As it goes with many anglers across the country, frog fishing is easily one of my favorite ways to target big bass hanging around shallow cover. Whether it’s grass, docks, laydowns, over hanging bushes, or even sea walls – my frog set-up is something to stays ready to go in the game at any time! For years, I experimented with different reels, rods, lines, and frogs. Here is what I found to be the ultimate frog set-up that will get the job done in ever scenario.
Every component in this set-up is obviously important, but none as much as the right rod. Too slow of an action doesn’t allow you to work the frog correctly, especially in open water and when walking the bait. Conversely, too stiff of an action isn’t necessarily what I want once I get the bite and am trying to land the fish. You want a rod with the perfect balance that allows you to instill the right action, give you control of the bait, give the bass time to fully eat the bait, then work with you when trying to land that fish. The Daiwa Tatula Frog Rod meets all the criteria. At 7’4”, it’s long enough to leverage long casts over scum fields and to horse fish out of heavy cover. The action helps maintain control over the action of the bait while having just the right amount of “give” to land the fish.
When I’m fishing a frog, as with any bait that I’m imparting action with the rod tip rather than winding, I want a high-speed reel. It helps me pick up slack as I am working the bait, quickly put pressure on a fish after the strike, as well as provide horsepower to get the fish from cover to boat. The Bruin ELS provides the strength to not buckle under pressure, as well as an 8.1:1 gear ratio to quickly get fish to the boat.
For a long, long time I thought “the heavier the better” when it comes to line. Of course, braid is going to be the solid (and really only) option here. But, 65 to 80-lb braid isn’t really necessary. Over the past year, I have spooled up with 50-lb Sufix 832. I have maintained plenty of strength to horse fish in the thickest of cover, and since it is smaller diameter than heavier braided line I have added quite a good distance to my casts to help me cover more water when fishing over vast grass fields.
This is where things can get overwhelming, especially if you get as giddy as I do about buying frogs! But, to me, the key to getting bit is going to be throwing the right SIZE frog. A lot of my bigger bass come on a standard size frog like the SPRO Bronzeye Frog or the Scum Frog Launch Frog. But, in certain places and at certain times, downsizing can show you a lot better results if a standard size isn’t getting bit. The Scum Frog Trophy Painted Series has been key for me on several occasions. I will opt for a popping frog when fishing more sparse cover, around docks, and in more open water situations. When it comes to color, black and white are essential, but many times I’m going to be targeting fish that are keyed in on bluegill so be sure to have that pattern handy!
If I were limited to one bait to fish for the rest of my life, a frog may very will be that choice. And, if that were the case, this is the perfect set-up to do so.