How to setup a Carolina Rig
The assembly of the Carolina rig is easy. The weight is slid up on the bare end of the main line going to the reel. Next comes the bead. These are all allowed to slide up and down on the main line. Next comes the leader line, which consists of the swivel on one end and hook on the other. The length of the leader is normally determined by the type of bottom, and the supposed activity level of the fish. The cleaner the bottom and the more agressive the fish, the shorter the leader can be, minimum is 15". The more cluttered the bottom and the more finicky the fish the longer the leader, maximum is 48"-60". The normal length is between 24" and 36".
If you are planning to fish this rig in a heavily weeded area you may want to add something to help float the bait way up off the bottom, or use a bait made to be self floating. Using a floating lure, or a float ahead of the lure, tends to give the fish a better look at the bait. When using a floating bait rig, always use a longer leader 48"+. Some anglers will either glue (using Pro's Soft Bait Glue) or peg their baits to the hook due to the dragging along/thru action of this rig. Always tie the leader assembly together and then tie the leader assembly to the main line. This allows the use of the palomar knot at all three places. A drop of Pro's Soft Bait Glue will hold the knots from slipping or coming untied.
A couple of tips for Carolina rigging. Too heavy a weight and you can get line wrapped around a rod guide or rod tip and a heavy weight can cause back lash problems. Beads are rumored to make an attracting noise when they hit your weight, in that vain some will use two or three or many more beads to their rigs, I can only say try multiples, if they work for you - great. Consider using a braided line for your main line and a lower pound test mono for your leader (i.e. 20lb test main line, 14 lb test leader.). I like the Magnum Weight System sinkers the best, since they don't hang and have rattles in them.