Stay on the right side

Learn to flip and pitch with the bait in the hand you use to reel so you don’t have to transfer the rod between hands. It’s during that transfer that you can miss a subtle bite.

It’s some of the best advice Darold Gleason ever got, and the Toledo Bend guide credits the outcome for much of his personal angling success.

The tip from an older angler: Learn to flip/pitch with right-handed reels.

To spell this out, many anglers will present the bait with their right hand and then quickly pass the reel to their left hand to begin working/retrieving the bait. That’s all good, as long as those first few seconds remain uneventful.

But, the potential for early fireworks can make for some tense juggling.

Gleason foregoes the crossover movement by flipping/pitching with a right-hand reel held in his left hand. He admits that economics drove his initial motivation, but now, he’s a firm believer.

“The main reason I did this early on is that when I first got into bass fishing, I was a school teacher and for the weekend angler, it’s very expensive to have to buy right-hand reels and left-hand reels,” he said. “But the big thing with flipping is you want to be ready immediately when your bait hits the water.”

Gleason said the many hours he spent flipping/pitching under his dining room chair rewarded him with more versatile technique. Streamlining his tackle selection was certainly easier on the wallet, but you can’t put a price tag on confidence.

“I didn’t have to go buy a bunch of left-handed reels, like a lot of the pros do,” Gleason said. “I know some people do that because it takes pressure off their arm and that’s fine. But for me, it helps me be more efficient. When I flip in, I’m immediately ready.

“So, if you’re flipping at a bedding fish, a fish on a dock or a tree, when you flip in, you have your hand engaged on your reel handle. So if you flip in there and one swims off with your bait, you’re ready and able to get a good hook set.”

About David A. Brown 142 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications.

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