Monday, July 29, 2013

Booyah Poppin Pad Crasher Review

Poppin Pad Crasher:   Colors: 6     Length: 2 1/4 inch    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1


Booyah came crashing onto the frog scene in 2012 with it's PadCrasher frog, a high quality bait that out priced the competition yet was built to last. In 2013 they came back to the table offering a Popping model of the now famous pad crasher, and let me tell you.. they didn't miss a step 

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 & Durability: 4.5/5

My confidence in the Booyah Pad Crasher line is extremely high, you may remember last season when I reviewed the original pad crasher I wondered how long (and if at all) the super thin skin of this frog would hold up.. well the answer to that is it holds up very well.. better even then some higher priced frogs that have a thicker skins (example: Live Target). These frogs take abuse well, but fish after fish they keep on popping

Castability: 4.5/5

Just like with the original Pad Crasher the Popping frog feels very light in your hand but is surprising heavy. Coming in at 1/2 oz you can cast these baits for miles and they always land upright. Personally I find they have a softer landing then other baits in their weight class, it is subtle enough not to spook fish, but loud enough to make fish in the area aware of it's presence (kinds like a dinner bell)

Presentation: 4.0/5

Though not the best popping action of the frogs I have test driven this season, the Poppin Pad Crasher does a great job calling in fish. It has a smaller mouth then most of it's competition and a slight underbite. The underbite allows you to drive the frog down and force the water up for a decent spit. I find that this also gives the frog a little hop when popped, which can be debated as a good or bad thing

Hook-up Ratio: 4.5/5

The reason the Booyah Pad Crasher series is as popular as it is, can be attributed to its stellar hook-up ratio. Simply put this bait is so soft it collapses when you breath of it.. It is loaded with a sharp strong hooks, and it sits slung low in the water allowing fish to target in on it and eat it whole. If will be tough to find another frog that offers you a similar hook-up ration and impossible to find one at offers it at the same price point.

Availability: 3.5/5

The Original Pad Crasher grew in popularity so fast that within what felt like days of it's release is was widely available. For some reason the same cannot be said for the Poppin Pad Crasher. Yes many major retailers do carry this frog, but some of the giants are still missing.. i.e TackleWarehouse.

All in all you should have no issues getting your hands on one

Options & Price: 4.5/5

With the success of the Pad Crasher I kind of expected some other frog companies to drop their prices or at least introduce a lower priced model to compete with Booyah.. they didn't and to this day it is still one of the best priced baits on the market.. the value for your money is hard to beat

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

Lurenet ($5.99) 

Cabela's ($5.99)

Bass Pro Shop ($6.79)

Field Test Report Card: 

Open Water (Sparse Pads):  A-
Pads (Medium Cover):  A
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover):  B+

Walk the Dog:  B
Popping Action: B+
Sit/Pause: B


I prefer to use a Dobyns 736c when throwing any popping version of a hollow body frog. The stiffer tip really pounds it down and gives you great sound and spit. My frog reel of choice has to be the Daiwa Lexa 300, the strength and castability it offers make it an unbeatable reel (not to much well priced)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Castaic Frog Brigade Review

 Colors: 4   Size: 1   Pack Count: 1    


Castaic decided that would take full advantage of the "Alabama rig" craze and be the first to market with a frog version. And if I'm being entirely  honest, I wanted one!

Yes, this is one of those products that I was pretty damn stoked to test drive, and yet after one cast I knew it was a dud (though I kept on trying)

Overall Rating: 5.0/10


There is not much to rate this beast on when it comes to parts, but the parts it does have are only so/so. The float or body of the Frog Brigade has a fairly thin outer shell and mine even after limited use has a small crack on it. 

Another part that I found fairly weak on the Frog Brigade was the snap swivels, they don't appear to be very high quality and I have seen references on various sites by anglers stating that "if you don't want to loose fish, upgrade your swivels". I had no issues with mine, but again they did not get an extensive workout


I will start off by discussing how poorly this rig casts.. or I guess I should say "lands" because it lands hard, and loud, and in one giant clump of frog. I actually spooked fish on 2 of my first 3 casts using the Frog Brigade. 

As for swimming it back to the boat, I found the Brigade performed better in open water then in cover. In open water the frogs would separate easily and swim in tandem.. though very close together, too close if you ask me

When using on slop or pads I found this rig very frustrating, it rolls and tangles on itself and the snap swivel clips collect up junk all around the nose of the frog.. I felt like I had to clean it after every retrieve

Availability, Price & Options

The frog brigade is not exactly widely available and with a price point often coming in at $19.99 I can understand why. Personally although I really wanted to test this bait I was not willing to spend the $19.99 and additional $10 shipping it would cost me to get this thing into Canada.. so I did what I try not to do and that is buy baits on EBay.. $13.99 and $4 shipping and I still feel ripped off

As for options you you 4 colour choices all a variation of a common hollow body frog colors. 

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

Castaic ($19.99)

Tackle Warehouse ($19.99)

Ebay (varies)

Overall in my opinion the Frog Brigade is a huge dud, and way over priced. I like the concept they were trying to achieve, but feel that a trailer frog rig (one behind the other) would be a much more useful and tangle free way to frog fish.

If you do by chance want to give this rig a shot, but sure to bring your heavy gear, I fished the Frog Brigade with a Dobyns DX795 and paired it with a Daiwa Lexa 300 series reel

Monday, July 15, 2013

Snag Proof Guntersville Frog Review

Guntersville Frog:   Colors: 6     Length: 2.5inch    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1


The G'ville frog was designed to flat out catch fish.. period.

 Everything about its design was thought out and put in place to help increase your chances of enticing and landing fish, and to be honest I dont know if there is a better all around "pad frog" on the market today 

Overall Rating: 8.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 4.0/5

Like with all Snag Proof products the G'Ville frog was built tough, it has a soft yet durable body that holds up well to abuse from fish and structure alike. Unlike most hollow body frogs the G'ville frog does not really have legs but in their place it has two weighted rattles giving it more noise and back-end weight while on the pads. 

The only issue I had during testing was the loss of a rattle. it somehow came free from it's glue and went flying on a classic "swing and miss" after a blow-up

Castability: 4.0/5

There is nothing subtle about the G'Ville frog, and that includes the splash it makes when hitting the water. Its back weighted deign allows for super long distance casts which is must when covering large pad sections or clusters.

not for the faint for heart, there is no need to even try skipping this frog under cover or into open water, it was designed for heavy cover and pads and that is what it does best.

Presentation: 3.5/5

I was up in the air on how to rate this frogs presentation.. it was not designed to do what most hollow body frogs do.. there is no walking-the-dog option here (though it can be twitched in place), and there is no "leg flair" when paused. But what it does bring to the table is a very loud pad knocking presentation, and a nice wake in the water when pulled or hopped.. in short it does what it was designed to do, and if you know that going into your purchase then you will be a happier customer

It case I was not clear in the last paragraph.. this is a pad frog, designed to be fished on or over pads and heavy slop, not really meant for working large areas of open water.. if thats what your looking for then look elsewhere 

Hook-up Ratio: 5.0/5

this is the area in which the G'ville frog will prove it's worth.. it has hands down the best hook-up ratio of any Sang Proof frog I have ever used. The back weighted body keeps this frog sitting nice and low in the water and positions the hooks in way that the fish has no option but to get them in it;s mouth.

The added is perfect for pad fishing and helps keep your frog on the water when a fish blows up on it.  Too many times I have seen my baits knocked off the mark by a striking fish, this is not the case with the G'ville

Lastly The fact that this frog is legless is also a large perk, simply put it means less "stuff" to get in the way so bass have no trouble swallowing this baby whole.

Availability: 4.5/5

Although fairly easy to get your hands on one, I was surprised this frog is not more readily available. Snag Proof products as a whole are available in the majority of large and small tackle shops, but for some reason many of the major on-line retailers that carry SP don't seem to carry the G'ville frog (Land Big Fish is the perfect example).

Options & Price: 3.0/5

The Guntersville frog is available in 1 size and 6 (very basic) color options. Designed the way it is, and for that the frogs intended use is, I dont expect to see that change much

pricing on this frog is decent, coming in at an average of $8.98 per frog.. this is below the dangerous $10 mark but in all honesty I would like to see it lower as it is a pretty basic frog compaired to many others available today.. that being said.. I will continue tio gladly pay the admission price to fish with this beast

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

Snag Proof ($9.95) 


This is a no doubter here, the G'Ville frog is designed to be fished in the heaviest nastiest suff on the water.. and so is the Dobyns 736c. During testing I spent most of the time throwing this frog on a Daiwa Lexa 300 series reel and Daiwa Samurai braid, this combo made it easy to bomb this frog down the lake and cover large pad areas during each retrieve

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bass Kandi Croaker Frog Review

Croaker:      Colours: 8   Size: 3.5"     Pack Count:  5     
                            Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: Salt


Bass Kandi Baits is an up and coming company out of Louisiana. Their line of baits consist of various worms, craws, lizards and of course.. Frogs. The "Kroaker" can be described as a subtle buzz frog that gives off a motion very unique from any of the other frogs I have test driven (so far).. check it out..

Overall Rating: 6.8/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.5/5

I was very happy with the overall quality of the Kroaker, it has a nice body design and I like the concept behind the inlayed channels to push water towards the legs as it swims. Almost all of the 8  colour options are two-tone which gives the finished product a nice look

As for durability the legs are a little soft, I understand the need to have them be agile, but the below image is of a Kroaker after being struck by a fish (note: this is the result of a blow-up not a hooked fish). It is hard to tell but other then the lost foot, both legs also have small rips

Castability: 3.5/5

The Kroaker casts and or skips very well. It has a thin/flat aerodynamic body that makes it easy to work in almost all conditions. You will need to be quick on the uptake as it sinks fairly quickly once it hits the water and takes some effort to get it back on top and buzzing

Presentation: 3.5/5

The legs and feet on the Kroaker give it a very different presentation then most buzz frogs. On the retrieve it has the look of a scared women running away from a zombie in a B horror movie (picture a women running and screaming with her arms waving frantically int he air)... Note that this is not a bad thing. Instead of kicking behind the frog the legs on the Kroaker kick out to the side and give it a softer churn or buzz then most buzz frogs.

When Paused the Kroaker sinks well (though fast) giving off a nice frog profile to any fish paying attention.. actually the majority of my fish on the Kroaker came while the frog sank.

One concern I did have is that I felt I had to really burn this frog back to the boat in order to get the presentation I was looking for. Even a fairly steady retrieve found this frog turning into a wake bait and it swam just below the waters surface.. watch your rod tip, and keep it high if want to to keep the Kroaker up and running

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

No issues here, the Kroaker holds a hook well and keeps it in position to hook any fish that hammers it. The legs are soft and flexible and overall they stay out of your way.

Availability: 3.0/5

If you live in Lousianna or Texas you should have no issues getting you hands on some Bass Kandi baits, but those of us out of driving distance will have a harder time. They are available on-line from both Bass Kandi as well as Bass Tackle Depot, and I expect this list to grow as word gets on on these quality baits.

Canadians: There is not currently an option to ship  into Canada on the Bass Kandi site, but the team there were gracious enough to work with me to get me order across the boarder.. thanks again!

Options & Price: 3.5/5

For a smaller bait provider Bass Kandi does provide a decent colour selection with 8 options available many of which are two-tone. The baits themselves come 5 to a pack and on average they will cost your $4.99 a pack or $0.99 a frog. This is very reasonable for a quality bait

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


I completed all my Kroaker testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa T3 Ballistic reel. This combo gives me the power and speed to pull fish out of cover quick, but also the ability to skip this frog into tight corners and under trees.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stanley Ribbit Top Toad Review

Top Toad:   Colors: 6    Length: 4"    Weight: 3/4oz   Pack Count: 2


The Top Toad hollow body frog by Stanley baits lives up to it's name. This frog is a very unique take on a traditional hollow body frog and soft plastic buzz frog combined. It comes equipped with a Stanley Ribbit 5/0 double take hook that is housed outside not inside of it's body and is easily replaceable. It's large body allows it to sit solidly on slop and or pads really announcing it's  presence... don't let this frog slip under your radar  

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 Stanley Ribbit Top Toad had me fooled, I took one look at it and wrote it off as a cheap attempt to get into the hollow body market.. Boy was I wrong

not only was this frog well thought out, but it fishes extremely well. The Top Toad is a hollow body swim frog, that sides over pads and scum with ease, and then churns up some serious water when fished around or over cover. I had a blast fishing it between pads and had the majority of my success in areas with less cover.

Unlike most hollow body frogs the hook on the Top Toad is outside of the body and is quickly replaceable when on the water. This can make it a bit less durable then the average hollow body, but all in all it holds up very well (for multiple fish).

Two things you should watch for when fishing a Top Toad are: (1)  because the hook is a screw-on external hook, it can slide out of place after a missed fish or if it gets caught up on pads or timber, so take a second to check them after each cast and put them back in place if required (this will ensure a higher hook-up ratio)

(2) The Top Toad sits lower in the water then most hollow body frogs and at times can give you visibility issues, I would recommend choosing brighter colour options like the white to improve overall visibility on longer casts.

Castability: 4.0/5

weighing in at 3/4oz the Top Toad has to be considered a "heavy weight" and because of this it can be cast for great distance in almost all conditions. I kinda went back and forth on whether or not this frog should get a 4.5 or 4 rating, in the end I opted for the 4.0/5 because of the fact that it's heavier frame lands louder and harder then I would like. There are multiple schools of thought on this, and yes at times a hard landing is a good thing, but all in all I think a little less slap would improve this baits overall fishability 

Presentation: 4.5/5

Im kinda old school, I like my hollow body frogs to have dangly silicone legs, and my swim frogs to buzz and churn up the water.. but the Top Toad sold me on its "Best of Both Worlds" presentation and I had a blast fishing it both in open water and over pads/slop. I honestly have no complaints on how this bait fishes (surprised? I know I am)

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

This is when I need to eat some serious crow, when I first took the Top Toad out of it's package I gave a little chuckle and thought to myself.. "this thing will not catch fish" but it quickly proved me wrong.

This is a frog that defies the odds, it has a large body, thick legs and a thicker wall of plastic along the ass end of the bait.. these three things combined should make for an awful hook-up ratio.. but they don't, some how the planets aligned and not only do fish eat this bait, but the hooks constantly find a home giving the Top Toad a higher then average hook-up ratio.. if it was not for the above issues it would have received a 5/5 in this category

Availability: 3.0/5

For such a high quality, high demand product line, both the Stanley Ribbit and Stanley Top Toad are notoriously hard to come across, both on the web and even more so locally. It's only saving grace is that two of the on-line retailers it is available from ship nation wide

Options & Price: 4.0/5

Currently the Top Toad is only available in one size and 6 colors. You do have two additional choices to make if buying this frog from TackleWarehous, first off you can purchase it in a 2-pack, that includes one rigged frog and one extra body, or you can buy a 3-packs of bodies only (no hooks). Pricing for both of these options is great, coming in on average at $5.96 for 1 fully rigged frog..

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

Stanley  ($6.99)

Tackle Warehouse ($4.49- $5.49) 

Cabela's ($5.99)


The Stanley Top Toad is one of the heavier hollow body frogs currently available, and thus you are going to want to gear up with a Dobyns 736C or even the DX795. As for a reel, I used the  Daiwa Lexa 300 for added line capacity and all thepower you need