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Flipping / pitching

Randy D

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Has anyone tried flipping or pitching for river smallies?


I was reading In Fisherman's bass guide. They had an article about flipping and pitching in it. It struck me that there are some situations in almost every wade where a short pitching type cast might make sense. I have been using the Third Grip rod holder and I love it. Maybe I should consider carrying a casting rod as my second rod and try some pitching?


Any thoughts.

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Guest Jonn Graham

I do a modified flip and pitch all the time. Especially on my very small flows where i have to get a bait back into tight quarters.


Glad you like the 3rd grip. I don't see how any wade fisherman wouldn't????

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Had to refine my flippin' / pitchin' technique on a recent trip to FL. I learned a lot from my brother - he was a real "master". It made all the difference when fishing isolated pockets for bass in the thick grass. It also came into play on the St. John's River, when we fished the pads. I don't know if you've ever snagged a lily pad, but it almost always ended up in a mangled worm that had to be re-rigged or changed, if not lost. Precise placement of our presentations resulted in a greater percentage of bass.


I plan on using it on the rivers. In fact I already have when trying to cast while standing under some heavy tree growth. It defintely takes some practice!

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As I don't care to use a baitcaster unless I'm in a boat under tournament conditions (which is very rare anymore), I've adapted my pitching method to spinning gear pretty well. Rather than get too technical with it, I simply experimented with whatever felt natural.

It takes a soft trigger finger, that's for sure- but it can be done.

Heck, there are pros that still prefer spinning gear over casting, as surprising as it sounds- and they do quite well.

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  • 4 months later...

I "pitch" frequently to objects, while fishing for smallies---

either in a boat, from shore or wading.


My preferred setup for pitching or flipping to cover, is using a Shimano spinning reel with the "trigger" feature--- like featured on the Spirex series reels,

And using a 6.5 - 7.5ft MH action rod.

(Med action rods will also suffice, if they are of the higher quality and stiffer rods---unlike a rod than employees more glass fibers, which are softer and flex more).


The trigger feature, on the reel, allows me to make more casts, in a given time period.

The trigger is always in the 12 o'clock position (top dead center) for ready access to the trip lever.

With the trigger in the 2 o’clock position, the line is right there,

It allows me to keep my finger in the "ready to pitch" position, ready to grab the line with my trigger finger, and allowing me to make speedier casts.

My left hand fingers I use to make contact or feel the line---so as to feel any slight or delicate pic-ups by the light biting fish---a must when fishing in tight cover---those fish don’t run down the bait, they just swim up to it, and suck it in---this is where the line laying on your left hand fingers really helps.


It may take some, a little getting use to this method---but, its the way to go, to get more casts in, in a specific time period.


Also, the read drag feature is really a nice bonus.


The read drag feature allows for making drag adjustments from the rear, vs placing your hand around the front of the spool and adjusting the drag knob.


The Spirex reel also features the "fighten drag" lever---which makes for quick drag adjustments, with just a slight movement of the lever----rotate “right to increase” tension or “left to decrease” tension---when one has to make a quick adjustment to either increase or decrease spool tension, as when your fighting a good size fish---

This is a “big plus” when a big fish takes control.


With the drag set on the tighter side, and when a big fish does take over control, I lower the rod tip, decrease the line tension, with just a slight movement of the “fighting drag lever”, so as not to break-off. As the fish slows or decrease tension on the rod, the lever can then be increased, turning clockwise.


The opposite can be accomplished.

Set the drag slight looser---like when using superbraid lines---as a large fish takes control, the angler just needs to increase spool tension by increasing the drag slightly---with the knob at the rear vs having to reach around the front when making adjustments, as with front drag style reels.


Alternate reel:

A closed face spin reel, like the underspin style with a trigger---intended to be used on a spinning rod.

This style reel is ideally suited for making short casts---no line outside the spool to get tangled---a great feature for low light and night-time fishing.

A beginner or novice alike, oftentimes gets the line wrapped around the exposed rotating spool and bail, (very easy to occur), with inadequate line tension or when using light weight lures.


The closed face under spin reels are a good choice for the beginner or novice alike, while mastering the pitching and flipping techniques. I teach my students this technique, and they have mastered the pitching and flipping presentations very well.


A spincast reel that operates on top of the rod, will also suffice---but intended to be used on a casting rod.


Either of these reels can be used for a variety of fish species---bass and panfish alike.

Some have adapted to the long rods, and have become more successful anglers.


Some closed faced spin cast reels on today’s market, have a quality drag system---

A must, to prevent or reduce line breakage.

Some makes/models are by Daiwa, Zebco and Abu-Garcia.


Hope this helps.

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