Monday, August 22, 2016

Scum Frog Pro Series Frog Review


Pro Series : Colors: 7 Length: 2.5"  inch Weight: 1/2oz  Pack Count: 1


Intro:

One thing you should know about me, is that Im a Scum Frog guy, I started frog fishing with a scum frog and to this day I always have a few of them in the boat with me. Im not it would seem a "pro series scum frog guy". Fishing with this frog kind of felt like they were trying to take my favourite bait and change all the things I love about it so others will love it too, all the while turning it into somthing that is not a scum frog? make sense?

Overall Rating: 7.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 3.5/5

When it comes to quality and durability this is still a good ol' scum frog, same durable skin with just a few new bells and whistles. This frog holds up well to the abuse frog fishing put a bait through and will last fish after fish without sinking. (But it's not a scum frog)

Cast ability: 3.5/5

The Pro Series is beefier then standard Scum frogs and and will give you some added distance you dont usually attribute to scum frog fishing. A rattle has been attached to the shank of the hook helping sit the bait down a bit better and ensuing it usually (not always) lands belly side down. (But its not a scum frog)

Presentation: 3.0/5

The Pro Series is a walking frog, it has long silicone legs and a split ring added to the nose for a little extra freedom on the retrieve. I did have some issues with this frog cover situations but for the most part it walks as expected. (but its not a scum frog)


Hook-up Ratio: 3.0/5

This is one area that the improvements made to the Pro Series Scum Frog effect the baits overall ability. The Addition of the rattle along with the change in body style decrease its hook-up ratio. I know they claim the rattle is "out of the way" and maybe this was all in the my head, but the hooks dont expose as easily and the hard rattle/plate seems to be the cause. I think I would have preferred loose rattles to this secured option.


Availability: 4.0

It's scum frog, and no matter the size of your local bait shop the stock this line of baits. Decent price points combined with a good reputation make this one a no brainer. With that said if you live in an area and can't get scum frogs.. time to move.

Options & Price: 3.5/5

Adding the word "Pro" to the title lets you know that this bait will be more expensive then the standard Scum frog, and I do understand the price jump. I just dont understand the need for the frog. Scum frogs work under a certain set of scenarios, and when those are not present I won't jump to this bait but instead of one the many other hollow bodies that do what the Pro Series claims to do.



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



Sportsman Warehouse ($6.99)

Northern Lure Company ($7.00)


Equipment:

All  testing was done on a  Dobyns DX746 it is my go to rod and handles both hollow and soft plastic baits alike. As for reels, the Daiwa Tatula HD pairs well with this rod and gives you a nice over sized spool for that added distance and power. Line choice was SunLine FX2



Field Test Report Card:

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

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


Monday, August 15, 2016

NetBait Kickin B Review


Kickin B Standard:      Colours:10   Size: 4"     Pack Count: 5
Kickin B Mini      :      Colours:10   Size: 3.5"     Pack Count: 5               

Leg Style: Buzz              Weight: N/A


Intro:

This is NetBaits first time in the frog pond, and so far its made a pretty decent splash. The Kickin B is the second frog this year that fits into both the soft plastic toad as well as the "cross over bait" categories, meaning its the perfect combination of flipping bait and toad. 

Overall Rating: 7.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.5/5

The Kickin B has a rockin body, nice and thick with plenty of ribs to churn the hell out of the water. As the legs taper down they start to thin out in order to give the bait its presentation, unfortunately this is also the baits weakest link (see the last photo). It will hold up for a few fish, but tail grabbers and toothy critters will be the death of the Kickin B


Castability: 3.5/5

The Kickin B has a thin slender body that casts fairly well. It could use a bit more weight if you are looking for serious distance or of course you could also added a belly weighted hook (but that makes the retrieve that much harder). Flipping is what this cross over bait does best so keep this frog in your bag for shorter targeted casts to structure or around docks.

Presentation: 4.05

I'm a big fan of the way this frog swims. Its the perfect mix between a buzz frog and a swim frog. The legs are swim style legs giving a nice churn behind the bait, while the ribbed body offers extra bubbles around the bait as it moves through the water. I can hear Jaws music in my head on each and every retrieve. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The frogs Slim body and tucked in legs make for an above average hook-up ratio. The only areas in need of improvement would be that there is no easy way to skin hook this bait, the bodies material is a bit tougher than most and doesn't easily hide a hook point. Its also too slender for a double hook, which when Im fishing open water is my preferred hook (at this moment in time)




Availability & Price:3.0/5

NetBait products are hit and miss in Ontario, I have no dealers close to me so refilling my arsenal will become a chore. On-line they are fairly common so add a pack to your next tackle warehouse order. The price is great at under $0.80 a piece.

Options: 3.5/5

Available in two sizes and 10 colours Netbait would seem to have your options covered. But because this is a crossover bait and not a standard frog I think they are missing some key colours when it comes to toad fishing.. white being one of them. 


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

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Equipment:

I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 734c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD.  This frog is needs a rod that will allow you to manoeuvre it around cover while still hauling big bass out of the grass..



Monday, August 8, 2016

Reaction Strike Revolution Rat Review

Revolution Rat : Colors:  Length: 3"  inch Weight: N/A Pack Count: 1


Intro:

I have to be honest here, the revolution rat is a better bait then it looks. And lets be doubly honest, that ain't a hard accomplishment since this bait is uuuggllyy! But, if you're in the market for a decent swimming hollow body rat, you've come to the right place (just be sure to put a bag over its head)

Overall Rating: 6.7/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 3.0/5

If we continue on this honestly train, then you and I both know that Reaction Strike is not exactly known for building quality baits. Hell I'm not sure they could patten a single bait design since most look awfully familiar. With all that said they have made a rat that's more durable then Live Targets prices mouse.




Cast ability: 3.5/5

Not exactly built with flying in mind, this bait casts average at best but lands fairly well due mostly to its bulbous balloon like body. The thick tail and plump body shape can make it awkward to skip but don't give up, it can be done,

Presentation: 3.5/5

The Revolution Rat offers up a mixed bag when it comes to on water performance. It;s at its best in open water to medium/sparse cover. It walks very well and the tail acts like a stabilizer allowing you to retrieve at high speeds without blowing a tire. As the pads and slop get thicker the Revolution Rat starts to lose its luster. The round body shape begins to roll as you try to slide it over any type of cover and you will quickly become frustrated.

Hook-up Ratio: 3.5/5

Here again the Rats body shape and long thick tail can be a hindrance. As you know I'm looking for baits with little to no interference and the Rat comes closer to protecting the hooks then it does hiding them. The body of the Rat is nice a flexible and will collapse on contact just watch out for that tail.




Availability: 3.0

Reaction Strike is not exactly common in most parts of Ontario, and I'm somewhat surprised. No based based on quality but based on pricing. Many stores now focus on moving more and more low end baits to weekend warriors and stick only a few for the guys willing to spend serious money on baits. I expect to see more reaction strike on retailers shelves soon (sigh)

Options & Price: 3.5/5

Only offering up 3 colour choices and 1 size option the Revolution Rat is not exactly blowing you away with its selection. But prices at under $7 a bait its worth the initial purchase just to say you've tried it.



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



Sportsman Warehouse ($7.99)

Reaction Strike ($8.99)


Equipment:

All  testing was done on a  Dobyns DX746 it is my go to rod and handles both hollow and soft plastic baits alike. As for reels, the Daiwa Tatula HD pairs well with this rod and gives you a nice over sized spool for that added distance and power. Line choice was SunLine FX2





Field Test Report Card:

Open Water (Sparse Pads): B
Pads (Medium Cover): B
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover): D

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



Monday, August 1, 2016

Luck-E-Strike Frantic Frog Review

Frantic Frog:      Colours:7   Size: 3"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Buzz              Weight: N/A


Intro:

This is not only my first time reviewing a Luck-E-Strike frog but it may also be the only one of their baits in my current arsenal.  And after getting to spend some serious time on the water, believe me, it ain't staying there. 


Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.0/5

When it comes to quality and durability the Frantic frog is kind of a mixed bag. The rubber is nice and dense making the body and nose of this bait robust. With that said the scrawny legs are a weak point and will be the first to go in battle.

Overall I may be bias here as I don't like to give the bait makers a ton of credit when at first glance the Frantic frog can easily be mistaken for the Gambler Cane Toad, and with Chris Lane putting his name on it, its not hard to see why. 


Castability: 3.0/5

The Frantic frog really lives up to its name when you cast it, its thin body easily catches air (not in a good way) and can cut or knuckle in the breeze. Again you can see that Luck-E-Strike tried to emulate the Gambler Cane toad but by taking a little too much off they have really altered how this bait fishes and is cast.

The ultra flat belly does allow for  decent skipping bait. I wish i liked the fall the bit more as what good is a skipping frog that can't fall? 


Presentation: 3.55

The similarities between the Frantic Frog and Cane toad end once they hit the water. This bait attempted to recreate a popular frog while still making it look different (I commend them for trying) but with that said, they failed.

Both baits have a flat bottom and thin profile, but Luck-E-Strike took a bit to much off the Frantic frog with makes it almost surf at times if your retrieve picks up. I also found that the paddle feet were almost a bit to heavy for the thin round legs making them trip over themselves on the retrieve.

The worse part about this baits design is its back, there is absolutely no place for your hook point to hide and if you are fishing any sort of cover be prepared to spent time cleaning your hook(s).



Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

The score here really relates to the fact that there is little to nothing to this frog so it is quite easy to get the hooks into a fish. My main issue was hook placement, as you can see I tried running a double hook on the Frantic frog but it was hard to centre and even harder to hide the points. Due to is light flimsy body this frog will land upside down and you sill have a hard time dragging it back. A single hook is a better option but not by much.


Availability & Price: 3.0/5

When ordering this bait I didn't even know it was a Luck-E-Strike product, I guess that's how long it has been since Ive seen their baits on the shelves of my local shops. I have yet to see this frog in any of my travels and with how poorly it fished Id be surprised if I see it any time soon.

Pricing is under the $1 a bait bench mark but not enough to make it worth purchasing even to try.

Options: 3.0/5

One size and 5 colour choices make the Frantic frog feel like it was rushed to market. Again the colour choices are good, but nothing that says wow.  


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




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Equipment:

I completed all my Frantic frog testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD.  This frog is light and flimsy, so dropping down in power may be needed. Try a 734c for a bit more action.










Monday, July 25, 2016

Reaction Innovation Swamp Donkey Review

Swamp Donkey : Colors:  Length: 3"  inch Weight: 1/2oz  Pack Count: 1


Intro:

The return of the Swamp Donkey.. no retired frog has been as talked about as the Reaction Innovations Swamp Donkey. Anglers begged RI to bring this bait back and it has finally happened.. the Swamp Donkey is back.. but does it live up to the hype?

Overall Rating: 8.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 4.0/5

Reaction Innovation makes a damn good frog. The Swamp Donkey is pieced together with quality components including sharp up turned hooks, a longer narrow body and down turned nose. Other then the nose these are all wins and just a few of the reasons the swamp Donkey is in such high demand.


Castability: 4.0/5

Featuring a half once aerodynamic body this frog casts incredibly well. Its good for distance and shorter skips. Like most frogs it will struggle in windier conditions but keep it low and you should still be able to hit your spots.

I have mixed emotions about the Swamp Donkeys land, at times it comes down a bit heavy looking like an Olympic diver doing a cannonball, yet other times it more graceful.. could it be me.. sure but I do this enough to say its partly the frogs fault (just not sure why)

Presentation: 4.0/5

The Swamp Donkey moves very well at medium to low speed retrieves.  It can be walked back to the boat in a wide wobble or a nice tight walk. I do find this bait harder to control at longer distances and higher speeds, I'm not sure but I think the down turned nose is a hindrance in both of these situations. But for slower speeds and closer targets you can really make this thing move.

Hook-up Ratio: 4.0/5

One of the things that made this frog the legend that it has become is its high hook-up ratio. Its long slender body with child baring hips makes this frog easy to swallow so the fish often gets all of it prior to you driving the hooks home. The wide hips hide the hook points keeping them clean on the retrieve and making sure they are ready to do their job when the fish hits.




Availability: 3.5

Just the fact that you can buy this frog again is enough for most anglers, so I won't be too hard on them here. A retired bait coming back from the dead is a rare thing, they are usually retired for a reason (poor sales, too many knock-offs, or high cost). With all that said I couldn't find this frog locally and had to add it to a Tackle Warehouse order, they too had limited stock so i took what I could get.

Options & Price: 4.5/5

When you see the price tag of $8.99 you have to give Reaction Innovations props, since over the past few years the discontinued version of this frog has been selling for $20-$75 on a fairly regular basis. So they could have used the built up demand to gouge anglers.. but they didn't, and that's worth a thanks. As for options the Swamp Donkey only comes in one size but the colour choices are pretty sweet. I opted for Hematoma (Black/Purple) though I would also have loved the BlueGill, Grey Ghost and the Leopard Frog version.



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



Land Big Fish ($8.99)

Outdoor ProShop ($8.99)


Equipment:

All  testing was done on a  Dobyns DX746 it is my go to rod and handles both hollow and soft plastic baits alike. As for reels, the Daiwa Tatula HD pairs well with this rod and gives you a nice over sized spool for that added distance and power. Line choice was SunLine FX2





Field Test Report Card:

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

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







Monday, July 18, 2016

Keitech Noisy Flapper Frog Review

Noisy Flapper:      Colours:10   Size: 3.5"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Swim/Buzz               Weight: N/A


Intro:

Probably the bait I was most excited to purchase going into this past off season, and believe me, my list a long one. I really like what Keitech has been up to over the past few seasons and even the baits I have yet to catch fish on, still get high marks in my book, they seem to focus on quality durable baits that make a commotion in the water.  Bring on the Noisy flapper 

Overall Rating: 9.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 5.0/5

The body of the Noisy Flapper is soft yet incredibly durable. It feels like it has been injected with somthing that allows it to be pulled on, tugged and hammer at all while keeping its shape and appendages. It's not often you find a bait this durable in this price range.

 The keys parts of a soft body toad that need to be durable are its nose and of course its legs, Keitech seems to understand this as they have built a frog with a boxers nose and a runners legs. This frog will hold up fish after fish.



Castability: 4.5/5

The Noisy Flapper has a beefy profile that casts incredibly well. Its aerodynamic shape looks kinda like the bat mobile or in this instance bat plane, and cuts through the air and breeze well. Its softish sponge like body material makes a nice slap when it hits the water altering any fish in the area of its presence while not spooking them. The Flapper can also be flipped and skipped quite easily making it a great frog around trees and docks. 


Presentation: 5.05

The Noisy Flapper is not your average frog and could be described more as a cross over bait, it is the ideal top water frog, and when the going gets tough it can be flipped (weighted or not) or paired with your favourite jig. This bait is a force to be reckoned with.

The long legs get you a powerful buzz/churn on the retrieve switching to a soft flutter then the bait is killed or paused. Fish will come from a long way out to swallow this bait so keep your eyes peeled and watch for the wake.





Hook-Up Ratio: 5.0/5

With the combination of its wide body (ass end at-least) and the soft material the Noisy Flapper is easily one of if not thee highest hook-up percentage frog in my arsenal. Keitech has taken all the hook-up ratio keys to success and said "why not use them all"

One of these keys that is often overlooked is the ability to use a double frog hook on a soft plastic toad. Not all baits are wide enough and provide enough hiding spots to make this work. The NF seems like it was built with this as its primary rigging style not just an option. And believe me, its will improve your catch ratio.


Availability & Price: 3.5/5

Keitech baits are becoming more and more common in the US market place but in smaller or rural Ontario its not exactly easy to find. Enter Tackle Warehouse. I had to order my baits on-lines though I have since found them in some of the shops I frequent while on the road (a couple hours away)

Price is not bad here, it is over the $1 per bait mark so I did deduct points for that. But the quality and durability of this bait makes it worth the extra coin. There are other companies out there charging more for inferior baits and Ill happily pay for quality.


Options: 4.0/5

One size baits seems to be common in the soft body toad market and the Noisy Flapper is no different. Where this frog excels is in its colour choices where all 10 colours offer the angler and fish a slightly different look.

Im a big fan of their natural colour options and I will also be adding some brighter colours like the Lime chartreuse and Okeechobee craw. The later will probably get some time on my flipping rod.





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


Land Big Fish ($5.99)

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Equipment:

I completed all my Noisy Flapper frog testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD.  This frog is heavy duty but still needs a soft tip to help finesse it around. Feel free to beef up or down, depending on your taste. I also played around a bit with a 705 glass rod, the even softer tip makes it very easy to slide into overhanging cover while still allowing me to haul the fish out.









Monday, July 11, 2016

Culprit Incredi Frog Review

Incredi Frog:      Colours:7   Size: 4"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Buzz              Weight: N/A


Intro:

I don't use a lot of Culprit baits, and the ones I have used are pretty mixed results.
The Incredit frog was a pleasant surprise in that its built tough and swims well. This bait will catch fish and won't cost you an arm and leg.


Overall Rating: 7.3/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 4.0/5

I think Culprit called this frog the Incredi Frog solely based on it's  body builder frame. This is one tough frog, from the legs on up through the body right to the nose you won't find a weak spot. The Incredi frog is on some form of PED lets just hope we don't get busted.

When doing these reviews I often ready product reviews on various other sites and pages. I have seen some quality complaints from other users claiming that they received flawed frogs right out of the package (molding issues). I did not experience this product with any of the frogs in my packs.. but I'm all about full disclosure. 


Castability: 4.0/5

Being a larger frog does wonders for the Incredi Frogs casting ability. You can easily get distance when needed and its flat(ish) body still allows you to skip up under docks and overhanging trees.

The Incredi Frog lands with a nice slap but due to its shape it will often land belly up. It can be hard to flip once this happens but if you keep your hook point buried you will still be able to complete your retrieve. 


Presentation: 4.05

Thick leg with large kicker feet mean this frog is a beast on the retrieve. it churns some serious water and leaves an "incredi-bubble trail" (see what I did there). Its very easy to fish at both high and low speeds meaning it excels in most conditions. Personally I prefer to fish this bait over medium to sparse pads, making it do a little climbing but not an "incredi" amount (ok ill stop now). Its big body will require some pulling when going over pads but the grooves cut in the belly were designed to help off set the drag effect often seen in larger soft plastic toads.



Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

The Incredi frog is built right, long slender profile means less rubber getting in the way of your hook-set and the belly slot means easier access to the hook for both you and the fish. It also has a wider ass end so that anglers that like to throw double frog hooks can do so with ease (I need to do that more)





Availability & Price:3.0/5

Not common at all in my neck of the woods, I had to order this frog on-line along with the other Culprit frog "the Marsh frog". Price is decent at just under $1 a frog, but as you know I like a bit more of a margin when it comes to soft plastics. With that said these frogs will last for multiple fish and are worth the price tag.

Options: 3.0/5

With one size and a limited colour palette options are not exactly this frogs strong suit. 


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

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Equipment:

I completed all my Incredi frog testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD.  This frog is heavy duty but still needs a soft tip to help finesse it around cover. Feel free to beef up or down, depending on your taste.