Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

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Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

Post by skip77 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:22 am

Guys - I lost all my videos from 2004-2011 and am very saddened by it. The external drive it was stored on, failed and my efforts to save the drive also failed. Chances that a professional data recovery place can save the data now are pretty slim since I opened and performed my own platter swap with the drive. It means all my earlier frog fishing videos and experiments may be gone forever. I spent decades fishing frog lures before deciding to make my own and most of the footage from the more recent years was on that drive.

I tested many models and makes, almost all of them. After all was said and done, if I did not have my own Clatterbrat lures to fish, and I had to choose one hollow or one soft plastic frog, I would choose what is listed below. I hope you enjoy the reasoning.

Hollow Frog Top Pick
Frog fishing is not about the actual appearance of the lure. Tackle companies spend millions to convince anglers of the opposite but the truth is, the appearance of the lure could not be less important to the fish. They simply do not care. Yeah, its fun to fish different lures and frogs are probably the most fun of them all so no argument there. Its funny how tackle companies are able to create a certain "notion" that effects anglers, not only to buy their frog lures based on the claims around them, but also that the angler ends up with a "notion" of confidence around the same frog lures, when he or she is actually fishing them. What is that notion of confidence based on? In most cases only the word of the tackle company that sold it. Of course they invest millions in packaging and frankly, it is half the intrinsic value of the overall purchase - you pay as much for the package and often more than what is paid for the lure itself. So we succumb to colorful and nifty packaging and realistic looking frog lures when the bass couldn't care less. Bass will hit anything that moves and half of what doesn't move.

Color-wise, patterns on frog lures really are equally unimportant to the fish although anglers care greatly and with no evidence to support that it matters. Opacity is what matters to the fish, not color. Opacity is not a personal preference for the fish but rather more opaque topwater lures are easier for the fish to pinpoint, especially when a layer of muck is between them and the lure. The intensity of the shadow or profile created between the lure and light overhead, from down below, is why opacity matters. For this reason, although color is not necessarily related to opacity, black is my top color choice and I would say the only color needed for any topwater lure. The book High Percentage Fishing supports my argument about the value of black colored lures - the author and 3 world renown big bass anglers all agree that black is beautiful. Some argue that the top color of hollow frogs is important for visibility to the angler - I argue that is not true. Honestly, when we get a take the same commotion on the water surface makes it almost impossible to spot a bobbing or missed frog lure until the commotion settles. Some will add that the bright color on top makes it easier for them to see the action on the lure but my experience counters quickly that action on a frog lure is unimportant as well. There is no need to "walk the dog" or impart any special action to frog lures. Bass hit them sitting still half the time and any simple pause and twitch is highly effective. So we do not need to see the lure for better control over its action. It simply does not matter. Since neither color nor action matter to the fish, why should either matter to us?

What then is my top pick for a hollow frog? Any Snag Proof or Southern Lure company (Scumfrog) frog. Any of them. Why those? Because both are made in the USA by American workers. Why hurt our own people by buying lures made in other countries when the fish really dont care one iota what the frog looks like? Since cool designs do not matter - I choose and recommend American made and in hollow frogs that means Snag Proof or Scumfrog. End of story. Both work and both will tear, leak, take on water and sink like all other hollow frogs - so why not support American made? I know from personal experience that Snag Proof is owned and operated by an American family - family operation - they offered the very first hollow frog lure and still have it in their lineup today, the one with the legs coming together in the rear. I can tell you that the owners of Snag Proof are truly great people, great Americans and certainly, they deserve our unwavering support. I have never had contacts at the Southern Lure Company, but they probably have a similar family owned business - support them. Both make frogs that work.

Soft Plastic Frog
I tested pretty much every available soft plastic frog thru the years also. Many of them did not and do not even float and are disqualified in my opinion as topwater frog lures. Among the soft plastic frogs that did and do float, none had proper balance or flotation. What do I mean by that? I mean they do not sit in the water like real frogs sit. They lay flat across the surface and real frogs never do that, but suspend at about a 45 degree angle with only their nose/eyes above the water line.

Among soft plastic frogs that actually float, then, are there any other distinguishing characteristics that might make a difference? Yes. Opacity again, is important. You want a soft plastic frog that is opaque, not clear or translucent. Can fish be caught on clear frogs? Of course but most situations call for more opaque frog lures. Anything else? Yes. Durability. Most soft plastic frogs tear rather easily - of course makers could remedy this but they intentionally forumulate the plastic to tear for obvious reasons. One or two makers provide virtually indestructible soft plastic frogs and among them, only one is made in America.

Z-MAN Hard Leg Frogz is my top pick in a soft plastic frog lure. It is opaque, floats, is very soft and virtually indestructible. What more could you ask for? The lure provides very good hookup ratios also. I recommend swimbait style or wide gap hooks that have screw bait keepers. The hook matters a lot for Z-MAN frogs (or Ultra Mouse) - both are excellent topwater frog lures - both made in South Carolina by you know who... our brothers and sisters. There is no choice in this matter - the best soft plastic frog lure is Z-Man. Because all of their colors are 100% opaque, color becomes a matter of personal preference for you the angler, not the fish. Get whatever color you want. I have fishing all of their colors with good results. I do not recommend the Z-MAN Trigger hooks that they recommend - the lures come off the front peg on that hook very easily and can be lost - happened to me several times - this is why I recommend a screw bait keeper/wide gap hook.

Make sure to keep Z-MAN soft plastics stored separately from other lures - or you will have melting problems. Best to keep Z-MAN lures in the original ziploc packaging. Below I am inserting 3 links for your convenience, where you can visit Snag Proof, Southern Lure Company and Z-Man Fishing. From now on when I give free frog lures away with my Clatterbrat lure auctions, they will be from one of the 3 companies below. Thx 4 everything guys, God bless and bass wishes.

Snag Proof
Scumfrog
Z-MAN
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skip77

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Re: Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

Post by BigMike315 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:34 am

Thoroughly agree with everything you said except the bit about soft plastic frogs, theyre not really designed to float theyre fished more like a buzzbait but have the advantage of being more weedless and can draw strikes if you stop the retrieve and let them sink a bit.

When did snag proofs get so expensive? I feel like when I was buying them before switching to clatterbrat I was only paying 4 or 5 dollars for them, just looked at the site and now theyre going for 10+, I really like the gap between the body and the hook points on them though.

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Re: Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

Post by skip77 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:33 pm

Hey Mike - thx 4 chiming in. I dont disagree that many soft plastic frogs are meant as buzzbait/swimbait type lures. Where I fish it is more useful to have topwater frogs that can be paused and let sit still (and stay on top) and then continue moving them etc. My testing with soft plastic frogs was looking for good candidates for use as topwater lures. That is why my comments talk about most of the sinking and not being useful as a topwater frog lure. I hope this sounds right for you also. Hoping to get more responses to this topic - and thx again!
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Re: Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

Post by BigMike315 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:32 pm

I see what you mean, I also prefer a bait that can sit still and float. Most of the places I fish topwater I have spots to target, if Im searching then I use a buzzfrog or buzzbait though.

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Re: Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

Post by jeepFisher on Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:54 pm

I like the Koppers Live Target frogs the best. Most durable and softest at the same time.

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Re: Top Picks in Hollow and Soft Plastic Frogs

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