What makes a good frog?

About the author

Chris Lane

Chris Lane

Chris Lane is a four-time winner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail and the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion.

Frogs are all the rage these days. There must be hundreds of different makes, models and colors on the market. But what makes a good one? What should you look for when you’re buying new ones so you don’t waste your money, and your fishing time?

Let’s look at the four most important things.

The frog must have high-quality hooks

A good frog will have the very best hooks on it. The best hooks are strong, have a wide gap and they’re razor sharp. This is something that’s absolute. If the hooks are cheap, it doesn’t matter about the rest of the frog. It’s a piece of junk.

Most of your frog bites will come in heavy cover. You must be able to get a quick, solid hookset so that you can get her moving out towards you in a hurry. If you have to snap your rod three or four times to drive the hook home she’ll have time to bury in the cover.

The body must have the right texture

The body will almost always be hollow. The plastic must be stiff enough to ride up against the hooks so that the frog is weedless, but it also has to be soft enough so that it’ll collapse when a fish bites it. That’s a fine line. The best frog makers are able to walk that line.

You also want your frog’s plastic to be tough enough to withstand lots and lots of bites by big bass. You don’t want to buy a new one after every fish.

It must have action

What I mean by this is that you have to be able to bounce it, jerk it, splash it around and walk it. Much of this comes from the nose riding up as well as the way it rides up. Like plastic texture, this is a fine line. Throw a good one and a bad one. The difference will be obvious.

The walking part of what I said is the most important. If it won’t walk, don’t fish with it. (It’s OK if you have to trim a leg or make some other slight modification to make it walk properly.)

It has to catch fish

This might sound obvious but it’s a problem with some baits.

I don’t care how realistic a frog looks in the package; it has to have that special something that makes bass want to eat it. I can’t define that special something. If I could, I would. But I can tell you if a frog has it after I fish with it. If I get explosive strikes, it’s got it. If I don’t, it doesn’t have it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t get fooled by realistic looks or fancy packaging. Go beyond that. If you’re in doubt, buy one or two and fish with them. Check them out. See how they perform for you.

Now, just in case you’re wondering: I fish exclusively with Snag Proof frogs. My favorite (best) colors are black or brown, and white.

Chris Lane’s column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website, www.chrislanefishing.com.

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