Monday, July 2, 2018

Booyah Baits Toadrunner Review

Booyah ToadRunner:   Colors: 10     Length: 4 1/2    Weight: 7/8oz   Pack Count: 1


It has been awhile since I had this much fun testing out a new frog bait, from the heavy long distance casts to the adrenaline filled retrieves, the Booyah Baits ToadRunner is an absolute blast to fish, though its not without its faults. Here's what you need to know.

Manufactures Description :

The BOOYAH ToadRunner is built around a modified Pad Crasher body. Side rails were added to help the lure plane easier and stay upright. Precisely-sized legs balance and stabilize the ToadRunner in motion, while providing a lifelike appearance and motion when the lure stops. The 360-degree rotating tail creates a plopping sound and includes a molded-in wire - which allows you to bend the tail to change the motion and sound profile as needed. The clear tail helps fish zero in one the ToadRunner's body, where high-quality hooks will strike back when they bite. Use the ToadRunner in the thickest of cover where the big ones live and fish it with a steady retrieve or a stop-and-go-motion.  

Overall Rating: 7.6/10

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

Quality & Durability: 3.05

Booyah Baits has always walked that fine line between quality and affordability, for example their pad crasher frogs may wear out slightly quicker then other brands but at the same time they come in at 30-50% less expensive. The ToadRunner although redesigned still ensures that  the Booyah reputation is in tact meaning this bait wont cost you as much as other similar styles frogs (cough cough Teckel Sprinker cough cough) but at the same time it's not going to last you as long either.

The issues I ran into durability wise started to appear after the very first fish, piling or rubs along the body material are clearly visible in the pics provided here and the nose of the bait has also taken a bruising and is starting to peel away (see below image). I also had the the hook harness pull out the nose of the bait after the 2nd and 3rd fish, although I was able to slide it back and and keep fishing it did make the frog less water tight meaning I was left emptying it often

The larger durability issue I have is with the kicker foot, after making a few adjustments and landing a few fish the wire was already ripping the through the bait making it hard to angle the foot how I want, this was and is frustrating and I'm starting to wish they included more then one extra foot in the package.

Castability: 4.0/5

This bait was built to cast, with its flat aerodynamic body and hefty 7/8 weight you can really bomb this frog frog for distance. The same features that allow you to cast a country mile are also the same reason its lands hard and loud. This frog will be a fish spooker on some lakes and you should take caution prior to just letting fly with the bait.

The flat body would also be ideal for skipping, but that dangling foot will trio you up often, so be warned this bait is anything but graceful on the landing.

Presentation: 5.0/5

I love fishing this frog, and we are calling it a frog even though the minute you fish one you will quickly see it has way more rodent characteristics than it does frog. It really and truly is one of the better swimming mouse imitations I have seen, and the fish just tear it up.

The adjustable foot allows you to pretty much choose the speed and sound of your retrieve, as the fish change their level of aggressiveness you can easily change along with them. if the wind picks up and you need to be heard, crank up the level of noise by bending the foot inward and the toad runner will call them in. The pure situational adjustability of the Toad runner is what makes it a special bait.

When paused the Toad Runner sits nearly vertical in the water giving the fish a nice large target. Booyah claims the foot of the bait was left clear to keep the fish from seeing and striking it, at this point Id say that isn't working as I have had more than a  few fish strike the foot missing the rest of the frog entirely.

Hook-Up Ratio: 3.0/5

I'm going to be honest here, I missed a lot of fish with this bait, and many fish missed me. I lost count of the number of fish that short struck the Toad Runner or only got a piece of it. Again this could be the day or the fish, or even me, but the struggle was real. I did mange a few fish, mostly during slow loudish retrieves over sparse cover.  When the fish wanted it, they had to have it and a few of my fish missed and came back for a second swing. At this point in time the toad runner is probably offered me my lowest hook-up ration over the pas few years. With that said it garnered way more strikes then other frogs being tested.

Update: Part of my missed fish may have been due to rod selection, I had originally fishing the bait on a my soft body toad rod, which doesn't require the backbone that I hollow-body rod does.This was a mistake and since upping my rod to the 735 or 736 I noticed an improvement in the number of fish landed.

Innovation & Design: 3.5/5

Here is where I will eat a little bit of crow. When Booyah first announced and hyped the arrival of the Toad Runner I was quick to judge them on the similarities to last season Teckel Sprinker frog, yes the two baits were designed to accomplish the same chunky retrieve but that  really is were the similarities end.

Booyah took their popular pad crasher and flattened it out in order to increase the baits swimming ability over its walking ability. They then trimmed back the legs to keep them out of the way, of the all new 360 degree kicker tail that at first glance may look like the Teckel foot, but an internal wire changes up the game by allowing anglers to adjust the foot either opening it up for a soft more subtle swim or cupping it down for a more aggressive gurgle. The change to the look and sound the ToadRunner makes after even the slightest adjustment is pretty impressive and will have you trying out all kinds of crazy combinations until you find the one that works best for your retrieve.

Availability, Options & Price: 4.5/5

Booyah is one of those companies that retailers eat up, making it nearly impossible not to run into the Toad runner in most Tackle shops. With that said availability may be an issue as the Toad runner is flying off the shelves. Available in  10 color options you shouldn't have a hard time finding one to love.

As for pricing there is a noticeable price hike between the pad crasher ($5.99-$6.99) and the $9.99 price tag on the toad runner. With that said the TR is over 30% cheaper then the Sprinker frog which is the only other comparable frog at this time.

Situations for Success:

The Toad Runner is a great situational frog that can be used to replace the need for a hollow-body and soft plastic toad set-up. If you are fishing an area or lake that finds you constantly switching between a Hollow-body for thicker pads and a toad for covering water in that sparser to medium cover, tie on a toad runner and let it do both for you.

This bait excels in the calm and the storm, try fishing it first thing in the morning to distrust that glass topped lake, and then again when the winds pickup (a time we often drop the top water) and let the loud kicker tail ensure you frog is seen.

With all this said, this is not going to replace your favorite Pad Crasher, if you plan on spending the day in heavy cover and slop, leave the ToadRunner on the dock and let a standard hollow body do what it does best.

Looking Back:

Back in March, 2018 we filmed an unboxing of the Toad Runner and gave a short review of our first impressions. If you havent already give the video a watch and see how many of those initial thoughts still ring true  HERE

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

Tackle Warehouse  ($9.99)

Booyah ($9.99)

Land Big Fish ($9.99)


I fished the Booyah ToadRunner Frog on a Dobyns 734c which is my go to soft plastic toad road rod when covering water. I Paired it with a Daiwa Tatula CT reel with a 7.3:1 gear ratio, these new reels are powerful, lightweight and look awesome. 

UPDATE: I found that the 734 did not produce as many fish as the 735 and 736c although fish are aggressive when taking down the Toad Runner you need a rod to help put those hooks home.

Field Test Report Card:

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

Walk the Dog: NA
Popping Action: NA
Sit/Pause: C

1 comment:

  1. Spot on review, I experienced the same issues..short strikes, aggressive blowups, and the wire poking out of the foot. This frog also fills up with water fast and frequently. Overall it’s fun fishing with this frog.