Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Strike King Super Toad Review

Super Toad:      Colours: 6   Size: 3.5"     Pack Count: 5     
             Leg Style: Buzz             Weight: N/A


Before this season I believe my last "Strike King" review was the Rage Toad all the way back in 2012. Not only did that bait fair well (I'm a fan of most Rage products) but its also still available for sale today.. 5 years later. That's a testament to the baits quality, and of course angler demand. Like many other sophomore releases the Strike King's Super Toad does not quite live up to its older brothers reputation, and Ill be surprised to see it around come 2022 (man it felt weird even typing that)

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: 3.5/5

Like them or not Strike King makes a quality bait that's fished by the weekend warrior and tournament angler alike. The Super toad is no different, it was built with a high attention to detail making it easy to rig and easy to fish all while not breaking the bank.

On the durability side of things it struggles a bit. On my first day on the water with this bait I blew through a pack of super toads (5 in total) and 2 of the 5 only lasted one fish each. The first lost a foot and the second ripped 3/4 or the way across the body, leaving both legs hanging from a thread.

Castability: 3.5/5

Fairly easy to cast you should have no issues getting some decent distance with the Super Toad. Its flat belly and legs make it easy to skip and the toad's fall rate is slow enough that you are not in a rush to get cranking when it first lands.


The Super Toad has some pretty big feet and churns up some serious water. It fishes well at both at high and medium speeds, it you run it much slower then that and the legs tend to trip up on you.

The Super Toad is an easy bait to keep upright, and even during those times in which I found it swimming on its back all it took was a slight pause to have it instantly roll back over on its belly. This is a pretty big perk when fishing medium and heavy cover when toads tend to roll as the crawl over the pads.

With its really flat belly the Super Toad doesn't climb all that well, and you will notice it drag when it hits the pads, at times I had to increase my speed to keep it moving.

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.0/5

No concerns here, the Super Toad has a slim profile that holds both 3/0 and 4/0 hooks perfectly. The back of the bait leaves you a nice place to skin hook your hook point and as mentioned above the Super Toad's ability to roll over ensures your hook stays clean and is in perfect condition when its time to set the hook.

Innovation and Design : 3.0/5

The Super Toad is a pretty standard design with no real bells and whistles. It does the job but nothing about it is a game changer or fills a need or gap on the market. it kinda feels like it has been awhile since Strike King launched a new toad so they threw this together and put the weight of their big guns behind it.

Availability, Options & Price: 3.5/5

This is a Strike King product and should not be hard to find in either your local tackle shop or Super Store. With that said its online presence is oddly lacking. You will be able to find the Super Toad at either Tackle Warehouse or Land Big Fish (for now anyways)

Situations for Success:

The Super Toad is a great bait for both calm and moderately windy conditions. I like to cast it over the targeted area and allow it to get up a full head of steam as it approaches the strike zone. Vary your speed until you find what the fish are looking for on any given day, but remember this is a noise maker and it will be more successful when fish are aggressively hunting.

If you are missing strikes have two follow-up baits ready, a hollow body frog (slower presentation) and of course a something to flip or pitch.

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

Tackle Warehouse ($3.79)

Land Big Fish ($3.69)


I completed all my testing with a Dobyns 734c paired with a Daiwa Tatula.  This frog is fairly light weight and likes a little extra tip to help impart action around and under cover.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

D&M Custom Baits Super Newt Review

Logger Toad:      Colours: 8   Size: 5"     Pack Count: 2    
             Leg Style: Mixed               Weight: N/A


The D&M Super Newt is a reader recommend review.

This bait fell off my radar a bit as it is not a traditional frog bait and would be considered more of a crossover. It does contain many of the traits you look for in a soft plastic toad but its overall size and weigh make it a tough sell to anglers not fishing California waters. 

Overall Rating: 6.1/10
Each frog is rated on the following criteria: Quality, Castability, Presentation, Hook-up Ratio Available Options, Product Availability & Price

Quality & Durability: 4.0/5

The Super Newt does seem to be constructed of "super human" materials, its body is thick and durably ensuring it wouldn't easily loose an appendage. The nose of this bait is perfect for the use of screw in hooks, it leaves plenty of room around the screw ensuring it wont pop out easily or tear up the head of the bait.

Castability: 3.0/5

This is a big heavy bait and needs some serious gear in order to launch and retrieve it. Most soft body toads take advantage of a rod with a bit more tip play but in this situation I recommended a stouter rod. The weight of the Super Newt also makes it come down a bit hard, so watch your height as this things often clears the shallow end of the pool with its canon ball like landing. Stealth is not the Newts strong suit.

Presentation: 3.5/5

Once you nail the retrieve the Super Newt offers up super sized commotion, though it will take a few retrieves and maybe an equipment change to get the desired action. I found my traditional toad rod felt a bit lite for the Super Newt and I ended up jumping up to the 736 series which I usually fish exclusively with hollow body frogs. Once I nailed things down and and found the right retrieve (medium/fast) the bait sat up well and the legs and tail combined to really stir up the water.

I also found it awkward to get proper hook size and placement in order to run this bait straight. The beefy nose is perfect for screw in hooks but the tail has a fin that gets in the way of the hook placement when using single hooks. On the reverse end none of the double frog hooks I own will fit the bait? Help!

I ended up pairing the Super Newt with a 7/0 Trokar Magnum swim bait hook (still not really happy with it)

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

I went with a solid 3/0 when it comes to hook-up ratio but that really is dependant on finding the appropriate hook style and size. There is also an awful lot of plastic on the ass end of the Super Next and more then once i had a leg to the tail pinned after a hook set. Once I'm able to find a double toad hook that fits this bait I believe the success ratio will increase

Innovation and Design : 3.0/5

D&M tried something different and you have to give them props for that.  The Super Newt was built to be a dinner bell and in that its a success, but some of its strengths are also its downfall. The super thick kicker legs feel like they were built more for durability then presentation. Actually most features on the Super Newt feel geared this way. I think D&M would have produced a better bait by cutting back on some of the excess plastic and letting the design do its thing. The legs and tail need to see Jenny Craig before I tie one back on.

Availability, Options & Price: 2.0/5

The Super Newt is not easy to find on-line with only two suppliers carrying the line. One of which is Tackle Warehouse, which is tD&M's saving grace here. As for options you can find the super Newt in 8 Colors and two sizes, though for the life of me I can only find the one size.

With all that in mind the largest issue here is the price.. wait for it, wait for it.. $7.49 for a 2-pack, yes a 2-pack. This soft plastic toad will cost you $3.75 each, while most other soft plastic toad run from about $.80 to $1.20 each. I get it D&M has "custom baits" in their name, but come on, that price is over the top.

Situations for Success:

First and foremost the Super Newt requires a gear check, make sure your toad rod has the backbone to cast and retrieve this bait without putting additional stress on the rod or your back. Once you have that down dig out your hook box and find the right size and or style of hook (don't go smaller then 6/0 and probably start with a 7/0). The Super Newt is a search bait and should be fished medium to medium/fast over weed beds and edges. Sparse cover is key, you will get tired quick lugging this frog over pads all day long.

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 testing with a Dobyns 735c... then an 736c paired with a Daiwa Tatula HD reel.  This frog is fairly beefy so check your gear and find the perfect fit.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Eco Pro Tungsten Eco Toad Review

Eco Toad:   Colors: 9     Length: 2.5    Weight: 2/3oz   Pack Count: 1

Any frog that lands me a fish on my first cast gets bonus points.. not really, but they should right? The Eco Toad by Eco Pro Tungsten achieved this feat earlier this week when I opened the packaged tied it on, made a long cast and almost immediately set the hook. Both hooks in the top of the mouth.. sold

The Eco Toad is flying under the radar this season, with a few larger companies launching new frogs this one quietly went unnoticed.. but not for long, once Anglers start getting some time on the water with these beauties I expect they will fly off the shelves (Update: At time of writing Tackle Warehouse is currently sold out of all colors.. 06/28/2017))

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: 3.5/5

As you can see from the overall raring and the below scores, I really like this frog, and i wish I could give it an even higher score then i did, but a few issues plaque this bait in the early going and I'm afraid it will get worse the more I fish the Eco Toad, and I plan on fishing it allot.

The quality is top notch, lets remember this frog is built with tungsten weights and  Trokar hooks. The baits design is nearly perfect making the Eco Toad an incredible swimmer while still offering up the perfect bite sized snack.

Whats the problem you may ask? The issues I ran into (on the durability side) are that the ultra soft body material wears quickly. My frog is wearing around head of the bait, and after my first day on the water the material around the nose of the bait was loosening around the eyelet allowing water to seep in. This turned the Eco toad into a sinker that had to be drained every few casts. I'm already contemplating super gluing the nose to stop the damage from spreading.

Castability: 5.0/5

With a nice aerodynamic shape and a healthy Weight (2/3oz) you can pitch, flip, skip and long bomb this sucker.  It travels and lands well, making it great for distance or target specific fishing. I don't think the Eco Toad landed on on back once and if and when it does happen the narrow body and deep V should make it roll over like a well trained dog.

Presentation: 4.5/5

This baby is a champion swimmer and can cover water fast or slow without rolling. it's narrow head and hips make it easy to walk all while giving off a nice profile on the pause.

The Eco Toad has a unique yet familiar look to it, the body is a similar length to what you are use to fishing but the nose is narrower and the belly has a  deep narrow keel, which seems to help it move over structure and pads (less belly drag).

Moving down the bait the Eco Toads belly slightly swells to help protect the trokar hook points and then thins out again similarly to the Terminator frog. The narrow ass makes for easy eating and is one reason my hook up ration was so high.. speaking of:

Hook-Up Ratio: 5.0/5

Eco Pro Tungsten did a few things very right when it came to ensuring that the fish eat this frog and get pinned while doing so. We have covered a couple of these perks above, but we will touch on them again just so we are all on the same page.. Sharp well placed Trokar hooks, super soft body material and thin Olsen twin sized hips.. that's just for starters, another trait this bait has that I feel improves its hook-up ratio is the body material itself. As you can see from the images the Eco Toads back  is covered in bumpy warts, these act like a tread that give the fish a little something extra to hold while giving the bait a more life like feel. like studded winter tires

Innovation & Design: 4.0/5

Eco Pro took a basic frog design and improved it, and they did so without hurting my wallet. They slimmed down their frog in the nose to improve it's walk, they slimmed down its legs to improve hook-up ratio. They created a deeper steeper keel to improve motion in the water an on the pads, and they made sure it looks good to both the fisherman and the fish. Nice job, I can see why Tackle Warehouse is completely sold out (at time of writing)

Availability, Options & Price: 3.0/5

I love the color mix and had a hard time choosing just one. I will be picking up the Bluegill option on my next Tackle Warehouse order for sure.

As for price it is surprising low for a bait with a nice set of features and a beautiful finish.  Lets not forget this frog is weighted with tungsten.

The downfall here is that the frog is hard to find.. currently on-line I could only find it at Tackle Warehouse, no other Eco Pro retailers have it listed, and as I mentioned above.. at time to writing TW is completely sold out!

Situations for Success:

The Eco Toad is an all around frog that can be fished in any cover and any situation. I love it's versatility and the fact that I can fish it at any speed until i find what the fish are looking for. I recommend starting out with a medium fast retrieve pausing over edges and pockets. Look for movement under the pads and slow down and take your time if you think or see that your being followed. This bait looks great, so don't be afraid to let it be seen, long pauses or twitching it in place will also go along way.

If you don't want to constantly retie or you just have room in your box for one frog.. make it this one.

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


The Reaction frog fishes well on the Dobyns 735c or 736c which provides enough tip to make accurate casts all while still having the backbone needed to haul fish out of the nastiest of cover.

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): A
Slop & Grass (Heavy Cover): B+

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