By Marc Rogers
Flipping and Pitching for Bass
Often times when anglers talk of flipping and pitching they are referring to presenting a jig. However, many of the most productive lures for this presentation are soft plastics. The traditional flipping jigs did not penetrate the thick vegetation and the bullet slip sinker could only be pegged to the line, thus causing the possibility of line damage.
Soft plastics are often overlooked for flipping and pitching because the traditional slip sinker created a problem when the sinker would not stay attached to the head of the plastic bait. Many years ago Gambler Lures solved this problem when they introduced the Florida Rig line of bullet style sinkers. These sinkers looked similar to the traditional bullet sinker but possessed a major difference. The sinkers were made with a small tube for the line to pass through and a wire spring molded into the sinker.
This spring allowed the sinker to be screwed into the head of the bait connecting them together. This simple yet unique design prevented the lure and sinker from separating in heavy cover resulting in missed bass.
Shortly after the introduction of this sinker a rattling model was offered as well. Both revolutionized the art of flipping and pitching soft plastic lures in any type of cover. Today Gambler Lures offers this line of sinkers in lead, rattling and tungsten. A newer version called the Goop Weight is also offered in lead, rattling and tungsten models. The Goop Weight grips the line with a special insert and includes a line threading tool.
While bass fishing in Florida in the early 1990’s I was introduced to this sinker by a Lake Okeechobee guide and have had them in my tackle boxes ever since. I use them almost exclusively when presenting soft plastics. The Florida Rig Sinkers are the most versatile soft plastic sinker on the market for anglers.
The Florida Rig Sinker combined with the Gambler Paddle Tail Worm has become my lure of choice when flipping and pitching plastic worms to heavy cover. The paddle tail worm has just the right amount of action and gets down into the cover quickly. There are two model of this worm to choose from in both a five and eight inch length. Another great lure from Gambler for this technique is the Crawdaddy. The Crawdaddy is my favorite for Ozark Lakes and streams where crawfish are a major food source for Smallmouth bass.
Another benefit I have discovered using the Gambler Florida Rig Sinker occurs after a bass is hooked. With traditional slip sinkers the weight sometimes slides up the line from the lure and allows the bass more leverage to dislodge the hook. With this sinker the rig stays together and very near the hook helping to eliminate the bass using the weight for leverage.
Some anglers have expressed the sinkers cause the soft plastic lures to tear more at the head when using this sinker but Gambler solved this problem with the Goop Weight mentioned earlier. Personally I do not think there is a better system for presenting soft plastic baits for bass.