Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reaction Innovations: Trixie Shark Review

      Trixie Shark:   Colors: 5        Sizes: 1         Length: 4.75"      Pack Count:  8
                             Leg Style: Swim           Scent: N/A


Reaction Innovations is a company that really made their mark with a couple of very popular products. The Skinny Dipper jerk/swim bait and the Sweet Beaver flipping bait. Both are quality products and both are items that I have in my arsenal. That being said, I think the unsung hero of the line may be the Trixie Shark, a very unique soft plastic frog that flat out catches fish

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: 3/5

The lowest rating in any of these categories goes to the quality and the availability. That being said I dont want to confuse things and suggest this is not a quality product. The issues I have with the bait is that the extremely soft/pliable plastic used can and will rip/tear easily. Depending on the battle (and what you are horsing the fish out of)  this frog can be classified as a 1 fish bait. On multiple occasions when fishing with a Trixie shark the bait was completely un-fishbale after the first fish was landed.

The legs are the weakest point, they give off a great swimming motion due to how soft and thin the plastic is. This is turn means that they can be easily ripped from the body

Castability: 3.5/5

highly aerodynamic this frog casts very well. The thin body can be cast into tight areas and cover situations without issue. It is fairly light weight so distance can be a concern in windy condition. To add a little weight you can try working this frog on a swim-bait style hook but I would stick to weights of 1/4oz and under as anything greater may effect the way the frog performs

Presentation: 3.5/5

I really like the way this frog moves in the water. The legs give off a lot of commotion while only slightly buzzing or churning the water. The thin profile allows the frog to move through the water well and it does not get hung up very easily. I would have given this frog a higher rating in this category, but I have a hard time centering the hook to get it to run perfectly straight. In the quest to streamline the frog RI has come very close to going to thin and thus making it hard to rig.

You also need to watch the nose of the Trixie Shark, this soft plastic will not hold up well when using frog or swimbait hooks that have the spring/screw on style bait keeper. You are better to use standard EWG hooks if you want to bait to last

An interesting thing about this frog is the back "fin" that gives the Trixie Shark it's name. Im not sure if the idea was to use the fin to skin hook the point of your hook, but that is precisely what I do. This allows me to make the frog 100% weedless and still get a good hook-up ratio

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

My hook-up ratio with this frog is fairly high, the small profile and very flexible plastic body make it easy for a fish to swallow whole. A body slot makes sure there is little plastic between your hook and the fish, and a small back fin allows for a slight skin hooking.

Availability: 3/5

I had a hard time landing on this 3/5 rating. RI baits are widely available from most major tackle suppliers, but the Trixie Shark seems to be harder to find then the more popular RI products such as the Sweet beaver and Skinny Dipper. But since you can purchase them direct from RI as well as a few major retailers such as Tackle Warehouse I decided to bump it up to a 3.

Options & Price: 5/5

I think this is one of the higher if not the highest scores I have given out in this category. And if you are wondering why, here is the breakdown. The Trixie shark although only available in 1 size does come in 16 color options, and is priced as low as $4.79 a pack. Each pack containing 8 frogs, that brings the price per bait down to $0.59.. and that is something I can get behind

Where to Find:
Although Reaction Innovation baits are pretty widely available the Trixie Shark is not. I only learned about it myself last season. Here are a few places you can find it...

Bass Tackle Master  ($5.99)

The Hook-Up ($4.79)

For best pricing, and a full color selection I would order this frog from Tackle Warehouse. They have the full 16 colors available and it is cheaper then ordering direct from RI. I have paid as high as $7.99 a pack for these frogs at small local shops, to me that is a little too high for this product.

This is yet another frog that I would put in the "finesse frog" category. Which means I move up to a Dobyns 805c rod and utilize the extra length and tip to put this frog into areas in which it will excel. Thinner diameter and/or very smooth line is a must, the light weight frame needs thinner line to be cast greater distances. If you are not fishing heavy cover you can easily get away with a 20lb braid.

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