Sunday, August 6, 2017

Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Spit Shad Review


Spit Shad:   Colors: 8    Length: 2 1/3    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1

Intro:

The Spit Shad did what most sophomore release baits cant do, and that's improve on an already good thing. With that said Spro did makes some changes that negatively effect this frogs (or shads) performance. 


Overall Rating: 8.7/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 4.0/5


Spro has been doing the frog thing longer then most and it shows in the quality of product they release.  The Spit Shad body has a similar shape as the original shad but the body material seems to have been reinforces or beefed up to help improve its ability to pop. This makes it a bit more durable then its older brother but as you will see below it does effect its hook-up ratio.

The Spit shad comes in an impressive assortment of colors and finishes, and is equipped with 4/0 Gamakatsu hooks.. any questions? 


Castability: 4.5/5

The Spit Shad has the same aerodynamic body as the classic bronzeye shad but the cupped popping mouth will add a bit of drag. Overall the Spit Shad casts well and the body shape ensures a soft landing even on longer casts.  

Presentation: 4.5/5

I'm a big fan of the original Bronzeye Shad and to this day it is the only Spro frog that is in my main frog box but with that said The Spit Shad may be joining it shortly.

I'm not a huge popping frog guy, i like to walk and shake frogs but do understand the need for a popper from time to time. The smaller cupped mouth of the Spit Shad makes this the perfect popper for me, the bait walks easily producing soft spits or spurts that can be increased by increasing the motion of your rod tip. I really appreciate the fact that I can decide when to and when not to pop even when working the bait at faster retrieves.

The small mouth also improves the frogs ability to climb over pads and thicker slop without getting a mouth full.



Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

The Spit Shads profile makes it an easy snack for any bass that comes calling. It has a narrow body and both legs protrude from the end making sure absolutely nothing gets in your way. As mentioned above the back of the Spit Shad does appear to be built up or reinforced and this makes it harder to collapse the bait and means less hook point is exposed. This is the only fault I have found with the bait so far.

Innovation & Design: 4.5/5

 The trend towards hollow body bait fish is picking up steam and more and more manufactures are joining the party. So far Spro has created my favourite design in this new category, even if it is the least bait fish looking profile of the bunch.

As for design features the Spit Shad has a great body for walking and its mouth does live up to its name offer more of a spitting action then a popping action. The mouths shovel like design moves water while still allowing the bait to walk offering anglers the best of both worlds

Availability, Options & Price: 4.5/5

Spro baits are extremely easy to fins and you should have no issues buying one locally or from the various on-line retailers that stock them. When they first launched Spro set the high water mark for pricing, ranging between $9-$10, while this use to be an ouch factor, its now common and Spro's pricing is very competitive in the US market (though many Canadian companies have crazy markups on them).

Situations for Success:

The Spit shad does it's best work in open water and medium to sparse cover situations. It has an incredibly sexy walk that needs to be seen, and when you work it right the Spit Shad, gurgles, spits and and drools water all over the place. Take your time with this bait and be sure to throw in some random pauses and erratic chugs. There is no real wrong way to work this bait.


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


Spro  ($10.47)

Bass Pro Shop ($10.49)

Tackle Direct ($11.99)


Equipment:

The Spit Shad 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. This season I have been using the Daiwa Tatula SV though designed for light baits this reel offers great control for frog fishing due to its heavy duty dray and larger swept handle.

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: A
Popping Action: B+
Sit/Pause: B+






Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Strike King Super Toad Review

Super Toad:      Colours: 6   Size: 3.5"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Buzz             Weight: N/A


Intro:

Before this season I believe my last "Strike King" review was the Rage Toad all the way back in 2012. Not only did that bait fair well (I'm a fan of most Rage products) but its also still available for sale today.. 5 years later. That's a testament to the baits quality, and of course angler demand. Like many other sophomore releases the Strike King's Super Toad does not quite live up to its older brothers reputation, and Ill be surprised to see it around come 2022 (man it felt weird even typing that)


Overall Rating: 7.2/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 3.5/5

Like them or not Strike King makes a quality bait that's fished by the weekend warrior and tournament angler alike. The Super toad is no different, it was built with a high attention to detail making it easy to rig and easy to fish all while not breaking the bank.

On the durability side of things it struggles a bit. On my first day on the water with this bait I blew through a pack of super toads (5 in total) and 2 of the 5 only lasted one fish each. The first lost a foot and the second ripped 3/4 or the way across the body, leaving both legs hanging from a thread.

Castability: 3.5/5

Fairly easy to cast you should have no issues getting some decent distance with the Super Toad. Its flat belly and legs make it easy to skip and the toad's fall rate is slow enough that you are not in a rush to get cranking when it first lands.

Presentation:4.0/5

The Super Toad has some pretty big feet and churns up some serious water. It fishes well at both at high and medium speeds, it you run it much slower then that and the legs tend to trip up on you.

The Super Toad is an easy bait to keep upright, and even during those times in which I found it swimming on its back all it took was a slight pause to have it instantly roll back over on its belly. This is a pretty big perk when fishing medium and heavy cover when toads tend to roll as the crawl over the pads.

With its really flat belly the Super Toad doesn't climb all that well, and you will notice it drag when it hits the pads, at times I had to increase my speed to keep it moving.



Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

No concerns here, the Super Toad has a slim profile that holds both 3/0 and 4/0 hooks perfectly. The back of the bait leaves you a nice place to skin hook your hook point and as mentioned above the Super Toad's ability to roll over ensures your hook stays clean and is in perfect condition when its time to set the hook.




Innovation and Design : 3.0/5

The Super Toad is a pretty standard design with no real bells and whistles. It does the job but nothing about it is a game changer or fills a need or gap on the market. it kinda feels like it has been awhile since Strike King launched a new toad so they threw this together and put the weight of their big guns behind it.

Availability, Options & Price: 3.5/5

This is a Strike King product and should not be hard to find in either your local tackle shop or Super Store. With that said its online presence is oddly lacking. You will be able to find the Super Toad at either Tackle Warehouse or Land Big Fish (for now anyways)



Situations for Success:

The Super Toad is a great bait for both calm and moderately windy conditions. I like to cast it over the targeted area and allow it to get up a full head of steam as it approaches the strike zone. Vary your speed until you find what the fish are looking for on any given day, but remember this is a noise maker and it will be more successful when fish are aggressively hunting.

If you are missing strikes have two follow-up baits ready, a hollow body frog (slower presentation) and of course a something to flip or pitch.


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

Tackle Warehouse ($3.79)

Land Big Fish ($3.69)


Equipment:

I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 734c 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.




Sunday, July 16, 2017

D&M Custom Baits Super Newt Review

Logger Toad:      Colours: 8   Size: 5"     Pack Count: 2    
             Leg Style: Mixed               Weight: N/A


Intro:

The D&M Super Newt is a reader recommend review.

This bait fell off my radar a bit as it is not a traditional frog bait and would be considered more of a crossover. It does contain many of the traits you look for in a soft plastic toad but its overall size and weigh make it a tough sell to anglers not fishing California waters. 


Overall Rating: 6.1/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price


Quality & Durability: 4.0/5

The Super Newt does seem to be constructed of "super human" materials, its body is thick and durably ensuring it wouldn't easily loose an appendage. The nose of this bait is perfect for the use of screw in hooks, it leaves plenty of room around the screw ensuring it wont pop out easily or tear up the head of the bait.

Castability: 3.0/5

This is a big heavy bait and needs some serious gear in order to launch and retrieve it. Most soft body toads take advantage of a rod with a bit more tip play but in this situation I recommended a stouter rod. The weight of the Super Newt also makes it come down a bit hard, so watch your height as this things often clears the shallow end of the pool with its canon ball like landing. Stealth is not the Newts strong suit.

Presentation: 3.5/5

Once you nail the retrieve the Super Newt offers up super sized commotion, though it will take a few retrieves and maybe an equipment change to get the desired action. I found my traditional toad rod felt a bit lite for the Super Newt and I ended up jumping up to the 736 series which I usually fish exclusively with hollow body frogs. Once I nailed things down and and found the right retrieve (medium/fast) the bait sat up well and the legs and tail combined to really stir up the water.

I also found it awkward to get proper hook size and placement in order to run this bait straight. The beefy nose is perfect for screw in hooks but the tail has a fin that gets in the way of the hook placement when using single hooks. On the reverse end none of the double frog hooks I own will fit the bait? Help!

I ended up pairing the Super Newt with a 7/0 Trokar Magnum swim bait hook (still not really happy with it)



Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

I went with a solid 3/0 when it comes to hook-up ratio but that really is dependant on finding the appropriate hook style and size. There is also an awful lot of plastic on the ass end of the Super Next and more then once i had a leg to the tail pinned after a hook set. Once I'm able to find a double toad hook that fits this bait I believe the success ratio will increase


Innovation and Design : 3.0/5

D&M tried something different and you have to give them props for that.  The Super Newt was built to be a dinner bell and in that its a success, but some of its strengths are also its downfall. The super thick kicker legs feel like they were built more for durability then presentation. Actually most features on the Super Newt feel geared this way. I think D&M would have produced a better bait by cutting back on some of the excess plastic and letting the design do its thing. The legs and tail need to see Jenny Craig before I tie one back on.

Availability, Options & Price: 2.0/5

The Super Newt is not easy to find on-line with only two suppliers carrying the line. One of which is Tackle Warehouse, which is tD&M's saving grace here. As for options you can find the super Newt in 8 Colors and two sizes, though for the life of me I can only find the one size.

With all that in mind the largest issue here is the price.. wait for it, wait for it.. $7.49 for a 2-pack, yes a 2-pack. This soft plastic toad will cost you $3.75 each, while most other soft plastic toad run from about $.80 to $1.20 each. I get it D&M has "custom baits" in their name, but come on, that price is over the top.




Situations for Success:

First and foremost the Super Newt requires a gear check, make sure your toad rod has the backbone to cast and retrieve this bait without putting additional stress on the rod or your back. Once you have that down dig out your hook box and find the right size and or style of hook (don't go smaller then 6/0 and probably start with a 7/0). The Super Newt is a search bait and should be fished medium to medium/fast over weed beds and edges. Sparse cover is key, you will get tired quick lugging this frog over pads all day long.


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... then an 736c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD reel.  This frog is fairly beefy so check your gear and find the perfect fit.






Thursday, July 6, 2017

Eco Pro Tungsten Eco Toad Review


Eco Toad:   Colors: 9     Length: 2.5    Weight: 2/3oz   Pack Count: 1


Intro:
Any frog that lands me a fish on my first cast gets bonus points.. not really, but they should right? The Eco Toad by Eco Pro Tungsten achieved this feat earlier this week when I opened the packaged tied it on, made a long cast and almost immediately set the hook. Both hooks in the top of the mouth.. sold

The Eco Toad is flying under the radar this season, with a few larger companies launching new frogs this one quietly went unnoticed.. but not for long, once Anglers start getting some time on the water with these beauties I expect they will fly off the shelves (Update: At time of writing Tackle Warehouse is currently sold out of all colors.. 06/28/2017))



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: 3.5/5

As you can see from the overall raring and the below scores, I really like this frog, and i wish I could give it an even higher score then i did, but a few issues plaque this bait in the early going and I'm afraid it will get worse the more I fish the Eco Toad, and I plan on fishing it allot.

The quality is top notch, lets remember this frog is built with tungsten weights and  Trokar hooks. The baits design is nearly perfect making the Eco Toad an incredible swimmer while still offering up the perfect bite sized snack.

Whats the problem you may ask? The issues I ran into (on the durability side) are that the ultra soft body material wears quickly. My frog is wearing around head of the bait, and after my first day on the water the material around the nose of the bait was loosening around the eyelet allowing water to seep in. This turned the Eco toad into a sinker that had to be drained every few casts. I'm already contemplating super gluing the nose to stop the damage from spreading.




Castability: 5.0/5

With a nice aerodynamic shape and a healthy Weight (2/3oz) you can pitch, flip, skip and long bomb this sucker.  It travels and lands well, making it great for distance or target specific fishing. I don't think the Eco Toad landed on on back once and if and when it does happen the narrow body and deep V should make it roll over like a well trained dog.


Presentation: 4.5/5

This baby is a champion swimmer and can cover water fast or slow without rolling. it's narrow head and hips make it easy to walk all while giving off a nice profile on the pause.

The Eco Toad has a unique yet familiar look to it, the body is a similar length to what you are use to fishing but the nose is narrower and the belly has a  deep narrow keel, which seems to help it move over structure and pads (less belly drag).

Moving down the bait the Eco Toads belly slightly swells to help protect the trokar hook points and then thins out again similarly to the Terminator frog. The narrow ass makes for easy eating and is one reason my hook up ration was so high.. speaking of:



Hook-Up Ratio: 5.0/5

Eco Pro Tungsten did a few things very right when it came to ensuring that the fish eat this frog and get pinned while doing so. We have covered a couple of these perks above, but we will touch on them again just so we are all on the same page.. Sharp well placed Trokar hooks, super soft body material and thin Olsen twin sized hips.. that's just for starters, another trait this bait has that I feel improves its hook-up ratio is the body material itself. As you can see from the images the Eco Toads back  is covered in bumpy warts, these act like a tread that give the fish a little something extra to hold while giving the bait a more life like feel. like studded winter tires



Innovation & Design: 4.0/5

Eco Pro took a basic frog design and improved it, and they did so without hurting my wallet. They slimmed down their frog in the nose to improve it's walk, they slimmed down its legs to improve hook-up ratio. They created a deeper steeper keel to improve motion in the water an on the pads, and they made sure it looks good to both the fisherman and the fish. Nice job, I can see why Tackle Warehouse is completely sold out (at time of writing)

Availability, Options & Price: 3.0/5

I love the color mix and had a hard time choosing just one. I will be picking up the Bluegill option on my next Tackle Warehouse order for sure.

As for price it is surprising low for a bait with a nice set of features and a beautiful finish.  Lets not forget this frog is weighted with tungsten.

The downfall here is that the frog is hard to find.. currently on-line I could only find it at Tackle Warehouse, no other Eco Pro retailers have it listed, and as I mentioned above.. at time to writing TW is completely sold out!


Situations for Success:

The Eco Toad is an all around frog that can be fished in any cover and any situation. I love it's versatility and the fact that I can fish it at any speed until i find what the fish are looking for. I recommend starting out with a medium fast retrieve pausing over edges and pockets. Look for movement under the pads and slow down and take your time if you think or see that your being followed. This bait looks great, so don't be afraid to let it be seen, long pauses or twitching it in place will also go along way.

If you don't want to constantly retie or you just have room in your box for one frog.. make it this one.


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




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

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


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Strike King KVD Popping Perch Review


Popping Perch:   Colors: 10     Length: 5.5    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1


Intro:
Its been a few years since we have seen a frog introduced by Strike King, and although this version of the KVD frog has had a serious make-over (shhh... it thinks its a perch) it still has the one flaw that plagued its predecessor... it sinks.


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: 3.5/5

The KVD Perch has a tough rubbery body and tail that so far has held up well. The body material collapses easily without being weak and the 4/0 hooks are strong and sharp, not to mention well placed.

The main area of concern for me was that after a few casts I noticed the frog began to sink. Further testing on longer retrieves with aggressive popping I found that the KVD Perch wouldn't make it all the way back to the boat without sinking on the final few pauses. This is obviously an issue, and as mentioned above those that fished the original KVD Frog will be very familiar with this issue.
An interesting feature on this bait is the small hole below the eye (see above) Strike King says that this is an air vent helping the air escape the body during a strike, I got more use out of it a a blow hole helping remove the water that built up during the retrieve. To each his own. 


Castability: 3.5/5

Pleasantly surprised with how well this frog casts. You can easily get the distance you are looking for, and the bait gives up a nice slap when it lands (just right). It can also be skipped and or pitched, but if you plan on keeping this bait above water, keep it close.



Presentation: 3.5/5

Sinking aside I really loved how this bait performed on the water. Its a combination walking and popping that offers up the first (IMHO) truly wounded bait fish look when paused.

The popping action is loud and erratic, even on long casts I felt I could hear the bait pop followed by the splash made by the spit. Not interested in a popping frog? that's OK, this perch/frog can be walked well at medium to slow speeds or twitched in one spot (try this, you'll love it)

Finally the pause.. that weird looking tail that you have been staring at really does give the fish a different look. instead of spreading out like a traditional tail the Popping Perch's tail wavers while paused looking like a bait fish about to take its final breath.. Fair warning here, this look is performed better on the White Shadow or Shad Spawn version of the KVD Perch, so if you want to take full advantage of what this bait has to offer, go with one of those two models.

You are probably wondering why after spending all this time raving about the baits performance I only gave it a 3.5 on presentation.. did I mention it sinks? 


Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The KVD Perch offers up an average hook-set ratio, the reason for this is that that long flat tail can act like a matting over the hooks which can and will reduce your ability to get a solid hook-set. Further more a bait full of water is harder to compress again reducing your ability to drive the hooks home.


Innovation & Design: 4.0/5

I really like what Strike King was trying to do here, they changed up the traditional frog profile, its tail design and moved away from traditional tail/leg material. Imagine that a company trying to create something new frog the industry..huh, what a novel idea.

I really hope they are not done tweaking this bait, it seems the norm now a days for a company to release a standard frog only to follow it up a year later with a popping version.. lets hope Strike King bucks tradition and offers us a standard versions of this bait with the same tail but no popping mouth.


Availability, Options & Price: 4.0/5

Available in 10 Colors and 1 size the Popping Perch offers a little something for everyone. In hindsight I would have chosen a different color and still may pick up one of the white version to play around with the pause a bit more.

Watch your pricing, Land Big Fish offers this bait at $7.99 but it can be found as high as $9.99 at the Bass Pro Shop. Im guessing smaller retailers may also boost the price by a dollar or two once its on the shelves.


Situations for Success:

The key to being successful when fishing the KVD Popping Perch is to use a sporadic popping action with a prolonged pause. Move the bait around like a dying bait fish then pause to mimic those moments when an injured bait fish  is catching it breath. Sparse to medium cover is key, you can fish it in heavier situations but all this baits features are designed to be seen (and heard) so let it.



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


Bass Pro Shop ($9.99)

Cabela's ($8.79)



Equipment:

I tend to downsize my rod when using popping frogs and or perch. So in this instance I tested the Popping Perch on a Dobyns Sierra 735c with a Daiwa HD Tatula.

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


Field Test Report Card:


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

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




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Castaic Boyd Duckett BD Frog Review


BD Frog:   Colors: 8     Length: 2.5"   Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1
BD Frog:   Colors: 8     Length: 3.0  Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1
Intro:
I do my very best to be as unbiased as possible while reviewing each frog that I test, but when it comes to Castaic and Boyd Duckett, they are making it hard for me to be impartial.

It's one thing to flat out rip off your frogs design from another company (Tru Tungsten Mad Maxx) but its a whole other thing to go to great lengths to lie about the work and effort you put into designing the bait (see HERE). Make no mistake about it, Castaic purchased/stole/borrowed the mold used to make the Mad Maxx and Boyd Duckett put his name on it.. shame, shame.. Ok, lets review this thing

Overall Rating: 5.2/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 2.0/5

There was a lot of short cuts made in the build of this frog, the first is the skin/body material. It is crazy thin, which is usually a good thing, but the issue they ran into is that the material is so thin you can easily bury the hooks into the frog just by handling it.

The Rear weight system that also acts as a cap for the internal ball-bearing weights is poorly secured and fell off  both BD frogs that I purchased, (as you can see in my images). This leaves a gaping hole in the ass-end of the frog allowing the internal weights to spill out and allowing water to flow in. It's harder to walk a sinking frog,


Castability: 3.0/5

This is a pretty light frog, even lighter still when the external and internal weights come loose. It's nice and aerodynamic, so it has that going for it, but if you plan on using this as your everyday frog, its faults in quality will spill over into your ability to cast for distance consistently 


Presentation: 3.0/5

This frog walks well, you can thank Tru Tungsten (RIP) for designing a nicely shaped frog that walks and sits well in the water. Out of the package you will be happy with the ease of use and the BD frogs ability to walk. ( I knew I could find something positive to say)

   



Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

The one and only redeeming quality on this frog is its impressive hook-up ratio. The nearly paper like skin collapses if you breath on it, and the hooks are well placed and sharp. If a fish gets this frog in it's mouth it will be hooked.

The concern I have here, is with the hooks burrowing themselves in the body of the frog, essentially making it a Nerf bait.. once this happens good luck landing a fish, and if you do it will be because the frog became ripped up and is now useless. Check your hooks between casts and after blow-ups or any time you bounce it off structure.


Innovation & Design: 0.0/5

If I'm at all going to try to put a positive spin on this frog, it is that when I first heard of its release I thought.."thank you!, some one is bringing back the Mad Maxx frog" Of course this took a dark turn when Castaic and Boyd decided to not save the Mad Maxx but in turn claim they have this all new frog that they designed. (poorly at that)

If I was being fully honest here, I might have given the BD frog negative marks in Innovation and Design as they actually removed features that made the Mad Maxx what it was. They reduced the body material quality, used cheaper more breakable components as well as removed the venting system that helped drain the Mad Maxx frog if and when it took on water..You can actually see the place where the vent hole should be, Castaic just didnt take the time to punch after the frog came out of the mold.. good job Castaic, you brought a frog back from the dead and proceeded to kill it again.

Availability, Options & Price: 3.5/5

For a hollow body frog this bait is priced well, this is the one area its not trying to be something its not. Combine this with 8 color options and 2 sizes, Castaic has a nice offering on a frog that could have been very good.



Situations for Success:

This is a tough one, in order to be successful with this bait your going to need to do a little prep work prior to hitting the water. First add some super glue to the external weight to ensure it stays put all day long. When on the water take extra time to inspect your frog after each cast, bump and blow-up to ensure the hooks are not embedded in the body.

This is an all around frog, so plan on fishing it in medium to medium/heavy cover. Its a bit to light for the heavy stuff and will spend more time in the air being bumped off the pads then it will in the fished mouth.

The BD frog is a walking frog and when not sinking it does walk well, so work in over areas in which the fish can get a good look at its erratic walking motion.



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


Castaic ($7.99)



Equipment:

Being a lighter weight frog I opted to fish the BD frog on my Dobyns Champion 735c, with a little more tip then the 736 series you will have greater control to place this bait exactly where you want it. As for reels I like the Daiwa Tatula HD for most frog fishing situations.

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


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


For those interested, check out this video in which Boyd Duckett embarrasses himself by cover all the amazing things he and Castaic did while designing this frog.. you know the frog that was designed years earlier by Tru Tungsten










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.