Monday, August 22, 2011

Frog Hooks.. the large the small and the way to many

You may be surprised by this, but there is almost as many frog hooks available to anglers as there is frog designs them selves! Many companies have created their own hook to be used with there specific frog.. do we need this many options? will a sizmic toad hook work just as well on a gambler toad? will a double hook get you higher hook-up ratios then a traditional 3/0 hook? well I cant claim to know all the answers but I will tell you what works for me..

To save my fingers and your eyes Im really only going to discuss three different hook options that are available when soft body frog fishing, they are..

1) Standard EWG hooks
2) Double Frog Hooks
3) Twist Lock Hooks (weighted and un-weighted)

Standard EWG

Lets start off with the traditional EWG hook, these are readily available in all tackle shops, and are made by any hook company worth mentioning, the have a decent price point (for the most part) and will come in red or nickle. You can buy EWG hooks in thin or thick wire, for frog fishing the thicker wire hooks are preferred. they provide the extra strenght needed to pull big fish out of heavy cover and the little extra weight will give you some increased casting distance as well as help the frog sit down better on a strike. (If you are fishing a floating soft plastic frog be aware that the thicker wire hooks may force your frog to sink.)

When it comes to Frog fishing for the most part you will be looking for a hook size in the range between 3/0 to 5/0. In some rare instances you may need to jump up to 6/0 or 7/0 but this will be a rarity. I can get away with fishing 90% of my frogs on a 3/0 hook

The only downfall to EWG hooks are the damage the eye of the hook may cause to the nose of the bait on the retrieve or strike. most soft plastic frogs are made to swim, and after a few hits or being beaten in cover the eye of the hook will quickly wear the frog nose and increase the amount of dead baits you have. EWG hooks have a bend in the eye that will position the nose of the bait in a slightly downward position. this can effect the swim and bang up the nose quickly on hard retrieves.

Double Frog Hooks

double hooks started to flood the market a few seasons ago. The allowed the angler to set up a soft bodied frog similar to the way you would fish a hollow body frog. Owner, Tru Tungsten and Gamakatsu all currently produce a double frog hook. They are made in the same sizes available in standard EWG hooks, but take a little getting use to when it comes to rigging.

some of them double hooks can be pinched together and inserted into the frog the same way a EWG is rigged, others are firmer and you will need to use one hook to bore a path into the frog and then slide the head of the hook into place. Either of these methods work, but like with all soft plastics the more you insert and reinsert a hook, the quicker you weaken the plastic.

Not all frogs are created equal, and with the crazy amount of body types available today, not all frogs will be wide/narrow enough to be fitted with a double hook. This can cause frustration since you will have hooks that wont work for all the frogs in your arsenal. Companies like Tru Tungsten list the frogs that will work with their hook, this is a help if you decide to go this route.

The last con i see to the double hook set up are the hook points. Unlike rigging your frog with a traditional EWG these hooks are not easily barried into the soft plastic to make the frog run weedless. I found I was adjusting the hook more when using this set-up and continuously got caught on the pads. Hollow bodied frogs balloon out around the hook points making them slightly protected. Soft plastic frogs do not provide you with this option

Twist Lock Hooks

The twist lock hook is one of my favorite options available today. There are multiple options available including weighted and non-weighted, red, nickel and of course some size options. When looking at the twist lock hooks you should be looking for the frog option and not your standard EWG although they will work as well.

The Frog version of a twist lock hook has a slightly different body design then that of the EWG, it is made for frog designed bodies and although many of these hooks sport names that make it sound like they are designed for a specific frog, they will give you more versatility then both the standard EWG and the double hooks mentioned above. One complaint I have is that the frog versions of this hook appear to only be available in a thinner to medium wire. Some situations really call for a heavy wire, and from what i have seen this is not an option with these hooks

The key to the twist lock design is that it puts less stress on the nose of you bait and will increase the baits life span. Unlike traditional hooks the twist lock does not bore a hole in the front of your bait and can be reapplied multiple times on the same bait, even if the bait has a tare/rip . The head of the hook does not have the same extreme bend that most EWG hooks have, this allows your frog to site flatter on the hook and swim straighter on the retrieve. (some EWG hooks make the nose of the frog bend down)

these hooks are not as readily available (in my area anyways) and may need to be ordered on-line. They are priced well and stand up to multiple fish


As stated above almost every company under the sun make the frog hooks nowadays.. find one you like and work with it. My personal preference is to use the Zoom twist lock hook (5/0) or to move over to Owners 3/0 EWG when a smaller hook is in order.

I do not throw weighted hooks on my frogs.. this is a personal preference. When fishing soft plastic frogs I like to be able to burn them across open water in between cover. The weighted hook pulls the frog down quicker ons the kill and forces me to increase my retrieve speed. If you are having trouble casting your frog for distance you should look at your rod and reel set-up and alter that instead of increasing the weight on your frog

When all is said and done there is a world of choice available to anglers today. the hooks I described today may not be the best for your style of frog fishing. be sure to play around and test out the options available to you. If you know of a hook design I did not cover, let me know, I would love to give it a try.

Weapons of choice:

There is no better rod on the market today for frog fishing with soft plastics then the Dobyns 735c, at 7'3 it has all the backbone needed to haul large fish from deep pockets. The soft tip allows for great castinf accuracy and allows you to throw this frogs long distances. For your reel look for somthing that can pick up the slack and burn a bait back over open water. I put my trust in the Shimano Curado series reels with 50-65lb powerpro braid

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