ELIMINATING SNAGS WITH THE CAROLINA RIG
by Jim Porter
If you really want the optimum Carolina rig sinker, you need to know that you've had access to it all the time. Sort like Dorothy and her 'go home' shoes in the Wizard of Oz. This one:
If you haven't guessed by now (and I'll bet 99.9% of you haven't because it's so obvious; I sure didn't think of it, either), it is ---- the Lindy Walking Sinker. For you young guys who never Walleye fished and never heard of this classic piece of gear, go to the Bass Pro Shops catalog. It will solve all your problems. Al Linder and his brothers have been marketing them for years with the application of slow trolling 36 or so inches of line on the bottom with live bait for Walleye. Their rig is basically a Carolina setup and the sinker is perfect.
- It won't twist your line
- It is easy as the dickens to thread; no closed holes, no tiny openings, no line getting stuck half way through
- It rarely gets hung up, and when it does, it is pretty easy to get loose because it doesn't wedge itself with a tapered body
- It makes a lot of noise on a hard bottom; much more than a slip sinker weight
- You don't need a bead because the opening for the line is large enough to fit over the knot and not beat it to death
- It has been around for years and is tried, true, tested and proven
- It will never cause any line twist
- The application it is normally used for is JUST LIKE Carolina rig fishing, EXCEPT those fishermen usually use live bait
Well, this past week, I experimented with the walking sinker. I also was trying to find ways to stop break-offs of the C-rig. And, with the help of some of you out there who provided various inputs, we have a possible solution to breaking off and having to retie Carolina Rigs. (Retying is a pain!! I have to cut another leader, thread that line through a new sinker. Get a bead, tie a swivel, tie on the leader, and finally tie on the hook. One cast, I get hung, and it may start all over again.)
Well, I fished rip-rap with the C-rig for 2 days and only got hung TWICE and DID NOT have to retie once. How, when I usually lose 5-6 rigs on that rip rap every day?? It sounds like magic. But, it was a combination of the walking sinker and a small rubber band.
Easy as heck. Tie the leader and main line together with the swivel and then tie on the hook. Next, take a rubber band the size of a nickel or quarter (can get a box of a zillion in the hair care dept of most drug stores/Wally Marts for a buck) and put it through the eye of the walking sinker (you may need to make a small 'hooking device' to do this fast; take a small paper clip, straighten it, and put a tiny hook in the end of it with some small needle-nose pliers; put it through the eye of the sinker, hook the rubber band and pull it part way through). Loop the rubber band on the sinker and then put the end through the upper eye of the swivel and loop the sinker back through that. Mine never twisted when I cast (which I expected it to do), I could feel it great on the bottom, and when I did get hung, I broke the rubber band and only lost the sinker. Works like a champ!!! The sinker, being flat on the side, goes over and around most things and, unlike a taped bullet weight, will rarely ever wedge in a crack or between things. Really a super modifications.
There is one other way which is even quicker to set up and seems to work fine. I was worried about line twist, but never had any. I took my main line and tied the worm hook on it. Then, I went up the line 3 feet or so and doubled over the line and tied it to an eye of a swivel. Now, you have to picture that there is the other end of the swivel hanging down free. To this eye, you attached the sinker via the rubber band. What you know have is a rig where the sinker is hanging free and has a swivel to keep it from twisting. So, you need to be really sure your worm or other plastic bait is on the hook straight so it doesn't tend to twist your main line (which now has no swivel). This last set up eliminated the separate leader and allows a conversion from Texas rig or lure casting setup to C-rig in just a moment. Of course, you have to cut off the swivel and sinker to convert back to Texas rig or lure casting.
There are limitless variations using this sinker and rubber band. Next, I am going to try attaching the main line to the swivel with a snap and having a separate leader on the other ends of the swivel. That way, I can change back and forth from C-rig to regular lure casting, and vice versa, by just opening the snap and taking the C-rig assembly (leader, hook, swivel and weight/rubber band) off in one piece.
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