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Flipping and pitching are effective techniques for successfully fishing any water-based structure.
An angler who is good at both methods has a distinct advantage since bass are ambush hunters. They lie in wait, protected by reeds, trees, rocks, gnarly banks, etc
Anglers must be exceptionally accurate if they want to avoid getting snagged or hung up in the strike zone.
Flipping and pitching are all about accuracy. The techniques are used for close-quarters fishing and rapid-fire casting.
The key to refining both techniques is to use a perfectly balanced rig. Many will argue that the flipping rod is the critical component, others will say it’s the reel.
While I would favor the rod in this argument, it’s a nuanced point. The truth is that the whole outfit and rig, the reel, rod, line, and bait must be balanced to achieve the best results.
In this article, we’re going to look at 5 of the best reels for flipping and pitching.
Toward the end of the article, I’ll give a brief description of the difference between the two techniques.
Top 5 Best Reels For Flipping And Pitching
Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Reels For Flipping and Pitching – What Makes a Good Flipping/Pitching Reel?
Before we start, there’s an important consideration all anglers should be aware of.
Many anglers will argue that only a baitcaster reel provides the refined accuracy required for flipping and pitching results. This isn’t true.
Flipping and pitching with a spinning reel requires more physical movements and coordination. This is because the need to open the bail arm makes it a genuine two hands operation.
However, once you’ve got the coordination sorted, you can flip and pitch just as accurately with a spinning reel as you can with a baitcasting reel. And in many respects, spin is the way to go when you’re fishing light and ultra-light.
Now let’s look at what makes a good flipping/pitching reel
This is not so easy to define as some may think. Good flipping and pitching come down to ergonomics, and good ergonomics is subjective.
Anglers come in all shapes and sizes, as do their hands. A reel that works perfectly for one angler, may feel cumbersome to another.
For spinning reels, I like lightweight, compact models from 2000 to 3000. I prefer a reel body that sits closer to the reel seat, and a bail arm I can operate with my thumb without looking.
There’s a good argument for a fast and efficient automatic bail arm too. The focus is on seamless, smooth functioning components.
With a baitcaster, it’s also about ergonomics that suit your hands and seamless function. Sizes from 1000 to 4000 are fine, depending on the weight of your rig.
A flipping switch is handy, but not a big deal. Good breaking cast tuning is essential.
You will find that most reels deliver on this count, however, your preference for feel may vary from that of another angler.
For both reel types, a good anti-reverse bearing is essential, as is a reliable and predictable drag system.
As you are usually using flipping and pitching to fish deep cover, you need to be able to set hooks very quickly and move the fish out of the cover quickly.
1. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel – Editors Choice
For price, performance, and durability, the Shimano Curado K is pretty famous. Many will argue that the speed is a little slow at 6.2 and the max drag is underwhelming.
While they have a point for certain applications, for flipping and pitching, this provides you with all the speed and capacity you will need.
The Shimano Curado D gets plenty of hype as being superior, but again, not for flipping and pitching.
The D, with its advanced digital braking system, is overkill for close quarters flipping and pitching. It’s also very expensive.
Most issues from backlash come from loading up and casting long.
When you’re flipping and pitching, any instances of backlash that do occur are very easily remedied.
Having said that, it is important to have a good braking system, as you have little time to start your retrieve when casting into the structure.
Spending time pulling out a small bird’s nest is a recipe for getting snagged.
The brake system on the Shimano K works well and is not difficult to master. The K is lightweight, beautifully laid out, and encourages a smooth, seamless operation.
There’s a reason the Curado K is popular all around the world. Smooth, powerful, durable, and predictable.
- Beautifully constructed
- Seamless operation
- Reliable brake system
- Max drag a little disappointing
- Some may feel too slow at 6.2 relative to other reel options
- Micro module gear
- Hagane body
- ·SVS infinity
- Super free spool
- Super stopper
- 6+1 A-RB (bearings)
2. Quantum Accurist Baitcast Reels – Best Flipping and Pitching
This is a hotly contested price point and the Accurist sticks out as a great flipping and pitching reel.
One of the great features is that it is very easy to master, ideal for all skill levels but the perfect reel for learning and honing new skills.
8+1 bearings support a particularly lightweight crank.
It also assists in ensuring an extra-long working life. The long working life is also assured because of the corrosion-resistant materials used for construction.
There are 18 pounds of ceramic carbon max drag, and a generous spool for its size, which is an ideal combo for pulling fish from structure and wearing them down before they hit the boat.
The flippin switch is ideal for flipping and pitching, adding plenty of appeal to an already ergonomically sound layout, which supports efficient casting.
The Zero friction spool design, coupled with the Micro-Adjust ACS 3.0 brake system makes casting a breeze, facilitating the sort of accuracy required for high result flipping and pitching.
At around the 100 bucks range, this is an excellent palmable reel.
- Great flipping switch
- Beautiful casting
- Value for money
- Outstanding performance
- Generous Max Drag
- Limited Left-hand option
- Prefer a slightly longer handle
- One-piece Aluminum Frame
- Bayonet Side Cover
- Zero Friction Design
- Continuous Anti-Reverse clutch
- PT Gear Design
- 8+1 PT Bearings (2PTS, 6BB, 1RB)
- Ceramic Carbon Drag System
- Micro-Adjust ACS 3.0
- Flippin’ Switch
- Saltguard Protection
- Hot Sauce Lubrication
3. Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcasting Reel – Best Budget
The Revo X is a very popular reel, and it’s earned its popularity by offering excellent performance and endurance for its price point.
While the Quantum Accurist beats it for flipping and pitching, the Revo series offers a little more versatility.
For example, If I could only buy one reel and I wanted a slower, more powerful ratio for cranking and chasing bigger fish, but I also wanted to flip and pitch, I’d look at the Revo.
The other difference is the REVO sports a magnetic brake system, which some anglers will prefer over the centrifugal system.
Ergonomics are great, and it’s a joy to use and cast.
The side plate issue rumored to plague this model can be an issue if you’re unaware – but it’s by no means a deal-breaker.
Many have reported losing it as it is not easily secured after brake adjustment.
The hybrid drag system isn’t my favorite in terms of longevity, but it’s particularly smooth and will remain that way provided you maintain it.
It’s an impressive-looking reel, and many will appreciate the operational ergonomics.
The thumb bar is perfectly positioned for efficient operation but doesn’t interfere when thumbing the spool.
Spool capacities and drag capacity are fantastic for a reel of this size.
You will have genuine access to a larger class of fish with Revo, yet it is still ideal for lighter lures and smaller fish if you drop the line class a little.
If you’re looking for a reel series to flip and pitch as well as cover other fishing applications in saltwater and fresh, you should consider the Abu Garcia Revo X.
- Excellent versatility
- Generous drag and spool capacities
- Sound ergonomics
- Sleek styling
- Solid overall performance
- Side plate issues can be a little cumbersome
- Noob might need a little practice.
- 7 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing
- X2-Cräftic alloy frame
- Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system
- Duragear brass gear
- D2 Gear Design
- DuraClutch design
- MagTrax brake system
- Compact bent handle and star
- Lube port
4. PENN Clash II 2500 – Best Spin Reel for Flipping and Pitching
The Penn Clash II is light and compact yet has all of the strength synonymous with the PENN brand.
While many will say that 8.5 ounces is pretty heavy by modern standards, you have to remember that this is a PENN. This is very light for these guys.
I like the heavy-duty bail wire for flipping and pitching as it gets a lot of handling, opening, and closing.
The 2500 is a compact reel that allows for easy movement, which is critical when flipping and pitching with spin.
I like the PENN for its versatility. While great on a boat, you can use it to fish creeks, rivers, and ponds with a longer rod.
The 6.2 ratio is on the faster side for a small spinning reel, which will support casting baits into tricky locations.
There’s 12 pounds of drag which is adequate for the fish you’ll be targeting with Class II. Spool capacities are generous, with braid anglers able to spool up with 160 yards of 20-pound braid.
At 8.5 ounces, those fishing lighter with lighter rods might find it a little harder to find the perfect balance, but it’s worth the effort.
Casting manners are fantastic due in no small part to the level line oscillation system delivering a uniform line lay consistently.
8+1 stainless bearings provide plenty of support for the CNC gears.
It’s a very light crank, with the dedicated anti-reverse ideal for setting hooks and pulling fish out of the structure before they wrap you up.
The PENN Clash II removes a lot of the challenge of flipping and Pitching with a spin reel.
- Excellent casting, particularly for flipping and pitching
- Stealth styling
- High performance
- A little pricey
- While lightweight for PENN, it’s considerably heavy for a modern 2500
- Reel body is full metal
- CNC GEAR construction technology
- HT-100 carbon drag washers
- Ball Bearings: 8 (stainless steel) + 1 Anti-reverse bearing
- Heavy-duty construction bail arm wire
- Braid Ready
- Line capacity rings
- Leveline Oscillation System
- Hydrophobic line roller
- Clutch Armor System
5. QUANTUM Smoke – Editors Spin Choice for Flipping & Pitching
I’m a big fan of the Quantum Smoke, and it’s great for flipping and pitching. The 2500 size is lightweight and compact weighing in at 227 grams making it easy to get your hands around the movements required to flip n pitch rapid fire.
There’s a whopping 11+1 bearings and the crank is ridiculously lightweight, assisted in part by the C4LF carbon-fiber rotor.
The alloy body and side plate complete the lightweight feel while adding a high level of rigidity. The strengthened alloy gears are machined and perfectly meshed for a super smooth crank.
Holding 160 yards of 20-pound braid, and sporting 18 pounds of max drag, there’s an enormous amount of fighting power.
The overall reel strength plus the dedicated anti-reverse bearing gives the angler plenty of ammo for ripping bass from their cover.
Casting manners are very respectable and on a well-suited rod, anglers will find flipping and pitching on a dime pretty easy to master.
It’s pretty pricey for a Quantum reel, however, in terms of features and performance the Quantum earns its price tag.
- Very strong yet lightweight feel
- Lightweight, buttery smooth crank
- Excellent casting
- High performance
- Formidable styling
- Pricey for a Quantum, but worth it in my opinion
- 11 + 1 PT bearings
- All aluminum body design
- All-new asymmetric gear
- Continuous Anti-Reverse™
- Anti-corrosion bearings
- Saltguard protection
- Titanium bail
- Ceramic-Carbon 2.0 drag system
What is the Best Gear Ratio for Flipping and Pitching?
Most expert anglers will look for a gear ratio over 7 for flipping and pitching, as the speed helps anglers pull lures from the structure quickly before it snags.
While a fast ratio or rapid line pick-up helps, it’s not essential for great results.
Flipping and Pitching Combos
When it comes to choosing a flipping and pitching combo always go for a company that has a long and established reputation.
Two companies that fit the bill are Shimano and Daiwa. Here are some good models to take a look at:
- Shimano SLX Casting Reel
- Daiwa Tatula
- Shimano Curado DC
Frequently Asked Questions
What Line do you Use for Flipping and Pitching?
Most anglers will use braided fishing line for flipping and pitching as it cuts through soft bank-side vegetation very easily.
Mono is common for its neutral buoyancy, and fluoro is less common since it sinks.
Sinking line is OK but requires good technique to avoid snags just beneath the surface.
What is a Flipping Switch on a Baitcaster?
The flip switch on a baitcaster is simply a switch that engages the spool.
The spool can be engaged in a fraction of a second, whereas turning the handle engages the spool more slowly.
Speed and control are of the essence when you’re throwing a lure deep into the structure.
Can you Flip with a Spinning Reel?
Yes, you can flip with a spinning reel. It requires a little more activity and the use of both hands. However, you can achieve the same results flipping with a spinning reel as you can with a baitcaster.
What is the Difference Between Pitching and Flipping?
The techniques are very similar and both are designed for close quarters fishing. Pitching is simply an underarm cast, ideal for accuracy over 15 to 30 feet.
Flipping is for fishing very close quarters, less than 15 feet.
You control the cast by pulling out excess line, locking the spool, and casting underarm controlling the distance and accuracy with your hand.