Monday, July 25, 2016

Reaction Innovation Swamp Donkey Review

Swamp Donkey : Colors:  Length: 3"  inch Weight: 1/2oz  Pack Count: 1


The return of the Swamp Donkey.. no retired frog has been as talked about as the Reaction Innovations Swamp Donkey. Anglers begged RI to bring this bait back and it has finally happened.. the Swamp Donkey is back.. but does it live up to the hype?

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

Reaction Innovation makes a damn good frog. The Swamp Donkey is pieced together with quality components including sharp up turned hooks, a longer narrow body and down turned nose. Other then the nose these are all wins and just a few of the reasons the swamp Donkey is in such high demand.

Castability: 4.0/5

Featuring a half once aerodynamic body this frog casts incredibly well. Its good for distance and shorter skips. Like most frogs it will struggle in windier conditions but keep it low and you should still be able to hit your spots.

I have mixed emotions about the Swamp Donkeys land, at times it comes down a bit heavy looking like an Olympic diver doing a cannonball, yet other times it more graceful.. could it be me.. sure but I do this enough to say its partly the frogs fault (just not sure why)

Presentation: 4.0/5

The Swamp Donkey moves very well at medium to low speed retrieves.  It can be walked back to the boat in a wide wobble or a nice tight walk. I do find this bait harder to control at longer distances and higher speeds, I'm not sure but I think the down turned nose is a hindrance in both of these situations. But for slower speeds and closer targets you can really make this thing move.

Hook-up Ratio: 4.0/5

One of the things that made this frog the legend that it has become is its high hook-up ratio. Its long slender body with child baring hips makes this frog easy to swallow so the fish often gets all of it prior to you driving the hooks home. The wide hips hide the hook points keeping them clean on the retrieve and making sure they are ready to do their job when the fish hits.

Availability: 3.5

Just the fact that you can buy this frog again is enough for most anglers, so I won't be too hard on them here. A retired bait coming back from the dead is a rare thing, they are usually retired for a reason (poor sales, too many knock-offs, or high cost). With all that said I couldn't find this frog locally and had to add it to a Tackle Warehouse order, they too had limited stock so i took what I could get.

Options & Price: 4.5/5

When you see the price tag of $8.99 you have to give Reaction Innovations props, since over the past few years the discontinued version of this frog has been selling for $20-$75 on a fairly regular basis. So they could have used the built up demand to gouge anglers.. but they didn't, and that's worth a thanks. As for options the Swamp Donkey only comes in one size but the colour choices are pretty sweet. I opted for Hematoma (Black/Purple) though I would also have loved the BlueGill, Grey Ghost and the Leopard Frog version.

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

Land Big Fish ($8.99)

Outdoor ProShop ($8.99)


All  testing was done on a  Dobyns DX746 it is my go to rod and handles both hollow and soft plastic baits alike. As for reels, the Daiwa Tatula HD pairs well with this rod and gives you a nice over sized spool for that added distance and power. Line choice was SunLine FX2

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: A

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