Monday, October 28, 2013

Picasso Shad Walker Review

Shad Walker :   Colors: 6     Length: 4 inch    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1


The Picasso Shad walker is a bait I had been really looking forward to test driving. Anytime a company brings something new to the table .. even if we are only talking about shape.. I think it is worth bringing to your attention.. but unfortunately in the case of the Shad Walker, it is one step forward, two steps back

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 & Durability: 3.5/5

The Shad walker is made with a thick, durable material and will hold up well under abuse. I'm not a fan of the material as I do believe it may lower your overall hook-up ration and the tail in particular is very firm and wont easily get out of the way when fish strike

For the most part, the finished used are lifelike and look good, but they are no means on par with the finishes that other companies are knocking out.. let the bait begin.. does a better finish catch more fish or more anglers? 

Castability: 3.5/5

The overall size and weight of this bait make it super easy to cast for distance.. the only area of confer  is the baits shape.. the thin flat profile makes it hard to cast in windy or even breezy conditions. once the wind catches it the bait will fly off course.

The Shad Walker excels in short distance or skipping situations

Presentation: 3.5/5

I'm really up in the air on this baits presentation, it has some serious pro and cons.. including the fact that when fished in open water this bait moves almost like it is on ice, every pull of the line sees the Shad Walker sliding across the water uncontrollably. BUT..  if you are using this bait on pads, it drags across them with ease, as there is almost no drag or resistance.

The Shad Walker walks the dog like a champ, and if you give it short hops it skips off the water like a real shad busting on the surface.. the con to this is that the bait will at time loose contact with the surface of the water and this will effect your hook up ratio.

 The big overall issue with presentation is that the wide open hooks get caught up so easily you often ending ruining a retrieve and having to burn it in, clean it off and start all over again.

Hook-up Ratio: 3.0/5

With widespread open hooks you would expect that this bait would have a very high hook-up ratio, but the thick almost hard plastic tail and odd (fish-shaped) body make this bait tuff to swallow. The only thing I regularly hook-up on on was the weed, mats and pads.

I find the erratic movement is almost too-much for even the fish to follow and you will get missed blow-ups as the baits skates off to the side

Note: It is my understanding that Picasso has improved this bait by making a change to the hooks. Some retailers have old stock so be careful when purchasing. This review is based on the original frog with the old hooks (because I can only report on what I have used)

Availability: 3.5/5

No concerns here, although not available locally the big boys almost all carry this bait. As mentioned above watch for companies clearing out old stock, because if you are going to buy the shad walker believe me, you want the new and improved model

Options & Price: 3.0/5

I find that this bait is slightly overpriced for what it is. Coming in on average $8.99 per frog there are many other better quality baits available at this price point or cheaper

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

Picassos ($10.99)

Land Big Fish ($7.99) 

Field Test Report Card: 

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

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


This bait is heavier then it feels, so I prefer to fish it on the Dobyns 736c. This rod will allow you to walk, pop/bust, and drive the hooks home when fish strike. For reels I have been using the Daiwa Lexa 300 as it gives me more power and line capacity.. we all love to bomb frogs

Monday, October 21, 2013

Culprit Ultimate Frog - Review (Retired)

Ultimate Frog :      Colours: 8   Size: 4.5"     Pack Count:  3     
         Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: N/A


The Culprit Ultimate Frog is another one of those baits that I bought, fully expecting to hate. The frog in the package is not all that impressive, it looks like it was painted in someones garage and the hook looked to beefy for the bait.. with all that said I was again pleasantly surprised 

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: 3.0/5

Lets be honest here, the Culprit Ultimate Frog ain't gonna win many beauty pageants in today's market filled with ultra realistic baits. Yes its shaped like a frog, and has frog like markings, but the Ultimate frog relies more on its action in the water then its overall appearance.

 The material it is made of is fairly durable and should hold up well for multiple fish. Like with many frog baits the weak-point is at the feet, they are thin and somewhat fragile (but the action produced is well worth the flimsy feet and toes).

The nose of the Ultimate frog holds a hook well. Its nice and thick ease to rig properly.

Castability: 4.0/5

The Ultimate frog is very aerodynamic in its shape and both the body of the frog as well as the hook add enough weigh to make this bait cast like a dream. It cant be long bombed, flipped and skipped with ease.

The hooks is nicely weighted and the frog always (ok almost always) lands on its belly. It was quite refreshing to fish with a frog that landed well consistently.

Presentation: 4.5/5

The Ultimate frog excels in "medium cover" situations, it moves very well over and around pads, most of this is due to the fact that The body of the Ultimate frog is hollow, making it a bit of a cross-breed. I really like the way the hollow body allows this frog to sit up high on the retrieve, and The hook provided with the bait slightly raises the nose up, making it even easier to keep the bait on top, even at slower retrieves.

The legs are nice and long and give off a nice smooth kick. On the Culprit web-site this frog is listed as a "buzz-frog" but in my opinion it is a swim frog, yes it does churn up the water, but its more subtle then what I expect from a buzz bait

The Ultimate Frog sinks fairly slow which is great for long casts as it allows the angler to take their time, and not be forced to rush the retrieve trying to get the bait back up on top. When ready to start your retrieve back up, the frog quickly and easily raises to the surface

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

The double point hook sits far enough down the leg that it allows for nice clean hook-ups, and wont hamper the baits movement. Im not sure who produces the hook this bait comes rigged with, but it is very strong and is perfectly weighted for these baits.. I only which they came with more then one!

Availability: 2.0/5

Im boarder line on listing this frog as "retired" it clearly appears to have been discontinued by most companies, but it is still available for sale on the Culprit website.. so you be the judge. Outside of buying direct your best bet it to watch ebay. I found many packs available at decent pricing

Options & Price: 3.0/5

If you can find them the Ultimate Frog is available in 8 colour options including a nearly see-thru yellow that Im still kicking myself for not picking up when I had the chance (i saw them at 1000 Island Bait Shop is NY State)

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

Culprit ($6.99)

Ebay (Various)

TackleWarehouse (Out of Stock)


I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Lexa reel. You will want a bit of tip to allow for shorter accurate casts as well as a reel that will allow you to pick up the pace or slow right down when conditions dictate.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Warrior Baits Buzz Frawg Review

Buzz Frawg :      Colours: 5   Size: 5"     Pack Count:  5     
         Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: N/A


Many frogs on the market today walk that fine line between durability and performance. The Warrior Baits Buzz Frawg has this down to an art-form,  and thus it deserves your attention 

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 & Durability: 5.0/5

When I first cracked open my  package of Buzz Frawgz I was immediately impressed with how the baits felt in my hand. I could not only feel how flexible there were, but I could also sense their durability. There is no weak spots on this bait, no thin areas that will tear easily, and even the nose is built up enough that the hook will not rip it up.

Castability: 4.0/5

This is a dense frog, and thus it is fairly easy to cast. It is great for short distances or long bombs alike, you can get away from skipping it, but that's not its strong suit

Presentation: 4.5/5

The Buzz Frawg works as advertised, it kicks up a serious fuss on the retrieve and is fairly easy to to rig and retrieve straight. I really like how easy it is to fish this frog, you can actually slow it down and still get good action, or speed it up and turn this baby into a buzz bait

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

There are two key features that make the Buzz Frawg a killer bait for hook-up ration, they are: It's soft playable body, and a deep recess in the baits back that allows the hook point to stay hidden, but still have bite when you set the hook. It is not often that a bait as durably built as the Buzz Frawg is still soft enough to give you such a great hook-up ratio

Availability: 2.5/5

Availability is not great on this or any Warrior products. I have never seen them available in Canada, and selection is limited on even the largest of on-line retailers sites. So if you can find them, but some

Options & Price: 3.0/5

There is not many options offered on the Buzz Frawg, it is one size fits all (5inches), and only has 5 colour choices.. may I recommend Black or the Green Pumpkin with white bottom.

As for the price point it is fairly decent coming in on average under $5 or around $0.92 a frog. Well worth the price in my opinion

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

Warrior Baits ($4.99)

TackleWarehouse ($4.59)


I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Lexa reel. They were prefect for  nice long casts, and the ability to vary your retrieve. As always you will need some power and pick-up to get those fish back to the boat after a strike, but still want tip to finesse that frawg around cover.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Arbogast Buzz Plug Review

Buzz Plug:   Colors: 6        Size: 2 7-8"        Weight: 1oz      Pack Count:  1


Like with the majority of "hard-bait" frogs, the Arbogast buzz-plug walks a fine line between frog and standard topwater bait (hell with a killer rat colour I guess we could even call this a hard body mouse). But with all that said a fish attacking the buzz plug often do so with a frog leg dinner on their mind, and thus, the Arbogast Buzz Plug makes it into my hard body frog category  

Overall Rating:  7.6/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 4.0/5

Arbogast  has been banging out baits since 1928, so quality and longevity is not in question here. The Buzz Plug is great bait for young anglers looking to learn the buzz bait technique or grizzled vets looking for a buzz bait with a larger profile and the ability to pause for longer periods of time. It works in and around various cover and casts a country mile

Castability: 3.0/5

You wont have any issue getting distance when casting the Buzz Plug as this beast can be launched, the problem is, it lands hard. It is so large and heavy it is honestly hard to control on the land, so I would recommend overshooting your target as not to spook fish. 

Presentation: 4.0/5

This bait works as advertised, it gives off a real nice buzz on the retrieve and sits ass/hooks down on the pause. It is an improved version of the standard buzz-bait and it virtually unsinkable

The only real issue I came across was the collection of weed and debris along the nice of the bait (the area that houses the blades) This can be a pain in the ass, and the blades really wind loose grass up in them and it takes some effort to clean it out (this is a standard buzz bait issue)

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The hook up ratio is fairly solid with this bait, the loose/swinging tail hook ensures it is always in strike position no matter if you are retrieving or pausing the bait. The hook itself is "OK" not great, but not bad either.

Availability: 4.5/5

One of the things that Arbogast has going for it, is ease of purchase. These baits are available almost everywhere, I can find them at most shops and all the big name on-line retailers carry them as well

Options & Price: 4.0/5

With an average price of $5.99 the Buzz Plug is easy on the wallet. At that price I did not hesitate to purchase one, and feel that most anglers are in the same boat. As for options, there are not currently any size options, but 6 froggy colour options including a rat colour that I really like.

Where to Find:

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

Tackle Warehouse ($5.69)

Bass Pro Shop  ($5.99)

Lurenet ($5.99)

Land Big Fish ($5.99)


Go big or go home. The Buzz Plug fishes very heavy so be prepared to use a stiffer rod then you normally would when fishing a standard buzz bait. For Example I usually throw my buzzbaits on a 704 or 734, but for the Buzz Plug I jump up to a 735c

As for line choice I would recommend fishing this bait on a braid. Long casts and an immediate response time are needed when fishing heavy reaction baits