Flipping for Crappie with Russ Bailey
By Phillip Gentry
B’n’M pro-staffer Russ Bailey has been an icon of crappie fishing for over two decades. He is the popular television host of Brushpile Fishing, the highest rated crappie fishing show in the country. Along the way, Bailey has become a knowledgeable crappie angler and worked with B’n’M Poles to design his own Russ Bailey Signature Series of crappie fishing poles which quickly became a fan favorite.
New for 2019, B’n’M is proud to present the redesigned Russ Bailey Signature Series rod with a new 8 foot model. This rod is made of a high-modulus secret recipe graphite that makes it both sensitive and strong as well as sporting the eye-catching blue and orange color scheme of Brushpile Fishing.
Both the 8 and 10 foot models feature spinning guides which allow the angler to cast, flip, or jig with the rod. The rod also features stainless steel guides, line-depth markers placed in 1-ft increments and sports a 100% pure Portuguese cork handle.
The Russ Bailey Signature Series rod features a smaller eyelet and stainless steel guides, perfect for flipping small jigs into tight spots.
Bailey said he was excited about adding the smaller diameter rod tip eye and stainless steel construction guides on the redesigned rod.
“The rod tip has a really small eye which helps you pinpoint where you’re placing the jig when you flip it,” he said. “It’s also a great rod for use in rainy or cold weather when your fishing line gets clingy from being wet. I tell you I can flip even a tiny 1/32oz jig a whole lot further with this rod.”
Bailey also pointed out that in an industry where crappie fishing rods seem to be getting longer and longer, he was happy to design his Signature Series in an 8 foot model.
Bailey flips the jig and then let the bait pendulum back to him on a tight line - a crappie killer around visible structure.
“At its heart, this is a jig pole and some anglers just feel more comfortable with a shorter jig pole because they have more control,” said Bailey. “Top is off with a lightweight sensitive blank and a comfortable cork handle and you can fish this rod all day. It even has depth marker at 1 foot intervals so you know exactly how much line you have out when jigging.”
Bailey said in his home turf of Ohio, crappie anglers are counting down the days to ice out to begin crappie fishing while anglers down south don’t need to wait and can start using the rod for one of his favorite crappie fishing tactics – Flipping
According to Bailey, flipping works any time of year when crappie are found holding next to, around or under cover. Unlike the popular bass fishing technique, flipping for crappie can be done with one hand, using the wrist and forearm to launch the jig into tight spots.
“I’ll let off as much line as I need, usually about down to the reel and swing the jig out and then pitch the jig with a flip of the wrist and release the line with my finger,” he said. “It’s similar to shooting docks without all the bending over and stooping to get the jig where you want it.”
One of Bailey’s favorite early spring fishing spots on any lake is around aluminum boat docks or anchored pontoon boats. He said the aluminum in the water is a good conductor of heat early in the season and crappie will gather under and around aluminum structure as it transfers heat to the water during the day.
The cork handle and sensitive blank make the Russ Bailey rod easy to fish all day long.
“I’ll flip a 1/32 or 1/16 ounce jig with an umbrella or something that flutters and keep a tight line as the jig pendulums back to me through the water,” he said. “I always try to flip the jig past the structure I’m fishing and let the jig swim by the fish holding there.”
Bailey recently returned from central Florida where he was flipping jigs into holes in the aquatic grass and weeds and catching some beautiful early season black crappie.
“It’s also a great vertical jigging rod, anywhere you find brushpiles, standing timber, or stumps,” he said. “The secret blend of graphite makes this one of the most sensitive rods on the market. Take one out for a spin and you’ll be hooked.”
With fishing season right around the corner, B’n’M is your source for crappie fishing rods, gear and information
Weiss Lake crappie guide Carlton Teague said fall is a great time to shoot docks for crappie.
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