Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tru Tungsten Mad Maxx Frog - Angry like Mel Gibson

Im surprised it took me as long as it did to gets my hands on this frog. I have been looking at it for a few seasons now, but I just never pulled trigger.. until this year.

The Mad Maxx really lives up to its name, not only does this frog look angry but it makes the fish angry as well. Filled with Tungsten rattles this frog makes some serious noise when walking and hopping in the water


This is going to be a fairly long list. I covered off one the major pros in my opening paragraph.. the rattles. As you know I prefer to use hollow bodies that contain rattles, this frog has one of the better rattles on the market today.

The Soft body is also a huge draw to this frog. As a frame of reference I would compare the body material to the new Live Target hollow bodies, and it is much softer then the Spro family of Frogs.

I bought the my frog in the "big sexy" color. I think they choose that name do to the long sexy legs on this frog. It leaves quite the trail in the water when paused, and for those who like to trim one leg, the longer strands will still leave you with plenty of length even after the trim. Seriously though, the Big Sexy, has a shiny white belly with some flake, and a high vis back so you can easily follow your frog in the cover on long casts.

The body design is also very cool. As you can see from the below pics the frog has a bit of a ribbed section that goes down the side and belly of the frog. Tru Tungsten will tell you that this helps the frog walk on water.. but it also serves a second purpose, the slight rib perfectly hides the hook point and allows for a smoother retrieve and eliminates hang-ups.


With all the hype and advertising around the 3D eyes I was a Little disappointed that they were meerly stickers. Right out of the box I can tell these will not last long. They look cool for now, but I expect to loose them very shortly.

Price is about standard with the high end hollow bodies currently on the market. Im thinking this frog may be on the chopping block as many of the major retailers have reduce prices, and some don't have the frog up for sale any more. So If you are looking to add a nice new hollow body to your arsenal now is the time.

Overall this is a quality frog that lives up to its name, although it should be compared to a sleek remake of the 80's Mel Gibson cult classic and and not the dirty dark original.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Richard Dobyns wins Everstart FLW Angler of the year..

If you take a quick look at the headline "Dobyns wins Angler of Year title" you may jump to conclusions that Gary Dobyns is at it again.. but you would be wrong because this time the praise  goes to Richard Dobyns who had an outstanding year in the FLW's Everstart series Western division.

Richard wrapped up the AOY title, but still had work to do as he was in the hunt on Clear lake. And although that one was not meant to be, he did wrap things up with a  10th place finish and over 59lbs weighed in over the 3 day event.

I want to congratulate Richard on a great season and the Angler of the year title. The name Dobyns issynonymous with bass fishing titles,wins and of course quality rods, and it seems to run in the family.

Congrats Richard

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Float Tube Bass Fishing

When most guys think of float tubbing, they think immediately of fly fishing, but not me.  Sure when I bought my first float tube the idea was to get me out and get more use out of the fly rod I purchased a few seasons back. But every-time I was out there, all I kept thinking about other techniques that a float tube would apply to...

So I began to put down the fly rod (not that you cant do some serious bass fishing on a fly rod, because you can!) and started to play around with different fishing techniques, senko's, soft bodied frogs, top water spooks and poppers and so on. I quickly found that float tube fishing was very conducive to types of bass fishing including all kinds of top water baits. Since that day I have made numerous float tube trips into back lakes and taken advantage of areas and fish that most anglers cant get to.

On top of water access Float Tube fishing gives many pluses including a great view of the waterway, you get the opportunity to be up close and personal with the structure at water level and easily see what's below the water. This allows for even more pinpoint casting (or dropping)  and the quiet approach will spook less fish then traditional small water boats.

To me, nothing is more exciting then an eye level top water bite, not only is there a good chance you are going to get wet during the battle, but  you get a view of the battle rarley seen as you try to bring the fish in and at the same time try to keep him out of your legs! (trebles in a float tube are not a good thing)

The Gear:

there are many options available on the market today when it comes to float tubes and waders. I started off as a dimestore fly anger so I did not put a lot of money into my equipment, yet it still holds up well after 5+ seasons.

First things first, you need to get yourself a good pair of waders, somthing that is breathable, waterproof, but also gives you great mobility. You are not looking for the tick heavy rubber or neoprene waders, but the thinner waders made of nylon and other microfiber. These waders do not offer the same warmth as the above, but you can layer depending on weather and water temps. Waders should be neoprene booted and you will then need to purchase a wading boot. (waders run from $30 to over $100. Find one that fits well and feels good on, you will be wearing them for 8 hours a day so make sure they are comfortable)

Flippers are also a most here. this is how you get around. Wading flippers will strap easily on and off your wading boot, most are made of a durable plastic and take abuse well when banged off submerged timber, rock and so on. (flippers run from $20 to $100 but you can find a quality pair in the $30 range)

The float tube itself is where you will have the most options. I like the opened front version with quick release seating (see image below), it allows you to slide in and out with ease, but still offeres a nice tray like front for working with fish and baits.

I like to have a few compartments on my float tubes for easy storage of baits, pliers and of course a camera. The float tube pictures also has a rod tie down. Since I carry two rods with me in the tube this is a must. Two small velcro straps keep a rod secure across my lap with fishing with the other one.

Always check the weight restrictions for you tube, you should be sitting comfortably above the water and be able to easily rest your arms on the side of the tube.

Float tube bass fishing brings many of my favorite aspects of fly fishing to my passion of bass fishing. There is nothing so peaceful or relaxing as floating around a small lake cool water surrounding you while you fish. No motor sounds, no disruptions other then the sound of a bass violently attacking your topwater lure. Catch and release is on a whole new level when in a float tube, the fish barely leaves the water as you slide him onto your lap for a quick release. 

On calm days when the bite has turned off, I have been know to take the occasional nap while out in my float  tube. It truly gives fishing that back to nature feel. If you have not given it a shot I highly recommend you do, and take advantage of what small lakes, calm water and glorious sunsets have to offer.

Weapons of Choice:

this comes down to a comfort thing and it make take you so playing around. I bring 1 spinning rod and 1 bait caster with me on each float tube outing. You want a rod long enough to give you good hook sets, but short enough to allowing you to easily and accurately cast short distances and into cover. 
For my spinning rod set-up I like to use a Dobyns 703sf, to me this is the perfect senko and wacky rod. The 735c is the bait-caster of choice. Perfect length and strength for fishing in a float tube

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Strike King Rage Toad: All the Rage

I will openly admit that Im not a fan of Strike King's Rage line-up of baits. I have tried a few and nothing really grabbed me (and the fish never really grabbed it).  But the Rage Toad came highly recommended so I thought I should give it try.

Lets start off with the obvious, the Rage toad is a buzz frog, this bad boy is meant to tear up the water and it does just that. The two chunky legs churn up the water and help keep the frog up hight on medium to fast retrieves. They are made of a durable plastic that holds up well fish after fish.

The body of the frog is made of the same dense material as the legs, this gives the frog some nice weight and allows for additional casting distance. The Rage Toad will sink once it hits the water so you are best to start your retrieve immediately, although traditionally I prefer to let my baits pause befor the retrieve.

Since this bait is designed to be a heavy buzz/churn it is better fished in open water around cover then directly in the cover. The thicker the vegetation the harder it is to achieve a steady retrieve, and get the full benefit of the rage tail.

Tip: Before ripping open the Rage tail on these toads try fishing it with the legs attached. This provides less action and less churn, but still gives you some nice action. It is nowhere near as aggressive as once the legs are ripped.

Available in close to 10 colors the Rage Toad sells for around a $1 a frog with 5 packs selling for $4.99 at most retailers. Like all Rage products the packaging is a pain in the @$$ the a plastic enclosure used to keep the baits separate inside the pouch. Not sure why the additional packaging is needed, these are durable baits.

Rage Toads can be fished with 3/0 up to 6/0 hooks. As mentioned before I usually run with a 3/0 but with this frog I would recommend jumping up to the 4/0. The durable plastic holds the hook well and there will be no need to constantly adjust the frog or hook

Even if you are like me and not a fan of the traditional line of Strike King Rage baits, I think you will want to give this frog a try. It is not for everyday use, but will definitely help you out when the fish are in an aggressive mood. If you are sensing that Im not super stoked on this frog it really comes down to preference. I like a more subtle churn/buzz in my baits. This is a quality product, and may be just what you are looking for

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lake fork Frog.. It's Like an Alien Invasion

lake fork tackle has really had some highs and lows for me over the past few seasons. With some baits they really hit the mark and with others, they really miss. The Fork Frog is still up in air in my books, and will be on the water again in the future for some further testing.

I had an opportunity to fish the Fork Frog for a few days on Lake F (frog). The results were mixed. The Wide alien looking body and long thin legs give this bait an interesting movement when in the water. A movement neither I or the fish were to fond off on day one of my testing. But things picked up a bit on day 2, when I changed the my retrieve speed

There are two ways to work this frog, burning it back to the boat, or slow rolling it. This bait excels on the slow roll, but was ineffective on any higher speed retrieves. The wide body gives the frog an uneven rock and at times will flip the bait, and the longer thinner legs are almost pushed together on high speed retrieves, making the buzz or water churn actually less then when the bait is slow rolled?

When slowing rolling the Fork Frog you will easily achieve the water churn or buzz your looking for. This slower presentation will also help your hook-up ratio as the fish will get a better look at the bait and be less apt to miss it on a fast pass. On a slow retrieve the body still gives off slight rocking in the water, again attributed to the body design.

Ever since I have taken this thing out of the package it has always reminded me of a movie alien. I cant quite put my finger on where I have seen it before but it is eerie. Anyways, the fork frog has a decent color selection with nearly 10 options. I really like the white belly's on the above frog and choose them as my tester. These baits are made in the US and are priced well. 5 baits for about $5 depending on where you purchase them. You should be able to find them for under $1 a frog.

The last thing I will leave you with is something that Lake Fork is known for and that is heavy scenting. Believe me when I say dont fish this bait when hungry. The Garlic scent is over powering, and lasting. I left a dead bait on my boat deck overnight and the next day I could still smell it.

Give these frogs a try, see where they fit in your arsenal

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Strike King KVD Sexy Frog: Damn thats sexy! But does it fish?

Lets face it, there is not much that KVD has done or could do wrong. Everything the man touches turns to gold. Whether it is on the water with a stick in hand, or if it is designing products for Strike King or other other companies. He churns out winners.

The KVD Sexy frog is the third new bait that I have purchased from the KVD line-up this season alone. It is a sleek "sexy" hollow bodied frog that fits nicely into a growing market of frogs. The frog is equipped with super sharp Gamakatsu hooks and a free floating rattle (a frog after my own heart) With 10 different color options available including the KVD standard "sexy" color, you will have a hard time choosing just one.. but I did.. Tiger Black


Lets start with the obvious, this is a KVD bait, he puts a lot of time and effort into the design and you know it will be a quality product.

The best features a frog can have are solid strong sharp hooks, some noise, and a body that collapses on impact but hold up to the battle. This frog features all three of these. The Gamakatsu hooks and second to none in my opinion and tells me that Kevin and Strike King agree. A free floating rattle has been inserted in the frog to give off that little extra bit of noise and sound.. not to mention a touch more weight without adding bulk.This frog casts very well and sits well on the water.

The body design is very Corvette like, it is thin and sleek but with a wide stance that allows you to walk the frog with ease and maneuver around cover. The body is moulded to the hook with a sealed nose. The idea here is allow almost no water to enter the hollow, and a hole at the back of the frog is designed to allow any water that does enter to exit easily. When fished this feature is as advertised, unlike other frogs on the market there was no need to constantly squeeze the frog the drain


Although not really a con, I will say the body of this frog is not as soft as others on the market. Frogs such as Live Target and Evolve both have softer bodies. I would rate this one close to a Spro when it comes to the body's consistency. (maybe a bit softer)

In the 8 hours I fished with it on the first day on the water I had 10 blow-ups. Not once was I able to get the hooks into a fish. That being said only on 3 occasions did I actually feel the fish with the frog in mouth. So obviously I will be placing no blame on the frog itself.

I highly recomend giving this frog a good look, it is not the best frog on the market today, but it fishes well and you will catch fish. If you ever  see Kevin be sure to thank him for me

Monday, September 12, 2011

10 Days, 5 Lakes & more fish then I can count

Well my annual end of august early september vacation has come and gone. The wife and I spent the last 10 days fishing 5 lakes in the bancroft region. Her family has a place on Dickey lake (near Coehill) and we made the rounds hitting some big lakes (Dickey, Paudash, Steenburg) and a few that shall remain nameless (Lake X, Lake Y, Lake Z)

He had great weather around the labour day long weekend and started our fishing on Lake X, the first fish of the trip was a beauty 4.3lb largemouth who swallowed my live target walking frog whole.

Many of these small lakes are quiet as the fall approaches, we were lucky to be void of many boaters, anglers and the dreaded jet-skiers.

As the week progressed a nasty wind came in with spurts of rain. The wind stayed high for 3 days making the lakes muddy and the bite slowed to a crawl. Lake Y which should be renamed Lake F(frog) was the dirtiest I had seen it in years. I still got the chance to break out a few new frogs and test the water.. 1 of those new frogs gave me 10 blow-ups and produced not one fish (more on that in an upcoming blog).

When the wind finally calmed down I was able to do something I truly love, float fishing. I have a float tube that many believe is only for fly fishing, and I love to break it out on calm nights and buzz frogs across the top of the water and battle smallies at eye level. I do own a fly rod and enjoy taking it out, but this year I only got once chance to use the float tube and you know I was froggin. (more on this in an upcoming blog)

Dickey lake is a small lake that does not see a lot of pressure. The fishing is not great, but there are many 1-2lb fish that can be caught if you know where to go. My wife and I ended many days fishing till dark on Dickey lake, there I came across my new arch enemy a fish that I swung on and missed 3 days in a row. A pad splitter the chased down my frog each night for one cast and one cast alone. It was not to be, and I will be back after him next year for sure.

My week ended with a 2 day tournament on Paudash lake. Earlier in the summer (August) I spent 3 days on Paudash and was happy with my results. This was not the case this past weekend, my worst performance of the year brining in back 2 back 5lb bags. Hell the big fish on each day was bigger then my entire bag. That being said, this whole series was a blast and we had a great time. (more on that in an upcoming blog)

This short vacation always kind of marks the end of my summer, but not the end of my fishing. It was sad to see another summer buzz by, but Im happy to spend it on the water as much as I have.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Place your bets on Gamblers Cane toad?

For the most part I would say Im a fan of Gamblers products. I have used the "Florida weigths" for years prior to switching over to tungsten and the otter is one of my favourite flipping baits. So when i got the chance to try out the "Cane Toad" this past weekend i was expecting big things.


The Cane toad is constructed with a thicker plastic body and legs, they will hold up well for multiple Battles and still run true. They have a nice large profile without being monstrous, and the wide legged stance gives a nice slap when it hits the water.

At only 4 inches in length this bait fishes big. The paddle style feet churn some serious water and really let the fish know its there.

Gambler makes the cane toad in over 10 color options, although Im partial to black, there is some nice options for those of you who like  little color in your world.


I had issues rigging this frog. If you did not get the hook point dead centre the bait spun on the retrieve. I had it go at it a few times after, and run a higher retrieve to keep it working properly.

This last point Im going to leave in the "con" section even thought many of you may disagree. The Cane toad is designed with a backwards facing rib system. This obviously causes even more of a disturbance in the water, but at the same time it really hinders your retrieve if you have to go in or over and significant structure. The reverse ribs really cause a lot of drag when moving over a heavily padded area and i found myself using the rod more then the reel to advance the bait when on the pads.

That all being said, when used int he open or in sparsely covered vegetation this frog definitely has its place in your arsenal. It is a true buzz frog. Even better then that, only casts in I had my first cane fish.. now that's a "pro" in any ones books


I may sound a bit repetitive here, but the Dobyns 735c really cant be beat when throwing buzz frogs. I may even have to look at getting one of the microguide series to see if I can up my game.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gary Dobyns Speaks! Ultimate Bass Radio Listens

I dont know how many of you guys already listen to this program but I wanted to share it again. Ultimate bass radio hosted by Kent Brown  It is a high quality radio program with some serious guests. Including the rod master Gary Dobyns.

Gary spills the beans on some new rods on the way (insert drooling sounds here) as well as gives some of his fishing tips, and a friendly reminder about the Ranger boat giveaway.. yes "RANGER BOAT Giveaway!"

check it out..