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.





Monday, January 9, 2017

Review Changes for 2017









































The 2017 review season is fast approaching, and as I finish up some reviews from last season and prepair for the coming season I decided it was time to make a slight change to the review process.

Over the past few seasons I noticed an alarming trend that sees companies blatantly ripping off other manufactures big or small. Bringing frogs to market with little to no innovation or creativity just simply put stealing the mold from a competitor and slapping their logo on it.

In order to penalize these companies while also celebrating those that bring innovation and creativity to the table I will be making the following changes:

Availability rating has now been aligned with the Options and Price rating, these three act as one rating to determine how well a company is able to bring their frog to market. is it easy to get? is it priced competitively, and are their enough options available.


In place of the Availability rating their will now be an Innovation and Design rating, this breaks down what the manufacturer brought to the table, is the bait innovative, will it give anglers the ability to show the fish something new? what makes this frog stand out from the others.

All in all the classic rating system will be in tact, and the final score will still be out of 10. This change I believe presents a better overall view of new baits and penalizes  those creating forgeries


Thanks again for reading, look out for new reviews coming your way soon!




Kahara Rat N Rat 2 Review

Rat'N Rat:   Colors: 8     Length: 2.5" (w/o Tail)    Weight: 7/16oz   Pack Count: 1


Intro:

It's been a few seasons since I reviewed the original Rat N Rat by Kahara, and if you remember I was a pretty big fan. Well version 2.0 is now available and although there has been a hefty price increase I'm not sure what else has changed? 

I'm being only slightly sarcastic here as there is a couple obvious differences, One.. the Rat n Rat 2 has been on a serious diet. This slimmed down version may not have more bells and whistles then it's big brother, but it does fish better (smoother) and walks easier. You might also have noticed that this little guy had his tail amputated. Another improvement meant to ensure the Rat N Rat fishes better in cover situations. Finally there has been a blade change, again Kahara has opted for slimmer willow blades over the Colorado style blades used in the standard Rat N Rat.


Overall Rating: 8.2/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality: 4.5/5


The Rat N rat 2 is a very well built mouse bait that seems to be fully loaded with all the bells and whistles. A soft tail nearly 2 inches in length puts the Rat N Rats total size at 5.9 inches.  In place of silicone strands the Rat N Rat is equipped with two Colorado blades for legs, which give off great motion, shine and vibration in the water. 

the Rat N Rat has a great "mouse" profile and comes in some crazy color options. Equipped with realistic 3D eyes you are going to have a hard time finding any other frog baits demanding so much attention (from angler and fish)

the belly of the Rat N Rat is lined with some lead along the long and leg area, it really reinforces the area in which the fish will strike and will extend the life of the bait


Castability: 4.0/5

Even with the slimmer changes I couldn't rate the Rat N Rat any hirer in the casting section. It is more streamlined and doesn't land and hard and flat, but the lighter body means less distance and as with all blade blades it will take some getting use to in order to skip it easily and accurately. 

Presentation: 4.5/5

I love fishing with this mouse, it is a breeze a work, and swims, walks and hops with the best of them. The Rat N Rat 2's  long body  really move well  in open water situations and the newly added willow blades give off a more erratic flash then the original model.

Still not the best in heavy cover situations, you will want to hold this bait for use in open to sparse cover. Without the tail it can be dragged easier across pads, but like with any blade the thicker the cover the more slop you will be cleaning off the rat. 


Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

With the new and improved smaller profile the Rat N Rat 2 does offer an increased hook-up ratio, this little guy is like a two-bite brownie, and we all know those things go down without a fight.

As always I will stress that the blade style legs can be an issue, and although it won't happen all the time you can expect them to get in the way every once in awhile.



Availability: 3.0/5

This is the biggest problem with this bait.. it is hard to find, as a Japanese import only select retailers will carry the line and when they do it often comes at a heftier price tag (see below)

Options & Price: 3.5/5

The original Rat N Rat was priced very well for an imported bait. It sat under $8USD even when most other Norther American frogs and rats were demanding $10+. With that said the times they are a changing, the Rat N Rat 2 will run you nearly $11USD which is nearly a 50% price increase from the original model.. interesting enough the changes made where to slim down the bait, less material, smaller blades.. apparently less is more.

the Rat N Rat 2 also comes in 4 fewer colors options (8 in total) then the original version. They are funkier colours for sure, but I'm still disappointed with the drop.  I love the overall look of this frog, it has a Ricky Vaughn Wild thing hair cut and the blades add some serious bling.. so big props on the design.



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

Tackle Warehouse ($10.49)

Optimum Baits ($10.99)




Equipment:

The Rat N Rat 2 is a lighter  bait and needs to be handled with some flexible gear. The Dobyns 735c will get the job done and make sure any fish hook make it back to the boat. Reel speed is not as important with this bait so a 6.3:1 Tatula will do

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): D

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Culprit Marsh Frog Reivew


Marsh Frog :      Colours: 0 Size: 4"     Pack Count: 5              

Leg Style: Buzz              Weight: N/A


Intro:

Wow, take a few months off from reviewing and I come back to a bunch of my frogs being retired. As the frog market grows it also continues to change as companies switch out their models every couple years, retiring fairly new products. What happened the the days when you could fish the same bait for 10 years!.. anyways, check out the Culprit Marsh Frog 

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: 4.0/5

I'm giving the Marsh frog a 4 here due to the thick dense plastic used on the body and the legs. Although it could be a pain to fish at times it definitely held up fish after fish.

Culprit designed a good all around buzz frog that even my 7 year old nephew could catch fish on. If your a stickler for the finer things, this frog may not be for you, but all in all it was a decent frog for its time. (short lived time) 



Castability: 3.5/5

I have mixed emotions when talking about this frogs casting ability. It has a dense body and enough weight that casting should not be an issue. But the slender profile seems to get caught up in the wind causing the frog to juke or cut from time to time.

it's smooth flat belly is ideal for skipping up under cover and may be its saving grace here.

Presentation: 3.55

The Marsh frog was a run of the mill buzz frog, its large kicker legs made it easy to ride and left a nice churn in the water on the retrieve. This frog excelled in getting up in the water column after the cast meaning it worked well when pulled off the shore on in weeds and or pads.

The back slot meant to hide the hook point is nice and deep but I often found myself having to readjust after each cast. The body material does not hold a hook point and just tears up so be warned if this lands  belly up, you will be bringing some salad back with the frog. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

The Marsh frog was built using a very dense soft plastic and  thick kicker legs. As you know this combination can drastically effect your hook-up ratio in a negative way. The legs and the body can eat up the hook point and give the fish a mouth full before you are able to drive the hook home.

The Marsh frog does comes equipped with a deep  back slot to hide the hook point avoiding the need for you to skin hook it. This is a plus (in this category)




Availability & Price: N/A

Good luck getting your hands on one of these. I found mine at the 1000 islands bait shop in NY state, but it's online presence has all but disappeared. Tackle Warehouse and Culprit's site both show this frog as being discontinued aka retired.

Options: N/A

The options were not crazy, one size and a hand full of colours. With that said as always Culprit had their bases covered and you would not have an issue finding a colour that suited your style. 


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

Retired.. check your local tackle swaps and of course Ebay


.


Equipment:

I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 734c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD.  This frog fishes heavy and you can easily jump up to a 5 or even 6 power and still fish it well.






Saturday, December 10, 2016

Teckle Choker Review

Choker: Colors: 16 Length: 2. 3/4"  inch Weight: 1/2oz  Pack Count: 1


Intro:

It's a sad day, after taking a few months off from writing, i sat down today to write this review of not just my favourite frog from Teckle USA but one of my favourite frogs I've fished in recent years.. only to find out that it has been discontinued. So i now write this review in protest of the Teckle Chokers way way to early retirement.

Overall Rating: 7.8/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 4.5/5

If you have read my reviews of the Teckle Whacker and the Teckle Honker then you are already aware that Teckle makes a tough bodied frog that holds up extremely well fish after fish. The one big change made on the Choker is that in place of silicone legs the Choker utilizes flashing similar to that you would see on flies and dressed treble hooks.

Prior to fishing the Choker for the first time I found this change to look a bit gimmicky, but once it hit the water I started to wonder why not every frog company did this?

Cast ability: 4.5/5

All Teckle frogs share the same body design and weight, thus they all cast very well. It's easy to  pitch, flip, skip and cast the Choker meaning it will excel in most frog fishing situations. It lands with a nice flop that should draw fish in. Once paused the shiny legs start to flare and its game on.

Presentation: 4.5/5

As with the other Teckle frogs I was not blown away by the frogs ability to walk, even though its profile and body shape would make you think otherwise. Again I feel most of its struggles come from its downward turned nose that makes it pull forward instead of walking.

Why the 4.5 you ask? that all comes from the frogs newly found legs. These shimmery flashing spreads out in the water and gives the frog a look not often seen by the fish.. which usually results in additional success.


Hook-up Ratio: 3.5/5

The use of flashing over silicone offers up an improved  hook-up ratio over its older bothers,  not only do i think the strands offer a more targeted strike zone to fish, but the thin material also ensures there is less to get in the way and thus the hooks find their home with ease.

Availability: 2.5

This is the shitty part, previously the Choker was hard to find with its only availability being Tackle Warehouse, but now that its been discontinued its going to be even harder to find. I suggest you stock up if and when you find them, (i just checked Ebay with no luck) 

Options & Price: 4.0/5

Teckle has always offered up an incredible assortment of colours. From the traditional to the funky colors you expect to see on poisonous frogs from around the world. Don't tell anyone but this white version is truly a thing of beauty and Id buy 10 more if I could.



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



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): A+
Pads (Medium Cover): A
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover): C

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