Monday, May 22, 2017

Teckel Lures - Sprinkler Frog Review - Pre Release Sneak Peek!


Revolution Frog:   Colors: 8*     Length: 4.25" **    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1

Intro:

This is an early season (or should I say pre-season), pre-lease review of the all new Sprinkler frog from Teckel Lures. The Sprinkler frog should be hitting the shelves sometime this June, here is your first look sneak peek!


Overall Rating: 8.3/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 4.0/5


Like its older brothers the Choker,  the Honker and the Whacker the Teckel Sprinkler is a high quality bait.  Its made with the same body material as the rest of the Teckel frog family, its a nice, soft, pliable plastic that should hold up well fish after fish. The hooks are strong, sharp and well positioned to ensure the only thing they hook is a fish.

At this point in time I have deduced 0.5 marks for the new soft plastic tail. Anytime you add an element that can easily be chewed up or  ripped up, it will effect the longevity of the baits lifespan. At this time I can't confirm if Teckel will be offering replacement Sprinkler tails but this angler believes they should. 


Castability: 4.5/5

All Teckel frogs are designed with slim aerodynamic bodies that cast extremely well. The Sprinkler may not skip as well as the other frogs in their line-up as it tends to trip over its own foot.

This frog excels in long cast scenarios in which a lengthy retrieve ensures the fish get a nice look at the Sprinkler tail in action.   

Presentation: 5.0/5

When I first saw the Sprinkler Frog I will admit that the word "gimmick" crossed my mind. But After one single cast I was sold. This bait kicks up some serious water and I often wonder why Teckel didn't call it the "fire hose" instead of the "sprinkler". Even on a moderate retrieve this frog moves more like a buzz bait then a frog, but its soft plastic foot bounces off the water and the weeds unlike any buzz bait Ive thrown. It has some similarities to the way a River2Sea Whopper Plopper moves, but without the messy treble hooks that get caught up in floating debris.

With all this in mind you don't get the full satisfaction of watching this frog swim when fishing it in heavy cover, so as the going gets tough, pick up the Choker and leave the Sprinkler for less congested situations.   


Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

You know my rule, anytime a frog comes equipped with an appendage that can and or will get caught up on the hooks they are going to loose a few marks on the hook-up ratio.. I think you would agree that a large soft plastic foot counts as an appendage that may effect your hook-up ratio.. keep in mind fishing this frog is well worth occasional foul up.


Innovation & Design: 4.5/5

Close to perfect marks here, this all new frog offers a completely different look to both anglers and fish alike. As mentioned above I really thought it looked gimmicky but the minute  I saw it move on the water I was hooked.. i cast it with a smile all day long.

Obviously I couldn't give perfect marks here, as there is the age old question, what came first the Swamp Donkey or the Whacker, until I know the answer,they both only get part marks for innovation.. even if one has a super cool buzz-foot.

Availability, Options & Price: 3.5/5

I can't really speak to this one yet, I expect you will easily find this frog on Tackle Warehouse and a few other sites, but until I see them listed I can't give a true score in this situation.  I can tell you that the only site currently listing them is BamaFrogs, they are offering a pre-order (see below). In the Pre-Order they list 8 colors, and have it priced at $13.99


Situations for Success:

You know those times when you hit the lake and the conditions are just perfect for top water, but you're just not sure if you should throw a frog, a buzz bait or maybe even a whopper plopper? That's the exact time you should pick up a Sprinkler frog.

It has the best characteristics of each of these baits and fish in many situations that they can't. Id look for sparse to medium cover, you want to work a Sprinkler frog between various points of structure and targets. its best to keep this frog moving, even if your working it slow.. its not the prettiest on the pause, so move it as much as you can.


Where to Find:
In case you are having a hard time finding these locally, here are some reliable options for you.

Tackle Warehouse (Coming Soon!)

Bama Frog ($13.99)


Equipment:

The Sprinkler frog pairs well with a Dobyns Sierra Series 735 which provides enough tip to make accurate casts all while still having the backbone needed to haul fish out of the nastiest of cover. As always I paired it with a Daiwa Tatula, this time a CT model.

As with any hollow-body bait, this frog should be worked on 40lb-60lb braid line. 


Field Test Report Card:

Open Water (Sparse Pads): A+
Pads (Medium Cover): B+
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover): C

Walk the Dog: C
Popping Action: N/A
Sit/Pause: B





* Color Options are listed as per what is currently available on the Bama Frog pre-order form
** Length included the entire frog, not just the body. 



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Uncle Josh Sizmic Toad Review

Sizmic Toad:      Colours: 6   Size: 4.25"     Pack Count: 6    
             Leg Style: Buzz               Weight: N/A


Intro:

Going through my back log of frog reviews, I couldn't believe I hadn't posted this one on the Sizmic Toad. A frog that is considered a classic in many regions. Unlike other Uncle Josh products, this bait doesn't come in a jar and wont leave you with stinky fingers. 


Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 4.0/5


Built tough the Sizmic toad can stand up to non-toothy fish cast after cast. It has a dense body and head that's only real weakness is in its leg joints. Even there it has a bit of stretch and give meaning you may might be able to make a pack(6) last all day long.

Castability: 4.05


With a heavier body  the Sizmic toad casts for miles (even more if using a Diawa Tatula) and its nice flat belly allows it to be skipped with ease.

Presentation: 3.5/5


One of the perks to throwing a Sizmic Toad is that is has a beefy round head perfect for screw in frog or swim bait hooks. Unlike most narrowed headed frogs (can't believe I just typed that) the Sizmic Toad holds the hook well and wont tear up.

If I had to classify the type of action the Sizmic toad produces I would have to say its a cross between a buzz and swim, but due to the style of foot it leans more towards a buzz style swim.

Its thinner profile may be great for its hook-up ratio, but I like my frogs with a bit more meat on their bones, the amount of water displacement and the Sizmic Toads profile don't do it for me, hence the 3.5 rating. Its not a performance thing, its a profile thing.


Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5


I think I may be underselling the Sizmic Toads hook-up ratio here, as the combination of its thin body, a deep hook slot as well as thinner legs mean there is a lot less to get in the way of your hook point thus increasing your chances of landing a fish.



Innovation and Design : 4.0/5


Bonus points added here for sure. The Sizmic toad has been available for years and there still isn't a bait quite like it. I'm not sure I can describe it with out getting pornographic but its long slender design and thick head were made for distance fishing. It really feels to me that the company saw what was available at the time and said, "we have an idea".

Availability, Options & Price: 3.5/5


For such a classic frog this bait is not easily found. Tackle Warehouse has you covered, but you can also purchase it direct from Kailins. Available in 6 pretty standard color options and 1 size, this bait wont exactly turn heads, but its price point of nearly $0.65 a frog is a huge win.


Situations for Success:


The Sizmic toad is on the smaller side and performs best in calmer conditions and in medium to sparse cover. This is a great search bait and will allow you to cover water at both medium and high speed retrieves. If your fishing in close quarters and skipping is required, don't hesitate to tie on a Sizmic toad.


Where to Find:
In case you are having a hard time finding these locally, here are some reliable options for you.

Tackle Warehouse ($3.99)

Kalin's ($4.49)



Equipment:

I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula CT.  This frog is fairly light weight and likes a little extra tip to help impart action around and under cover. The CT is a light weigh reel that skips well and casts lighter baits with ease.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Reaction Strike Revolution Frog Review


Revolution Frog:   Colors: 9     Length: 1.77    Weight: 3/8oz   Pack Count: 1
Revolution Frog:   Colors: 9     Length: 2.17    Weight: 3/8oz   Pack Count: 1
Revolution Frog:   Colors: 9     Length: 2.55    Weight: 3/8oz   Pack Count: 1

Intro:

I kinda feel dirty giving the Revolution Frog a 5.6 out 10, the team at reaction strike didn't work hard enough or attempt to bring us something unique in any way, and the product they did bring us is over priced. But even I could find something to like in a very un-likeable frog


Overall Rating: 5.6/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 2.5/5


I don't think I'm being overly harsh when I say that not much thought and effort went into the quality or durability of the Revolution frog. The hooks are crookeder than a politician and my frog started taking on water on the first cast. The areas they did try to spend time and money on are both plagued with issues. The hooks are strong, yet crooked, and the legs are active yet the bait walks poorly. 




Castability: 3.5/5

You know you're in trouble when the highest score you get is for cast-ability, sure its an important part of fishing, but if it cant swim I'm not too worried about how far it casts.  

Presentation: 3.0/5

The Revolution frog is what I would call a "chunky walker" meaning that it can be walked but it sorta stumbles it's way through it. You're best to throw this frog in heavier cover so the fish only get to see it on the pause.. then again it they do see it walk they may think that its injured or dying.. hmm I may need to re-think this one. (OK an extra .5 added to the score)

If you are fishing this frog take your time and learn the right cadence, it can be walked and actually looks pretty good on the pause. The Silicone legs feel like they are made of a softer lighter material and they float and spread out well. 


Hook-Up Ratio: 2.0/5

Crooked ass hooks, that's the best way to describe what ails the Reaction frog's hook-up ratio. Sure we've all often heard companies boast about turning their hooks up, but Reaction Strike has taken this to the extreme and it hurts the frogs performance.

On a side note, your hooks will stay clean, this is one of (if the not the only) perk to these nearly sideways hooks (slight exaggerating)


Innovation & Design: 2.0/5

We've all seen this mold before, the Revolution frog is yet again a frog that is made by a few different companies that all bought the same mold. It's an early 'Spro-style" knock off that missed the mark. The only points I could give them here was for the skirt, it really is nice and light and on a better frog would be an incredible feature. 

Availability, Options & Price: 4.0/5

The Reaction Frog got a nice little score boost here due to 2 things.. first off they offer the frog in 3 sizes and 9 color choices. This kind of selection is getting rare and its unfortunate that it's wasted here. As for pricing if you buy direct your going to pay nearly double what Tackle Warehouse retails them for, so do your homework and don't waste more money then you have to. 

Situations for Success:

The Revolution frog was designed for all around use, but it's poor walking action makes it better "heard not seen". If you plan to fish this frog I recommend adding a rattle and using it in this medium to medium/heavy cover situations. The rattle will provide added noise and weight to ensure it stays seated and that the fish know its coming.

Be sure to work it over open areas between the pads taking time to pause, as mentioned above this frog looks best when doing nothing at all.


Where to Find:
In case you are having a hard time finding these locally, here are some reliable options for you.


Reaction Strike ($9.99)


Equipment:

The Reaction frog fishes well on the Dobyns 735c or 736c which provides enough tip to make accurate casts all while still having the backbone needed to haul fish out of the nastiest of cover.

As with any hollow-body bait, this frog should be worked on 40lb-60lb braid line. 


Field Test Report Card:

Open Water (Sparse Pads): D+
Pads (Medium Cover): C-
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover): C+

Walk the Dog: D+
Popping Action: N/A
Sit/Pause: B+







Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What's in the box! Confessions of a Frog Fishing Junkie




From time to time I get asked the the question made famous by Brad Pitt in the movie Seven.. "What's in the Box!" so before we officially kick off the 2017 review year, I though I would give you a peak into my standard everyday frog box, and maybe, just maybe a little insight into why each frog made the cut.




Gene Larew 3-Legged Toad

The the 3-Legged toad is the only soft plastic toad to make the final frog box cut. Its the ultimate "all situations" frog  that offers up a soft churn perfect for early morning and the evening bite. 

The body of the frog is made of a nearly marshmallow like foam that floats, and hold up fairly well fish after fish. The third leg works to add to the frogs wake, but also prolongs the frogs life, as even when the bait looses that one inevitable limb, it still has two more to fish with.

This is one of the first frogs I reviewed on the Frog Pond back in 2012 and it is still in my box today.

When to Use: Medium to Sparse cover when trying to cover water quickly. Great to bounce over cover and fish around submerged timber.








Teckel USA - Choker

The Gene Larew 3-Legged Toad may be the longest standing member of my Frog Box, but on the other end of the spectrum the Teckel USA Choker is one of if not thee newest!

The Choker saw some serious time on the water last season and even went a 3 week period as the only frog I tied on. The Choker offers up the classic profile made famous by the Reaction Innovation Swamp Donkey with one major improvement.. flashing for legs. This common fly tying material works incredibly well on the back of a frog, they fan out easily and offer up some crazy flash and shine as they spread out on the pause.

The body of the frog is soft yet durable and it moves well on or around pads and other structure. This is my everyday frog and is a good bet to the my opening day starter.

When to Use: This is an all around frog that can be used in heavy cover to open water. I vary the retrieve to help identify what the fish are looking for on any given day. 






SnagProof - GuntersVille Frog

Sometimes less is more, and when I'm reaching for a frog to crash the pads, the Guntersville frog from Snag Proof is at the top of the list. This compact yet beefy frog has rattles for legs and was built to "sit"more then it was built to "swim". So if you are planing to fish medium to sparse cover this may not be the frog to you, but, when fishing a thick mess of pads or slop this frog will call the fish in and make sure it  gets noticed and more importantly EATEN!.

Best fished slowly with slight pulls or an intermittent retrieve the Guntersville frog fills a void that not many other frogs can. The only real downfall to this bait is that its easy to loose a rattle. Even more so if you are prone to bouncing it over the various structures you can run into in shallow pad filled water... This reminds me, I need to buy another one. 

When to Use: Heavy Cover Period! slow pulls over and around pads.






SPRO - Bronzeye Shad

You can't call it a Frog Box if it doesn't have at least one SPRO frog inside (google it if your dont believe me)... or in this case a SPRO Shad? The Bronzeye Shad offers a great profile, with even better dance moves. Its horse like tails give some sway to the back end and helps this frog/shad walk in and out of tight situations. For a longer bait it really does have some great moves and I often tie one on when fishing sparser cover or even open water (though I tend to throw a popping frog in open water situations)

When the pads start to choke out the water I usually put this guy away. It does not sit well on pads and kinda flops from side to side. 

When to Use: Sparse cover to Open Water, when a stealth presentation is called for. Can be used to cover water quickly or times when cover is spread out and your working long distances between. 





SnagProof - Popping Phattie

I've fished this frog so long it use to have another name! Remember when these were the Ish Poppin Phatties? well sometimes sponsorships change but one thing is for certain, if Ish still isn't fishing this frog he is seriously missing out! 

I actually carry the classic Phat Frog (see below) as well as the Popping Phattie in the #1 Frog box, but of the two the popping phattie sees way more time on the water. It is a great all around frog that fishes best in open water to sparse cover conditions where I can fully take advantage of its popping ability. Not a proper fan? thats ok, slow down and the popping Phattie can also be walked, which is a big plus as it avoids switching back and forth as the conditions and structure changes. 

I don't throw a lot of popping frogs, but its important to carry at least one in your box for the times when you really need to let the fish know your there... ring that dinner bell.

When to Use: Sparse cover to Open Water, when a louder presentation is called for. This could also be considered a crossover frog, ease up on the retrieve to walk and no pop this popping frog. Saves your time and line when not having to retie. 



SnagProof - Phat Frog

The Phat Frog is definitely a special teams player, and usually only gets the nod to play when the area I'm fishing is loaded with slop!. Its unique body design moves well over the nastiest of slop and rarely if ever comes back with salad. Unlike some of the other "all around" frogs in my box, this one was really designed to fish any situation. It just so happens that it ain't pretty, so it often get the dirty jobs, but hey someone has to do it! This frog has all the same perks as the above Popping Phattie so i won't go into great detail here, just use it!

Slop calls for a nice flat bottomed bait that won't catch or roll as it moves, this is that frog!

When to Use: Heavy to Medium cover and slop! 







Deps - Slither K

Although some situations call for noise, other call for stealth, that's where the Deps Slither K comes into the mix. This frog is a high end low profile version of a scum frog, it can be cast (quietly) into any hole or target, and its fur tail will drive the fish crazy even on a prolonged pause. 

Don't get me wrong, this bait looks sexy when killed, but moves even better when twitched. I work the Slither K one of two ways depending on the bite. First is a fast erratic walk, with the bait coming slowly to the boat but moving rapidly back and forth. The second is slow twitches, walking the frog home an inch at a time. The fur tail does a lot of the work for you here, so let it!

The Slither K is one of two bite size frogs I carry at all times. I find them best utilized in medium sparse cover or when working the edges. Cast them 1-2 feet in and work it along the edge, I guarantee there will be a bass following. 

When to Use: Medium to Sparse Cover and Edges, slower presentation. The ultimate pocket jumper, be sure to let this frog sit in every pocket and let the fish get a look at it.





EverGreen - Kicker Frog

This little guy often finds himself playing second fiddle to the Deps Slither K, they both get used in similar situations but the Slither K takes more patience then I have on some days, so enter the Kicker frog. 

EverGreen makes a nice bite sized frog with a seriously sharp single hook. This frog is always swallowed whole and that hook never seems to miss on the hookset. You don't need to work the Kicker frog as much or as slowly,as the Slither K but I often use it to fish the edges of the pads or sparser pockets. This frog is well built and has a very soft flexible body and has held up season after season and fish after fish. 

I have a feeling this frog may get bumped from the front lines in the coming seasons, but for now I like to have a variety of sizes available and the Kicker frog suits me just fine. Also being that its an import and $$$$ I like to get my moneys worth. 

When to Use: Medium to Sparse Cover and Edges, faster presentation. I use this frog when smaller profiles are needed but also when speed is my friend.




Tru Tungsten - Mad Maxx

Some will consider this a cheat, as the True Tungsten Mad Maxx frog has been discontinued for years . But I loaded up on them prior to TT going under and I'm glad I did. The Mad Maxx frog takes what SPRO started and ups the game, if has a similar body profile and angry look, but the body material is lighter and collapses as quickly and easily as a scum frog.

I call this my "confidence frog" if I'm going through a stretch with limited to no blow-ups or worse if Ive missed repeated fish I will often tie the Mad Maxx on to boost my confidence. 

I don't often push replicas but since TruTungsten is no more, I don't feel as bad sending you to the Castaic Boyd Bucket frog or the Blitz Frog both of these frogs use the same mold and if not the same, a nearly identical body material. I own one of each and I just close my eyes and pretend they are Mad Maxx's.

When to Use: This is an All Situations frog that can be used in medium/heavy to sparse cover. It will not see much time in heavy cover or open water due to is light weight frame. These frogs work well when walked and paused in a more continuous retrieve. 

Frog Pond Review: 7.4



Terminator - Walking Frog 

With one season under its belt the Terminator Walking frog will start 2017 in the main frog box, but it may see some time in triple-A as some of the newer frogs start to make an appearance. The Terminator Walking frog has a unique body that is built to fish and be seen in any type of situation. It's larger bulkier frame makes it sit well on pads, while its narrower ass-end gives it a nice look when paused over pockets. It also lives up to its name, and walks like a champ over and around cover and even in open water.

I wish I was able to give the Walking frog more time on the water, its nothing personal against the frog as it has been one of my favourite newcomers these past few years, it all comes down to  preference and for me the bulkier body and size are not what I'm normally looking for in a frog and I often reach for less hearty frogs.

When to Use: This is an all situations frog that does its best work in heavy to sparse cover. Like the Slither K this is a "pocket-jumper" a frog that I try to place and pause in each and every pocket in a given pad section.

Frog Pond Review: 9.2



There you have it, the secret is out, as an angler that has tried and tested nearly 130 frogs over the past 5 seasons, these 10 are the ones I trust day in and day out when I'm on the water. So, whats in your box!





Friday, March 17, 2017

Bass Assassin Logger Toad


Logger Toad:      Colours: 10   Size: 4"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Mixed               Weight: N/A


Intro:

I finally got around to fishing with the Logger Toad at the tail end of last season. I was slightly hesitant to write this review as I did not get as much time as I would have liked fishing it, but then again I believe in that short time it had the chance to show me all that it hard to offer.


Overall Rating: 7.1/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 3.5/5

Bass Assassin has been doing their thing quietly for years now. They make decent baits and every once in awhile drop a new bait that catches anglers eyes... enter the Logger Toad. The LT has a nice thick body and limbs that work well in the water and still should hold up fish after fish. The only area that may cause concern is the narrow head, this makes it hard to use screw in style hooks and also makes it easier for hooks to rip up the bait during the fight.

If you take a second look at the image above you will be able to clearly see the hooks screw showing through the plastic.

Castability: 3.0/5

I found the Logger Toad slightly awkward to cast when I first got started with it. Its flat body combined with numerous appendages sent it spiralling a few times. I found this bait casts better over shorter distances and of course the flat bottom is great for skipping if the legs and tail don't get in the way.

Presentation: 4.0/5

The Logger Toad does exactly what Bass Assassin said it will do it burns through open water and cover with ease and the combination of legs and tail give the water a great churn and bubble effect. The body of this frog is ribbed giving off even more commotion on the retrieve. The Logger Toad does not go quietly into the night!



Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

It's slim body design allows fish to get this bait into their mouth with ease.  A deep hook slot on the baits back allows you to hide your hook point keeping it free and clear until the time is right. I like that this is a long narrow bait meaning you can use smaller (3/0) or as large as 7/0 hooks.. thought thats cutting it tight and a 4/0 or 5/0 are your best bet here.

No double hook options for the Logger Toad, its body is too narrow at the hips



Innovation and Design : 4.0/5

Bass Assassin gets a few bonus points here not only for making some original idea decisions but also for not being afraid to make changes.

The bait design is different from any other frog on the market at this moment. The addition of a stirring tail is a nice touch that improves the baits overall presentation. But its also something they removed that caught my attention. If you'll notice on my images the Logger Toad is a 4 legged bait with two short legs up front in addition to two at the back (plus the tail) in the 2017 model the front legs have been removed and I feel this was a great choice as it improves the frogs mobility over cover and with the ribbed body these legs were just overkill.

Lastly although I'm not sure of they meant to do it or not, the Logger toad can be fished belly up or belly down. Sure you lose the hook slot protection but if you want to see another interesting retrieve try turning your bait on its back!

Availability, Options & Price: 3.0/5

Not exactly widely available to the Logger Toad's saving grace is that it can be picked up at Tackle Warehouse meaning its easy to get your hands on. Other then that you need to buy direct from Bass Assassin which means you'll pay a premium. 



Where to Find:
In case you are having a hard time finding these locally, here are some reliable options for you.


Equipment:

I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula.  This frog is fairly light weight and likes a little extra tip to help impart action around and under cover.






Monday, February 20, 2017

Scum Frog Trophy Series Frog Review


Trophy Series:   Colors: 11     Length: 2.75"     Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1
Trophy Series:   Colors: 11     Length: 2.75"    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1

Intro:

Why mess with the good thing? On one hand I give credit to the crew at the Southern Lure company for not resting on their laurels and instead continuing to strive to offer us up new frog baits.. but we know the original is the best? you can add bells and whistles (and up the price) but when Im looking for a scum frog I'm grabbing the original, how about you? 


Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 3.5/5


There is often an argument to be had when talking quality and durability of a scum frog, this is mostly due to the fact that these things are the pre-school art class version of a frog and a built just touch enough to get you through a few fish.

The body of this frog is made of the same material used on all makes and model of scum frog which as you know is great for hook-ups but no so great for longevity (even more so if your lakes have toothy fishy mixed in with the bass. Other problems you will spot on this frog are the large glued on eyes that peel off after an outing to two as well as a large cavity near the rear weight which can and will take on water during the retrieve 


Castability: 4.0/5

High marks here, as this rear weighted versions of a scum frog will get your the distance you sorely miss while fishing with its smaller and lighter weight brothers. Its long body has a flat belly that lands with just the right authority. The rear weigh sticks out like an outie belly button and can effect the frogs ability to be skipped,  

Presentation: 3.5/5

For me Scum Frogs where never really about presentation as much as they were about being int he right place at the right time. They sit high in the water coloum and move with ease over the thickest of pads and other structures.

The trophy series is a great "heavy cover" frog as its heavy rear weigh keeps it hugging the pads and ensures any fish below hears it coming.

In open water this frog moves fairly well, but don't expect it to dance.




Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

Quality Owner round bend hooks are this frogs saving grace when it comes to the hook-up ratio. Things it does not have going for it are the rear weight and heavy legs that stick out and give it a wider bite. None of these are major faults and don't bring down the score a tone. Standard Scum frogs are nearly swallowed whole each and every time, so its a lot for the Trophy series to live up to.


Innovation & Design: 3.5/5

Giving credit where credit is due, the innovation and design here are not about bringing something new to the industry but in fact just bringing something new to their already tried and true design. Scum Frog is like McDonalds, they offer a cheaply priced product that people love, sure they keep trying to tempt up with new cool features and menu items, but its MCdondalds, just let me have my cheeseburger and ill be happy.. In other words, props to Scum frog for constantly offering up new models and features, but Ill stick with the original.

Availability, Options & Price: 4.5/5

If you can't find the Scum frog line of baits at your local tackle shop its time to move. They offer the perfect entry level frog and price that most shops and anglers eat up. with that said at time specialty frogs are not as common, of that's the case check out one of the below online retailers.



Where to Find:
In case you are having a hard time finding these locally, here are some reliable options for you.


Bass Pro Shop ($6.49)

Cabela's ($5.99)



Equipment:

The Trophy series fishes well on the Dobyns 735c which provides enough tip to make accurate casts all while still having the backbone needed to haul fish out of the nastiest of cover.

As with any hollow-body bait, this frog should be worked on 40lb-60lb braid line. 


Field Test Report Card:

Open Water (Sparse Pads): C+
Pads (Medium Cover): B-
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover): A-

Walk the Dog: C
Popping Action: N/A
Sit/Pause: C+





Monday, January 30, 2017

SmartBaits Foxy Frog Review

Foxy Frog:      Colours: 4 (8)   Size: 4.5"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Swim               Weight: N/A


Intro:

Does this frog look familiar? it should, I reviewed it back in 2015 when it was called the Buzz'n Cane Toad and was produced by Gambler, so if some of the below comments and ratings look familiar, its because they are!

This is also the reason I made changes to how I will be rating frogs starting in 2017,  lets see how SmartBaits Foxy Frog holds up! 

Overall Rating: 5.8/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.0/5

The rubber used in the SexyFrog is fairly durable and holds up well in the nose and body of the bait. Where swim style frogs/toads suffer is in their toes, the thin rubber on the action end rips very easily and its not long before your frog becomes and amputee.


Castability: 3.5/5

The FoxyFrog is fairly aerodynamic and is pretty easy to cast. It does not have much weight to it, so you may have to play around with your reels breaks in order to find the sweet spot. The keel like belly makes the FoxyFrog skip easily and it has a nice fall when paused. 


Presentation: 3.0/5

Like the bait it copied, I found this frog was pretty average on the water, the keel shaped belly and rounded nose tend to dip if paused, meaning they can turn into a wake bait if your not careful.  The legs produce a soft churn that works well in calm water or when pulled off shore. If there is much chop your going to want to put this frog down and find one that produces more of the dinner bell commotion you need to draw fish in.

Watch how your run your hooks, the nose of the FoxyFrog turns and twists easily, meaning it won't run straight on the retrieve. This can also be caused by a misshaped body, which is an issue on many soft body toads pressed into a package.


Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

Equipped with a deep belly slot and V-Shaped back  you can easily hide your hook point without having to bury or even skin hook it. The body and legs are very soft and will move out of the way even if your set the hook like my 12-year old niece.



Innovation and Design : 2.0/5

Lets not kid ourselves here this frog design is a straight rip off of Gamblers Buzz'n Cane toad, so no points for creativity there. The only saving grace SmartBaits has is that it tried to apply the rarely used colour change effect. The body of this bait changes colour as the water temperature changes. This feature may benefit slower moving baits that sit in front of the fish for longer periods of time. But since this frog will be buzzing along the fish won't get a great look at it and I don't think they will notice the change in colour.

No design changes where made from the Gambler toad, which is a shame as the gambler version also had it's flaws.

Availability, Options & Price: 2.0/5

This is a small Ontario based company still trying to get noticed.  They are working to make a name for themselves by offering up a unique line of colour change baits. Unfortunately they must have used up all there ideas on the color change bit because the bait design itself was taken straight from Gambler.

As for their options this frog is available in one size and 4 colours.. I guess that means 8 colours since each bait turns from one colour to another when the water temperature changes.



Where to Find:
In case you are having a hard time finding these locally, here are some reliable options for you.

SmartBaits ($7.99)




Equipment:

I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula.  This frog is fairly light weight and can even be fished on lighter gear. this of course will all depend on the cover your fishing.