I grew up fishing from shore in Southern California and I found myself throwing finesse year around. The past decade, I've seen the view from the other side as a boater and am no longer on shore, but even now, my approach has rarely been from the power side, but more from the finesse side.
A few weekends ago, I finally had enough, and ordered a Dobyns Champion Extreme 746 and sourced a Shimano Exsence DC to pair it with. Our reservoirs in our state are beyond full and the amount of jungle available now is unreal. What finally made me pull the trigger was watching a guy flipping the tules at a local reservoir and putting the hammer to them.
He recommended straight braid, 65#. This will be my first time using braid. Is there anything I should be aware when spooling the reel? I've heard people using tape, or people using mono for a bit to make sure there isn't 'slippage.' A few years ago, I sliced my palm nice and deep after learning that braid doesn't break off easily. So, I'll definitely have that in the back of my mind.
Basic rigging? I know pegged T-Rigs are pretty much a go to, as are new rigs like the Tokyo Rig.
Any basic Flipping/Pitching 101 tips anybody can offer?
One thing with flipping--you'll want to peg and use a 3/0 or 4/0 straight shank flipping hook and tie using the snell knot.
I would keep some kind of wood dowel with you as well--like 3 inches long and about 1/2" to an 1" thick. You can use it to wrap your line around the dowel and pull on your lure if you get snagged up.
As for spooling--make sure you fill up some mono backing to prevent slippage and spool it on with LOTS OF TENSION. You want to apply as much tension as you can to prevent the line from digging in.