I believe the carolina rig excels as a search bait. In fresh, I use about 24" of leader between my swivel and hook. I like to use a glass bead with 1/2-3/4oz egg sinker. I want the clacking sound of the sinker and glass to attract fish to the area, then see the easy offering behind it gliding along as a free meal. It'll help you learn the bottom and give you good ideas on what their friends in the area are wanting/willing to eat. For example, fish got red mouth, they're spending a lot of time digging for forage, red tail/sides = bedding, no significant damage on body = more opportunistic feeder, etc. Sometimes, I'll pop the tip and hop the rig. Sometimes I'll drag it slowly with some some pauses. I've caught fish doing all kinds of things with the C-rig. One thing I do notice, don't go too crazy on adding action to it. I found that more often than not, a simple lift of the rod tip before a pause will generate bites.
Baits: 4-10" worms, lizards, creatures, senkos, flukes and if I'm really confident, floating cranks
In the salt, I use up to a 4' leader with 1/2oz egg minimum up to 1oz torpedo with a slider. I typically use it for perch and the simple cast and retrieve method works wonders in the surf.
Baits: grubs up to 5" and flukes
One thing for sure, I do not fish finesse with it. I use 12lb minimum main line on up to 25lb flouro leader depending on where I am. When I typically fish it, it's usually around gravel substrates, clam beds, etc and the light lines break too easily with the slightest nick. I've even fished brush with it. Did I lose a lot of tackle? Yes, but the fish can't seem to get enough of it sometimes since they're not use to seeing that kind of presentation in that situation.
Last edited by kin on Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:00 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)