Monday, September 24, 2012

Live Target Field Mouse Review

Field Mouse 60T:   Colors: 4     Length: 3" (w/o Tail)    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1
Field Mouse 70T:   Colors: 4     Length: 3 1/2" (w/o Tail)  Weight: 3/4oz   Pack Count: 1


If you have been following this blog for any period of time, then you will know that in the past I have shown some love to a few of the Live Target Frogs. The LT Field Mouse is not one of those products. Between some serious hook slippage and durability concerns I have my doubts about this product, but that being said it is a Live Target product, so Im not ready to write it off as of yet

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: 3.5/5

This is the first live target product that I can honestly say I have encountered quality issue with. From the first time I watched a buddy fish with it, I watched as small 1lb fish destroyed one. I had already purchased my pair, or I would probably never would have.

When I got mine on the water, I experienced a couple issues that I can trace back to quality. The first issue I encountered was how easily the rubber tail can be ripped or torn. The below image was take after the second blown-up that bait encountered (not second fish.. second blow-up). The tail now dangles from a thread and I dont expect it to last much longer.

The second issue I had was in the durability of the body. The way the hook lay againt the body I often get the point pinned into the back of the mouse. This can effect your hook-up ratio and the more holes you add the more water the bait takes on.

On the Plus side, this is a Live Target bait, so it looks great

Castability: 4.0/5

For a fairly light weight bait the Field mouse dies cast fairly well. It lands properly and covers good water. Im not sure there was need for the smaller size, as I find the larger mouse to be smaller then I would like.

Presentation: 3.5/5

There are some pro's and con's associated with the presentation of the LT Field Mouse. First off, this mouse moves very well in the water, it can be moved at fast, medium or slow retrieves and still get the job done. The issue I have is that my retrieve is often interrupted by a "blow-up" not a bad thing right? well it is if the fish misses but easily knocks the hooks out of position thus ruining the rest of your retrieve and chance to get a second blow-up from that fish. The below picture shows off the issue I have encountered over and over again with the Field Mouse. These hooks pop out easily when struck by fish or caught and pulled through pads.

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The LT Field Mouse is a nice bite sized snack for most bass, which means getting it into their mouth is not an issue. But putting the hooks home can be. As mentioned above I find the hook points on this mouse often can and will bury themselves into the back of the mouse. If your points are not exposed you will have a hard time landing the fish. The tick rubber tail can also get in the way at times, although I did not find this was as big of an issue as the other concerns I have with the mouse

Availability: 4.5/5

There is not much to say here, this is a Live Target product and they are pretty much available anywhere. I think I can get them at my local gas station and coffee shop. So yes, getting your hands on these mice is easy. Same goes for on-line shoppers, google this mouse and you will be able to shop to your hearts content 

Options & Price: 3.5/5

Unlike the other Live Target hollow body fogs on the market today, you have limited sizes and colours to choose from. The Field mouse is available in two sizes.. small and tiny. If you are going to give this guy a shot do yourself a favour and purchase the larger size. As for the price this product comes in at close to the 11$ mark, not outrageous, but higher then the RatN Rat previously reviewed

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

Tackle Warehouse ($10.99)

eTackle ($11.47) * Canadian 

Bass Pro Shop ($10.49)

Land Big Fish ($10.99)

As usual Tackle Warehouse and Land Big Fish have the best prices and selection for this product. Both are competitive and should be able to get you what you need. 


Unlike the first mouse/rat bait I reviewed (the RatN Rat) the Live Target field mouse is light weight more finesse style frog. I opted to use my Dobyns 735c rod as it has a bit softer of a tip and allows for greater accuracy when casting lighter baits.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Snag Proof: Ish Phat Frog Review

Ish Phat Frog:   Colors: 15   Length: 3"  Weight: 0.67oz   Pack Count: 1


Im not a huge fan of most Snag proof frogs, believe me, I know Im in the minority here, but they look dated, are made (usually) with a firmer harder plastic then other frogs on the market, and their legs stick out to the side and get in the way.. the Ish Phat frog on the other hand has broke the mould and made me a believer in Snag Proof products 

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: 4.5/5

From top to bottom the Ish Phat frog is a quality designed and built frog. The soft plastic body collapses easily but still holds up over multiple fish and structure abuse. The hooks are strong, sharp and well positioned. The new second air chamber is one of the largest improvements, and makes the Ish a nearly unsinkable frog. 

Good color selection but still I cant give it full marks as many other frogs has surpassed it with life like features and markings 

Castability: 5.0/5

 The low profile body design (wide and flat) and hefty body (0.67oz) makes this frog a breeze to cast. It can easily get some serious distance in all weather conditions and I can skip it up under trees or branches with ease. This is one of the best casting frogs I come across and if there is any wind in the forecast it makes it an easy choice to tie one on

Presentation: 4.0/5

The Ish Phat frog works well in both sparse and thick cover. It's body is designed to walk, and walk well it does, but the flat bottom and extra weight make it the perfect heavy cover frog. It sits very well on the pads and fish have a hard time knocking it off. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

The changes made from a traditional Snag Proof frog design to the Ish design were put in place to do one thing.. Improve your hook-up ratio. And they perform as advertised. The slender soft body collapses easily, the hooks are placed well, and grab tight. The Ish frogs legs come off the back of the frog instead of the side and stay away from your hook points. I had great success while fishing with the Ish Phat frog, the softer yet heavier body sits very well in the water and fish just crush it

Availability: 4.0/5

Snag Proof products are readily available in my area, I cant remember the last tackle shop I was in that did not carry their line of frogs. On-line on the other hand, I was surprised to find some of the top guns not offering the Ish Phat frog. I like to do the majority of my shopping at LBF and although they carry some Snag Proof frogs they are not currently carrying the Ish (Bass Pro also does not have it listed on-line although I have seen it in store)

Options & Price: 4.0/5

The price point on this frog is Ok, not good, not bad, and surely not ugly. I would like to see it priced a bit lower, but since there is more at work inside this frog I understand why it is priced higher then frogs like the Booyah Pad Crasher. When it comes to color options there are a total of 15 available colours. Not all stores carry them all, so don't expect to see more then 8 options at most retailers

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

Snagg Proof ($9.95) 

The Hook-Up ($8.99)


I have been throwing the Ish Phat frog on my Dobyns 736c, and find it to be the perfect rod for this frog. The extra weight  allows you to cast this frog a mile, and this beefy rod makes sure you can get fish out quick. Sunline FX2 frog line in 65lb is what I have been using all season and I have no complaints.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Stanley Ribbit Double Take Hook

     Colors: 2 Sizes: 4/0,5/0,6/0  Pack Count: 2  Features: Nose Screw, Twin Points, Weighted option 


When I started this blog I did not intend to include hooks, line or other accessories (frogs only!) but as I started to watch the frog market expand I realized I was doing myself and my readers a disservice by not expanding into hooks. Personally before I started this blog I only used the Zoom Horny toad hook or various EWG hooks, but I now see I was missing out.. the Stanley Ribbit Double take is a quality hook that works extremely well with the Stanley Ribbit frog

Overall Rating: 8.0/10

Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Presentation, Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality/Durability: 4.5/5

Im finally getting around to reviewing a second frog hook. The Stanley Ribbet Double take is a very high quality hook that has some defining pros and some cons associated with it. 

Lets start off with the Pros, the Double take hook lives up to it's name, it is a strongly built hook with twin (or double) points that are razor sharp and stand up fish after fish. The Hook it built to perfectlu hold Stanley's Ribbit Frog, after twisting your frog onto the nose screw the hook points should easily slide through the thigh portion of the frogs legs (see below)

You really need to watch you hook size though, as not all sizes match up with all sizes of Ribbit (con #1). I fell into this trap, as no where did the hook package read which size Ribbit frog  this hook was recommended for. The issue is, if you are using  a hook that is too large for your Ribbit the hook will go too far down the leg and kill the action of the frog. If you use a hook that is too short, the points will be too high into the meat of the frog body and you may miss fish.

This leads me to Con #2. The Stanley Ribbit Double take hook was designed for the Stanley ribbit frog, and does not fit a large portion of the soft plastic frogs on the market today... to clarify, it does not properly fit. You can make it work, just not as originally intended.

Ok, now for some more pros... The Double take hook when used with the proper size frog will provide you with a perfect rigging. The below pic clearly shows how straight this frog has been rigged, and a perfect rigging simply means this frog will fish straighter, cast better, provide less spinning and less veering off to one side or the other

I dont have to tell you, a cleaner straighter running frog will catch more fish.

Availability & Price 3.0/5

Unlike the Zoom hook previously reviewed the Stanley Ribbit Double take is not widely available in Canadian retailers. That being said it can easily be found on-line in most major retailers.

As for pricing, this bad boy is expensive, coming in on average at $4.99 for a 2-pack (non weighted) the per hook costs comes in at $2.49, that's just over twice the cost if the Zoom Horny toad hook.

Options : 4.5/5

Stanley has loaded this hook up with options, it is currently available in 2 weighted models,  front weighted and bellied weighted as well as non-weighted (my preference). Weighted models are available in two colours, a standard nickel as well as red.

3 Hook sizes are available, 4/0, 5/0 and 6/0. As mentioned above please be wary of matching the hook to the Stanley ribbit frogs you own. If these hooks are rigged wrong you are either going to kill the motion of the bait or miss fish

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

Stanley ($5.29)

Tackle Warehouse ($4.59- $5.09)

Land Big Fish ($4.79 - $4.99)

Bass Pro Shop ($5.29 - $6.79)

The prices kinda vary here, and so does the selection. Obviously buying direct from Stanley will give you full access to the line of hooks. Tackle Warehouse and BPS on the other hand both have the worse selection of the 4 companies listed. If you are looking for decent pricing a good selection, LBF is your best bet (although they do not have the full line)

Monday, September 3, 2012

River2Sea Bully Wa Frog Review

Bully Wa 45:   Colors: 14     Length: 1-3/4"    Weight: 1/5oz   Pack Count: 1
Bully Wa 55:   Colors: 14   Length: 2-1/4"    Weight: 7/16oz   Pack Count: 1
Bully Wa 65:   Colors: 14   Length: 2-1/2"    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1
Bully Wa 75:   Colors: 14   Length: 3"           Weight: 3/4oz   Pack Count: 1


My introduction to the the River2Sea frog line-up was the Dahlberg Diving frog, and to be honest, I was not a huge fan (review seen here). So I was a little sceptical about tying on another R2S product, but Im sure glad I did, the Bully Wa is a far superior product to the Diving frog and will rival many of the top frog on the market today.. this frog would be a great addition to any anglers frog fishing arsenal 

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: 3.5/5

Prior to fishing with the Bully Wa if you had asked me my opinion on the quality of products produced by River2Sea, I would have suggested that they were a low quality mass produced cheaply to be sold cheaply to weekend warriors and guys who get out fishing once or twice a season. Now having fished with the Bully Wa frog I cant say that all of the above in untrue, but what I can say is that the Bully Wa is a quality product that fished very well, and is priced below what it would be if it had a another name on the box

Castability: 4.0/5

Speaking from my experience using the larger model Bully Wa's I can honestly say this frogs cast very well. The low profile body cuts through windy conditions to ensure you still get some distance on your cast. I did find that this frog landed upside more often then some of the other frogs I have been fishing but not enough to effect its rating (in this section anyways)

Presentation: 3.5/5

The Bully Wa frog was designed like a high performance SUV, it has a low wide stance that helps make you keep all 4 tires on the pads and makes it hard to flip over when on ruff terrain.. that being said, mine flipped over... a lot... and I found it was harder to get Bully Wa turn back upright then it was to flip it over in the first place. This was a minor annoyance and something I could over look due to how well the frog performed the other 80% of the time. The deep keel and low frame do make the Bully Wa a breeze to fish. Whether on pads or in open in water, it moves well and is usually in position to hook any fish that takes a swipe.

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

I find that I can be easily biased on any frog that has a 100% hook up ratio on it's first day of testing. Yes I know many other factors come in to play in a situation like this, but for me I was very happy with the the hook-up ratio and how well the hooks held on to the fish once hooked.

I on trip 2 I was fishing some pretty heavy slop which meant that once hooked it was a drag race to get the fish in, but the Bully Wa held strong and both fish hooked this way were landed

Availability: 4.0/5

If there is one thing that River2Sea has done really well (other then make frogs) it is infiltrating  the market. I would suggest that over 80% of my local fishing retailer carry River2Sea products. Originally I would have said this was based solely on the low price point making their products friendly to all levels of angler, but now I can see there is some quality behind that price point

Options & Price: 4.5/5

With 4 sizes and a total of 14 colour options you will have no lack of choice when choosing a Bully Wa. Personally I use the 65 and 75 series as I like a little beef with my frogs. Price wise the Bully Wa falls nicely under the $8 mark which makes it one of the cheaper frogs on the market.

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

Tackle Warehouse ($6.99 - $7.99)

River2Sea ($6.99 - $8.49) 

Land Big Fish ($6.99 - $7.99)

Bass Tackle Depot ($6.99- $7.99)


The River2Sea Bully Wa series of frog is best fished with a Dobyns 735c or Dobyns 736c. I personally tend towards the 735c for this frog as I like a rod with a bit more tip. This low profile walking frog benefits from its ability to move the in water, and as with any bait, the rod tip is important to achieving walking success. Dont get me wrong the 736c will also accomplish this, but it is a bit stiffer