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Carolina Rig Hook Set?
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Posted by JoeFD
9/18/2019 2:38 PM
Looking for some guidance. I do pretty well with a Carolina Rig. It's one of my go-tos. But I also feel like I am not hooking up as much as I should be. When do you all set the hook?

I typically wait until I feel the fish pull and load the rod a bit. But have read others set as soon as the feel a tick. Just curious what you have had success with so i may be able to put more in the boat. There are so many times I get that tell tale tick, but then nothing else and its gone, am I waiting too long? Did the fish not commit? What are your thoughts?
Posted by FishingwithRusty
9/18/2019 2:56 PM
as soon as i feel anything that i think may be a fish, i point the rod at the fish and reel like hell, if/when the line goes tight i sweep set the hook and keep reeling. if it doesnt load up then i can let the rig settle back to the bottom and go back to fishing.
Posted by churly
9/18/2019 3:49 PM
usually the fish will hang onto the bait for a few seconds and when I feel it tighten, I lay the wood. One tip I could give, is to maybe shorten your leader. Think about it, if you have a 4 ft leader a fish could swim around in a 4ft circle and as long as the weight doesnt move you wont know one has it. The shorter the leader, the quicker you will feel the bite. Also, on a lot of baits, the fish follow then eat the bait and continue in the same direction (toward you); here again a shorter leader will allow you to feel that sooner, and it will also help the rig from "pinwheeling" on the cast.
Posted by finbully
9/18/2019 5:31 PM
When I feel a tick or a pull or see the line moving. I make a point to swing to the side instead of straight toward me since I believe there is typically more slack in the line than when using other methods. Swinging to the side gives me a longer arc to take up the slack.
Posted by JoeFD
9/20/2019 9:11 AM
Thats for the advice!! I'll make some adjustments and hopefully put a few more in the boat!
Posted by 31airborne
9/20/2019 9:59 AM
As soon as I feel it load up. I'll sometimes test it to be sure I'm not hung up on something. If it's a fish it'll usually give a little. That's when I sweep and crank.

Churly's caution on leader is sage advice. I would add that if you're using a very heavy weight - say, 3/4oz or up - you need to keep that in mind, too. That heavier weight will cause your line to sag a bit more, takes bit more effort to make up for the slack/weight.

Check this out: This is the best c-rig tutorial I've ever seen. Mark suggests using a longer rod. I made the switch to 7-6 rod and my hook-up ratio went up significantly. The longer rod helps a lot if you're having trouble taking up slack or compensating for a heavier weight.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
9/25/2019 12:47 PM
I've fished the C'Rig as a go to for 30 years and my advice is that you have to gage how the fish are biting. Some days they grab it and go and you better pull the trigger at the first hint of a strike. Other days it seems like they just want to mess around with it and if you strike fast you just take it away from them. I start out taking no chances. If I feel a good tap I swing the rod hard. If I pull it away from the fish then I will give the next one a little more time and keep in mind that the fishes mood can change several times in the course of a day. You may need fast strike in the morning and then let them have more time in the evening and then go back to needing to hit them hard and fast at dark. I might be wrong but this is my take on it Really no different than T-rig fishing in that you just got to figure out how they are biting. I do agree that with the C'rig longer rods you need to sweep more to the side than straight up.
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