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Old 01-04-10, 12:33 AM   #1
keithdog
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Default What makes a good pitchin rod?

This post is NOT intended to ask for anyones brand or model preference, but rather the makings of a good pitchin rod for pitchin baits into medium to heavy cover. Lots of us are going to be buying new tackle before the spring season begins and I'm sure pitchin rods will be one of the items anglers will be looking for. I would think that what makes a perfect pitchin rod for one person may not be the same for another. Say for example if your either tall or short. Someone who is 6'6" tall might find a 7 1/2 foot rod to feel great while someone who is 5'6"tall might feel more comfortable with a 7'0" pitchin rod. Also, someone who fishes the deep south or in California where 15 pound bass are somewhat common might need a pitchin rod that is much different than say some from up north where an 8 pound bass is a monster bass. Myself, I'm in northern Indiana and I'm looking for a new pitchin rod for this year. And I'm torn about exactly what would be the best combination of specifics. For me, from past experience, I know a 7 foot rod is my choice in length. I'm fairly acurate with that length, and it feels comfortable in my hands. More so than a 7 1/2 foot rod. Next, I know I would prefer a good IM8 or better graphite blank. Light, strong, and good at telegraphing what is happening to my lure. But then we get into the power and action of the rod. A medium heavy power rod or heavy power rod? Medium fast action tip, fast tip, or extra fast action tip? It's these last to qualities I'm not sure of. For pitchin plastic baits t-rigged with a 1/2oz tungstin weight or jigs into heavy cover, I'm leaning towards a heavy action rod with a fast tip. For most of the bass I could expect to catch up here I would think that would be about right. Plus I would think a fast action tip would be easier to pitch baits with than an extra fast tip. But maybe I should go with an extra fast tip. Being I only started pitchin baits this past year, I'm fairly new at it and still learning what makes a good pitchin rod. Looking through catalogs at what the various rod makers consider a pitchin rod, you soon realize the rod makers don't seem to all agree on the criteria for a pitchin rod. So I thought this would be helpful for anyone in here who is planning to buy a rod for pitchin to read from other anglers who have plenty experience with pitchin, what they consider regarding the rods build spucifics to be a good pitchin rod?

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Old 01-04-10, 12:49 AM   #2
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I usually pitch heavy items than you so this may not be helpful, but here goes.

For me I prefer a heavy rod 7 foot even with an extra fast tip.

I have used longer rods, and find that my accuracy is best with 7 foot. Metally, I get a better hook set on the 7 footer than my 7 1/2.

My cover is why choose the heavy. The medium heavy just didn't have enough backbone for deep in the reeds.

I like the extra fast tip more for the hook set than the extra distance of the pitch.

Although you didn't mention it, I really like an extra long handled rod. It allows me to use my elbow and ribs as a pivot point.

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-10, 01:09 AM   #3
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Watching KVD's video about pitchin he mentions liking a rod tip that is fairly flexable for easier pitching. But I wonder like you Cass if an extra fast tip wouldn't be better for the hookset.
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Old 01-04-10, 02:07 AM   #4
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Don't get too caught up in the IM ratings of rods. There is no standard for IM ratings. One companies IM6 may be a better rod than another companies IM10. It is good for comparing rods from within one company but doesn't translate from brand to brand. Go with a known rod from a know manufacturer and you will be good to go as far as quality.
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Old 01-04-10, 07:40 AM   #5
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Very good point Jrpb!
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Old 01-04-10, 09:19 AM   #6
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I fish with a 7' H F.

I like the 7' over the 7'6" got pitching because I'm more accurate with the 7'.

For the cover I fish, I think a MH would have worked fine, but a H isn't going to hurt. and besides, I'd rather be over powered for some situations and be good for the times I need more power than be underpowered in those times. Also, I got a great deal on my rod that I couldn't pass up.

Some say MF, some say F and some say XF. Personally, I like the F or XF for pitching. If you're pitching lighter baits, then the MF may help you, but I normally pitch 3/8 to 1/2 oz. so the F works well. Another reason I went with the F over MF is because I also use the rod for casting jigs in some of the smaller reservoirs I fish and the F action is much better for casting the jigs and getting longer distance hooksets than the MF.

As for the IM rating. While, it's not perfect, It does help. Normally, I take into consideration the prices of rods as well. An IM8 rod that costs 75 bucks more than another companies IM6 is probably going to be better. But the best way to tell the quality of rod is to try them out.

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Old 01-04-10, 09:36 AM   #7
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In this part of the country our cover is not heavy by any means, so my choice of a pitching rod is a 7' MH Fast Action. Brand is somewhat important when selecting the rod because I have two pitching rods... one is a 7' MH Fast Action Fenwick Eagle GT, the other a BPS Extreme 7' MH Fast Action. The Fenwick fishes a whole heck of a lot like a heavy action rod, and the rod is mainly used for pitching jigs or really heavy t-rigs (1/2 oz. +) and the Extreme Rod has a little softer tip and I use that for pitching baits between 1/8 and 3/8 oz.

Ryan
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Old 01-04-10, 09:47 AM   #8
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Ya, I'm 5'11", so, 7' rod dose is good enough for me. H action Fast tip.

IM8, or 50 million modulus blank, or better.

And a light rod too. Some thing under 4.5oz.

Light guides, strong guides, and guide frames that one the one on an XML (not sure what to call the ).

A very balanced rod, with split grips, and no or a small fore grip. (helps with sensitivity). Or a downlocking fore grip.

And a comfortable exposed reel seat! If I'm gonna be pitching all day long, I want something that's comfy! Magtouch reel seats a REALLY nice!

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-04-10, 11:40 AM   #9
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i used to use a big 7'6" or 8' super heavy rod but a pro that i fish with a good bit told me that he uses a 7' medium heavy for pitching and the bigger rods for flipping. Since i started doing that i have made more accurate and quiter pitches and had much more success. i use braid with a fluro tip so it has very little stretch on the line and when you set the hook at close range you dont need a super heavy rod to drive it home. It's all about being accurate he told me there are times you have to put it right on top of their heads and if you dont you will not get him to bite.
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Old 01-04-10, 12:09 PM   #10
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Take this for what you will. IM ratings aren't all they are cracked up to be and don't always mean much in terms of a good rod.

http://flw.flwoutdoors.com/article.cfm?id=141123



Quote:
It was posted on the rodbuilding site a few years back, by a top notch rod builder,
Andy Dear
Lamar Manf.
Quote:
Good evenin' folks,

I may be about to open a SERIOUS can of worms with this thread, but what the heck.....here goes anyway. Being in the blank distribution business, I get asked A LOT about the construction and makeup of the various graphite rod blanks that I sell. And, I have to say that whenever somebody asks me about modulus I just cringe! Here is why; It seems that about 90% of the folks that email me want to know what the modulus is of the blank(s) they are considering buying. When I ask "Why do you want to know that" they can't really give me an answer....they're just convinced that higher the IM rating is better. Here is how the conversation usually evolves:

Mr. Customer: What modulus is that blank made from?

Andy: Well, if you must know, it's about 40million Msi

Mr. Customer: What does that mean?

Andy: Well, it means the blank is made from the material you have come to know and love as IM6

Mr. Customer: Oh, that's too antiquated...I only fish with IM7 and higher.

Andy: Really? Did you know that the difference between IM6 and IM7 is not the modulus it's the tensile strength?

Mr. Customer: Really?

Andy: Yeah REALLY!

Mr. Customer: Eh Hhhmmm....erreer, uh, oh....well uh....well Bass Pro Shops says...

Andy: Forget Bass Pro shops...let's look at the numbers (at this point Andy whips out his trusty data chart that illustrates the differences between the different fibers that actually have IM designations). Here take a look at this. This comes from a chart put together by the folks at Hexcel (http://www.advancedcomposites.com/technology.htm)
The number on the far right is the modulus of the fiber, and the number in the middle is the elongation to failure or stretch.

Hexcel IM4 600 40
Hexcel IM6 760 40
Hexcel IM7 780 40
Hexcel IM8 790 44
Hexcel IM9 920 42

Mr. Customer: You Mean all this time I thought I was getting a higher modulus fiber with the higher IM rating, when what I was really getting is a fiber that stretches more?

Andy: Well, in some cases you are, and in some cases you arent. The fact is though that the difference between IM6 and IM7 is nothing in terms of modulus, and compared to IM8 it's only slightly higher. Wow...look at that IM9 actually has a lower modulus than IM8...go figure Now, many companies are using fibers with a much higher modulus, like 57 and even higher, however these fibers don't necessarily use the IM ratings. So, whenever you see a fiber with an IM rating...BUYER BEWARE! THE HIGHER THE IM RATING, DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THE HIGHER THE MODULUS!!!

The point is this folks...just because you have a blank made from a high modulus fiber, doesn't means it's a good rod! And vice versa, just because you have a blank with a low modulus...even the original fiber blanks were made with (33 million) doesn't mean it's a bad or outdated rod. It's all about what the designer does with it.

I know there are some of you that may already know this, but judging from the amount of calls I get on a daily basis from folks who ONLY want IM7 or IM8, but can't really tell you why, I have to believe they don't really know what they are talking about at all. They've just been sucked into the marketing machine that leads people to believe that the higher the IM rating, the lighter and more sensetive the material, which is not always the case.
Be forewarned that there is A LOT more to graphite blank construction, performance, quality, sensetivity, weight etc... than just what modulus the fiber is. There are lots of other variables like flag patterns, and wall thickness, and resin systems, and mandrel design....It's all about the talent of the designer, and what he is able to do in terms of the sum of those variables...not just the friggin modulus!

Whewww...ok I feel better now...

My aforementioned explanation of modulus and IM ratings is by no means meant to be anything more than a brief primer for the folks who didn't realize what the differences with the IM ratings were. I hope this clears things up a bit, and I hope that some of you will chime in on this as well. Oh, here is a link to the Hexcel page for those of you who want to investigate the matter further. Do a search for IM6 and you'll get some interesting info. (if you're into that kind of techie junk).

[www.hexcel.com]

[www.advancedcomposites.com]

Now, this gives you some ammunition...next time you stroll into BassPro, and some yahoo tries to sell you a rod based on it's IM rating, ask him to explain to you why the higher IM ratings are better. When he replies by sayin' that the higher the IM rating means more sensetivity, less weight etc....just tell him that you have a blank at home made from IM2000, and see what he says.

Regards,

Andy Dear
Lamar Manf.
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Old 01-04-10, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrob78 View Post
Take this for what you will. IM ratings aren't all they are cracked up to be and don't always mean much in terms of a good rod.

http://flw.flwoutdoors.com/article.cfm?id=141123

Thats a great article!
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Old 01-04-10, 06:07 PM   #12
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Now this is something that is EXTREMILY helpful. Even i can understand it too. Now i know what to look for when picking out a new rod. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!
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Old 01-04-10, 06:56 PM   #13
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Great article Jrob! Thanks
Thought I'd add something I find interresting. A 7' H power rod with fast action tip seems to be a favorite in this post for pitchin. However, in most catalogs I've looked at, that rod is often described as a carolina technique rod. It's obviously not suprising that one rod can perform well for more than one technique. What I find interresting is how manufacturers often classify a rod as being specific to one technique, rather than mentioning the other techniques that same rod would work well with. I have found a few advertised this way, but the majority are not.

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Old 01-04-10, 07:08 PM   #14
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Manufacturers are great at trying to make you think you need a different rod for every application. In general I would say a 5 or 6 power rod with a fast or Xfast action in anywhere from 7' to 7'6" would be great for pitching/flipping or c-rigging or frogging or heavy t-rigging or.....you get the picture.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:20 PM   #15
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A few observations:
1.Good thread Keithdog.

2.A 7'6" rod is only for big guys is a myth. I'm 5' 7" and I've fished a 7'6" rod for 20 years. I wouldn't flip or pitch with anything BUT a 7'6" rod. I've got 3 on board locked and loaded at all times. You can move alot of line with a 7 1/2 ft rod and pitch further with ease.

3. I agree with KVD. I want a rod with lots of backbone in the butt section and a flexible tip. You can sling shot a bait with a flexible tip and muscle a bass with the butt section.

4.You've got to try the rod because one Manufacturers MH is anothers Heavy or Med. etc.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:47 PM   #16
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I think most manufacturers use their prostaff to determine technique specific rods. If one of their pros says, I like 7'H F rod for c-rigging, they'll call it a c-rig rod.

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Old 01-05-10, 01:13 AM   #17
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Jigger, you make a good point when you mention one manufacturers MH rod is equal to anothers heavy. I noticed looking at the Shimano rods in the BPS catalog, the Crucial, Compre, Volteus, arn't even shown listing a casting rod available in heavy power, but there are several listed as MH power. I woould guess Shimanos MH would compare to other makers heavy power rods. Although, the Shimano Cumara rods do show a few listed as heavy.
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Old 01-05-10, 02:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Jigger, you make a good point when you mention one manufacturers MH rod is equal to anothers heavy. I noticed looking at the Shimano rods in the BPS catalog, the Crucial, Compre, Volteus, arn't even shown listing a casting rod available in heavy power, but there are several listed as MH power. I woould guess Shimanos MH would compare to other makers heavy power rods. Although, the Shimano Cumara rods do show a few listed as heavy.
Interesting, apparently the Compre and Volteus don't come in heavy power. The Crucial does however.

http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/descp...ANO-SCRCR.html
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Old 01-07-10, 12:23 AM   #19
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The heavy cover isn't too thick in MN for the most part. I mainly pitch to milfoil mats, docks, and bulrushes. There's almost no flooded wood.

I use a 7' 5" med power pitching stick for general jig fishing and light(1/4-1/2 oz) pitching, and also a 7' 11" heavy power rod for pitching in grassbeds with heavy jigs and worms. The heavier rod also doubles as my frog fishing setup. I use 15 lb fluoro on the lighter rod, and 50 lb braid on the heavier setup.

I prefer a very long handle when pitching, jigging, frogging, or whenever a hard hookset and fight may be needed. One with the rod butt extending all the way to my elbow. It takes a little getting used to, having that rod butt hitting your elbow once in a while, but when you get used to it...

Also, I'm right handed, and I very much prefer to use left handed reels on my pitching/power hookset combos. It feels much better to have my dominant hand holding the rod when I need to hammer a fish and drag it thru some milfoil with it's head up. Also, I don't have to switch hands when I'm pitching, because many strikes come as soon as it hits the water. I know I was missing strikes from switching hands because my worm was frequently coming back all bunched up and I didn't feel a thing, and this doesn't happen nearly as often after I switched to using lefties for pitching.

I'm very happy with this rod, so here it is. The call it a M power, but it feels like a MH with a soft tip. Plenty of backbone. Look at the line and lure weight rating. Like your avg MH rod, or pretty close.
http://products.gloomis.com/gl/produ...=1262837889107
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Old 01-07-10, 04:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassBandit View Post
A good pitching rod is a good pitching rod.
I like the advice, but some don't make the distinction between a good pitching rod and a good flipping rod. I have fished an eight foot stick for a while (not mine alas) and for flipping I couldn't think of a better stick, but I hated pitching with it, the tip was a little light and it was just too long. it was a H MF. For my pitching rod I like a MH or H XF in the 7'3-7'9 range.
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Old 01-07-10, 07:58 PM   #21
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Im in California and lots of big fish around. I pitch with 2 different rods depending on what Im fishing. If it heavy cover with lots of weeds, then I want a 7'6 in MH flippin stik. For almost all other applications its a 7'MH. I prefer a Powell 735, its light, sensitive, all kinds a back bone, and plenty of tip for pitchin accuracy. To be honest I could use this rod or a 734 for all my pitchin, just like a bit more rod for the nasty stuff. Hooksets are usually not a problem since its generally a short line technique.
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Old 01-11-10, 08:41 PM   #22
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For me I like a 7'3" rod. Alot of people tell me the bigger the better, but I really like a shorter rod. Heavy action with a fast tip. It has to be as light as possible. It helps accuracy and it definitely helps from fatigue of fishing all day.
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Old 01-11-10, 10:16 PM   #23
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I use a 7'6 mh and a 7'10 h depending on what cover I'm fishing.
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