Monday, May 27, 2013

Vok Croaker Frog Review

Croaker:   Colors: ?     Length: 65mm"    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1


I have been sitting on this frog review for about a year now. I bought a Croaker frog last spring at the sportsman show in Toronto where they were on full display. I was drawn in by the crazy bright colours (yes I'm pretty much a child) and then hooked by the great price point ($6.99-$7.99). The Croaker is by no means a perfect frog, and at times you could say it is flawed.
I wish I had more info to flush this review out a bit  more, but the VOK croaker appears to have gone into hiatus, prematurely, or permanently? who knows

Overall Rating: 6.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 3.5/5

The Croaker is a quality bait, but don't let anyone fool ya into thinking it is "elite" or "Premium" I have seen it advertised this way, and all and all it's not the truth. yes it is built "ok" and yes the body holds up fairly well for such a supple material. It has a sharp hook, but their not saying who made it? 

If it was not for the cool colour selection there is nothing that would make this frog stand out or make me buy it (besides my addiction) 

Castability: 3.5/5

 Equipped with a fairly healthy frame and an internal rattle, you will have no issues casting the VOK Croaker.  Obviously as you move down the size scale, the weight of the frog also drops, thus dropping your casting distance. As with many "froglets" the smallest size may even require being thrown on a spinning rod 

Presentation: 3.5/5

The Croaker looks and moves well in the water. It has no serious faults or flaws in it's presentation, and will get bit.. the problem is that is does bit back (see below)

Hook-Up Ratio: 2.5/5

The big, and I mean big mistake  VOK made with the croaker frog is the way in which they tuned the hooks inward. It kills the hook-up ratio no matter how soft and supple the body material is (and it is soft!). They did not make this mistake on their "Samurai frog" a bait that looks like it was made (or stolen) from the exact same mould as Evolves Nervous Walker, you be the judge

Availability: 1.0/5

I'm going to give this bait a 1 out of 5 for availability and that is only because I do know some out of the way shops that carry this frog still. As mentioned various times during this review, the VOK website is "comings soon" and has been for awhile now. If it gets updated I will in turn update this review with the new info

Options & Price: 4.0/5

I think I'm being a bit generous here, and you need to take my word for it, as their website is no longer up to date. The Croaker is available in three sizes and various colour options. At one time you could also choose barbed or barb less hooks. What I liked about the Croaker when I saw it at the sportsman show was the cool colour options, they are unique and way different then the competition.

Pricing was also good, depending on your size choice you would be paying anywhere between $6.99 and $7.99

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

VOK ($6.99 - $7.99)


The Vok Croaker can and does fish well on a Dobyns 735c, you wont need any more rod then that, as this frog fishes a bit lighter then some other hollow-bodies you may be use to throwing. As with the majority of my hollow body frogs I tested this frog with 50lb SunLine FX2, if it came in anything lighter (like a 40lb) then I would use that, but 50lb gets the job done. For you reels you know the score, look for a nice solid 200 or 300 series reel that has great pick-up. I use a Daiwa Advantage and at time even a T3 Ballistic

Monday, May 20, 2013

ScumFrog Popper Review

ScumFrog Popper:   Colors: 17     Length: 2"    Weight: 5/16oz   Pack Count: 1


I have a soft place in my heart for ScumFrogs, they are not the first frog bait I threw when learning to frog fish, but they quickly became the one I had to most confidence in. I bought up every variation I could get my hands on, including the Popper model, and although the popper shares many of the  great traits the original scum frog is known for, I find that it kinda fell flat as a popper 

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: 3.5/5

bait quality can a times be a tricky way to rate a frog, the Scum frog line cant compete with Live Target or Booyah when it comes to "realism" and by no means is it trying to. It also doesn't compete with overall durability, although the scum frog is fairly tuff, you will spend a good deal of time turning it inside out after a fish strikes it, and you will at times rip the very soft shell it's body is made from. At times the stick-on eyes will fall off, and this bait will fill with water.. but with all that being said, this bait costs ruffly 60-70% less then most hollow-body frogs, so as long as you don't burn through 3 times as many, I think I your getting your moneys worth

Castability: 2.5/5

If you read the size and weight chart at the top of this review, then you know that this frog is not known for it's incredible casting distance. it weights only 5/16oz and with a popper mouth, this frog casts worse then the original model.

One thing that scum frog baits have going for them is that they can be fished using spinning gear. This makes it a great beginners frog, that can be used by all level of anglers (just hold on tight)

Presentation: 2.5/5

There is really only one fault I can pick out on the Popping Scum Frog, and that's that it ain't much of a popper. ScumFrogs by nature are made of a very soft material, and although it can be popped, it is not the frog I would choose if specifically looking for a popping hollow-body frog. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

If there is one thing that every angler who has ever fished a scum frog can agree upon, it is that scum frogs have an incredible hook-up ratio. they are crazy soft, and their short stature (2") makes them a perfect 1-bite brownie snack size. Fish eat these bad boys hole, and it is rare not to hook one in the top of the mouth.

Availability: 3.5/5

ScumFrogs are a widely available bait. There price point makes them easy to stock, and even easier to sell. Many of the small retailers stick with the original model, and the popper is not as easy to come by. It can be found easily on-line by most major retailers

Options & Price: 4.5/5

As usual, scum frog baits are well priced coming in on average just over $3 per frog. There is 17 colour options for the popping model but all 17 can only be found on the ScumFrog website. Most other retailers only have between 10-12 colours.

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

ScumFrog ($3.00)

Tackle Warehouse ($2.99) 

Land Big Fish ($2.99)

Bass Pro Shop ($3.49)

When it comes to lighter weight frogs like the popping scum frog I tend to downsize my rod a bit. For this frog I would recomend a Dobyns 735c or even a 734c for those who dont mind a little more work when in heavy cover. A Daiwa Lexa 100 reel will be all the power you need when fishing a Scum Frog

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lunker City Salad Spoon Review

Salad Spoon:    Colours: 9   Size: 5"     Pack Count:  4     

                                    Leg Style: ?            Scent: N/A


It's time to look at a bait I consider to be a pretty underrated frog style bait,  yes I know it does not have the word "frog" in it's name , and it doesn't look like a frog (other then the fact that it comes in green), but don't be fooled, the Lunker City Salad Spoon is a frog bait, and a damn good one at that

Overall Rating: 7.3/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 3.5/5

There is not much to the Lunker City Salad Spoon, there is no eyes, no spots, nothing really to hook the unsuspecting angler looking to purchase a new frog bait, and maybe thats why it is so underrated. What it does have is  a very soft plastic body and a wide ribbon tail that kicks up a storm when churned through the water (and slop).

The only real issue I have found with this bait is that because of how soft they are they can get pretty torn up when battling fish. Both the body and the tail are susceptible to damage (more so the tail) and you may find yourself replacing baits after each fish or two

Castability: 3.5/5

I would compare the Lunker City Salad Spoon to a Scum Frog on the cast, both baits are soft and light weight but cast surprisingly well. They also land fairly softly not spooking any near by lunkers.

Presentation: 4.0/5

Although no perfect, the Lunker City Salad spoon swims very well, and is often compared to a buzz bait due to the commotion it makes in the water. Unlike a traditional buzz bait the Salad Spoon can be fished in and over all types of cover. The soft body slides threw slop and keeps on buzzing, making it a fairly unique bait.

The issues I have with the salad spoon are minor. I find that in open water situations it swims true and it easy to keep upright, but, when over thicker slop sections or pads, it has a tendency to roll, and is hard to get upright until it hits water again. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

The body of the Salad Spoon is so soft that it collapses almost as well as a hollow body frog. The slit in the back does a great job of protecting the hook point on the retrieve, at the same time making sure it easily finds a home when you set the hook on a  strike.

It is the perfect bite sized snack, and is rarely missed

Availability: 3.0/5

The Salad Spoon is not exactly a widely available bait, but that does not mean it is hard to find. It can be easily purchased on-line from Tackle Warehouse as well as directly from Lunker City.

Locally I know a few shops that carry the Salad spoon as well as Lunker City's Hall of Fame Bait: The Slugo (still a great bait)

Options & Price: 3.5/5

Coming in at an average price of $3.54 for a 4 count bag ($0.88 a frog), the Salad Spoon wont break the bank. It is only  available in 1 size and 8 basic colour choices, but to be honest I would expect nothing more from a bait/company that has made it's name on it's simplicity.

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

Lunker City ($3.79)

Tackle Warehouse ($3.29)


The Lunker City Salad Spoon pairs well with a Dobyns 735c this rod allows you to cast for decent distant and drive home the hook when a fish slurps it off the top.  Because you will be fishing this frog mainly in medium cover to open water areas, your going to want a reel that can keep up a steady retrieve and still take the heat of battling large fish. I fish mine using a Daiwa Advantage reel paired with Sunline FX2 (4olbs)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spro Bronzeye 65 Frog Review

Spro Bronzeye 65:   Colors: 32     Length: 65mm"    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1


If I was to point my finger at one company that I felt was responsible for the current boom in frog fishing baits, and the sudden boost in the overall quality of their hooks, body and design, I would have to blame SPRO, and their Dean Rojas Bronzeye 65, a frog just as popular today as when it was first introduced all those years ago

for frog fisherman everywhere.. thank you

Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 4.0/5

The overall quality of the SPRO Bronzeye is/was pretty impressive.  It has a thick tuff skin that takes abuse and its double 3/0 Gammy hook set the standard that most other frog companies follow today. Like most SPRO products the Bronzeye frog has a mean stare and  life like colour patterns. These don't stand up to the uber-realistic look many of todays frogs have, but they get the job done

Castability: 4.0/5

The Bronzeye is belly weighted, this not only improves casting distance but it also helps ensure it lands belly down. You can cast these frogs for distance or skip them up under timber (check out the below Dean Rojas video). 

Presentation: 4.0/5

Pretty standard stuff here, the Bronzeye frog, swims, walks, climbs and skips with the best of them. It was well designed and in turn has been well ripped off by other companies. When it first was released this frog really upped the "presentation game" but since then many of the competitors have caught up, making the Bronzeye just a slightly above average frog when it comes to performance in the water or on the pads

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

This is the one area that I believe companies like Live Target, Booyah, and Deps have really surpassed SPRO. The Bronzeye frog's body is just a little too firm for my liking and does not collapse as easily as the aforementioned companies. This will effect your overall hook-up ratio.. I know it effected mine, and I ended up putting away the SPRO and in turn picking up softer frogs

Availability: 4.5/5

When this frog was initially launched it took off with a bang, and since that time pretty mush every major retailer on the planet carries them. They may not have the full 32 color selection but you should be walk into almost any bait shop and get your mitts on a SPRO Bronzeye

Options & Price: 5.0/5

Back then they were first releases the SPRO Bronzeye would have been considered a premium frog at a premium price. Currently they retail under $10 (not very common nowadays) and their overall colour and style choices still blow the competition away.

The Bronzeye is available in 4 models, the 65 is the Original, there is now a Jr, a Popper and a Baby Poper (previously reviewed HERE)

As for color selection, you may be surprised that SPRO currently offers 32 colors choices.. yes 32. Not all dealers carry all 32 (not even Spro has all 32 on listed on their site). For the utmost in selection check out TackleWarehouse or LandBigFish. If it is a deal your after.. LandBigFish has the lowest reatil price I was able to find

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

Spro ($10.40)

Tackle Warehouse ($8.78) 

Land Big Fish ($8.49)

Bass Pro Shop ($10.99)

Fishing World ($10.99) *

Bass Tackle Depot ($8.99)

Note: * represents Canadian company


Big beefy frogs like the SPRO Bronzeye scream to be paired up with a Dobyns 736c, this rod was designed to tame large frog eating fish. This year to add some beef to my frog combo I will be throwing my hollow bodies on a Daiwa Lexa 300 reel, these reels really are something special, and don't put a hurt on wallet