Flipping and Pitching : Everything You Need to Know

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What is flipping and pitching?

When the bass are not active, they are likely to hide in thick cover which means that it might not be easy to find them unless you apply special techniques. You are also likely to find bass within a depth of 1-100 feet in the water. In such conditions, you should use flipping and pitching techniques to lure or catch the bass.

Flipping and pitching are the most effective line and rod handling techniques that anglers use to catch the bass in shallow waters. The two methods help to present the bait more efficiently and accurately in close quarters. They are the best techniques if you are targeting bass that hangs in shallow heavy cover. In this article, we shall guide you on how to apply these fishing techniques but before then, let us fist explain how they work.

How does it work?

Flipping and Pitching Working System

Flipping is where you make short and precise underhand flips using your bait in an area where there is thick vegetation or cover. In short, it is using a rod to swing a bait to an area with close proximity to your target. When flipping, you should target an area that is not more than 20 feet from where you are standing or from the boat.

On the other hand, pitching is where you make an underhand cast to a target which is further away. When pitching, you should allow the bait to rest on your hands and then point the rod towards your intended target.

When to flip and pitch?

Pitching and flipping are very effective when the bass is hanging on shallow or heavy-covers such as laydowns, docks or grass.  This may happen in specific periods within a year in some lakes but most of the deepest lakes are likely to have some shallow bass throughout the year which you can target by flipping and pitching.

Where should I be flipping and pitching?

The best places to pitch and flip are in areas where it is not possible to place your bait using a traditional cast. Such places include in overhanging branches, flooded bushes, grass beds, tule lines, laydowns and similar places.  It might not be easy to place your bait in small spaces like grass beds using a normal cast. Therefore, knowing how to flip and pitch will give you excellent results in such places.

Mechanics of Flipping and Pitching

Flipping and pitching are quite similar although when pitching you need to reel up between casts unlike flipping.

Here’s how to pitch

  • When you want to flip bait, you should take the rod in your dominant hand then let out about 15-feet of the line. 
  • Using the other hand, hold the line between first line guide and the reel. After this, swing the rod towards your target as you release the excess line using the other hand.  Allow your lure to land softly without making a splash.

Here’s how to flip

  • Start by using a short pitch.
  • When you want to flip again, you should not reel the bait up. Instead, hold the line between the reel and the first guide and pull it out as if you are making a bow or half-circle. This will keep the bait from the water towards you when lifting the rod tip.
  • Once the reel moves towards the water, you should ensure that the target is fizzed and it is moving in the right way.

Rigging Flipping and Pitching

Pitching and flipping are most suitable when targeting big fish in thick or heavy cover which means that you need to have the best setup if you want to get results.  You will need longer fishing rods which are more than 7 feet long. Such rods will give you more control and are also more accurate than the shorter ones.  To create the best set up for fishing and flipping, you need a 7.5 feet rod, quick action flipping stick, heavy power and a high speed reel. You scan also add a 50 pound braid or 20lb fluorocarbon fishing line. Lastly, choose a suitable bait like a worm or a skirted gig.

Flipping Vs Pitching: What’s the difference?

Both flipping and pitching techniques are almost the same but each of them is suitable for specific conditions.  For example, flipping is the best for dense cover and murky water while pitching is the most suitable technique for clear water or in areas where the cover is not very thick.


As compared to flipping, this method is easier although it is not very precise as compared to flipping. It is the best if the target is between 10-30 feet away.  The good thing about pitching is that it offers a quiet lure entry although you need to perfect the timing. You should also close the reel immediately the bait lands since your bass might strike quickly and then disappear.


When flipping, you are supposed to drop your bait on top of the bass or fish. It is the best for thick covers of between 10-20 feet away.  You should use a line of between 8-15 feet. If you don’t get immediate results, you should allow the bait to continue to fall then shake it a little before you move on to the next opening. The method is very effective during the cold season or frontal passages when the bass are very tight to cover.

Recommended gears for flipping and pitching

Reels :

When fishing in shallow covers, the flipping reels will be a great option.  However, they are so many on the market which means that you need to choose wisely. Some of the things you should consider when purchasing them include;

See also : What are the best reels for flipping and pitching ?


Since reels are made of different materials, you need to ensure that the one you have picked is made of tough materials which can last for a long time.  The spool and the frame should be made of aluminum.

Gear ratio

For flipping, you may not need a reel with a high gear ratio. Therefore, you should look for a mid-level of 6.5: 1 to 8.5: 1 gear ratio.


The bearings provide a smoother fishing experience. When purchasing reels, you should ensure that it has enough bearings to allow you cast smoothly. You also need to check the type of bearings e.g. whether it uses anti-reverse bearings or roller bearings.

Line capacity

You need to determine the amount of line the reel can hold. It should also have comfortable handles. Apart from that, you need to check the weight. A good model should have between 6-9 Oz.

Rods :

A flipping and pitching rod is just an ordinary spinning rod with a specific length and power to get the job done. The good thing about these rods is that they are very easy to use even for beginners. When choosing the best rods for flipping and pitching, you should ensure that the length is 7.5- 8 feet.  It should also provide a fast action to help the punching hook to enter through the bass mouth. This means that it should allow the rod to bend near the tip.  Apart from that, it should be made of top-quality materials such as carbon fiber or graphite. Ensure that it is very lightweight especially if you will be using it the whole day or for long hours.

Lure :

You will need a suitable bait such as jigs to lure the bass.  Jigs resemble crawfish which makes them effective for targeting bass. When choosing the best lure for bass, color is the most important aspect. The best jig colors for bass are green, white, blue, black, pumpkin, and brown. You may also consider a combination of orange, pink, yellow, gray among other colors.

Lines :

Unlike when you are choosing pitching and flipping rods or reels, choosing the best fishing line is more difficult.  Braid and Fluorocarbon lines are the most outstanding options that will give you incredible results. To know more about flipping and pitching lines, you may have a look at our content on The best lines for flipping and pitching


As compared to other fishing lines, the braid is the most effective for slicing through weed.  It is about ½ diameter of monofilament which makes it the best fishing line for pitching and flipping in thick weed cover.  It is also highly visible which is one of its major downsides. Therefore, you should consider the fluorocarbon line when fishing in clear waters or in areas with sparse weed cover.


This one is the best option for fishing in clear waters or for those looking for a low stretch line.  Unlike the braid, this fishing line is too thick and rigid which means that it is not suitable for thick weeds.

Additional Pitching and Flipping Tips

If you want to get the best results when pitching and flipping, you should consider the following things.

  1.  Allow your bait to enter quietly in the water. This is very important especially when fishing in areas where the fish are. You should not cause too much commotion with your bait.
  2. Don’t cast your shadow directly on areas where you want to flip and pitch. Wary bass are likely to be spooked by the angler’s shadow. Therefore, you should place your boat in such a way that the shadow is not casting directly onto the target.
  3. Practice pitching and flipping at home by setting up different targets within your compound.  Place 2 bowls or containers 2-5 feet apart and then try to cast the bait into the container ensuring that they do not pop out or make a loud clunk.
  4. Try to use different colors and different brand lures.
  5. Always try to pitch or flip using high-speed reels since they are more convenient.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is the best line for flipping and pitching?

When considering the best fishing line, you will have to choose between a braid and fluorocarbon. The braid is the best for thick weeds while the fluorocarbon is suitable for clear waters because it is not very visible.

2. Which is the best gear ratio for flipping and pitching?

The best gear ratio should be 8:2:1 or 7:2:1.

3. When should you throw a jig?

Jigs do well when imitating craws. This means that you should through a jig near docks, around shallow wood cover or where the target is likely to be feasting on craws.


Flipping and pitching are among the most effective methods of luring bass. Even if they are almost the same, they are applied in different conditions. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have picked the right technique that suits your fishing condition.  You also need to choose the best gears that are suitable for flipping and chipping.  Whether you are a beginner or not, we hope that you have leaned something from this guide.


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