Today in Flippin’ with In-Fisherman, we’re looking back at the first article ever written about the technique in the Lindner’s famous magazine. Yesterday we ran a piece on Skyline Industries and in one of their 1976 ads, they stated that they manufactured a doodle soc’n rod. Being it was 1976, the year after Dee Thomas won the Bassmaster Arkansas Invitational on Bull Shoals, I knew they meant flippin’ stick.
I continued scanning my collection of early In’Fisherman magazines and when I got to the April/May 1977 issue, I was met with a pleasant surprise. A complete article on the subject. Having read the six-part spread in Bassmaster Magazine several times, I wanted to see how the Lindners treated the subject.
The first part of the article is basically introducing Dave Gliebe after his Bassmaster tournament win on Toledo Bend in early 1977. Gliebe had been on a rage, having won three consecutive events on three different trails in the past five weeks. All with the new Flippin’ Stik in his hand.
After Gliebe’s introduction, In‘Fisherman talks about the Toledo Bend event itself. A cold front had come in and knocked the shallow prespawn fish on their noses. Water temps had dropped from the mid- to upper-50s into the 40s. Fish in the shallows were either not there or they weren’t eating.
Ron Lindner reported he was paired with Phil Greene, who had been on 50-pound strings in practice, the first day and the pair only brought in 8-14 and 9-12 respectively by day’s end. As it turned out, Greene’s fish had moved from his area a short distance to Gliebe’s area due to the cold front. Over three days Gliebe bagged 83-02, beating Paul Chamblee by nearly six pounds.
In’Fisherman went into detail on the reason the fish had moved and why they chose the area Gliebe settled on. In typical In’Fisherman fashion, they provided photographs of the area as well as sectional drawings of what the area looked like under water. All of these attributes are what made the magazine unlike any other in the industry.
What caught my attention on page 41, though, was the term they used to describe Gliebe’s method. They called his approach to catching them “lever-jigging.” Their definition of the technique is a method where an angler uses a piece of cover to vertically fish a distance from the boat. But this wasn’t solely what Gliebe was doing.
It wouldn’t be until page 44 where they would introduce the term flipping. At this point, they provide images of Gliebe’s flipping jig, and some images of him teaching bystanders at the Toledo Bend event how to flip. But the text shifts from Gliebe to Flippin’ inventor, Dee Thomas. Thomas goes into depth why the technique works and In’Fisherman explains how it fits into their principals of finding and catching fish.
In’Fisherman also took advantage of Fenwick’s The Whole Flippin’ Story pamphlet, placing diagrams on the technique used to flip a lure with a Flippin’ Stik and how to work the bait.
Then In’Fisherman goes into the equipment used for the technique.
Being that Fenwick and Thomas were the inventors of the rod, the Fenwick Flippin’ Stik was discussed. But, due to the fact that Al Lindner was on the Skyline staff, so was their Doodle Soc’n rod. The interesting thing about this is you can see Lindner holding both rods on page 51, the Fenwick on the left and the Skyline on the right.
Just a glance at these two rods and you can tell they are not the same. Fenwick’s rod was thick from butt to the tip top, while Skyline’s was thin from butt to tip. Fenwick’s rod was 7-feet, 6-inches while Skyline’s was 7-feet, 1-inch. Fenwick designed their rod based on the requirements of the technique, Skyline just made a long rod without thinking of what was required. If you’re interested in learning about the requirements, please read The Whole Flippin’ Story.
Next In’Fisherman talked line size and preferable baits to fish. Back in the day, Thomas and Gliebe preferred a 5/8-ounce banana head jig tied with bucktail and some sort of plastic or pork trailer. They would also use living rubber jigs made from rubber Thomas’ partner, Frank Hauck sold. They also mentioned the use of plastic worms in the summer months, using toothpicks to peg their sinkers.
Overall, it was a good article with lots of information. Compared with the six-part Bassmaster series published this same year, it had some different information that related to the Lindners’ theories on catching bass.
How things have changed since this article was published. From the mid-1970s through the turn of the century, if you didn’t have a flipping rod in your hand, you weren’t making money. Since then, true flipping has essentially gone away, being replaced by pitching. You can’t find a true flipping rod, but I don’t know if that matters with the advent of spectra braided lines.
I don’t foresee the true technique ever making a comeback into the lexicon of bass fishing. But it did have a huge effect on how to target fish in heavy cover and in some extreme environmental conditions. And we all have Dee Thomas and Dave Gliebe to thank for that.
The full article is posted below.