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Understanding Pitching Rods

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I have done some research but I cannot find consistent results among sources, and there seems to be inconsistent terminology.

I am trying to understand the key features of good pitching rods and what I should be looking for. I have been using the 7'6" Mojo bass pitching rods, and while they do a decent job, I feel dissatisfied because they seem to be tip-heavy among other minor things. I am now seeking a better solution.

I understand that a good pitching rod will be lightweight with good balance, and will have a "good" tip for flinging the bait. What makes a tip good for pitching? I hear some people claim that you need a nice soft tip, but what exactly does soft mean here? Does it have to do with the action, or just the quality of the rod (tip)? Also, the Mojo Bass rods are MH with a MF action. The MF action seems to be consistent among St. Croix pitching rods, but many other brands seem to sell their pitching(flipping) rods with F or XF tips. This has me confused about what I should be looking for.

 

Since I am looking for a new rod I would love some suggestions as well. I mostly pitch docks and trees/wood, sometimes cattails, sometimes other emergent grass/pads. I pitch most of the time (70%) with 1/4 oz, sometimes up to 3/8 oz. and pitching/flipping a bit heavier cover with 1/2 oz to 1 oz. I am 5'9" and I am comfortable with 7'6" rods for pitching. Preliminary search has put my eye on the Dobyn's Savvy or Powell Max. I really don't want to spend over $180ish.

 

Thanks!

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When it comes to pitching you want a fast or extra fast tip and what that means is how fast your rod loads up and straightens back out.  You'll notice an extra fast tip will load up in the first third of the rod where as a moderate or slow tip like will load all the way through the road or be parabolic, these are usually or cranking rods because they are more forgiving.  Pretty sure there is really good video on this website about rods and their actions.

 

My rod of choice and is a great all around rod would be a Powell Endurance 723.  It's a 7'2" MH with an extra fast tip.  I usually use mine for throwing a jig around 3/8oz so I can't speak for it on the heavier stuff but its an amazing rod for pitching, skipping jigs, some moderate cover.  

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When it comes to pitching you want a fast or extra fast tip and what that means is how fast your rod loads up and straightens back out. You'll notice an extra fast tip will load up in the first third of the rod where as a moderate or slow tip like will load all the way through the road or be parabolic, these are usually or cranking rods because they are more forgiving. Pretty sure there is really good video on this website about rods and their actions.

My rod of choice and is a great all around rod would be a Powell Endurance 723. It's a 7'2" MH with an extra fast tip. I usually use mine for throwing a jig around 3/8oz so I can't speak for it on the heavier stuff but its an amazing rod for pitching, skipping jigs, some moderate cover.

Thanks for the reply. I definitely understand rod action, and I see how it makes sense that a faster tip will throw the bait faster. One concern I have with that is, can a tip be too fast so that it doesn't allow something like a 1\4oz bait to load up enough for a decent fling? And still, where does "soft" fit into the tip style? To me, a slower tip seems like it should be soft and a fast tip hard, but then that goes against what we just mentioned.

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Imagine that, inconsistencies among rod builders.   The same words mean different things to different manufacturers.  Basically it comes down to personal preference.  If you feel you need a different pitching rod (I get that feeling on a pretty regular basis), then go look for one.  I don't know anything about Powell or Dobyns rods, mostly because they aren't readily available here in Missouri and I'm not likely to buy a rod over the internet.  Call me old fashioned, but I want to touch and play with a rod prior to buying it.

 

That being said, my current favorite is a 7'2" Fenwick AETOS MH.

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I would suggest two different routs...

1) if you are going to use braid, go with a 7'2"-7'6" MH/MF... the MF action will allow for a little bit more forgiveness in the set up, especially since it will be used for close quarter combat...

2) if you plan on using mono or floro i would go with a 7'2"-7'6" MH/F-XF... the F-XF action allows the whole set up to be more responsive since the floro or mono will stretch but the rod will be nice and crisp... 

either way you go is great... the rods specifically that i would suggest are the daiwa Tatula, the falcon bucoo micro, or the quantum smoke... all of these are super light and have great balance which is perfect for pitching type presentations...

 

Mitch 

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I would suggest two different routs...

1) if you are going to use braid, go with a 7'2"-7'6" MH/MF... the MF action will allow for a little bit more forgiveness in the set up, especially since it will be used for close quarter combat...

2) if you plan on using mono or floro i would go with a 7'2"-7'6" MH/F-XF... the F-XF action allows the whole set up to be more responsive since the floro or mono will stretch but the rod will be nice and crisp... 

either way you go is great... the rods specifically that i would suggest are the daiwa Tatula, the falcon bucoo micro, or the quantum smoke... all of these are super light and have great balance which is perfect for pitching type presentations...

 

Mitch 

 

I use heavy copolymer line to pitch with and right now my pitching rod is a Fenwick Aetos 7'2" MH-XF, I can really hit my targets with it consistently and it has a ton of backbone to get fish out of cover but it is light weight and balanced well. Mjseverson24 is spot on, rods with a moderate fast action are pretty much designed for braid, you now see flipping sticks in the same moderate fast action as well and it is like that because braid is non stretch so the rod will absorb the shock. When you want to get a rod to pitch with, figure in all factors like cover, heavy, moderate, or sparse, the line and lures you intend to pitch. These things will let you know everything, the cover and lure type and weight is going to determine the power of the rod, medium heavy or heavy, and the line is going to determine the action of that rod, that is how I choose my rods, the only difference is my frog rod and flipping stick have braid on them but they are fast actions as I still can't get used to the added flex on a flipping stick, but nevertheless, I will never have an extra fast with braid.

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Pitching is a casting technique you can use with any rod as long as it loads properly with the weight you're casting. You can pitch, roll cast, back cast etc. with whatever rod you're holding to hit a particular target. An exception might be using a pool cue type rod for flipping heavy slop. Since the line in this scenario is a fixed length, the rod doesn't need to load. A "soft" tip is just that, the tip section is on the supple side and moves rather quickly into a substantial backbone. There is no way to measure "soft" any more than "fast", "heavy" or any of the other subjective terms that are used to describe rods. All the jig/plastics rods I use are F or XF action except for the heaviest of flipping rods for punching slop, them a Mod F. Look for something that feels good to you and will handle the weight you want to cast and you'll be fine.

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Thanks for the reply. I definitely understand rod action, and I see how it makes sense that a faster tip will throw the bait faster. One concern I have with that is, can a tip be too fast so that it doesn't allow something like a 1\4oz bait to load up enough for a decent fling? And still, where does "soft" fit into the tip style? To me, a slower tip seems like it should be soft and a fast tip hard, but then that goes against what we just mentioned.

A soft tip means that the rod tapers down to be less powerful basically. If you understand the difference between power and action, you understand that power is, in general, a rods resistance to bend. The action is where the rod starts to taper down and where the power of the rod begins to lessen. If you take two rods of the same length, power, and action one rod could have a softer tip. It just means that it will take less resistance to flex, so it will load with a smaller and lighter weight. That doesn't mean it's a different action than the one with the stiffer tip because they will still hit the backbone of the rod at the same point.  Hopefully that clears things up.

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A soft tip means that the rod tapers down to be less powerful basically. If you understand the difference between power and action, you understand that power is, in general, a rods resistance to bend. The action is where the rod starts to taper down and where the power of the rod begins to lessen. If you take two rods of the same length, power, and action one rod could have a softer tip. It just means that it will take less resistance to flex, so it will load with a smaller and lighter weight. That doesn't mean it's a different action than the one with the stiffer tip because they will still hit the backbone of the rod at the same point.  Hopefully that clears things up.

 

Awesome, this is exactly what I was wondering  :thumbsup:

 

Thanks to everyone for all the great info!

 

I had been using Trilene XT and P-Line CXX both in 17lb for most of my dock pitching, and braid for wood/reeds/other. I will use the new rod for docks mostly, and I plan on continuing to use the mono or copoly so I will definitely bee looking for a faster tip than the Mojo which I can still use with braid.

 

I have one more question. I see that several of the rods mentioned come in both standard and micro guide versions. Does anyone have any preference for guide size when pitching? I suppose micro guides would make a lighter rod overall, but I have no experience with them so I do not know what to expect for performance.

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I use a pitch cast with every rod I own. It's a casting technique, and no one type of rod is required.

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