Monday, April 29, 2013

Ultimate Bucketmouth - Lunker Ugler Frog Review

Ugly Frog:      Colours: 5   Size: 5"     Pack Count: 4     
                            Leg Style: Swim            Scent: None


I know you have all been awaiting this review since I teased it way back in August of 2011 (HERE)
I personally was not sure if I would post a full on review of this frog, but I thought "what the hell" give the people what they want...

Overall Rating: 4.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 2.5/5

If the quality rating of this product was based solely on the fact that this frog is made out of a tuff dense tire like material, then full marks would be given. And if I was to grade it's "life-like" appearance solely on the fact that it looks like a real frog that has been run over by a MackTruck and left to bake in the hot sun for a couple days, full marks would be given... but Im not grading this frog on those characteristics and its a shame really, as this is the only way the Ugly Frog can truly be graded to it's strengths

In truth, it looks and fishes like something that was made out of play-doh and then run over by a truck. The hook keeper or guard feature (now and forever know as it's penis) I believe was born out pure laziness,  it looks like some plastic was left over from the mould and they just decided "oh well" lets just leave, and call it a weed guard" 

Castability: 3.5/5

It's hard to give the Lunker Ugly Frog anything less then a 3.5 when it comes to cast ability, mainly due to the fact that it is a damn heavy bait that can be launched a mile.

Without the hook the Ugly Frog has a perfectly flat belly, and would be great for skipping. I would recommend not actually fishing with this frog but in turn using it to have a skipping contest with you kids in the pool (you may want to cut off it's penis/weed guard first or giggles will ensue )

Presentation: 1.0/5

On their website Ultimate Bucketmouth makes claims like "most life like presentation" and "the most realistic soft plastic frog available", and claims like that are the reason we have laws around "truth in advertising".

Saying that this frog is the most realistic or life-like is the same as buying a blow-up doll from your local adult store and swearing off women. When in the water, yes this frogs legs hang down like a real frogs but thats where the comparison ends, my 5 year old nephew draws more realistic frogs

Hook-Up Ratio: 2.5/5

This beast of a frog is big, bulky and made out of a firmer plastic then many frogs currently available. In order to use it weedless you need to insert your hook point into the frog penis weed guard, this is no simply skin hook, you are actually burying the hook. In turn the size of this bait and its construction make it not as pliable when the fish hits it.. in other words, it gets in it's own way, and the fish in turn feels like it is chewing on tire

Availability: 2.0/5

I think Im being gracious here by giving this frog a 2 for Availability, currently you can find it at 2 on-line retailers, none of which I have ever shopped with (it was dropped by many others like Tackle Warehouse) and I have never run across it in person.

Options & Price: 2.0/5

A 4 count pack of these rubber frisbees will run you on average $6.80 a pack or $1.70 a frog. I lucked out and bought mine when they were being cleared from TW for $0.99 a pack.. and I still feel kinda ripped off

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


The Lunker Ugly Frog is big and it is heavy, you will want to upsize your gear and fish it on your hollow body rod instead of your soft plastic frog/toad rod. Me I used by Dobyns 736c for testing and paired it with one of my heavier reels (Daiwa Advantage).

Fair warning, if you plan on testing one out it requires an 11/0 hook to be rigged properly. I got away with using a 7/0 oversized (Owner) but my other 7/0's were to small

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lake Fork Frog Tail Hook Review

 Colors: 1   Sizes: 2/0   Pack Count: 2    Features: None 


The Lake Fork Frog Tail hooks may still be considered "one of a kind" when it comes to trailer hooks designed for hollow body frog fishing, but I don't expect them to be alone for long, as this is a very cool idea that can really make a difference when the fish are slapping at baits or short biting.

Overall Rating: 7.3/10

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

Quality/Durability: 4.5/5

I have no real complaints about the quality of the LF Frog Tail Hook, it's strong, sharp and well built. It is easy to add and remove from a bait (a must for us lazy anglers) and lastly it works as advertised. The hook is a 2/0 Gamakatsu and it curls up nicely between the frogs legs. 

If I was going to pick on one thing, it is that this hook is only available in one size, and thus it does not fit all frogs. Lake Fork really should look into various options.. Large, Medium and Small (not hook size, but width of the attachment)

I tested the Frog Tail Hook on 12 frogs, and it fit on 8 of them (66%) But that being said it did not fit on some very popular frog makes/models... (see below)


Would Not Fit:

Availability & Price 3.5/5

This section was hard to score, and kid of feel in the middle, if I was rating it on the availability alone it would easily score a 4.0/5 as it is available at all the major on-line retailers. If I was scoring it on price, it would be hard to give it more then a 3.0/5 as it comes in on average at $5.29 a 2-pack or $2.65 a hook! So I had to take the average and give it a rating of 3.5

Options : 3.0/5

Lake Fork is not one for options when it comes to the Frog tail hook, simply put, what you see is what you get. The Frog tail comes in one size (2/0) and one colour (nickel). It's too bad really as there are some cool options that you could add.. obviously sizes would be nice (not just hook size, but also attachment size), maybe a blade attachment like you see on many frogs or even tail feathers like on many other top water baits.. hell, a weed guard would be nice.. but Im just spit ballin here.

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

Land Big Fish ($4.99)

Overall, this hook deserves a better score then it achieved, but the rules are the rules. I like the Lake Fork Frog Tail hook and enjoy fishing with it. Is it an everyday use.. No, but for those times when the fish are hitting short, this adding stinger tail can and will make all the difference

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sizmic Pop'n Toad Review - Retired

Sizmic Pop'n Toad:      Retired!


Yes, it is time to review yet another "retired" frog. The Sizmic Poppin toad by Uncle Josh is a bait that saw very little time on the water (obviously) and to this day can be chalked up to a good frog gone wrong! 

Overall Rating: 6.6/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 4.0/5

There is many things I did or do not like about the Sizmic Poppin Toad, but the durability was not one of them. This baby looked and felt like it was made of tire rubber, it it extremely durable and holds up well to the abuse both the angler and the fish put it through. I believe it was made almost to durable and that in the process made it a bait that did not swim or pop as well as it should (more on that later) 

Castability: 4.0/5

The Sizmic pop'n frog has a dense  body and casts and skips very well. The Pop'n version is a floater, and weighs less then both the original and Magnum toads, but still holds it's own when cast

Presentation: 2.5/5

This is where the Sizmic popin toad leaves much to be desired. Yes, you can pop and work it back to the boat, but overall if you were going to have to compare it to a real frog, it would have to be a dead one. It just kinda sits there (or floats I guess) The profile and the action just don't cut it, and this frog is surpassed by pretty much every other frog I have test driven on the Frog Pond (that says a lot)

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The Sizmic toad has a nice thin profile and makes for a good hook-up ratio. The slot on the back hides the hook well without impeding its ability to be hammered home on a hook-set (a nice feature I wish more companies would add)

Availability: N/A

Although not as hard to find as some of the other retired frogs I have reviewed, it is not readily available. Below you will find 3 places you can locate Sizmic popp'n toads on line (non of which are the actual manufacture). Dont hold me to this, as if you are reading this review in the year 2015 there is a good chance these will be gone

Options & Price: N/A

For whats left of them, they are not badly priced coming in on average at the $3 per pack mark. With 6 frogs in a pack thats only $0.50 per, and not a bad deal. Obviously color choices will be limited, but if you find them in black or white, I would take the plunge and give them a shot.  

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

OC Fishing Gear - $3.79 - $2.99

Gatror Tackle - $3.08

Ebay is always an option when looking for retired frogs. At time of posting there were a few listings for multiple packages


As with most popper frogs I recommend using a Dobyns 735c, this is firm enough to get a great poppin action out or the bait without manhandling it.  As for reels, you dont need to go super beefy, but as with most frogs you want the power to pull it out of some of the nastiest slop or cover. Give the Daiwa Lexa 300 a try.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Optimum Pop'n Furbit Review

 Poppin Furbit:   Colors: 12        Size: 3.00"        Weight: 5/8oz      Pack Count:  1


Much of this review will be similar to the review I complete on the standard Furbit, That being said there are some changes made to this frog that will slightly affect it's overall score and the way it fishes.

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: 4/5

The Poppin furbit is a quality built frog from head to tail. The choice of body material gives it a thicker skin then many frogs on the market, yet it is still very soft and pliable. The skin stands up better to the abuse you will put it through day in and day out on the water, while still being soft enough to easily collapse when a fish hammers it. 

Unlike standard hollow body frogs the Furbit utilizes rabbit fur for the "leg" yes the Poppin Furbit is a single legged bait, this not only imparts amazing movement in the water, but the fur will hold scent better then silicone or rubber legs

The Poppin Furbit comes with a with a 6/0 Owner hook and an external belly weight.

Castability: 3.0/5

The Furbit series of Frog cast extremely well, they are belly weighted and hefty enough to travel  serious distances even in windy conditions.  With the exposed belly weight and Colorado blade this frog lands hard (and is meant too). The wide popper mouth may cause this bait to cast shorter distances then it's brother (the non-popper version) but all in all I think you will be happy with the result. 

Presentation: 5.0/5

this is not your average everyday frog, the rabbit fur leg and the addition of a small #3 Colorado blade really give this frog a unique look while in the water. The Poppin Frubit has a single leg that provides a slither like motion when walked, and flares out in a nice subtle motion when paused. Fishing the two Furbits side by side I think I prefer the popper model, both frogs walk very well, but the single leg looks better in the water and with the addition of the popper mouth it gives you another tool to use when simply walking just wont cut it.

Just like with the Standard Version the Poppin Furbit  comes with a #3 Colorado blade that gives the frog a bit more flash and splash and makes sure it is seen from below. It is not always needed and can at times get in the way. (loose small particles of slop can catch it). When Fishing the Furbit I will usually start with the bladed version and move away from it if the fish are looking for a faster presentation or if I'm having a hard time hooking up (some times small changes can be big confidence boosters) 

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

I have a fairly high hook-up ratio when fishing with both Furbit frogs. The slender/narrow back end and the fact that the fur lays flatter then rubber legs means that the fish can get more of the frog in his mouth. The body of the Furbit is a bit denser then other frogs currently available, but this has not effected my fishing or hook-ups. (Body density does play a role in a frogs overall hook-up ratio and that's why I mention it here). The large weight at the back end of the frog can help your hook up ratio, as it helps drive the hooks home when the fish bites down on it (see below)

Although I like the blade for presentation purposes, anytime anything is added to the tail end of a frog I have a hard time giving it a perfect rating. I feel any object at the back end of a frog can effect your hook-up ratio by simply getting in the way of the hooks.

Again I believe this frog fishes better with the blade, but if you are having issues with hook-ups, don't be afraid to remove the blade.

Availability: 3.5/5

The Optimum Furbit Frog is widely available on-line from Optimum and other major retailers. In the Canadian market place it is not as readily available at local shops. I hope this improves as this is a good product and deserves to be seen by more anglers

Options & Price: 4/5

Coming in around the $10 mark, which appears to be the new standard for hollow body frogs, the Furbit will not do too much damage to your wallet. As for options, the Furbit is currently only available in 1 size but does does come in 12 color options, some of which are very unique.

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

Optimum Baits ($11.99)

Tackle Warehouse ($10.99)

Land Big Fish  ($10.99)

The Hook Up ($9.99) 

Bass Tackle Depot ($10.99) 

For the price savvy customer "the Hook-up" is the place to go, but as with the standard Furbit they have the worst colour selection available (of this group) with only 8 of the 12 colors available.


As with the Standard Furbit I like to fish the Poppin version with a  Dobyns 736c, this stick was built for frog fishing and will not let you down no matter the situation. As mentioned in the last review I find the Furbit to fish a little heavy but the 736c was designed with the tip you need to throw and manoeuvre it with ease

I like to pair my hollow body frogs with a Diawa Advantage reel, but this year with the introduction of the Lexa my Advantages may get a bit of a break.

As for line, like always I recommend 40-60lb braid when fishing Hollow body frogs, (Insert your fav brand here)  Last year I had great success with Sunline FX2 frog line and will continue to use it on my frog rods this year

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mann's Hard Nose Swim Toad Review

hard Nose Swim Toad:    Colours: 8   Size: 5"     Pack Count:  5     

                                    Leg Style: Swim            Scent: Salted


The Manns Hard Nose Swim Toad is one of the soft body frogs that I can attribute to my  love of soft body from fishing. It is an extremely easy to use bait that has built tuff so we as anglers are not constantly adjusting and or replacing frogs while on the water. I always carry a pack of these with me when tournament fishing as they help me keep my line wet longer then any other from in my arsenal   

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

This frog came very close to getting a perfect score in this category due to the "hard nose" alone. Mann's must have this patented as I'm not sure why no other companies and have tried it out or at least attempted a version of it. No other frog holds you hook as long or as well as the Manns Hard Nose Swim frog.. now if only the legs held us as well 

Castability: 4.0/5

The weight of this bait is the only think that prevented it from getting a perfect score in the cast-ability category. It is light weight, and you will need to play with your reel a bit to find that sweet spot that allows for long distance casts without the heartache of picking birds-nests every few casts  (we have all been there). All in all the design of the hard nose swim toad makes it cast very well, it is aerodynamic and skips very well (the hard nose is a huge help in keeping the bait in place on the hook even on harder skips)

Presentation: 4.5/5

If you are looking for a loud obnoxious swimming motion and sound, then this is not the frog for you. It has a very subtle or gentle churning that gives off a softer ripple then many swim frogs. It moves well in and over cover, and has a nice sink when paused. There is nothing bad I can say about the Swim Toads presentation so much so that it is making me rethink the fact that I only gave it a 4.5/5?

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

With a flexible body that would rival that of a 20 year old yoga instructor the Hard hose swim toad will provide you with an a very high hook-up ratio (if you let it). The body and legs do their best to get out of the way on a hook-set and let you slam it home.

I do wish this frog came with some sort of hard guard or slot on it's back, as the only issues I find is that the super soft body can be torn up by the hook point and it will often leave you exposed on the retrieve. Sure this is good for the hook-up ratio but it also means more fowl ups on grass and pads if the frog rolls on you.

Availability: 3.5/5

For a bait that is as popular as the Mann's hard nose swim toad, I'm continuously surprised on how few on-line retailers carry it. I know locally I can walk into over 80% of the tackle shops and buy it right off the shelf, yet on-line I have to do some searching or I can be forced to do business with shops I don't usually order from.. Tackle Warehouse is the only place I regularly purchase from that carries this bait currently.

Options & Price: 3.5/5

At its very best this bait has 8 color options, all of which are pretty decent (most retailers I found only stock 5-6 of those colors). I tend to stick to the Black, White or even the Green Pumpkin versions as I'm quickly becoming a "green pumpkin" believer.

As for the price there is pretty drastic range right now, two of the retailers have it on for $4.19 which works out to $0.83 a frog.. not bad.. but it can be found as low as $2.89 from places like Tackle Warehouse and I will admit at that price these are worth every penny ($0.58 a frog)

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

Mann's Bait ($4.19)

Tackle Warehouse ($2.89)

Cabela's ($4.19)


As with the majority of my swim frogs I find that they are best paired with a Dobyns 735c if you are fishing them at long distances or around any sort of cover. If you are fishing open water area you could get away fishing the Hard nose swim toad on the 734c, it has a bit less umph and a softer tip to work it's magic. As for lines I like to go a bit lighter with swim frogs and usually throw in the 20lb range an no higher then 40lb. This season I will be giving my swim frogs a work out on the new Daiwa Lexa reel, there has been a load of hype around it and I cant wait to get it on the water