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#11266549 - 12/06/15 10:34 PM Pitching Technique
FlaNative Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 468
Loc: Between Azle & Lake Worth
I've been studying pitching techniques online but haven't heard anyone describe how they achieve the required distance. Do they loosen the spool tension when pitching? If not, is it a matter of pitching a heavy enough jig or bait to pull off the required amount of line to ensure there's sufficient slack for the bait to sink straight down? I never seem to get enough line out and the flight of the bait is interrupted when the slack is gone or it sinks in an arc toward me instead of sinking where it hit the water. I can't seem to strip enough line off fast enough after the bait hits the water to allow it to sink 10' straight down, say down the side of a tree. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

- Steve R.
_________________________
Steve Raulerson
Ranger RT188
Manta Ray 14
Florida Native by Birth, Texan by Choice

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#11266573 - 12/06/15 10:58 PM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
C.A.S.T. Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 3148
Loc: Texas
I fish a texas-rigged tube bait probably 75% of the time using 20 lb. line, a 3/0 wide gap hook, and only a 3/16 oz. sinker. I can pitch that bait as far as most folks cast a bait. It's not because of the reel I use either, I use a Lew's Speed Spool now but I've also used H20 Mettle reels.

The real deal is practice, just like anything else; PRACTICE. The rod has a lot to do with how far your bait flies. I've used almost every kind of rod in medium heavy for this rig, some are better suited than others. Right now I use a Kistler KLX 7' med/hvy.

My personal technique for distance requires me to put the bait in the palm of my non-pitching hand. I don't grasp the bait, I just need it to set in my palm as I bring the rod up or even around (side arm) to put the slightest amount of resistance on the bait and line. That slight tension on the line really increases my pitch distance. You see the guys who are good at one hand pitching make a small circle in the air with the bait to put that same tension on the line to get their distance. I haven't mastered that make a circle pitch but it works the same.

Light baits and heavy line mean pitching farther past your intended spot to get the bait to sink to the fish target you want. Use the 'pendulum' effect to your advantage when you're fishing deeper by pitching past the target so the bait swings into the spot you want.

Naturally pitching a heavier bait will fly far but it also requires you to tighten down the spool speed as well. So my recommendation is PRACTICE, and develop your own technique. Fish don't give style points, if you get it where they are; they'll bite it!!!

GOOD LUCK! thumb
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#11266576 - 12/06/15 11:04 PM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
Bobby Milam Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 1984
Loc: Arlington
I loosen the tension to where the lure will fall freely from the rod. On my reel, that is one click more than normal casting setting. You'll have to control the spool with your thumb. I get good distance using a weightless brushhog. You control the distance with the speed that you make the arc using the rod tip. For me it's release the spool as the arc takes the weight of the lure and lower the rod tip and slow the spool with my thumb right before it strikes the water then as it touches the water let the spool release line so it can go down instead of arc back. I don't strip off line manually after it hits. It is something that you just have to practice with to get the feel of how much force to use for different distances and weights.

Next time you go out and are just going to fish a texas rig, don't cast it over or side handed. Start flipping it out to spots in the water and you'll get the feel of it pretty quickly then start working on aiming and distance. Set up some coffee cans in the back yard and stand on a stool and practice aiming for them at different distances.

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#11266589 - 12/06/15 11:16 PM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
FlaNative Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 468
Loc: Between Azle & Lake Worth
Thanks gents... that is helpful! I did finally find a Tommy Biffle video where he said he turns off the magnetic brake then loosens the tension until the spool starts to turn, then tightens it back up just a bit. Everything else he said was in line with your recommendations.

Thanks again!

- Steve R.
_________________________
Steve Raulerson
Ranger RT188
Manta Ray 14
Florida Native by Birth, Texan by Choice

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#11266661 - 12/07/15 05:29 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
Brad R Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 791
Loc: Texas
And, another video for flipping and pitching. He makes several really good points and demonstrates them very well. Worth a watch.

Brad

Flipping and Pitching

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#11266665 - 12/07/15 05:35 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
kingfish_1970 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 2768
Loc: copperas cove,tx
I also shorten my line, and palm the bait a little, if I'm trying to pitch farther.. Short pitches, I can usually make without palming. And I only pitch using my rod hand.


Edited by kingfish_1970 (12/07/15 05:36 AM)

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#11266826 - 12/07/15 08:05 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
ezbassin Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/15/04
Posts: 12204
Loc: Mansfield, Tx.
I loosen the tension way up on my reel and use thumb pressure to slow and stop the pitch when it hits the water to prevent overspin on the reel.

The rod you choose has a lot to do with distance also. It needs to have good tip action. If it is too stiff it will shorten your pitch. I like a 7ft to 7ft 4inch rod for pitching. I use the 7ft one for pitching under docks and when I need more accuracy, and the longer one for pitching in more open water areas. Use a low memory line or change it out often. I use Invizx for most of my pitching 12,15 and 20# depending on the bait I am pitching. Use line conditioner if you need to also.

I pitch past my target when possible and when the bait hits the water I lift the rod tip with the reel still disengaged and that will strip off some line to let it fall then I pull more off by hand if needed. You will have to practice this.


Edited by ezbassin (12/07/15 08:12 AM)

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#11266944 - 12/07/15 08:52 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
Lee in Texas Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 8946
Loc: Wise County Texas
Continue to try to learn this 'technique'.... roflmao all I get when backing off the tension control is a backlash !
BIG TIME....have seen others do this...they don't seem to have that problem.....well, at least that I have noticed

God Bless
Lee
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#11267036 - 12/07/15 09:30 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
M Wyatt Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/09/15
Posts: 286
Loc: North Texas
Using a lighter rod with some tip flex will "launch" the bait a little and get you extra distance. I like a 7ft medium heavy for long range pitching. For me, a long broomstick rod and a reel that's loosened all the way to free spool is reserved for short range flipping.
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#11267162 - 12/07/15 10:26 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
GoArmy Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 5470
Loc: Dallas, TX.
Originally Posted By: FlaCracker
I've been studying pitching techniques online but haven't heard anyone describe how they achieve the required distance. Do they loosen the spool tension when pitching? If not, is it a matter of pitching a heavy enough jig or bait to pull off the required amount of line to ensure there's sufficient slack for the bait to sink straight down? I never seem to get enough line out and the flight of the bait is interrupted when the slack is gone or it sinks in an arc toward me instead of sinking where it hit the water. I can't seem to strip enough line off fast enough after the bait hits the water to allow it to sink 10' straight down, say down the side of a tree. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

- Steve R.

What you are describing sounds like FLIPPING. (I never seem to get enough line out and the flight of the bait is interrupted when the slack is gone)There is a difference in Flipping and Pitching, even though some say one for the other. In any case line size and lure weight can be a factor. One thing is to keep your rod tip high after the pitch or flip so the rod itself can add a few feet of straight lure drop as you lower the rod and strip line if needed.
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#11267214 - 12/07/15 10:44 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
JacksonBean Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3163
Loc: Greenville, TX
Originally Posted By: FlaCracker
I've been studying pitching techniques online but haven't heard anyone describe how they achieve the required distance. Do they loosen the spool tension when pitching? If not, is it a matter of pitching a heavy enough jig or bait to pull off the required amount of line to ensure there's sufficient slack for the bait to sink straight down? I never seem to get enough line out and the flight of the bait is interrupted when the slack is gone or it sinks in an arc toward me instead of sinking where it hit the water. I can't seem to strip enough line off fast enough after the bait hits the water to allow it to sink 10' straight down, say down the side of a tree. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

- Steve R.



Steve,

I'm not sure if I'm going to see you anytime in the near future but I really wish I could show you something. I fish with a guy who I would call a master at skipping, pitching, fishing docks, etc., and I've watched him enough that the light bulb finally went off. It's a combination of what you said, having your equipment dialed in with the weight of the bait and the action of your rod and rod tip. You can prepare for the vertical fall by controlling your rod tip while pitching the bait. I've finally gotten where I can get under docks and around cover far more accurately than I used to.

YouTube, YouTube, and more YouTube..... and practice.

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#11267217 - 12/07/15 10:45 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
nwest10 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 503
Loc: Lake Conroe / Willis
I've been working on this for almost two years and I still practice several times a week. When I first started it was the most frustrating thing I've ever done, but now I can easily and accurately pitch 25 to 30 feet with the bait about 4 to 6 inches off the water. I can't stress PRACTICE enough and practice often even after you "get it". Once you do get it you will be able to really fine tune most reels and line weights to work for you.

Get a rod length that you are comfortable with for your height with a butt end of the rod that just reaches your elbow when you are holding the reel seat. Med action to Med Heavy have been my best options in 7' or less but I'm only 5'5".
Start with a small bell weigh 1/4 oz just tied on to the end of the line to practice with and 12 to 14 lb line. (Heavy weights or line will just frustrate you at this point)
Adjust your reel to let the weight fall freely to the ground and adjust the mag break to about 1/2 to 3/4
Don't worry about accuracy to start, just work on the technique.
Find a stable platform to stand on that's close as possible to the same height as your boat deck / distance from the water.
Hold the rod with the butt end rested against the underside of your forearm and the reel turned to the side.
Let only enough line out for the weight to reach the reel and hold the weight in your palm.
Press the button on the reel and roll your palm to let the weight fall and use ONLY your wrist action to pick up the rod as the weight swings down. Timing is everything and you will raise your arm some, but if you do this too early you lose the advantage of the pendulum action.
DO NOT use your arm to try to "help" the weight gain more distance, you only need the wrist action and the pendulum action of the rod & weight to get distance. Using arm strength only creates more backlashes.
Be patient and ready to pull out hundreds of backlashes.
If you have a go pro camera set it up and film your arm while you practice. You will quickly see if you are using only your wrist or if your trying to use your arm to help increase the distance.
Keep practicing this with the same rod / reel setup until you can proficiently keep the weight a few inches off the ground. I can't stress enough sticking with the same set up until you "get it". I got caught up in trying too many different rigs and I almost gave up.
Once you think you have it down you are ready to start tying on different weights and lures and trying out some different rod/reel setups. If you Texas rig it helps if you peg the weight for practicing.
As you get the hang of it you will find that a lighter release and very little arm movement give you a lot more distance and crazy accuracy.
Now start picking targets or setting up targets at different distances and play around the world with your targets. Pitching short, medium and long distance targets and keep mixing it up. I put point values on my target and set a score that I had to make to end practice.
Eventually you will build the muscle memory to be able to pick out a target at any distance and gently lay the bait in or on it with very little effort. You will also find that you can use slight arm movement to guide the lure around obstacles or into targets with very little effort.
You will need to keep practicing with different lure and rig setups, but you will find the technique itself doesn't change just the adjustment to the equipment for the weight and type of line. Once you get to the point where you can fine tune your equipment to the situation you will rarely backlash even with no thumb control on the spool unless the lure hits an object in mid flight.

You can pitch just about any lure you want just watch the ones with open hooks in you hand..
My next step is to learn to do pitch left handed so my rod never has to switch hand after the pitch. Much bigger challenge for a right hander than I expected, but with a lot of practice I will get there.

I'm sure others will have reasons why I'm doing it all wrong, but it worked for me! Good luck and stay patient and it will come naturally as you keep practicing.

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#11267233 - 12/07/15 10:52 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: GoArmy]
ezbassin Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/15/04
Posts: 12204
Loc: Mansfield, Tx.
Originally Posted By: GoArmy
Originally Posted By: FlaCracker
I've been studying pitching techniques online but haven't heard anyone describe how they achieve the required distance. Do they loosen the spool tension when pitching? If not, is it a matter of pitching a heavy enough jig or bait to pull off the required amount of line to ensure there's sufficient slack for the bait to sink straight down? I never seem to get enough line out and the flight of the bait is interrupted when the slack is gone or it sinks in an arc toward me instead of sinking where it hit the water. I can't seem to strip enough line off fast enough after the bait hits the water to allow it to sink 10' straight down, say down the side of a tree. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

- Steve R.

What you are describing sounds like FLIPPING. (I never seem to get enough line out and the flight of the bait is interrupted when the slack is gone)There is a difference in Flipping and Pitching, even though some say one for the other. In any case line size and lure weight can be a factor. One thing is to keep your rod tip high after the pitch or flip so the rod itself can add a few feet of straight lure drop as you lower the rod and strip line if needed.


He was not describing flipping. When you flip you do so by letting a length of line out by hand, not with the reel. He was describing pitching, he just hasn't mastered it yet.

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#11267263 - 12/07/15 11:11 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
Im RICK JAMES Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 721
Loc: Alvord,tx
I try to only have certain rods/rods for each lure I always use. Plus I try to finish with my rod tip up so I can let it fall straight down by lowering the rod when bait hits the water when flipping/pitching.. Even with a little slack line you can still see the pop in the line if they hit it on the fall.
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#11267294 - 12/07/15 11:25 AM Re: Pitching Technique [Re: FlaNative]
texasfisherman1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Midlothian,TX
I fished with Tommy Biffle in an open on the Arkansas River a few years ago. Naturally, he was pitching shallow wood. He mostly pitches with one hand (so do I); it is actually pretty straight forward. The key is getting momentum when reeling in the bait. As soon as the bait comes out of the water and reaches your body, pitch back out.

This method requires no circular motion like described above (that method works fine if you have no momentum). It is fairly easy if your brakes are set loosely. I usually have one or two internal brakes on, and I keep the spool tension loose. Practicing off the water will help. I used to practice in my pool at least five hours a week; now, I consider myself a pretty good caster. Just pick a desired spot for your bait to land, and continue to pitch at it. The distance will come if you set up the reel right and release the bait at the right moment.

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