Flipping and Pitching

A lesson learned part 1

As part of an ongoing series of Pro Tips, I have written a few of the “lessons learned”, those experiences I have had over the years out on the water and some even before I got wet. I hope you enjoy the tips and save yourself the pain I experienced in learning these the hard way.

There has been so much written about Flipping and Pitching over the years, and every new article continues to gain interest. I think this is a testimonial to the great technique and all the various applications that exist in almost every lake we fish. I would be remiss if I did not grab this opportunity to thank and recognize De Thomas and Dave Glebie, two of our great west coast fisherman for bringing this technique to the forefront.

Just like everything we do in every aspect of life, our ability to perform well is dependent on the tools we use. Flipping and pitching are prime examples of this; I like a very sensitive, strong and lightweight rod. For flipping I use a 7’ 6” custom built rod from Phenix Rod Co. (FR75) and my pitching stick is a 7’ heavy action from Phenix (70X-H). My reels are small and easy to palm with a very high-speed retrieve. I use a Bass Pro Shops signature reel, the Rick Clunn series RCX100H in both right and left hand models (a critical aspect of flipping I will address later in this tip). My line is either braid or mono depending on the conditions, I like to use 50lb. braid and 20 to 25lb Mono.

One of my great Flipping and pitching lessons learned occurred while fishing Lake Havassu some twelve plus years ago, while flipping crystal clear water in about 3 feet. I was set up with reasonable tackle, line that matched the conditions, a great flipping stick and a right-handed reel. I missed several fish that day; frankly I missed most of the bites that day. You see I was flipping in pockets of the tulles holding the rod in my right hand, pulling up on the rod tip ever so slightly as the bait entered the water not making a ripple at all and in the process of transferring the rod to my other hand the fish would eat, spit and laugh at my bait. Sure I caught a few of them, but after trying to convince myself they were not eating the bait (those I missed) I saw a fish grab my jig before I could even think about transferring my rod to the other hand. There was my lesson learned. I needed to learn how to fish a left handed reel, which I could keep in the hand I used to pitch and maintain contact 100% of the time. I tried to flip with my left hand and I could not get the subtle presentation required so it was off to the left handed reels for me. Understandability it took a little time before I was ready to use this technique in a tournament. Fighting the fish was the greatest challenge, but after a few short weeks I was as comfortable with the left-handed reel as I was with the right-handed reels earlier. Ironically today, I prefer the left handed reels for every application but still keep a few right handed reels around for relief of a fatigued right hand.

In summary, quality equipment is critical and maintaining contact with your bait 100% of the time is essential in maximizing your potential to catch every fish that bites your bait.

Look for my next Flipping and Pitching tip lesson learned part 2 next month as I discuss the all-important hook set.

Thanks for logging on, keep those hooks sharp and those eyes even sharper.

For more information check out www.robwenning.com.