How to Skip a Baitcaster: Everything You Need to Know

September 17, 2021

Skipping a baitcaster is not the easiest thing to do. This is why the knowledge makes you a much more experienced and skilled angler. There is a trick to it that one needs to master if they want to skip a jig with a baitcaster.

It is like a piece of art that you would have to learn, which is why so many people tend to get intimidated by it and don’t even try it. There are a number of things that you need to consider while learning how to skip a baitcaster. Here is what you need to know.

Find the Perfect Jig

While you can skip almost any leadhead jig, it would be great if you adopt a technique to do. This will ensure you don’t get intimidated every time you have to do this, while also making you a better angler.

For a lot of seasoned anglers, the length of the jig is not as crucial as the weight. It does not make a difference if the jig is short or long, but if you can, you must ensure consistency in weight. This is because it gives you a grip over the cast and strengthens your technique.

Sometimes the color of the jig may make a difference, but usual colors such as pumpkin, brown and shades of orange work fine.

Right Tackle Choices Will Make a Great Difference

Fishing rod cork handle with reel and plastic fish bait

Deft use of the thumb is one of the key things to learn while learning to skip a baitcaster. Instead of fixating on the ideal rod choice, one must know how to use their thumb to use the rod because there can’t actually be an ideal rod for everyone.

This is because our arms are different and therefore, the distance of the arm from the water source varies from one person to another.

You should be thorough with the controls on the reel. There is a traditional knob on the right side of the reel and a magnetic control on its left. Setting them on the halfway mark works well. Additionally, a gear ratio of 7:3:1 is also a good one for skipping a baitcaster.

The Dock Should Be Perfect

The perfection of the dock is subjective and varies from season to season and from one waterbody to another, but a seasoned angler will also find one. Sometimes, it is the one that seems more aloof.

In the fishing ecosystem, it is usually the older docks that are considered ideal. They are more fertile and productive because it has plenty of algae and attracts a lot of baitfish.

If you don’t have an eye for the perfect dock, shallow docks work well during the spring while deeper docks with scattered brushwork are better during summers. We’d say aim for up to 15 feet depth during the summers.

Strategize Well

Ultimately it all comes down to your strategy especially when it comes to the dock. No angler worth his salt is going to stick to one dock for a really long time sans any results. If you don’t feel it is going to work, move on to the next dock.

You should also know the places where fish are most available such as the deeper ones with some foliage where fish reside. You need to move from one place to another anyway once you have found fish in one spot. You would be lucky if there is wind as it makes fish feel more secure.

How to Skip a Baitcaster: The Beginner’s Guide

Now that you have a certain idea of the background work that you need to do in order to learn how to skip a baitcaster, you should start by taking baby steps especially if you are a beginner and don’t have much experience with this sort of thing.

They say practice makes a man perfect and that is what you ought to do. Trying to skip a jig with a baitcaster is something of an art and it will take you some time to learn about all its intricacies.

Start with a Spinning Rod

Rod and Baitcasting Reel

Go with a medium to a heavy rod that is around 7 feet in length. There are lots of things that you need to bear in mind while starting out and going with this type of rod is going to be helpful. It will especially help you get the form and technique right.

You should thereafter move to a stick bait after perfecting the spinning rod. It is a matter of great patience and you must be prepared to spend some time learning how to use it.

The final thing to do is to get the casting right. It should not be too hard else you will face difficulties with mastering the technique. Once you learn how to control the cast properly, you can go for a more aggressive approach.

The trick is to keep the rod parallel to the water body and aim for a smooth swing.

The Right Gear Makes All the Difference

This is extremely crucial and must be treated as such because the right gear will also benefit your technique.

The Rod

Go for a shorter rod initially because it is more accurate.

The Fishing Reel

The fishing reel should have all the brakes turned on to begin with. This is important to prevent backlashes. This won’t help you cast a long way away, but it would still be a start that will help you get into the groove.

In the early days of practice, you must start with brakes on the reel turned on and slowly move to turn them off.

The Jig

The jig is the next thing that needs attention when it comes to the gear. There are a lot of options available when it comes to jigs and different anglers have different preferences. However, beginners should stick to a flat jig initially.

A flat jig head makes things simpler while a bulky one will make matters worse, especially for those who are not accustomed to it.

Trailer on the Jig

The trailer you put on the jig makes a big difference to the overall process hence, you must choose it wisely. Sure, more seasoned anglers skip certain steps and processes, but when you are just starting out, it is best to go with the things that work for sure.

Going with a fairly flat trailer is going to be very useful and make the process easier for you.

The Fishing Line

This is the last thing that you need to cater to when it comes to the gear. A braided line works well with beginners and novices, as does soft monofilament. Fluorocarbon lines are popular too but they are harder to cast and, therefore, are best left to seasoned anglers.

Fluorocarbon lines are also more expensive and when you are starting out, it is important to first get a hang of the process before investing in expensive gear because let us face it, the technique is way more important and if you get that right, you can use any gear, expensive or cheap.

Master the Technique

Rod, Baitcasting Reel and crankbait

The most crucial element of skipping a baitcaster is a mastery of the technique. Here are a few steps that are going to be helpful:

  • Keeping low while placing the rod parallel to water is a good way to start. You need to stay low along the way too.
  • Focus on getting the angle right and the lure right is paramount. The further you are from the target, the better angle you are going to have. You don’t need to cast harder because that is secondary, contrary to what many believe.
  • Your location while skipping a baitcaster is a crucial one. You should aim to be far from the target because this way the fish won’t be able to see you and move more freely.

    One needs to be closer while flipping baits but when you are doing this in clearer waters, you need to be away. This is also going to be a test of your skipping skills so take that as a challenge.
  • While casting, keep your eyes firmly on the target, make contact with the water and go for the skip. Let the rod sink to the bottom, give it a few gentle lifts and reel back in. You would have to repeat this on other spots to maximize your chances.

Practice is the key to perfecting this skill. It may seem frustrating at times but it would be worth it eventually.

Parting Words

Knowing how to skip a baitcaster is an incredibly useful skill to have. It will make your fishing experiences richer. It is not only something that is cool but is also going to help you catch more fish.

It will also help you find fish hiding in tight spots. It is nothing short of art and this makes it even more enticing. If you are a fishing enthusiast, you should definitely try your hands at it!

Happy Hunting!

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