Follow the Tournament Trends
Most largemouth bass tournament fishermen seem to prefer baitcaster reels like the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 or Revo Premier, but spinning reels are increasingly popular because they don't tangle as easily and typically cast as far or farther. Both the Ambassadeur C4 and Revo Premier have narrow spools that help prevent line problems like birdsnests and buried line and also feature star drags and instant anti-reverse. To a certain extent, the best reel depends on the type of water, the structure and the type of fishing you intend on doing. The same holds true for rods.
Best Flipping Rods
Many different types of rods are popular with largemouth bass fishermen. Flipping rods like the G-Loomis GL2 flipping stick or the Dobyns Champ flipping rod are slightly longer than standard casting rods, usually running about 7 feet 6 inches or longer. Dobyns rods are light and well-balanced and feature a limited lifetime warranty, one of the best in the industry. Bass tournament angler Will Fowler says "Dobyns rods are exceptional!" The G-Loomis GL2 flipping stick has a reputation for good sensitivity and a strong backbone for the big boys.
Best Pitching Rods
Pitching for bass is a distinctly different technique that requires its own type of rod and reel. Pitching rods typically run about 6-6 in length and have a heavy action with a stiff butt. Many manufacturers make popular pitching rods like the Shimano Akrab, Rapala MBR, G-Loomis Pro Blue 6-6 rod and the Furnace Bay 6-10 model. Bass pro Rusty Reinoehl recommends a Furnace Bay 6-10 medium heavy rod with an extra fast action tip for dragging lunkers kicking and screaming out of the heavy cover.
Best in Baitcasting Reels
Baitcasting reels like the Ambassadeur C4 and Revo series and the Shimano Curado seem to be the most popular go-to reels for largemouth bass fishermen, but spinning reels like the Pflueger President series are gaining popularity. TackleTour.com rates the new Quantum Accurist baitcaster with flippin' switch a solid 8.66 + best value. They also gave the Daiwa Zillion an impressive 8.91
Best in Spinning Reels
The Pflueger President is an impressive problem-free spinning reel. It has a large spool for increased line capacity with an excellent drag and anti-reverse. According to Marc Wisniewski, a bass tournament angler, it is hard to beat the Daiwa Tournament SS series spinning reels for durability and long life. He says, "this could be the toughest, no-nonsense reel out there."
No matter whether you choose to use flipping or pitching for those largemouth bass, you can make either rod and reel combo work for jigging or casting. Both methods are more traditional and require less finesse than either flipping or pitching, but the latter two are the ones to put to use when the bite is off, the weather is uncooperative or the structure calls for it.