Texas Rigs & Carolina Rigs
Texas rigs and Carolina rigs are the mainstays of using soft plastic baits for bass fishing. Texas rigs allow you to present a bait into weeds and other cover with less hanging up. Carolina rigs also are less prone to snagging. Each has a place in your arsenal.
Clemente Guzman | TPWD
Texas rigs can be used from shallow to deep, in cover or open areas. Two ways that T-rigs are used: 1) hook and lure with no weight (top) and 2) hook and lure with sliding weight (bottom).
It is simple to rig: slide a bullet or flipping weight on your line and tie on a hook. The weight slides freely on the line, so when a bass picks up the bait, the angler feels the line move and the fish feels less pressure from a weight. As one would guess, lighter weights often are best. The less resistance the fish feels, the more apt it is to hold on to it. At times, however, a heavy weight is needed to get down to deep water or in windy conditions — making it easier to feel the weight on the bottom. The heavier weight can sometimes be fished faster to trigger a bass’ reaction.
Tip: Use a Bobber Stop
Because there is a heavy weight sliding up and down the line, put a rubber bobber stop between the weight and the hook. Many people use hard tungsten weights, and the bobber stop protects the knot from damage.
TIP: Peg your weight
If fishing in heavy cover, peg the weight so it doesn’t slide. If you don’t peg it, when the lure comes over a limb or vegetation, the weight begins to fall, and the lure could get hung up.
Tip: “Tex-pose” your hook
With either rig, push your hook through the plastic so it comes out the opposite side and rig the point (called Tex-posed) barely covered by plastic. That requires less effort to set the hook.
Clemente Guzman | TPWD
The Carolina rig also uses a sliding weight, but the weight is held farther from the bait because there is a barrel swivel between the weight and lure. The main line ends at the swivel and the portion closest to the lure can be a lighter line. The advantage of this setup is the fish picks up the bait but is unlikely to feel the bullet weight. Again, the line slides through the weight. The method is especially effective on pressured fish and in deep water.
Tip: Use a long leader
The clearer the water or the more fishing pressure an area has, the longer the leader should be.
TIP: Use a swivel
If you like to use a Palomar knot, tie the swivel to the leader line first, then attach the swivel to the main line and, finally, attach the hook.
Tip: Use a bobber for flexibility
Slide a bullet weight up the main line, add a bobber stop or two and turn the setup into a modified Carolina rig; you can instantly control leader length by moving the bobber stops.
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