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Winter Project: Skipping

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Hey guys!  I'm setting a goal to learn to skip with a baitcaster over the winter months.  I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos, bought a spool of cheap line and electrical tape, and a 3/8oz cheap-o jig that should skip pretty well. 

 

I'm about 6'2 so I'm hoping that my 7'3 jig rod will work, but I can go down to 7' if the overwhelming response requires a shorter rod. 

 

The reel I'll be using is equipped with a tension knob and a dual breaking system (inner pins and an outer dial).

 

I'd appreciate any advice on reel settings, practice drills or any other tips and tricks that helped you to learn to skip efficiently.  

 

Much thanks,

 

RT

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I learned how to skip using Keitech’s version of a horny toad. It’s super flat and extremely wide. It’s as close to a skipping rock as you can get, and ridiculously easy to skip. 

 

Once I felt like I could make more difficult skips with that with ease, I moved up to jigs and what not. 

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I watched an Andy Montgomery video or two, set out to do it....and it happened pretty quick.

Two of the bigger lessons that I needed to learn:

1.  Think about skipping a rock while you're practicing....not sure about the actual physics/physiology, but the mind telling my wrist to skip it like a rock made a huge difference in the way my hand/wrist rolled it correctly.

2.  This one took me a lot longer, but now I try to leave the spool tension alone and crank up the other brakes.  I used to fine tune (and even rough tune) with spool tension, but I have become better since someone on here (forget who) told me to just tighten the brakes, not the spool. 

 

I still get a little overconfident at times and put my lure into overhanging bushes that I had no business trying to shoot the 5 inch gap, but for the most part, I feel pretty good after just a couple years of practice :)

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5 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

I watched an Andy Montgomery video or two, set out to do it....and it happened pretty quick.

Two of the bigger lessons that I needed to learn:

1.  Think about skipping a rock while you're practicing....not sure about the actual physics/physiology, but the mind telling my wrist to skip it like a rock made a huge difference in the way my hand/wrist rolled it correctly.

2.  This one took me a lot longer, but now I try to leave the spool tension alone and crank up the other brakes.  I used to fine tune (and even rough tune) with spool tension, but I have become better since someone on here (forget who) told me to just tighten the brakes, not the spool. 

 

I still get a little overconfident at times and put my lure into overhanging bushes that I had no business trying to shoot the 5 inch gap, but for the most part, I feel pretty good after just a couple years of practice :)

This is the first I've really set out to accomplish learning to skip.  That being said, it's not the first time I've tried to skip a lure.  I mean, who hasn't seen that juicy spot and thought, just maybe we could get in there lol.  My biggest struggle (I think) is that I get gun shy and lock my thumb down after the lure first hits the water, out of fear of the backlash.  Thanks for sharing your experience.  

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Release the bait as Horizantal as possible amd practice on a concrete floor while standing on a step stool or chair to replace the deck of the boat. The biggest thing that helped me was buy a reel with the sv spool amd learning on it then taking what I learned to my other reels. 

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For me...And this related to skipping with casting gear as I think that's the topic.  Spinning is obviously easier and a good way to get some of the basics.

 

-Leave brakes alone, just use whatever setting you normally would for casting.  You can tighten spool tension a little bit (maybe 1/4 turn, more if needed) to help with backlashing, but once you get better you won't really need to do this.  Reason for spool vs brakes is that brakes (especially centrifugal) need the spool to get going a little bit before kicking in enough to help, while spool tension is constant. 

 

-Put yourself an appropriate distance from target...Too close is harder than too far, so if in doubt back off a bit.  This might be the most important thing, I see a lot of guys get too close and that steeper angle for the skip is really hard to do unless you pitch-skip which is like skipping level 2 ;).  At least 2 full rod lengths away is what you want.  

 

-One fluid motion and follow-thru with the cast...Raise the rod tip as the bait moves toward the dock/target.

 

-Practice makes perfect...On the water.  It's very hard IMO to practice without being on the water, concrete/ground/etc is not the same as water in terms of skipping a bait off it....So dialing it in at home might actually hurt you when you get to the water since your muscle memory will be set for your home practice.  

 

-If you aren't already reasonably accurate at casting in general, practice that too.  Bait placement has a big effect on how successful the skip will be.  There's a 'sweet spot' for the bait to land to get that perfect skip, you want to be able to hit that.  It's obviously not a static spot, but the point is that you need to have good control of you where your bait lands.  

 

Take a look at this no-shame bragging video for a good view of distance, cast, and follow-thru with the rod tip :P.

 

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Start practicing skipping when there isn't a need to skip.  Same as casting to a specific spot, now you are just skipping the bait there.

 

Often I am skipping the majority of cast while bank beating if there isn't a specific target to hit. The feel of the cast is already there when a "skipping" target arises.

 

^^^^Spinning reel to start will help give you the feel without the mess.

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13 minutes ago, WVU-SCPA said:

Start practicing skipping when there isn't a need to skip.  Same as casting to a specific spot, now you are just skipping the bait there.

 

Often I am skipping the majority of cast while bank beating if there isn't a specific target to hit. The feel of the cast is already there when a "skipping" target arises.

 

^^^^Spinning reel to start will help give you the feel without the mess.

Agreed... I'm dangerous with a 6'6 spinning rod and a wacky worm😋

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When your lakes freeze, smooth concrete floors are pretty similar to skipping on water. 

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21 minutes ago, Bluebasser86 said:

When your lakes freeze, smooth concrete floors are pretty similar to skipping on water. 

I'm trying to talk my better half into letting me flood the basement for a couple months...

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I skipped for 30 mins in my basement nearly every day last winter it helped a ton. Set coffee cans and shoe boxes as targets.

 

Tips not mentioned so far....

1. The harder you throw the bait the higher probability of error (not going where you want it, backlash, etc.) 

2. Stand on a milk crate. Helps simulate being on boat and prevents ruining your rod tip.

3. Start with 30lb braid. Braid is much easier IMO than Flouro/Mono. Once you master braid move to flouro etc.

 

I second youtube'ing Andy Montogomery Skipping Video on how to set the reel.

 

Best of luck!

 

-Joe

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That is my winter project as well. I told myself that I need to get better since I can skip with my spinning rod. It just rolls like butter on hot pan sauce. 

 

baitcaster always fubar, got the SV103H for it. 

 

Nice Thread by the way 

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I do very well skipping with a spinning setup, but not so much with baitcasting. I personally dont know what difference it makes.

With spinning , I use the same motion as skipping rocks, or throwing a baseball sidearm. The lower to the water the better. The only problem I have is that every now and then I get too much of a bounce with the first skip and the bait will end up in what Im throwing to instead of under it.

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With a BC rig??!! :) I've seen it done, and the tutorials, but I skip with spinning gear. Did a lot of that this past week -bass tucked tight to an incident shoreline, under overhangs and undercuts. And I mean tight! I had to pretty much hit the bank. Didn't get so much as a follow a foot out. Even when there wasn't overhanging cover to deal with, skipping was the safest way to get that bait right against the shoreline. I'm reasonably accurate just casting, but precisely controlling the speed of the incoming lure into those tangles of grass, sticks, and cattails, was difficult. Skipping slows the lure enough that it never gets hung in the cover.

 

I used a light swim jig, but my best skipping baits are tubes, by far; Gotta actually be careful over-skipping those! I also find I get the best skips by throwing the lure under the rod tip, rather than trying to throw over the tip. Seems like a minor difference but, esp with the swim jig, it makes a big difference.

 

Good luck with it. Sounds fun.

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I learned first on a Tatula Sv. The reel made it so much easier. From there I branched out to other reels once I had my stroke down.

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There isn't much too it once you get the hang of it; but I will say the backhanded skip is very difficult to do accurately and consistently, so I stick to the forehand skip. I also think many anglers are afraid they will birds nest and this is the big hurdle. You have to believe you can do it and pretend you are skipping a stone with a line tied to it. I personally set the spool tension one click tighter than usual and I set my Origins at 2 or 3 out of 10 centrifugal settings. These are $100 dollar reels and nothing too fancy , but the key is centrifugal braking system or dual brakes. Also I found monofilament skips best and braid is a disaster waiting to happen. For more information on the topic , check out Gerald Swindles demonstration on skipping docks; he is a guru and known as one of the best in the business with the skipping technique ! Good Luck !

 

 

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On 11/5/2018 at 6:59 PM, J.Vincent said:

 

 

Sick skills he got ! 

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UPDATE:

 

I've had decent enough weather to get out a few times since I posted this.  Appreciate all the feedback, and took it all into consideration.  

 

I started on open water, with no regard for accuracy. I wanted to get the feel for it.  My biggest challenge was the fear of the backlash, so I did it when the bite was slow, and a reel blowing up on me wouldn't ruin the day.  When I was able to push beyond the mental part, I had some success with the basic side arm roll cast skip.  I even got a little confident and ended up getting up under a couple docks (and picking out a few overruns).  Fingers crossed that seeing a bit of success early on and practicing over the hard water months will pay off next year!

 

 

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