluorocarbon will be damaged if you don’t wet the line. After cinching the knot, cut off the tag ends. Menendez also uses a Palomar knot to attach an offset shank round bend hook to the end of the leader. Wet, cinch and cut off the tag end to prepare for rigging the soft plastic lure Start the point of the hook into the nose of your soft plastic. Menendez suggests using a creature bait like the Strike King Game Hawg for most Carolina Rigs. The bait stays in the strike zone longer because it is bulky, has a slow rate of fall and great action because of the appendages. Allow the point of the hook come out of the bait at the bend of the hook. Continue to push the bait all the way up the shank of the hook until it rests over the eye and in the offset of the hook. Now measure where you need to reinsert the hook point back into the body of the bait by laying the hook flat against the bait and marking the spot with your thumb. Reinsert the hook at the marked spot and allow it to come out the other side and skin hook it so that the hook point is just under the surface. For this rig, Menendez uses a medium-heavy to heavy action 7’6” Lew’s Custom Speed Stick rod teamed up with a 6.8:1 Team Lew’s Pro Magnesium Speed Spool Reel. Cast this setup around deep cover and use a slow retrieve allowing the weight to remain in contact with the bottom. You can also try fishing this around ledges and points. The hook set should be a sweeping motion. Often the bite will be subtle and the fish will hook themselves so don’t over set the hook.