Monday, January 30, 2017

SmartBaits Foxy Frog Review

Foxy Frog:      Colours: 4 (8)   Size: 4.5"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Swim               Weight: N/A


Does this frog look familiar? it should, I reviewed it back in 2015 when it was called the Buzz'n Cane Toad and was produced by Gambler, so if some of the below comments and ratings look familiar, its because they are!

This is also the reason I made changes to how I will be rating frogs starting in 2017,  lets see how SmartBaits Foxy Frog holds up! 

Overall Rating: 5.8/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 3.0/5

The rubber used in the SexyFrog is fairly durable and holds up well in the nose and body of the bait. Where swim style frogs/toads suffer is in their toes, the thin rubber on the action end rips very easily and its not long before your frog becomes and amputee.

Castability: 3.5/5

The FoxyFrog is fairly aerodynamic and is pretty easy to cast. It does not have much weight to it, so you may have to play around with your reels breaks in order to find the sweet spot. The keel like belly makes the FoxyFrog skip easily and it has a nice fall when paused. 

Presentation: 3.0/5

Like the bait it copied, I found this frog was pretty average on the water, the keel shaped belly and rounded nose tend to dip if paused, meaning they can turn into a wake bait if your not careful.  The legs produce a soft churn that works well in calm water or when pulled off shore. If there is much chop your going to want to put this frog down and find one that produces more of the dinner bell commotion you need to draw fish in.

Watch how your run your hooks, the nose of the FoxyFrog turns and twists easily, meaning it won't run straight on the retrieve. This can also be caused by a misshaped body, which is an issue on many soft body toads pressed into a package.

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

Equipped with a deep belly slot and V-Shaped back  you can easily hide your hook point without having to bury or even skin hook it. The body and legs are very soft and will move out of the way even if your set the hook like my 12-year old niece.

Innovation and Design : 2.0/5

Lets not kid ourselves here this frog design is a straight rip off of Gamblers Buzz'n Cane toad, so no points for creativity there. The only saving grace SmartBaits has is that it tried to apply the rarely used colour change effect. The body of this bait changes colour as the water temperature changes. This feature may benefit slower moving baits that sit in front of the fish for longer periods of time. But since this frog will be buzzing along the fish won't get a great look at it and I don't think they will notice the change in colour.

No design changes where made from the Gambler toad, which is a shame as the gambler version also had it's flaws.

Availability, Options & Price: 2.0/5

This is a small Ontario based company still trying to get noticed.  They are working to make a name for themselves by offering up a unique line of colour change baits. Unfortunately they must have used up all there ideas on the color change bit because the bait design itself was taken straight from Gambler.

As for their options this frog is available in one size and 4 colours.. I guess that means 8 colours since each bait turns from one colour to another when the water temperature changes.

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

SmartBaits ($7.99)


I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 735c paired with a Daiwa Tatula.  This frog is fairly light weight and can even be fished on lighter gear. this of course will all depend on the cover your fishing.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review Changes for 2017

The 2017 review season is fast approaching, and as I finish up some reviews from last season and prepair for the coming season I decided it was time to make a slight change to the review process.

Over the past few seasons I noticed an alarming trend that sees companies blatantly ripping off other manufactures big or small. Bringing frogs to market with little to no innovation or creativity just simply put stealing the mold from a competitor and slapping their logo on it.

In order to penalize these companies while also celebrating those that bring innovation and creativity to the table I will be making the following changes:

Availability rating has now been aligned with the Options and Price rating, these three act as one rating to determine how well a company is able to bring their frog to market. is it easy to get? is it priced competitively, and are their enough options available.

In place of the Availability rating their will now be an Innovation and Design rating, this breaks down what the manufacturer brought to the table, is the bait innovative, will it give anglers the ability to show the fish something new? what makes this frog stand out from the others.

All in all the classic rating system will be in tact, and the final score will still be out of 10. This change I believe presents a better overall view of new baits and penalizes  those creating forgeries

Thanks again for reading, look out for new reviews coming your way soon!

Kahara Rat N Rat 2 Review

Rat'N Rat:   Colors: 8     Length: 2.5" (w/o Tail)    Weight: 7/16oz   Pack Count: 1


It's been a few seasons since I reviewed the original Rat N Rat by Kahara, and if you remember I was a pretty big fan. Well version 2.0 is now available and although there has been a hefty price increase I'm not sure what else has changed? 

I'm being only slightly sarcastic here as there is a couple obvious differences, One.. the Rat n Rat 2 has been on a serious diet. This slimmed down version may not have more bells and whistles then it's big brother, but it does fish better (smoother) and walks easier. You might also have noticed that this little guy had his tail amputated. Another improvement meant to ensure the Rat N Rat fishes better in cover situations. Finally there has been a blade change, again Kahara has opted for slimmer willow blades over the Colorado style blades used in the standard Rat N Rat.

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 Rat N rat 2 is a very well built mouse bait that seems to be fully loaded with all the bells and whistles. A soft tail nearly 2 inches in length puts the Rat N Rats total size at 5.9 inches.  In place of silicone strands the Rat N Rat is equipped with two Colorado blades for legs, which give off great motion, shine and vibration in the water. 

the Rat N Rat has a great "mouse" profile and comes in some crazy color options. Equipped with realistic 3D eyes you are going to have a hard time finding any other frog baits demanding so much attention (from angler and fish)

the belly of the Rat N Rat is lined with some lead along the long and leg area, it really reinforces the area in which the fish will strike and will extend the life of the bait

Castability: 4.0/5

Even with the slimmer changes I couldn't rate the Rat N Rat any hirer in the casting section. It is more streamlined and doesn't land and hard and flat, but the lighter body means less distance and as with all blade blades it will take some getting use to in order to skip it easily and accurately. 

Presentation: 4.5/5

I love fishing with this mouse, it is a breeze a work, and swims, walks and hops with the best of them. The Rat N Rat 2's  long body  really move well  in open water situations and the newly added willow blades give off a more erratic flash then the original model.

Still not the best in heavy cover situations, you will want to hold this bait for use in open to sparse cover. Without the tail it can be dragged easier across pads, but like with any blade the thicker the cover the more slop you will be cleaning off the rat. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

With the new and improved smaller profile the Rat N Rat 2 does offer an increased hook-up ratio, this little guy is like a two-bite brownie, and we all know those things go down without a fight.

As always I will stress that the blade style legs can be an issue, and although it won't happen all the time you can expect them to get in the way every once in awhile.

Availability: 3.0/5

This is the biggest problem with this bait.. it is hard to find, as a Japanese import only select retailers will carry the line and when they do it often comes at a heftier price tag (see below)

Options & Price: 3.5/5

The original Rat N Rat was priced very well for an imported bait. It sat under $8USD even when most other Norther American frogs and rats were demanding $10+. With that said the times they are a changing, the Rat N Rat 2 will run you nearly $11USD which is nearly a 50% price increase from the original model.. interesting enough the changes made where to slim down the bait, less material, smaller blades.. apparently less is more.

the Rat N Rat 2 also comes in 4 fewer colors options (8 in total) then the original version. They are funkier colours for sure, but I'm still disappointed with the drop.  I love the overall look of this frog, it has a Ricky Vaughn Wild thing hair cut and the blades add some serious bling.. so big props on the design.

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

Tackle Warehouse ($10.49)

Optimum Baits ($10.99)


The Rat N Rat 2 is a lighter  bait and needs to be handled with some flexible gear. The Dobyns 735c will get the job done and make sure any fish hook make it back to the boat. Reel speed is not as important with this bait so a 6.3:1 Tatula will do

As with any hollow-body bait, this frog should be worked on 40lb-60lb braid line. 

Field Test Report Card:

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

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Culprit Marsh Frog Reivew

Marsh Frog :      Colours: 0 Size: 4"     Pack Count: 5              

Leg Style: Buzz              Weight: N/A


Wow, take a few months off from reviewing and I come back to a bunch of my frogs being retired. As the frog market grows it also continues to change as companies switch out their models every couple years, retiring fairly new products. What happened the the days when you could fish the same bait for 10 years!.. anyways, check out the Culprit Marsh Frog 

Overall Rating: 7.0/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 4.0/5

I'm giving the Marsh frog a 4 here due to the thick dense plastic used on the body and the legs. Although it could be a pain to fish at times it definitely held up fish after fish.

Culprit designed a good all around buzz frog that even my 7 year old nephew could catch fish on. If your a stickler for the finer things, this frog may not be for you, but all in all it was a decent frog for its time. (short lived time) 

Castability: 3.5/5

I have mixed emotions when talking about this frogs casting ability. It has a dense body and enough weight that casting should not be an issue. But the slender profile seems to get caught up in the wind causing the frog to juke or cut from time to time.

it's smooth flat belly is ideal for skipping up under cover and may be its saving grace here.

Presentation: 3.55

The Marsh frog was a run of the mill buzz frog, its large kicker legs made it easy to ride and left a nice churn in the water on the retrieve. This frog excelled in getting up in the water column after the cast meaning it worked well when pulled off the shore on in weeds and or pads.

The back slot meant to hide the hook point is nice and deep but I often found myself having to readjust after each cast. The body material does not hold a hook point and just tears up so be warned if this lands  belly up, you will be bringing some salad back with the frog. 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

The Marsh frog was built using a very dense soft plastic and  thick kicker legs. As you know this combination can drastically effect your hook-up ratio in a negative way. The legs and the body can eat up the hook point and give the fish a mouth full before you are able to drive the hook home.

The Marsh frog does comes equipped with a deep  back slot to hide the hook point avoiding the need for you to skin hook it. This is a plus (in this category)

Availability & Price: N/A

Good luck getting your hands on one of these. I found mine at the 1000 islands bait shop in NY state, but it's online presence has all but disappeared. Tackle Warehouse and Culprit's site both show this frog as being discontinued aka retired.

Options: N/A

The options were not crazy, one size and a hand full of colours. With that said as always Culprit had their bases covered and you would not have an issue finding a colour that suited your style. 

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

Retired.. check your local tackle swaps and of course Ebay



I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 734c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD.  This frog fishes heavy and you can easily jump up to a 5 or even 6 power and still fish it well.