Monday, July 30, 2012

Jackall Iobee Frog Review

Iobee:   Colors: 6     Length: 2 1/2"    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1


This is probably one of the more anticipated review I have written in awhile. I have received multiple emails as well as responded to various threads on a few boards I frequent. I will admit I was slow to get this one written up, but that being said I wanted to spent some extra time with it, to see if I truly did believe the hype.. short answer.. Yes!

Overall Rating: 8.4/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 4.5/5

Jackall is on a streak right now, a streak of making some pretty impressive, high quality baits, whether it is a soft plastic craw, and squarbill crank bait or a hollow body frog, they put the time and effort into the details. The Iobee frog is no different and really proves the old adage " you get what you pay for"

The Iobee frog is contracted with high grade materials that have held up well after continuous use, and a certain amount of abuse.

The rubber leg strands are honestly the only complaint I have with this frog overall. They are messy and are constantly getting caught up and knotted around the hooks. This is an annoyance more then an issue, but still worth mentioning (and the reason this frog did not get a 5/5)

Castability: 4.5/5

This frog casts very well and lands even better. It's ability to lang belly down was pretty impressive and even  more impressive is the ease is which I was able to roll it back over if by chance it did land "hooks down"

Presentation: 5/5

Man o' man, is this ever a cool frog, the videos you have seen don't really do it justice until you actually get to fish this frog. Not only is it a breeze to fish, but it walks, jerks, hops, and dances like no other frog available.. my 5 year old nephew could work this thing to perfection.

It's design is perfect for both open water and heavy cover, it has nice "sit" and is almost always in contact with the pads.

As mentioned briefly in my "test drive" post on BJFA there is one pain in the ass you will experience when fishing the Iobee and that is that the leg strands constantly get caught up and twisted up on retrieve. This was a pain, but not a deal breaker

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

with a fat back end and a firmer plastic then that used but Booyah and Live Target (the current standards in my eyes) there was no way I could give this a perfect score in hook-up ratio. But overall it performs very well and will provide you with an above average hook-up ratio (unless the angler gets in the way)

Availability: 4.0/5

Jackall products  are becoming more and more common in my area, and I can now find them in areas I never expected, larger and small shops alike. That being said their presence is not that of Live Target, Booyah, Strike King or other mainstream retailers. Give it another year or so and I expect you will see Jackall lures everywhere you look.. maybe that will help drive the prices down as well

Options & Price: 3.5/5

This is the area of the review that is going to hurt the Iobee's chances of taking over the overall top hollow body rating. First off lets talk price, the Iobee is an elite frog but when compared to the two other top rated frogs currently in the pond is it priced significantly higher.. 18% higher then the Live Target Hollow body and over double the price of the Booyah Pad Crasher

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

Tackle Warehouse ($12.99)

Bass Mafia ($12.99)

Bass Pro Shop ($12.99) 

Land Big Fish ($12.99)

Gagnon Sports ($14.99)*

* Canadian Retailer


I spent most of my time working the Iobee on my Dobyns 735c, I like to power down slightly when using this frog as it offers more movement or "finesse" if you will, compared to other hollow body baits. It walks well and with the softer tip on the 735 you can really make it dance. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kicker Fish X Plodin Toad Review

X Plodin Toad:    Colors: 9     Size: 3.5"    Weight: N/A   Pack Count: 5

Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: N/A


This frog caught my interest last season, but I was not able to get my hands on it until the season had closed and I waited 6 long months to actually be able to throw it. As you will see from the below review I really love this frog and feel it would be a great addition to your soft body frog arsenal

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: 3.5/5

Im in a bit of a quandary here, the Kicker Fish X Plodin toad is what I would call a very well build quality product.. yet, the issue I have is that the legs of the frog are ripped of fairly easily and I go through a pack of these frogs like a fat kid goes through potato chips.. one after the other. I actually had to pace myself on a recent trip as I did not want to run out prior to a tournament I had coming up.. yes they were working that good, and that bad. 

The issue seems to stem in the "knee joint" of the bait, all frogs that I added to the dead bait pile came from ripped legs, and all were in the exact same spot.. why I say this is a quandary, is due to the fact that I love the motion of this bait, and the weak spot may be the actual area that makes the frog move the way it does, so would I rather use less baits, but be less successful or would I rather catch fish but eat up baits.. this is a no brainer! 

Castability: 4.5/5

With an aerodynamic body and a fairly dense heavy frame this frog casts very well. It can be bombed long distance, pitched in high corners and skipped up and under cover. I found no concerns with the cast ability of this frog and rated it accordingly 

Presentation: 4.0/5

Ive said it a few times here, "Im not really a buzz frog guy" I much prefer the more subtle churn of a swim frog, but the X Plodin toad has my attention for sure. It moves very well in open water and over pads. Because of the rubbery material it can have some drag over heavily padded sections, but not enough that it was frustrating and the violent buzz in the water more then makes up for any drag around the pads.. theses legs kick like Michael Phelps!

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

For a frog made out of a very dense tire rubber like material, this frog has a surprisingly high hook-up ratio. The body seems to compact well and not really ball up when a fish strikes. Kicker Fish also designed it with a small tail or tab at the ass end of the frog, if using a 5/0 hook this will allow you to place the hook in the area of the frog with the least amount of plastic/rubber. (see about pic)

Availability: 2.0/5

damn, just when this frog was doing so well, I had to go and slam it it with a "2", but hey thats how this works, if the X Plodin Toad was available in more then one on-line retail store (other then their own) then maybe I could have upped the rating, but the fact is, this frog is hard to find, you can buy direct for $3.50 a pack and get all 9 colour choices, or you can buy from TW and get 7 of the 9.. so "2" it is

Options & Price: 4.0/5

At an average price tag of $3.30 a pack (with works out to about $.66 a frog) this X Plodin toad is very affordable and it has above average selection. Kicker Fish designed this frog with two body types (a standard and floater model) and 9 colour options, for a smaller company this sizable offering and what I would call their marquee product.

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

Kicker Fish ($3.50)


After preaching and preaching about the Dobyns 735c, I have slowly started to move over to the 805c for almost all of my soft body frogs, I find that extra length really allows me to throw them a great distance and it still has the power to get me out of trouble. I don't know if I'm along on this, but try it out and let me know what you think

Monday, July 16, 2012

MTL Rat'n Rat Review


Rat'N Rat:   Colors: 12     Length: 3" (w/o Tail)    Weight: 3/4oz   Pack Count: 1


As we are all aware there is a bit of a mouse craze going on in the fishing industry. It may have been started by the Live target field mouse (2011 ICAST best of show) but if you want to see one done really well, check out the Rat N Rat by MTL, it's the cats meow! (bad joke)

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 is a very well built frog 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. The tail is soft enough to dangle nicely in the water but strong enough to hold up to fish pulling on it (constantly).  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

I wavered back and forth on this rating, I was torn between 3.5 and 4.0 and finally opted to go with the 4.0. This is a fairly heavy bait and casts a mile. The weighted belly also ensures the Rat N Rat lands bell down and even more importantly ass down.  This is not a graceful bait and will land pretty loud and heavy, but many anglers will really appreciate it.

Presentation: 5.0/5

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's long body and big booty really help it to sway/walk in open water situations and the flashy blades just call fish in from all around.

If you like to fish heavier cover situations, the weighted belly of the Rat N Rat gives it great "sit", it holds tight to the cover and bangs around on the pads with authority. When paused over open holes in the pads/slop the tail dangles nicely down to really make sure the stalking largemouth knows it is still there.

With two blades for legs the one area of concern you will have is that you are going to spend some time cleaning them. I never got hung up in the slop due to the legs, but I was often pulling strands from them as well as the hooks (common) 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

I had little to no issues with the hook-up ratio on the Rat N Rat, but as always I do have standards to follow and this mouse breaks some of the rules I hold dear, so I had to rate it accordingly.

Ive said it again and again, the more you have going on at the back end of the bait the more chances you have for the fish to miss or not get the meat of the bait. With two blades and a long tail coupled with a fairly fat ass, this bait has some parts that at times would have sent me running from the store.. that being said none of these issues have been a problem for me (thus far) and I believe it is due to the fact that the blades are placed lower then most,  almost on the belly of the bait and out of the way of the hooks themselves. The tail although long is soft and wont cause you any concern and it can easily be bunched or balled up

Availability: 3.0/5

This is the biggest problem with this bait.. it is hard to find, and unless you know where to look you probably have never seen it before. I caught my first glimpse while at a sportsman show and I quickly snapped one up. After my initial use I started to seek them out and found a few placed I could buy them on-line, so I bought more. 

Options & Price: 4.5/5

I would have to say the Rat N Rat is priced very well, and would be right in the sweet spot. When I can purchase a quality hollow body frog bait for under $10 it is a good day. I will state that if you find this frog locally, don't be surprised if you end up paying over $10

the Rat N Rat comes in 12 very cool colors. You would be hard pressed to find most of these colors in other bait lines, and you may have a hard time choosing just one. Personally I carry both the "Real Thing" and "Albino" colors. The Albino kinda looks like a zombie mouse, and creeps my wife out.

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

Bass Tackle Depot ($7.99) 

Optimum Baits ($8.00)

If I was going to choose one of these companies to order from I would recommend buying from Optimum, they are are the only dealer listed that carries all 12 color options. Tackle Warehouse on the other hand carries less then half of the full color assortment (5)


The Rat N Rat is a heavy bait and needs to be handled with some heavy gear. The Dobyns 736c will get the job done and make sure any fish hook make it back to the boat. This frog works so easily you could almost throw it with w pool cue and still have success. Just watch your rod rating as you you wont want to go to light.

As with any hollow-body bait, this frog should be worked on 40lb-60lb braid line. My testing was completed with SunLine FX2 frog line

Monday, July 9, 2012

Booyah Pad Crasher Frog Review

Pad Crasher:   Colors: 6     Length: 2 1/2"    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1


For the last few years the Spro and Live Target Frogs have really taken over the frog market. They have built high end professional grade frogs that perform well in all conditions.. the only problem is they also demand a premium price, but until last year there was no other frog on the market that performed as well.. that is until the Pad Crasher arrived. Booyah has created a very life like, high quality frog that not only keeps up with the big boys, but it also lets you keep your lunch money.

Overall Rating: 8.8/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 4.5/5

 Im a fan of Booyah baits, they make a quality product and they appear to keep the angler and our wallets in mind when doing so. From what I can tell the Pad Crasher is a quality built frog that seems to be fairly durable. The body of the bait is my only concern, it is super thin, paper thin almost, and although this is great for its hook-up ratio, Im not sure about the durability of the bait. So far I have had it on the water a few times with no issues. but Ill keep ya posted

Castability: 4.5/5

For a frog that I consider to feel light weight, it does come in at the 1/2oz mark. This combined with the slender body make it a dream to cast. The body material is super soft and lands really well, no hard slap but it still lets the fish know it's there.

Presentation: 4.5/5

The Pad Crasher was deisgned as a "walking frog", and it does it's job nicely. The Long slender body helps the frog walk with ease, and still gives off a nice profile without looking bulky

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

I really like the design of the Booyah Pad Crasher frog, the long slender body and narrow back end really help with your hook-up ratio. The ultra soft material used to built the body is thee softest I have put my hands on, and will pretty much collapse if a fish thinks about striking.

The hooks are positioned nicely and appear to be good quality. This is a frog that you will be able to add a Lake Fork Frog trailer hook on. Again Im not 100% sold on these yet, but they are fun to play with and add an stinger to your frog

Availability: 4.0/5

I find it odd, that a company with the rep and widespread awareness such as Booyah does not have this frog placed in every retail store across the globe. But it doesn't, and you mostly have to look in larger chains if you want to get your hands on one. In the list of on-line retailers below, I only regularly deal with one of them (TW) and even so it is sporadically and only when I cant find what Im looking for in other shops

Options & Price: 4.5/5

The Pad Crasher may not have the color or size selection that it's main competion has, but one thing is for sure, it kicks there ass in the price category. I rank this frog as an elite Hollow body, yet it is priced like it belongs in the bargin bin.. that alone should have given this frog a perfert 5/5.. but as mentioned others like Live Target and Spro, have way more color options as well as sizes available

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

Bass Pro Shop ($5.99) 

Cabela's ($5.99)


The Booyah Pad Crasher is build well to be fished on a Dobyns 736c. This rod has the right amount of power to pull the hawgs out of cover, and is also a fairly accurate casting rod when throwing Hollow body frogs. Depending on how you like to fish your hollow bellies, I would recommend using 50lb (or more) braided line. Personally I fish these frogs 90% of the time in very thick slop or heavy pads. So make sure your reel can keep up so you can get them out quick.

(Above Pic shows the Pad Crasher with a Lake Fork Frog Tail stinger hook)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Site News: Coming Soon List Added

Hey guys,

I have had a few emails asking about upcoming frogs reviews, and sharing info on some frogs I have never heard of, or cant find locally..  I appreciate all feedback and love to be advised of any frogs you have found in your travels, so keep' em coming.

To do my part and help give you guys an idea about upcoming frog reviews, I have added a "coming soon" list, that can be found on the left hand side of the blog (just scroll down).  This new list includes frogs I  currently own, or have on order.  They are listed in alphabetical order and I'm doing my best to work through them all and get reviews posted. If you know of a good frog bait that is not listed (and has not already been reviewed) be sure to drop me a line so I can look into it

As you know all frogs get a thorough testing prior to a review being publish. So until the review is ready they will stay in the coming soon list. One week prior to a review being published it will be removed from the coming soon list and added to the "Up Next" section in the upper right hand side

again thanx for reading and keep the frog requests coming


Monday, July 2, 2012

Yum BuzzFrog Review (Retired Frog)

Money Frog:   This frog has been retired, no purchase info is available

Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: Salted

For those of you who may have noticed, yes, I have now reviewed back to back YUM products. I mainly decided to to do this, because of the beating I laid down on the YUM money frog, and because this second frog is now long retired is still a better product then the current frog available by YUM.. you be the judge, but I for one say "bring back the Buzz 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: 4.0/5

The above and below images speak for themselves, the YUM buzz frog is one well designed piece of equipment. It's body was so tuff, that one could argue it was made of tire rubber, and the heavy details and a healthy dose of salt top on this frog make it irresistible to both fish and anglers.. I would go as far as to quality the YUM Buzz frog as a premium grade soft plastic frog. (there are not many of those around)

Castability: 3.5/5

The Yum Buzz Frog's dense body and slender aerodynamic profile make it a breeze to cast. It lands relatively light, but also gives off a nice slap that really draws attention in. The flat bottom makes this frog relatively easy to skip... with practice. 

Presentation: 3.5/5

Ok, so above I ranted about the sweet design and quality of the frog, yet you will notice I cant give it anything above a 3.5 rating for "presentation", and I did kinda wobble back and worth between a 3.0 and the 3.5 I finally landed on.

This frogs gives off great motion in the water.. once it gets going, that being said the stiff legs take a second or two to kick in and you need to keep a pretty steady retrieve to keep it moving well. I also do not like this frogs presentation when paused, it just stiffens back up and sinks.. no motion and not an attractive fall.

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

The hook-up ratio like with any frog is in the eye of the beholder and will be argued on an angler by angler basis, as you read above I likened the plastic this frog was made with, to car tire rubber.. what does that tell you? it is tuff, and like with all harder plastics it can and will get in the way of your hookset. The wide set legs also make it harder for the fish to get the whole business end of the frog in its mouth, both of these effect the hook-up ratio rating

On the "pro" side, I do really like the "back slot" it allows you to rest the hook in the back of the frog without having to cover the hook point. This is a perk that not many other companies offer in their product lines

Availability: N/A

Since this product was discontinued back in 2010, it will not be an easy find. But be sure to check out ebay as well as local tackle swaps.. they are around, I know because I still have some!

Options & Price: N/A

See above, there is no need to get into color options or price. But when it was available the Buzz frog could be purchased in about 6  color options, and they sold from $5 to $5.99 a pack

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

Ebay ($$ Priceless)

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


I have used this frog on both my Dobyns 735c and 736c, it can be fished with either, but if I was going to choose one, I would use the 735c as it has the backbone needed but a bit softer of a tip to control your casts. I will also recomend giving the 805 a shot as the extra length really helps launch this bait

it is unfortunate that this from was discontinued, and even more so that it was replaced by an inferior product. I look forward to the next YUM frog but as for now, there wont be one in my current arsenal