Monday, June 30, 2014

River2Sea Spittin Wa review

Spittin Wa  : Colors: 16   Length: 2 1/4"  inch Weight: 9/16oz  Pack Count: 1


I have been wanting to publish this review since the end of last season, but decided to let the hype cool off and see if my opinion was the same when fishing it this season vs. the limited time I got with it at the end of last year. The Hype may have cooled off over the long winter, but one thing has not changed and that's that this bait is one of the best popping frogs I have yet to cast

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: 4.5/5

River2Sea continues to bang our high quality baits that fish just eat up. The SpittinWa is a prime example of this, a nice solid body, with quality hooks and a soft rubber popping mouth that gets the job done and will last longer then a hard lipped popper.

I spent some time banging this bait around on a couple different lakes and was pleasantly surprised at how well it held up to the fish as well as my slapping it around

Castability: 4.5/5

For a popping frog the SpittinWa casts very well. I was able to get some good distance, with only minimal drag caused by the large cupped popping mouth. Like all River2Sea frogs that I have tested thus far the SpittinWa lands well (usually right side up) and can be skipped up under cover.

Presentation: 4.5/5

As a popper the SpittinWa ranks up amongst the best on the market, the wide soft plastic mouth with double bubble holes really gives off a loud spit that calls in fish from miles around (well that may be a slight exaggeration). The only thing that kept this bait from getting a perfect score in presentation is its performance on the pads.. its a drag, literally

In sparse to medium cover this frog moves very well, but when climbing over a large number of pads this bait looses steam quickly and it feels like you are  dragging it along. I'm not a fan of its movement on the pads at all, but can't grade it too harshly since its main function is popping

Hook-up Ratio: 3.5/5

There are a few minor features on the SpittinWa that although not cause for alarm did force me to give it only an average score for hook-up ratio. The first being that the body is fairly firm, and although that helps its overall durability it does not allow the body to compress as much as I would like and thus not as much of the hook is exposed during the bite/hook-set. The second and even more troubling issue for me is that the hooks are pointed inward and not parallel to the body. This can be adjusted with pliers but shouldn't have to be.

Availability: 4.5/5

River2Sea products are highly available in both Canada and the USA. I was easily able to snag a couple of these locally as well as at most major on-line retailers.

Options & Price: 3.5/5

I had a hard time rating this frog as to it's options and price. Both River2Sea and TackleWarhouse have the colour selection listed at 8, but the Bass Pro Shop shows 16 colours? Either way that's a nice selection of colour options but the price tag has a bit of sting to it at on average $9.86

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

River2Sea ($10.49)

Bass Pro Shop ($8.99)

Mystery Tackle Box ($9.99)


I was excited to get the chance to break out a new rod when testing this frog. The Dobyns DX746 is my newest frogging rod and it more then lived up to the hype. The perfect mix of balance, tip and power it makes for a great frog rod in all types of cover. As for reels, the Daiwa Lexa pairs well with this rod and gives you a nice over sized spool for that added distance.

Field Test Report Card:

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

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Poor Boy Baits Wooden Frog Review

Wooden Frog:   Colors: 4        Size: 2.25"        Weight: N/A     Pack Count:  1


It seems like it has been a long while since I have written a review on a hard body frog and I feel kinda bad that the return of the hard body coincides with this review on a recently retired bait. I purchased my Poor Boy Wooden frog last season, and was surprised that as of today it is impossible to find almost anywhere.. but after reading the below review, you'll know why

Overall Rating:  6/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality: 3.0/5

The PBB Wooden frog is a 2-price bait that consists of a bass wood body with a swing hook and a screw. The legs of the bait are soft plastic and are interchangeable. The look of the bait leaves much to be desired, its a very basic paint job but the colours are nice.

The wooden body will take a beating and holds up really well. The legs not so much as the small spring does little to hold them in place. Luckily this frog comes with 3 pairs of legs

Castability: 3.0/5

Like with many of this baits characteristics its overall castability is not great nor is it horrible. As mentioned above the PBB Wooden frog is made of light weight BassWood, this makes casting for distance a problem, not to mention casting into wind. The rubber legs do help but not enough to give the Wooden frog a score above 3

Because of the baits shape and material it does land well and is always in position for a fish to strike. The hook itself often pops off its peg, but thats an issue we will discuss in the hook-up portion of the review  

Presentation: 3.0/5

If you are not use to using wooden baits then this frog can and will take some getting use to. It slides very easily in a walk the dog style cadence,  with the legs acting as a drag system that slows it down.

This bait is best suited for open water or sparse cover. The rubber legs don't slide well over pads and the exposed hooks get caught up if the bait flips on the retrieve 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

The hook system on the PBB Wooden frog is kind of  unusual for a frog bait. It uses a standard double frog hook that is pinned to the back of the bait with a peg. The peg holds the hook in place during the cast and retrieve but allows it to swing freely when fishing a fish.

The exposed hooks make for a great hook-up ratio but can also be a deterrent as they collect up debris and catch on pads during the retrieve. Im also not to sure how durable this system will be as the fish will be putting a lot of pressure on the hook which is held on by a light screw

Availability: N/A

Last season when I purchased this frog I did so through LandBigFish. When preparing for the review I noticed it it no longer listed on their site, nor the PoorBoy Baits site.. this tells me it is not officially retired.. so no score was given

Options & Price: N/A

Again now that this bait is retired it is hard to give it a score for options and price. When purchased last season this bait cost me $14.95 which is on par with other wooden hand carved baits I own. With that said the bait does not perform all that well and in hindsight I would have not spent this kind of cash on it (you know I could have bought 3x Booyah Pad crashers for that)

Where to Find:

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

Retired.. if you find it and it's cheap, give it a shot


When using the Poor Boy Baits wooden frog I would opt to throw it on either a 735c for power or a 734c for action. The choice comes down to how and where you will be fishing. If your battling cover go with the 735C if you are fishing mostly open water the 734c will provide great action and still get the job done.

As for reels I used a Daiwa Lexa in the smaller 100 series size spooled up with Toray Finesse braid, again I focus on presentation over power when using this frog

Monday, June 16, 2014

Top Shelf Croaker Review

Croaker:      Colours: 10   Size: 4"     Pack Count:  3     
                            Leg Style: Buzz            Scent: N/A


Top Shelf baits may not be on many anglers radars, they are currently not widely available (In Canada or the US), and upon a quick glance they could be considered a tad on the expensive side of things.. That being said they are one of the toughest built buzz frogs on the market today and will last fish after fish, after fish

Overall Rating: 7.2/10
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 babies are tough from toes to nose. The dense rubber/plastic body is what gives the croaker it's great buzz, and it also ensures durability. This fort has been often imitated but the knock-offs currently available are not made with the same quality as the Croaker itself.  

Castability: 4.0/5

The Croaker 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 Croaker 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 Croaker 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

There are some pro's an con's associated with the strength of the material used to build the top shelf Croaker.. pro's are obvious: durability and a strong buzz/churn given off on the retrieve. The main con would have to be how a thicker denser body can and will get in the way of your hook set. Top Shelf does tries to off-set this by giving the back of the croaker a deep well removing the need to bury the hook point, this does help, but as always, the more plastic the  more chances you have of loosing a fish

Availability: 3.0/5

Im fairly surprised how hard it is to get your hands on Top Shelf Products. They are quality made and more importantly they work.. that being said there is limited purchase options for the on-line shopper.. tackle warehouse is probably your best bet since they carry all colours and they have the best price per pack.

If you live in the US I have included a list of tackle shops that carry Top Shelf, check it out below

Options & Price: 3.0/5

The baits themselves come 3 to a pack and on average they will cost your $5.99 a pack or $1.99 a frog, If your thinking "ouch" your right. If you were to ask Top Shelf about it, I think they would quickly counter with a statement to the fact that their product lasts twice as long as most other baits on the market.. and although that may be true, $1.99 a bait is hard to swallow

On the positive side there are 10 colour options currently available, most if not all colors are two toned and pretty cool looking.

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 Croaker 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. The croaker was designed to be used with a 5/0 screw lock hook like the Zoon horny toad hook

Monday, June 9, 2014

Baby Kahara Frog Review

Baby Kahara  : Colors: 8   Length: 1 3/4"  inch Weight: 1/4oz  Pack Count: 1


The Baby Kahara frog is yet another Japanese import that is high on quality, but thankfully not high on price. This is a tiny little froglet that may frustrate you in the wind, but surprise you on the water 

Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.5/5

 Almost everything about this frog is high quality. The body is nice and tough yet still flexible, the hooks are strong and sharp. The silicone legs are short, so they stay out of your way but still flare on the pause.. The one issue you will find is that whatever they use to glue the eyes in place is just not working.. you can see in my above image that my frog is eyeless and and I have read many other reviews from anglers who also complain about the same issue

Castability: 2.5/5

I found this frog very hard to cast for any's tiny and very light weight, so in order to cast it well, you will need to fiddle with your breaks and downside you normal frog rod gear.. maybe even go spinning?

There is a zinc plate on the bottom of this frog, so landing is never an issue. You may want to take advantage of the eyelet on the weigh that allows you to add a blade to the Baby Kahara, this will give you some added weight and the ability to get some extra flash on your retrieve 

Presentation: 3.0/5

The Kahara Baby frog walks really well, and can even be twitched in place. Given it's small size it still has a big profile and drives bass crazy

As mentioned above there is a small eyelet on the bottom that will allow you to add a blade (or treble hook) for some added flash (or sting). This normally is not my thing, but the extra weight would be nice

Hook-up Ratio: 3.5/5

This frog has some things going for it, and going against it when it comes to the hook-up ratio. First off on the pro-side this bite-sized frog can and will be eaten whole giving you a great chance of landing the hooks in the fishes upper jaw.. that said for those fish that do just get a piece you will find the body slightly denser and short in stature making it harder to get that nice gap between the hooks and body.

I also noticed that hooks were slightly turned in on this frog as well as many other pocket sized frogs, I'm not a huge fan of this and had to doc some points there.

Availability: 3.5/5

For an import this frog is surprising easy to find. Not only is it available through larger on-line retailers but can also be found at shops specializing in imports (this is getting more and more common)

Options & Price: 3.5/5

coming in at around $8 a frog many anglers may call it expensive.. but I wonder if it they would still complain if this frog was full sized and not "baby". To me any frog under the $9 mark pretty good, and the closer you get to $5 the happier I am. Colour options are also pretty good on the Kahara Baby, not only is it available in 8 colours, but they are pretty cool colours at that

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

Optimum Baits ($8.00)

Land Big Fish ($7.49)


This is one Frog you are going to want to downsize your gear for. I prefer to fish it on the Dobyns 734c paired with a Daiwa Tatula Reel. for line I drop down to 20lb Daiwa Samurai braid

If your struggling for distance be sure to try and fish the baby Kahara on a spinning rod like the Dobyns 703Sf, this is a beefier spinning rod that hold up well to medium to sparse cover

Field Test Report Card:

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

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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bass Pro Shops XPS Frog Review

XPS Frog  : Colors: 2   Length: 2 3/4"  inch Weight: Pack Count: 1


The Bass Pro shop does many things well, but frogs are not one of them.. the XPS frog sinks better then it swims and its thick plastic body and heavy internal weight makes this frog designed more for combat by with a a shark then with a bass

Overall Rating: 5.5/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.0/5

Basing this review on the XPS's quality as a "bass-fishing" frog it gets fairly low marks, but with that said, it is built to last and as some of the below pics can attest to, my XPS frog has done battle with bowfins and still live to tell the story.

The XPS has a super thick skin and large internal weighted hook, both of these hold up well, but are not really conducive for bass fishing.. pike maybe, musky maybe, bowfin obviously, but Bass not so much. 

Castability: 3.5/5

This frog can be cast a country mile (if that's still a term). I was actually blown away by the distance I could get on each and every cast, no matter the condition.  The landing on the other hand, really is an  an issue. The overall weight and flat bottom give this frog a pronounces slap when it hits the water (like a bomb slap)

Presentation: 3.0/5

this frog is has a slow wobble/walk automatically on the retrieve, there is no need to work the rod tip, the frog does it all by itself… that said, it barely keeps itself above the water and the tiny legs are hardly visible.. so why even give this frog swimming legs?

Hook-up Ratio: 2.50/5

Not impressed at all with this frogs hook up ratio. This is mainly due to the super thick skin and the large internal weight. It's thinner profile also leaves very little room for the body to collapse, again not helping you at all in the hook up area. I will admit the hooks are sharp and strong, and if you are able to drive them home, they usually hold on.. even when you don't want them too.

Availability: 3.0/5

Being a Bass Pro Shop product you are fairly limited to where you are able to buy XPS Frogs.. yep that's right at the Bass Pro Shop, and since I don't think it;s fair to give a brand specific frog poor marks for only being available at it's own store.. i left the rating at 3.0

Options & Price: 2.5/5

I'm not sure if this frog is in the process of being retired or not, all I can tell you is that the choices are much smaller now then when I purchased my frog last season. Currently the XPS frog is available in one size and two colour options. I think it is a bit pricey at $5.49 and would much rather spend my cash on a Booyah frog at the same price point

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

Bass Pro Shop ($5.49)


The XPS Frog is a heavy frog meant for heavy cover and heavy fish. I would not go any lighter then the Dobyns 736c, and you may even want to up size to the DX795.. again this frog is not for the faint of heart and I would only break it out in situations that I'm worried about loosing a frog or when I know there are toothy critters lurking about.

I fished this frog with a Daiwa Lexa 300 with 60lb Sunline FX2 braid

Field Test Report Card:

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

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