What’s the difference between a Texas and a Carolina rig? Let’s take a look at both types of rigs.
The Texas Rig
When sport bass fishing hit its golden age about twenty-five years ago, the Texas rig was the plastic bait rig that was most popular. The Texas rig is a simple but effective rig that is still used by bass anglers for its simplicity and toughness. Experts say that more bass have been caught on a Texas rig than any other.
To prepare a Texas Rig, all you need is a fishing line, a hook, and a sinker.
First, attach a bullet-shaped slip sinker on your fishing line. Make sure the smaller point of the weight goes on first, in a “face up” position. Next, tie your hook (preferably an offset worm hook) to the end of the line. Now it is time for plastic bait. Whether you choose artificial or live bait is up to you — most anglers these days use artificial.
A Texas rig is ideal in many different conditions. Any spot that produces bass should be “Texas rig friendly”. The Texas rig is advantageous in specific fishing conditions like casting into pockets. But before we discuss when to use a Texas rig, let’s learn a little about the Carolina rig.
The Carolina Rig
To make a Carolina rig, you need a few more supplies than with the simpler Texas rig. Gather together a main reel line, a barrel swivel, six feet or so of leader line, a weight, a rattle chamber, and a hook.
To put together the rig, take the “leader line” and tie one end of it to the end of your barrel swivel. Put this contraption aside for a moment. Your “leader line” should be at least 2-pound test weight, or anything less than your main line in case of a broken line. If you do this right, the leader line will snap before the main line, saving the rest of your rig’s hardware in the process.
Pull your main line from the reel and attach a half to a one ounce bullet or egg sinker. Then comes the rattle (either a chamber, glass, or a bass bead) and tie the end of this to the other end of the barrel swivel. Once you’re attached to the swivel, you can tie your hook at the other end of the leader line. Now you have a two to four foot leader, and you’re ready for the bait of your choice.
How to Pick a Rig
Picking between a Texas and a Carolina rig is more than just personal preference. There are a few “no brainers” related to these rigs — in rocky areas, you may want to avoid a Carolina Rig because the added weight will get you hung up. If you use a Texas rig in a rocky spot, make sure you use the lightest setup possible.
On the other hand, if you’re fishing a downward slope where the depth change is fairly extreme, you’d obviously want to use a Carolina rig because it will stay in contact with the bottom of the water. You could use a Texas rig in this situation, but the deeper the slope goes, the more your Texas rig will slip off the bottom.
If you want to fish some deep pockets around a grassy area or marsh, a Texas rig is preferable because the weight allows for really accurate casting into the pockets.
When you’re fishing in the sloppiest parts of the lake or around a ton of vegetation, any rig will do, but the Carolina rig is most fisherman’s choice. Yes, you’ll have some weeds hung up on your Carolina rig if you use it in these areas, but if you keep your rig clean between casting, you’ll be okay.
Both Carolina and Texas rigs can be used in pretty much any situation. Follow some basic rules about rigs and use your head when it comes to selecting them. Since more bass have been caught on one of these two rigs than any other, you’ll probably have success using either a Carolina or a Texas rig.