Monday, July 30, 2018

Imakatsu Boota Frog Review

Boota Frog:   Colors: 10     Length: 2.36    Weight: 7/16oz   Pack Count: 1


The Imakatsu Boota frog has been on my wish list for a few seasons now, this Japanese import is a sick looking bait that reminds me of a previous favourite of mine the Nories NF60. Its small stature and unique design really sparked my interest and I couldn't wait to get it on the water... want to know how it performed? read on...

Manufactures Description :

Crafted with incredible attention-to-detail like all Imakatsu lures, the Imakatsu Boota Frog is the result of innovative Japanese engineering and thorough field testing. One of the most versatile frogs on the market, it not only walks-the-dog with ease, it also delivers a subtle popping action. Featuring a double-keeled design, which is responsible for the Boota Frog’s effortless walk-the-dog action. The dual keel design also allows it to turn more than 180-degrees to maximize its time in the strike zone and keeps the Boota Frog balanced as it comes across mats and other types of cover, keeping it flat and eliminating the possibility of it rolling onto its side.
Built around a razor sharp Teflon coated double hook with reversed barbs to provide superior hook-ups and fish retention, the Boota Frog also features a molded balancing weight with an integrated hanger that allows you to incorporate rattles or blades to your presentation. Available in a range of highly realistic colors, the Imakatsu Boota Frog is the only frog you need in your boat.

Overall Rating: 7.8/10

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

Quality & Durability: 4.55

Unlike their Chinese counterparts Japanese imports are known for breaking the mold and for the quality of the baits they produce. The Imakatsu Boota frog gets check marks next to both of these categories. Its has a unique innovative deign combined with quality components.

The body material is soft and pliable yet durable enough to handle multiple fish. The hooks (though small) are stout and crazy sticky. I'm talking the kind of sticky that after you cast it the frog will come back to the boat loaded with all the mosquito's it hooked while in the air.

My only issue or concerns with the Boota frog is its weight. Although rated at 7/16 oz it fishes much smaller and struggles on heavy pads or being cast for distance.

Castability: 3.0/5

Right out of the gate I struggled with Boota Frog, it fished/casted much lighter than its 7/16 weight and if there was any wind at all (even a breeze) I found myself constantly playing with the breaks. So be prepared to really loosen things up if you plan on casting this frog for any distance at all.

Landing was also a bit of an issue, Imakatsu claims this frog is nearly roll-over proof, but that doesn't stop it from landing on its back and side (more so on pads) and its super sticky hook continuously caught on the pads when landing and I had work to pull it off.

Shorter targeted casts or skipping is where the Boota Frog excels. Its aerodynamic design and sparse thinned out legs make make it easy to skip for distance and also gives it a great soft landing reducing the chances of spooking a fish.

Presentation: 4.0/5

I had a few presentation struggles with the Boota Frog, the first I already touched on in the castabiliy section but it bleeds over into presentation. When the Boota frog lands on pads it quite often landed on its side and back, the hook points and barbs on this frog are super sticky and the frog would actually stick or catch on the pads just from the landing. Meaning you would have to give it a tug or fight the frog just to get your retrieve started.

Once actually started this Boota Frog is a dream to fish. Its walks well (and easily) and its one of the best "walking on the spot" baits Ive thrown. The cupped mouth helps keep the bait in place while still walking side by side. When you do decide to start moving the Boota forward the cupped mouth begins to spit and push water dependant on your retrieve aggression, you can really caused a serious commotion or just s subtle gurgle.

Lastly, The Boota frogs profile is nice and compact, making its an easy eat in the pockets or on the pads.

Hook-Up Ratio: 4.5/5

Size plays a big roll in the Boota frogs hook-up ratio score, this small compact frog can be easily swallowed whole and the strong sticky hooks catch pretty much everything they touch. I love that the legs of the Boota frog are not only placed between the hooks (helping hook-up and walking) but they are also thinned out and almost wispy.

My only concern is with the Boota frogs hook size, I know the frog is small in general but the hooks could use some beefing up as they barely clear the body.

Innovation & Design: 4.5/5

Japanese imports continuously push the envelope and offer us new and unique bait designs that have us drooling. The Boota frog is no different and I have been dreaming of this frog since I got my first glimpse of it 2 years ago. Spro has long been known as the mean mug frog (and Stanford took a swing at this title earlier this year) but the Boota frog has a futuristic mean mug from the SciFi nightmares of your youth. I love it.

As for Innovation the cupped mouth on the Boota frog plays a key role in its performance. It may not stop the bait from rolling like Imakatsu claims but it does offer up an incredible spit and pushes water with every twitch of your rod.

This may seen like a small thing, but I love the thin sparse legs on the Boota Frog, they still offer up a profile on the pause but they stay out of the way of your hook set and create less drag when walking.

Availability, Options & Price: 3.0/5

Not an easy bait to find at your local tackle shop, and even many of the big on-line retailers don't carry it. I held off from importing it and ended up buying mine after Tackle Warehouse added it to their product list. The price is also a little ouchy coming in at $16.99USD or $22CAD

The color options are truly a thing of beauty and although I'm a little disappointed in my choice (its way to close to the color of the pads on my lakes) I love the look, design and finish.

Situations for Success:

To really get the most out of the Boota Frog you should focus on medium to sparse cover situations with target ares you can spot cast to. This is more of an finesse hollow body that is not at its best when covering water with long casts. Focus on short targeted casts to structure and pockets and take advantage of its ability to fish small and stay in the strike zone longer then other frogs.

Use the cupped mouth to add noise to your retrieve and choose the aggressiveness you and the fish are looking for.

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

Tackle Warehouse  ($16.99)

Tackle Japan ($11.58)

J&H Tackle ($16.99)


I fished the Imakatsu Boota Frog on a Dobyns 736c which is my go to power rod when frog fishing heavy cover. I Paired it with a Daiwa Tatula 150 reel with a 7.3:1 gear ratio, these new reels are powerful, lightweight and look awesome.

Field Test Report Card:

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

Walk the Dog: A+
Popping Action: NA
Sit/Pause: B+

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