Thursday, June 22, 2017

Strike King KVD Popping Perch Review

Popping Perch:   Colors: 10     Length: 5.5    Weight: 1/2oz   Pack Count: 1

Its been a few years since we have seen a frog introduced by Strike King, and although this version of the KVD frog has had a serious make-over (shhh... it thinks its a perch) it still has the one flaw that plagued its predecessor... it sinks.

Overall Rating: 7.3/10
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 KVD Perch has a tough rubbery body and tail that so far has held up well. The body material collapses easily without being weak and the 4/0 hooks are strong and sharp, not to mention well placed.

The main area of concern for me was that after a few casts I noticed the frog began to sink. Further testing on longer retrieves with aggressive popping I found that the KVD Perch wouldn't make it all the way back to the boat without sinking on the final few pauses. This is obviously an issue, and as mentioned above those that fished the original KVD Frog will be very familiar with this issue.
An interesting feature on this bait is the small hole below the eye (see above) Strike King says that this is an air vent helping the air escape the body during a strike, I got more use out of it a a blow hole helping remove the water that built up during the retrieve. To each his own. 

Castability: 3.5/5

Pleasantly surprised with how well this frog casts. You can easily get the distance you are looking for, and the bait gives up a nice slap when it lands (just right). It can also be skipped and or pitched, but if you plan on keeping this bait above water, keep it close.

Presentation: 3.5/5

Sinking aside I really loved how this bait performed on the water. Its a combination walking and popping that offers up the first (IMHO) truly wounded bait fish look when paused.

The popping action is loud and erratic, even on long casts I felt I could hear the bait pop followed by the splash made by the spit. Not interested in a popping frog? that's OK, this perch/frog can be walked well at medium to slow speeds or twitched in one spot (try this, you'll love it)

Finally the pause.. that weird looking tail that you have been staring at really does give the fish a different look. instead of spreading out like a traditional tail the Popping Perch's tail wavers while paused looking like a bait fish about to take its final breath.. Fair warning here, this look is performed better on the White Shadow or Shad Spawn version of the KVD Perch, so if you want to take full advantage of what this bait has to offer, go with one of those two models.

You are probably wondering why after spending all this time raving about the baits performance I only gave it a 3.5 on presentation.. did I mention it sinks? 

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.5/5

The KVD Perch offers up an average hook-set ratio, the reason for this is that that long flat tail can act like a matting over the hooks which can and will reduce your ability to get a solid hook-set. Further more a bait full of water is harder to compress again reducing your ability to drive the hooks home.

Innovation & Design: 4.0/5

I really like what Strike King was trying to do here, they changed up the traditional frog profile, its tail design and moved away from traditional tail/leg material. Imagine that a company trying to create something new frog the industry..huh, what a novel idea.

I really hope they are not done tweaking this bait, it seems the norm now a days for a company to release a standard frog only to follow it up a year later with a popping version.. lets hope Strike King bucks tradition and offers us a standard versions of this bait with the same tail but no popping mouth.

Availability, Options & Price: 4.0/5

Available in 10 Colors and 1 size the Popping Perch offers a little something for everyone. In hindsight I would have chosen a different color and still may pick up one of the white version to play around with the pause a bit more.

Watch your pricing, Land Big Fish offers this bait at $7.99 but it can be found as high as $9.99 at the Bass Pro Shop. Im guessing smaller retailers may also boost the price by a dollar or two once its on the shelves.

Situations for Success:

The key to being successful when fishing the KVD Popping Perch is to use a sporadic popping action with a prolonged pause. Move the bait around like a dying bait fish then pause to mimic those moments when an injured bait fish  is catching it breath. Sparse to medium cover is key, you can fish it in heavier situations but all this baits features are designed to be seen (and heard) so let it.

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

Bass Pro Shop ($9.99)

Cabela's ($8.79)


I tend to downsize my rod when using popping frogs and or perch. So in this instance I tested the Popping Perch on a Dobyns Sierra 735c with a Daiwa HD Tatula.

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

Field Test Report Card:

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

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

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