Monday, August 26, 2013

Snag Proof - Poppin Ish Phattie Review

Ish Poppin Phattie:   Colours: 7     Length: 2 3/4 inch    Weight: 5/8oz   Pack Count: 1


Im kinda getting tired of piling on all this praise for Snag Proof frogs. last year I raved about the Ish Phattie and earlier this season I was impressed with the Guntersville frog.. lets now make this a trifecta as I was truly blown away by the Ish Poppin Phattie.. once this review goes live I dont think my friends will believe me when I tell them Im not a fan of Snag Proof fogs.. the question really is.. do I believe me?

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 & Durability: 4.5/5

These bad boys are nearly indestructible, yet still have a nice easy to collapse body that allows for the that great hook-up ratio you need when frog fishing. The Face of the Poppin phattie actually has two separate popping chambers that really give of some serious noise and splash (see below for more details on the poppin action)

As with the original model the Poppin Phattie is equipped with twin Gamakatsu hooks and the ITT (inner tube technology) that makes this frog pretty much unsinkable

Castability: 5.0/5

This frog is a beast, it casts for miles and gives a nice solid slap when it hits the water. It is one of three frogs I go-to in heavier winds to ensure I get the distance I want and need. Like the OG series (and yes that means "original gangtsa") the Poppin Phattie has a nice flat bottom that allows it to be skipped up under structure.. a way under utilized way to fish hollow bodies

Presentation: 5.0/5

Lets get this out of the way early.. the Ish Poppin Phattie has the best popping action of any hollow body frog I have tested to date.. there I said it, and this coming from a guy that until the original Ish series frog was release was not a snag proof fan (at all)

I love that this frog performs well no matter how much pressure you put on the popper, you can hammer home huge bursts/spits, and subtle chugs and this frog handles both with ease. Even more impressive is how well it performs in heavy cover. Most popper get bogged down in the slop but the long mouse like nose of the Ish Poppin Phattie allows it to glide over pads and slop with ease

Hook-up Ratio: 4.5/5

Like it's older brother the Poppin Phattie has a very high hook-up ratio. The long slender body with the legs combing straight out behind it, makes this frog easy for fish to swallow. It does sit pretty flat on the surface and the only way I could think to improve this hook up ratio in any way would be to have the ass end submerge a bit on the pause

Availability: 3.5/5

This frog was launched at ICAST 2012 and still is not widely available, what gives? staples who carry the majority of the SnagProof line like "Land Big fish" still haven't added this frog to their site, though I was positive thats where I bought mine this past off season..???

that being said many of the giants have picked them up and you should have no issue ordering one on-line if you cant get one locally.

Options & Price: 4.0/5

Although only available in one size, its the right size, so Im not going to deduct points for that. Colour choices as has become standard with ISH frogs are kinda odd. I opted for the "Cali" colour but to be honest I really like all 7 options currently available.

Pricing for the Ish series is good, coming in on average below $9 makes this easy on the wallet and you still feel like your getting a quality bait

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

SnagProof ($9.95) 

Field Test Report Card: 

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

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


This is a heavy duty frog meant to be fished with heavy duty gear, that means bring your Dobyns 736c along from the ride, and  your 300 series reel of choice (mine being the Daiwa Lexa). Currently Im still using Sunline FX2 on my hollow body rod, there is just somthing about its rope like texture that makes me feel safe when bombing frogs for miles.. its hasn't let me down yet

Monday, August 19, 2013

Evolve RX Mad Mouse Review

RX Mad Mouse:      Colours: 3   Size: 5"     Pack Count:  4     
                            Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: N/A


The Evolve RX Mad Mouse may have found a soft spot in my heart, it reminds me of  the Gene larew 3-Legged Toad (one of may all time favs). It is a very well designed bait that give off an almost perfect eerily calm swim, so much so that I find myself humming the Jaws theme on every retrieve waiting for a bucketmouth to swallow it whole 

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 & Durability: 4.0/5

I love the deisgn of this mouse. The body mould gives it s great profile, and the crimped legs give it a unique swim not found on most buzz style frogs or mice. A belly keel helps it cut through the water and  when paused it gives off a nice slow fall.

it is surprisingly durable for its size, and even more so for a baits with long thin legs. That being said, it has"long thin legs" and will only take so much abuse. The nose of this mouse can also be an issue, its narrow and thin and can be ripped during the heat of battle.

Castability: 3.5/5

Size or more accurately weight maybe the biggest downfall to the Mad Mouse. Coming in at 5 inches in length you would expect that this bad boy would have some heft to it.. and you would be wrong. I have not been able to find a listing the actual weight, but take it from me its lite. If fishing this frog/mouse bait be sure to match up your gear accordingly, this means you will want to lower your line diameter, lighten up on your rod and ease back the magnets on your reel.

Once you nail the above this is a fun bait to fish, it casts well, and skips better then most.

Presentation: 4.5/5

The Mad Mouse is a swimming machine! designed with boat like keel on it;s underbelly it cruses through the water with ease. Each of the three legs is equipped with a crimp in the middle giving the mouse it's gentle buzz/churn on the retrieve.

Surprisingly enough the subtle motion of this bait drive fish crazy. It is at its best when fished on very calm days and/or in shallower water conditions. Its soft almost sticky body material  hampers its ability to crawl over pads and other structure, so stick to open water situations.

Hook-Up Ratio: 5.0/5

The rubber/plastic used to build the Mad Mouse is ultra soft and pliable. I can be easily balled up on the strike and will not hamper the hooks ability to find its home. Evolve equipped the Mad Mouse with a deep belly slit allowing the hook to move more freely and ensuring no plastic gets in its way.

I would have liked to see some sort of hook point protection on the top side of the mouse, but the soft body material does allow you to bury it easily, just watch out for rips and tears after each fish

Availability: 4.5/5

Just two short years ago Evolve baits were very hard to find, and I will admit that I once drove 2 hours to a bait shop that I knew carried their products. Nowadays they are more and more available both locally and on-line.. check out the healthy list of on-line dealers below

Options & Price: 3.0/5

This Mad Mouse was introduced in one size and 3 color options. This is not exactly an abundance of choice, but that being said it is still a new product and I hope we see more sizes and colors in the seasons to come. As for pricing these baits average $4.73 a 4-pack. It may not seem like much but when you take into consideration that you only get 4 baits in each pack, it starts a sting.. the price works out to $1.18 a mouse. That's well above the  $1 per bait mark I use as a benchmark

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

Evolve ($5.09)
Land Big Fish ($4.79)

Cabelas ($3.99)

Fish307 ($4.99) 


As mentioned above the Evolve RX Mad Mouse is a light weight bait and if you want to have success with it, you are going to need to gear down.. Instead of my standard SunLine FX2 40lb braid I used Daiwa Samurai 20lb braid. My rod of choice is the Dobyns 735c, and I test drove using a Daiwa T3 Ballistic reel.. worked like a charm

Monday, August 12, 2013

EverGreen Kicker Frog Review

Kicker Fish:   Colors: 8     Length: 2 3/8 inch    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1


This is a frog came to my attention through the emails of multiple "Frog Pond" readers. I was quickly impressed with what I saw and began the process of tracking one down. They are not the easiest to get your hands one, but when you do, you'll quickly realize they worth the wait.. and the price 

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: 5.0/5

Like many of the Japanese baits that are currently flooding the north american market, the Evergreen Kicker frog is a high quality bait that comes at a high price point. They are equipped with a heavy duty single hook, and give you the option to add a blade or a stinger hook on the rear eyelet.

The body material is super soft but fairly durable, I have used one frog for multiple fish on multiple outing without concern. If one thing is going to go wrong it is the external weight/eyelet on the rear, if it comes loose this frog is going to sink and quick

Castability: 4.5/5

Dont let its small appearance fool ya, the Kicker frog weighs in at 1/2 ounce and casts like a dream. Its flat bottom also makes it the perfect frog for skipping up under structure.

I have used it in all kinds on conditions and cant find a single casting fault

Presentation: 4.5/5

The Kicker fish has a pretty impressive walking action when twitched . You can pretty much walk it on the sport with tight short jerks that will drive fish crazy  or slither it back to the boat in that hypnotic "s' we all dream of achieving.

If fishing the Kicker frog in heavier cover you can take advantage of the runners covering the bottom of the frog  that help it slide over pads and other structure, and it's shorter then average silicone legs always flare out the sides improving its profile on the pause

Hook-up Ratio: 5.0/5

When I first got a look at the Kicker Frog I was intrigued but unsure on how much I would like the single hook concept, but it quickly proved a winner. Placed in the center of the forgs back it stays out of the way until needed but still easily finds a home when a fish strikes.

The hook is just part of what makes the Kicker fish a great hook-up bait, the body material is highly durable yet very soft and collapses easily. I was really impress how well this bite sized frog gets eaten and holds on

Availability: 3.0/5

Evergreen frogs are available but you will have to look for them. Evergreen sells them driect and a few of the small to medium on-line retailers carry them as well. I find it odd that larger retailers like Tackle Warehouse and LBF carry some Evergreen products but not this line of frogs. To be honest Ebay is your best bet for selection and pricing.. but they are shipping from overseas so you will have a bit of a wait on your hands. In North American "The Hook-Up Tackle" stocks them, but as a Canadian buyer I try to avoid them due to unreasonable shipping rates

Options & Price: 3.5/5

Like with many of the Japanese frog imports the price on this frog can be scary I have seen it as high as $19.99 and at it's lowest $13.00. But I will say the quality is there and I have no qualms about paying the price for this bait

For options, there is only one size currently available but 8 pretty cool colour options, including one that looks like a mouse. You may not call these  options "realistic" but they are unique and cover the spectrum of flashy, shiny, brights and darks

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

EverGreen  (N/A) 

Ebay (various)

Field Test Report Card: 

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

Walk the Dog:  A+
Popping Action: N/A
Sit/Pause: A


This frog may look slight in stature but it still packs a 1/2 punch and thus it can handle a beefier rod. I fished this frog with Dobyns 736c and Daiwa Lexa 300 series reel. You can go lighter depending on the water your fishing, but the above combo really does this frog justice.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Big Bite Baits Rojas Fighting Frog

Fighting Frog:      Colours: 18   Size: 3.5" and 4"     Pack Count:  7 &10     
 Leg Style: Punch            Scent: N/A


Ok, Ok, I get it, I knew I was going to take some flack for this one, but hey.. Big Bite Baits calls this a frog bait, so who am I to dispute them (or Dean Rojas). So here it is, the first every review of a "flipping frog"

Overall Rating: 8.3/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.0/5

There are times in which I had seperated Quality and Durability, because not all high quality baits are durable, and not all durable baits are quality.. this is one of those instances

there is no doubt that he Big Bite Baits Rojas Fighting frog is a  quality bait, it was designed extremely well, and has more bells and whistles then any flipping bait should, yet all of them play a roll in it's success.. that being said it is not a durable bait and you can expect to burn through that 7-10 count pack if the bite is on

The issue lies with the body cavity of the bait, there is so much going on that the area that holds the hook is very thin and gets torn up during the fight. They must have known this may be an issue, as in this instance the price and the pack count offset the amount of baits you will use

Castability: 4.0/5

When it comes to pitching/flipping baits you not only need to consider it's castability but also it's ability to easily slide through cover. The Fishing Frog offers you both of these perks yet still have enough limbs and appendages to offer a nice presentation on the fall

Presentation: 5.0/5

This bait is slick, I dont know about you, but Im constantly looking for a slender profile flipping bait that still flaps and flails up a storm, and the fighting frog achieves this. I personally prefer the 4" model and rig it both on l1/4 to 5/16oz weights all the way up to 1/2oz when flipping heavy cover.

The Fighting Frog is the perfect bait to have rigged up as a frog fishing follow-up bait.. if you miss that big blow up, just flip this baby in the gaping hole and hold on tight

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

With a slim hook slot on its back (see above) and a deeper well on it's belly (see below) the Fighting frog makes sure your hook is always in position to hit home with little to no plastic in the way. it is so deadly accurate I have yet to miss a fish on one, but at the same time theses qualities that make it a killer hook-up bait are the same qualities that cause it to be so weak and you will quickly burn through a pack if the bite is hot

Availability: 3.5/5

Bite Big Baits are getting more and more popular, and are available in a wider selection of shops each season. Personally I have some driving to do when I want to purchase them and I often resort to ordering them on-line (shipping is cheaper then gas money)

Options & Price: 5.0/5

Big Bite Baits offer a killer selection, the Fighting frog is currently available in 2 sizes (3.5" and 4") and 18 colour options. I like the bigger size and usually fish the 4" on a 5/16 oz weight so it keeps some of its flutter. My colour choices are the Okeechobee Craw and the Junebug.

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

Big Bite Baits ($4.69- $5.49)

TackleWarehouse ($3.49 - $3.99)

Land Big Fish ($3.49-$3.99)


Since this is a flipping frog, I prefer to fish it on the Dobyns DX795. This rod is bit and beefy yet very light weight and of course well balanced. My reel of choice is the Daiwa Lexa 300

I though I would include the below pic of a crappie I picked up on the Fighting Frog while flipping docks. I think he must have got the surprise of his life when he gave it a tug and received my big bass hook set in return