The Carolina rig is most often used to fish plastic baits—worms, lizards, etc.—for largemouth bass. It is a very effective technique for fishing in areas where the bait needs to be fished up off the bottom, such as over the tops of weed beds.
Although there are variations, a typical Carolina rig starts with the main fishing line from the rod tip to which a sinker or weight is attached, along with a small glass or metal bead and a swivel. A leader of varying length, and often of lighter test line than the main line, is attached to the free end of the swivel and the hook is then knotted on to the free end of the leader. The plastic bait is then attached to the hook, usually in a weedless style.
This rig is usually fished with a longer rod, which is necessary for casting the long leader. The Carolina rig places the sinker on the bottom where it can attract fish as it bumps into rocks or stumps, while the bait is suspended above the bottom and highly visible to fish.