Monday, February 13, 2012

Flip and Pitch or Bust!

A new post popped up in the forum a few days ago, and really got me thinking about the goals that I had in mind for myself for this 2012 fishing season.  I haven't really given it much thought, but I realized that I had zero experience and confidence with flipping and pitching jigs and weighted texas rigged plastics!  I have had this technique on the back burner for the last few years because I really had no clue how to fish it properly.  So for my own benefit and those who are starting to learn just as I am, here are some good tips online that I found to get you started in the right direction.  As a follow up, I will be posting again once I catch a few fish on my new equipment to give you some feedback on what to look for when flipping and pitching.

The first thing that I really had to focus on was the gear I was going to use.  I had never bought a flipping rod before so it really took some time to narrow down my choices.  Everything that I have read pointed me in the same direction....longer rod, heavier power, and fast action.  My sweet spot rod is usually a 7 footer so I knew that my flipping rod would have to be longer than that to give me both a leverage advantage and a distance advantage when flipping and pitching.  The Shimano rod line this season offered me a few different routes as far as flipping rods go...but since I was on a budget I chose to get the 7' 7" MH Extra Fast action Shimano Compre.  The rod is less than 8' which makes it still legal to use in tournaments, and is longer than my other rods which will make it easier to pitch farther distances.  The MH power was the perfect amount of backbone for heavy cover, and the extra fast action will give me faster and stronger hooksets in heavy cover.  This will be my rod of choice for now, but as I progress throughout the season I may change the rod out for a different length and tip action to pinpoint what works best for me...but for now the Shimano Compre should do the trick.

Shimano Compre Flipping rod (7' 7" MH Extra Fast)

This rod will be paired up with a Quantum Accurist PT baitcasting reel (7.1 gear ratio).  Ideally the reel should at least have a 7.0 gear ratio to get fish out of cover quickly when pitching or flipping jigs and larger plastics.  It also comes with a flipping switch, which is ideal since it allows you to not have to turn the handle to re-engage the spool after the cast which could cause you to jerk the bait and spook a fish.  The last thing that I really liked about this particular reel was that it only had a set of centrifugal brakes.  Centrifugal brakes create less braking force when the spool is spinning slowly which makes it ideal for pitching and flipping.  Magnetic brakes on the other hand apply more brake force when the spool is turning slowly...which is not ideal for flipping and pitching since it will slow down the bait before it reaches it's target.

Quantum Accurist PT (7.1 gear ratio)

Now that I had a rod and reel, what line should I use?  Since I will be fishing in heavier cover I probably want a durable line that won't break easily.  I will also want something with close to zero stretch for sensitivity...and depending on how the fish are reacting I may want a fast or slow fall rate.  So for this case I will either use a heavier braid (Power Pro) around 50 to 65 lb test, or I will use a heavier fluorocarbon (Seagaur InvizX) in the 17 to 20 lb range.  Since I am most comfortable with braid, that will be my line of choice.  No fluorocarbon leader will be used either.

So now that I have all of my gear chosen how do I use it?  This I really had no answers to until I met the flipping and pitching legend himself, Denny Brauer.  He was holding a clinic at Bedford Sales in Morris, IL and was showing the crowd the proper techniques for flipping and pitching.  Unfortunately it was my first time seeing someone actually doing it in person so I could not begin how to describe it...but fortunately good ol' Denny made a video on youtube about it...and here it is...

And here is another great video in further detail on how to flip and pitch...there is a lot of good tips in these videos so be prepared to soak it all in!

After gaining an understanding of how to cast with my equipment I started to learn more about the lures I would be using.  Most of the areas that I will be fishing are inhabited with crayfish, bluegill, and smaller shad.  So I want my lures to mimic those colors of forage.  Green, blue, black, purple, brown, red, orange, gold, and silver are just a few to mention.

Most of my jigs are 3/8 oz or 1/2 oz football style jig heads or arch style heads.  Some of the ones that I purchased are made by BOOYAH and Flat Top Finesse Jigs that I found at Bass Pro...see below...

Another great set of jigs that I found came from a website called  These jigs are second to none with Mustad hooks and rubber and silicone skirts.  I was really impressed with the craftsmanship on these baits and plan on buying more from them in the future!

Besides jigs, I will also be using large plastic creature baits like the Berkley Havoc Pit Boss and Devil Spear. There are many variants of those two that I mentioned, so find what color and brand works the best for you. Also it is a good idea to put a smaller craw shaped plastic on the hook end of your jigs to add to the natural fall and action of the bait.

The craw trailer pictured is a NetBait Paca Chunk, one of my favorites.  You can also use a Rage Tail Lobster which Denny Brauer uses almost exclusively on his jigs.

So that pretty much wraps up all of the knowledge that I have on the brain so far.  I am sure there will be alot more tidbits and tricks to come next go around.  Again, if you guys have any questions don't hesitate to ask and I will answer them to the best of my can email me at...

Alan @

Tight Lines Everyone!


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