Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Frog Fishing with Dobyns Rods

With over 100 rods in the Dobyns arsenal there is one for just about any technique you could possibly want to fish. But with that said I do see how a rod line with so many options could be daunting to someone looking for a specific rod for a specific technique.. so we are here to help.

I've rounded up some anglers that when the going gets tough (and there is money on the line) reach for their frog rod each and every time (myself included). So if your in the market for a new frog rod this season, keep reading while the 4 men below tell you why they choose Dobyns and you should too!

Christian Gervais

Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Weapon of Choice: Dobyns Savvy SS735C

Frog Selection: SPRO USA

My part of the country (Ottawa River) is considered by many to be a paradise of largemouth fishing. We have some awesome bays with lots of vegetation. The perfect habitat for growing and catching largemouth bass. Since the beginning, I've been fishing Spro U.S.A. frogs (with Gamakatsu hooks). What I like about these frogs is that they come in three different styles (original, popping and walk-the-dog shad models).

Whatever frog model I use, my rod of choice is the Dobyns Savvy SS 735C. I particularly like this rod because I usually fish very heavy cover, and rated with mag heavy power, it as tonnes of backbone, giving me the confidence that I will have all the strength I need to control and bring the largest of bass to the boat each and every time. I love the fact that this rod has an extra-fast tip and gives me a solid hookset. The key to having a high hookset ratio is to take your time before setting the hook. Make sure that the bass has the frog in it's mouth and is diving back with it (you know, the 2 second rule ) and then set the hook hard.

 For a frog reel, I use a Lew's BB1 Pro Speed Spool 7.1:1 gear ratio and spooled with 65lbs braided line. This combination allows me to turn the fish quick and get him back to the boat with our without a side of salad.

To Learn more check out Christians Facebook page and National Pro Staff profile. He has been part of the Dobyns team since 2014 and offered yet another great Canadian perspective of Frog fishing in the north.

Rich Lindgren
Lakeville, Minnesota 

Weapon of Choice: Dobyns Champion 736C

                                 Dobyns Champion 805 Flip/Punch

                                 Dobyns Savvy 735c 

Frog Selection:       Evolve Nervous walker 2.0

My first Dobyns Frog specific rod was the Champion 736c and it is still a big part of my rotation.  Its a great for doing a little of anything with a frog and a great choice if you only have the budget or need for a single frog rod.  Casts frogs a mile and has all the back bone needed to winch a hawg out of a mat.  Plus the 7'3" length is perfectly suited for skipping and casting frogs in, around and under docks, trees and cut banks.

For me, there are two basic types of frogging, you are either accurately casting to targets at close range or you are covering expansive mats.  For the close quarter stuff, I still use my 736 most of the time.  But when I am on the Upper Mississippi River and the water and cover is expansive, I switch over to my rocket launcher, aka Dobyns Champion 805 Flip/Punch rod.  This 8' beast will out cast any rod I own and has unbelievable power and leverage to tow any size bass back to the boat.

My frog of choice for either application is the Evolve Nervous Walker 2.0, it is super soft and realistic, walks great and the hooks are good as they get in my opinion, plus you can get them for $6-7, which is handy in pike infested waters.  The combination of hooks and soft body increases my landing percentage and that is crucial whether you are fun fishing or tournament angler.

Lastly, if you are in to buzz frogs or toads, I like the Savvy 735c rod for that application, it still has the length for a frog rod with a little more tip for whipping around what are usually lighter soft plastic offerings.  In the end, the 735 will also handle floating frog duty as well in a pinch.

Rich is a wealth of knowledge and I'm honoured to have him participate in both this article and the previous jig article. To learn more please check out his website HERE as well as his Facebook page HERE

Justin Brouillard
Vermont, USA

Weapons of Choice: Champion 764C

                                   Savvy SS735c

Frog Selection:         SPRO USA

Living in Vermont, only 10 minutes from Lake Champlain, frog fishing is something I have enjoyed since I was a kid first learning how to bass fish. Since then, I have learned  many things about fishing a top water frog. There are basically 2 types of frogs/applications that I utilize depending on a number of factors and I choose 2 different Dobyns rods to help me flip the big ones in the boat.

Keep it simple with a frog selection is key to becoming a better frog fisherman and Justin explains his favorite applications and rod choices below:

In the Early summer when the grass mats have started to form but are not as thick as the summer, I will toss around a Whiskey River Bait Company Saloon Girl. This bait walks and darts around erratically similar to a Jerkbait. I am able to make a long cast with a Dobyns Champion 764C. Some may argue that the rod is a little light to yank the fish back to the boat but the longer rod really allows me to get a solid hook in the fish a long ways away from the boat. The long rod moves a lot of line fast and the Heavy action loads up solid when a fish explodes on the bait! One thing I like to do is start with a Crankbait (Strike King 1.5)/Chatterbait (Red Dirt Bait Company Dancing Blade Jig) along the grass edges or over submerged grass to get a reaction bite. If I can get a few to commit or follow, it tells me the Saloon girl moving faster along the surface is the bait to start. This bait is most affective in the spring when the grass is forming or the fall when the fish are shallow chasing bait. I am able to cover a lot of water and with the bait moving around with as much action as it does, I can quickly switch from the emerging grass or use it as a search bait along the edges.

As the grass mats begin to thicken and blow back into the bays and rocky main lake shorelines, it is time to bring out the Spro Frog. This bait is as versatile as it gets and you can buzz it along the surface or walk it slowly tantalizing the lakes largemouth bass. I pair the Spro with my all-time favorite rod, the Dobyns Savy 735C. I cannot say enough about the different applications that are possible with this rod, but it happens to be the perfect rod for yanking bass from the thick milfoil beds of Lake Champlain! I will gladly give up some casting distance with this rod just for its ability to get a solid hook set and get them back to the boat quickly. I am most always throwing a Black frog in any situation because I think the bass are able to track it down quickly. Some guys switch to White on Champlain but I always stick to Black as long as they are eating it good.

Keeping your frogging gear simple will help you hone in on what the fish are doing. If you can get them to react to faster moving baits you can cover a lot of water and really find where they fish are positioning in the grass beds. When you find a group of bass you can switch between applications to catch a few extra fish. Pair these Dobyns rods with a Lew’s Tournament Speed spool and 50lb Gamma Torque Braid and you cannot go wrong. At Lake Champlain the frog bite can start and stop really quick so I am always ready with my 2 Dobyns to pick up and make a few casts!

Justin lives in northern Vermont and is a recent college grad. When he is not fishing he is either working as a Civil Engineer or teaching his girlfriend Becky how to fish. She can catch them on a frog as good as anyone!

Rob Edwards
Kingston, On, Canad

Weapons of Choice:   Dobyns DX746c

                                   Dobyns Champ 735c

                                   Dobyns Champ 736c

Frog Selection:        Teckel USA Choker

I am a frog fisherman, and at no time will you look through my rod arsenal and not find a frog tied on to one or many of the rods in my boat. It's like an addiction that I can't shake, there is just something about that JAWS like anticipation and feeding frenzy that frogs bring out in Largemouth and Smallmouth bass alike. And in all honesty being a frog fisherman is the main reason I choose to use Dobyns rods.

Prior to picking up my first Dobyns Stick I was happy with the other guy (name omitted) They offered me a quality product at a decent price point and for most applications I could find a rod that would suit my purpose. But for frog rods I found the selection lacking, thus the search was on. My first two Dobyns rods were a 735c and a 736c and I immediately felt at home with a frog tied on. The 735c is what I consider to be an all around frog rod, meaning it has the perfect mix of tip and backbone to allow you to cast and retrieve both hollow and soft body frogs. For my first year with Dobyns this rod saw the majority of my everyday frog action in both sparse and medium cover situations.

The 736c I consider to be my power frog rod, and it gets used in heavier cover or when fishing with a larger heavier frog. It has some added backbone and gives me the confidence needed to drive the hook home even from a great distance. This powerful rod has allowed to me muscle some pretty big fish back to the boat no matter how much salad their tangled up in. If you are strictly looking for a Hollow body rod, this is where I would start.

Recently I have added a third Rod to my Frog fishing arsenal and that is the DX746, which kind of feels like the 735c and the 736c mated and had a super human baby. This rod is lighter then it parents but shares both their traits. It has the tip and sensitivity that I need for soft body toads and frogs, yet hidden in it's shiny DX body is some serious power. If you only have room for one frog rod in your boat, this rod will do you justice.

When it comes to hollow body frogs I look for a soft flexible body with no appendages and a short shirt. I want to see some movement on the pause but I don't want anything that will get in the way of my hookset. The Nories NF60 improves upon the classic scum frog, it has a similar shape and design but with higher quality components and a bit more weight for improved casting distance. It is pricey at $15 but worth every penny in my opinion

Last but not least when I first started this article I reached out to Gary Dobyns to get his personal choice for frog fishing, and true to his nature his answer was short and sweet..

 "I don't know of a rod that compares with our Champ 736C as a frog rod. Light, balanced, with brutal power, and a great tip to launch the bait. I know many guys prefer the 735C and it works great....but in heavy slop...nothing compares with 736C"

I think that about says it all, lets go frog fishing!

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