Thursday, April 5, 2012

Z MAN: Hard Leg FrogZ Review

                          Hard Leg FrogZ:   Colors: 6    Size: 4"    Pack Count: 3
                                       Leg Style: Buzz           Scent: N/A
Have you ever seen those movies as a kid, that centered around "experiments gone wrong" where somehow, somewhere, someway by mixing traditional household items along with an ordinary  can of Spam,  a goup of kids or a burnt our scientist create this incredible new product that does magical things.. well that about sums up the story of Zman's ElaZtech  products.. well, not really.. but come on, use you imagination

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: 4.5/5

When you buy your first pack of Zman frogs you will quickly see why they only come 3 to a pack.. and that is because if you do it right, those three frogs can last you all season long, yes, they are that tuff, this "ElaZtech"  material holds up incredibly well, it can be stretched and pulled in all directions and will not rip or tear. The tacky material allows the hook to stay in place very well and the frog requires little to no maintenance between casts.

One issue you will come across, is that this alien material is not exactly compatible with other soft plastics, so if you make the mistake of tossing one of these frogs in with a pack of your Stanley Ribbets.. be warned you have a good chance of loosing both the Zman and the Ribbet.. a little frog on frog cannibalism can hurt your bait collection.
Castability: 2.5/5

Not exactly a heavy weight, this frog is not known for getting you extreme distance. That being said you can cast it fairly easily, but it does feel light on your rod, and may take some getting use to, both in the air and on the retrieve.
Presentation: 4.0/5

I have said it before and I will say it again, I like this frog, it is unique and kinda fun to throw. It moves fairly well in the water and the feet all though super soft and stretchy, still give off a nice buzz in the water.

The material they are made of is slightly tacky and can require some coaxing to crawl over  pads. But this frog really is designed for fishing more in open water situations.

It's a floater!, When paused the hard Leg frog floats, so be dont be afraid to stop it, when burring over pockets or any gaps in structure. Z-man advertises that the frog floats even with heavier gauge hooks, but personally i like to throw it with thinner wire hooks

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The Hard Leg frog will provide you with a fairly high hook-up ratio. The ultra soft and collapsable body will bend and squish in any direction, and it is not hard for a fish to get this whole frog in it's mouth, and the soft body will also make him hold on longer. Although light weight the hard leg frog sits well on the water and is not easiliy bumped up or off when a fish strikes.

The body material holds the hook well, I like to rig it with a slight skin hook on the hook point. Be careful not to bury the hook to far in, as this material is so stretchy that it will hold the point and you wont be able to put it home easiliy.

Availability: 2.5/5

This is a tuff frog to find, unlike the Zman Ultra frog the hard leg frog is carried in very few local shops and can even be hard to find on-line. Larger companies like the BPS and Cabela's all carry Zman products but not always this particular frog. I personally only know of 1 local spot that carries these and it is a 2 hour drive from me

Options & Price: 2.5/5

I get the concept Z-man is working on, yes, this is a quality product and should last you a long time, but I still want to get more then 3 frogs in a pack. With the selling price averaging at about $4.39 you are paying $1.46 per frog, and that is way over my $.70 to $.90 cent target range.

As for colors the Zman site only lists 6, but I did notice that Land Big Fish carries some newer more traditional colors, that i have not seen previously.

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

Z-MAN ($4.89)

Tackle Warehouse ($4.39)

Land Big Fish ($4.39)

Not exactly an easy find, i did multiple google searches with various key words.. this is all I could come up with. I will admit I did not go back further then 3 pages, but in my book Im not buying from a company that does not show up in the first 3 pages of a google search.

(Zman FrogZ rigged with 4/0 Gammy)
As mentioned above this frog feels light on your rod, so I opt for a longer rod with a softer tip. I use the dobyns 805 crankbait rod for this frog on a regular basis last season, but I think I will moving over to a DX744 this season. It is a buzz frog so be sure to pair your rod choice with a reel that can keep up without tiring you out.
This frog is paired well with a 4/0 EWG hook. I like to go with light wire hooks when fishing this frog, so they will not effect how the frog floats. You could go with a 3/0, but I would avoid jumping up to a 5/0 as it is a bit long for this frog


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