Tuesday, April 25, 2017

5 Canadian Fishing Companies Making Waves South of the Border

Way too often Canadian anglers look south when spending their hard earned money on fishing equipment and supplies, but as the gear prices climb due to a weak Canadian dollar we are getting to a point in which some hard choices need to be made. 

The below Canadian companies are making this choice much easier, with high quality offerings that are not only turning heads in Canada, but south of the border as well... there are some pastt and maybe future ICast winners in this bunch.

Anglers Choice

Anglers Choice is a soft plastic bait company out of Western Ontario known for their killer assortment of hand made baits. With 9 (soon to be 10) baits options Anglers Choice is building up a nice little arsenal for both Large mouth and Small mouth fisherman.

A personal favourite of mine is their take on the senko called the Wart Hawg, available in 4,5,6 and 7" sizes bait really can be fished in any situation. Its soft plastic body holds up well and is perfect for wacky worm fishing , its slow fall almost shivers in the water. 

 If you're more of a smallmouth angler then check out the KillShot  drop shot bait. Its flat bottom and ribbed top are a thing of beauty and make all condom companies jealous. These baits are deadly on large smallmouth fisheries like Lake Ontario and Erie. 

If you would like to learn more about Anglers Choice drop by your local Canadian Tire store or check out one of these on-line retailers:

You can also give their Facebook page a like HERE


With only a few years under their belt Kamooki is still an industry young gun. This Edmonton based start-up took the ice fishing industry by storm back in 2013 with the release of it's smart fish. A lead free bait powered by a zinc base that has an incredible fall and even better pause. The ultimate on ice weapon the smart fish attracks pike, walleye and all varieties of panfish and has quickly become a staple on many of Canada's major ice fishing lakes. 

This year saw the release of the Kamooki Smart Craw, a smallmouth slayer with a wide lazy wobble and an irresistible click as its zinc base knocks up and down against the rocks. Just like the Smart Fish the Smart Craw shineswhile on the pause, its body design allowing it to move with the current all while sitting in the same spot and imitating a crawfishes natural stance. 

If you haven't heard of these guys yet, It won't be long. They have already found their way to ICast, as well as the pages of In-Fisherman Magazine, BASS Magazine and the all too important TackleTour review.  Be sure to check out their Facebook Page HERE as well as Instagram Page HERE

The Perfect Jig

You have to go all the way back to 2013 to view the last article I wrote listing the Canadian companies that I though deserved more attention from fisherman. Even back then the Perfect Jig was on the list and  4 years later not much has changed other than the growing number of fisherman now throwing "the perfect jig".

From the Arky to the Elite series you will be hard pressed to find a a more versatile selection of bass catching jigs. if you're like me and spend most of your time working heavy grass, check out the MILF  Master jig, specifically designed for use in milfoil and grass.

Over the years Perfect Jig founder Brendan Knaggs has also begun to branch out offering a selection of soft plastics and terminal tackle go go along with his custom designed jigs. You never whats next with these guys, so be sure to follow them on FaceBook and Instagram  to stay ahead of the game.


"A Northern Original" there are not many Canadian based companies that have made as big a splash in the industry as the team at RahFish. This Ontario based start-up hit the ground running with an impressive series of articles and reviews and as their popularity grew (and believe me it grew) they started to get requests for RAHFISH apparel. Flash forward to 2017 and RAHFISH is has become a highly recognizable brand bringing fishing fashion to a whole new level.

I mean come-on what angler doesn't love his collection of T's and hoodies! Check out their full line up, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram 


Who would have thought that protecting your gear would be come a full time gig.. The Owner of The Rod Glove and all around good guy Jim VanRyn knew that he had something special when back in 2010  he launched The Rod Glove.

Since that time he has expanded his Rod Glove line-up to include Reel Gloves, and the very popular Rod Glove Wrapz, that in my humble opinion are the best rod wraps on the market today. You dont have to take my word for it, Jim and the Rod Glove boast and impressive pro-staff including Gerald G-Man Swindle, Brent Ehler, Randy Howell and my buddy Paul Mueller. 

Do yourself and your gear a favour, protect your investment with the Rod Glove. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for more details.

So their you have it, 5 Canadian fishing companies that do it just as good or better then anyone else, and the're right here in your back yard. So let your money go a bit further this season and support some home grown talent. If you do, maybe next time this I update this list it will include 10 new Canadian companies. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Whats in the Box? My 2017 Frog Box

From time to time I get asked the the question made famous by Brad Pitt in the movie Seven.. "What's in the Box!" so before we officially kick off the 2017 review year, I though I would give you a peak into my standard everyday frog box, and maybe, just maybe a little insight into why each frog made the cut.

Gene Larew 3-Legged Toad

The the 3-Legged toad is the only soft plastic toad to make the final frog box cut. Its the ultimate "all situations" frog  that offers up a soft churn perfect for early morning and the evening bite. 

The body of the frog is made of a nearly marshmallow like foam that floats, and hold up fairly well fish after fish. The third leg works to add to the frogs wake, but also prolongs the frogs life, as even when the bait looses that one inevitable limb, it still has two more to fish with.

This is one of the first frogs I reviewed on the Frog Pond back in 2012 and it is still in my box today.

When to Use: Medium to Sparse cover when trying to cover water quickly. Great to bounce over cover and fish around submerged timber.

Tackle USA - Choker

The Gene Larew 3-Legged Toad may be the longest standing member of my Frog Box, but on the other end of the spectrum the Tackle USA Choker is one of if not thee newest!

The Choker saw some serious time on the water last season and even went a 3 week period as the only frog I tied on. The Choker offers up the classic profile made famous by the Reaction Innovation Swamp Donkey with one major improvement.. flashing for legs. This common fly tying material works incredibly well on the back of a frog, they fan out easily and offer up some crazy flash and shine as they spread out on the pause.

The body of the frog is soft yet durable and it moves well on or around pads and other structure. This is my everyday frog and is a good bet to the my opening day starter.

When to Use: This is an all around frog that can be used in heavy cover to open water. I vary the retrieve to help identify what the fish are looking for on any given day. 

SnagProof - GuntersVille Frog

Sometimes less is more, and when I'm reaching for a frog to crash the pads, the Guntersville frog from Snag Proof is at the top of the list. This compact yet beefy frog has rattles for legs and was built to "sit"more then it was built to "swim". So if you are planing to fish medium to sparse cover this may not be the frog to you, but, when fishing a thick mess of pads or slop this frog will call the fish in and make sure it  gets noticed and more importantly EATEN!.

Best fished slowly with slight pulls or an intermittent retrieve the Guntersville frog fills a void that not many other frogs can. The only real downfall to this bait is that its easy to loose a rattle. Even more so if you are prone to bouncing it over the various structures you can run into in shallow pad filled water... This reminds me, I need to buy another one. 

When to Use: Heavy Cover Period! slow pulls over and around pads.

SPRO - Bronzeye Shad

You can't call it a Frog Box if it doesn't have at least one SPRO frog inside (google it if your dont believe me)... or in this case a SPRO Shad? The Bronzeye Shad offers a great profile, with even better dance moves. Its horse like tails give some sway to the back end and helps this frog/shad walk in and out of tight situations. For a longer bait it really does have some great moves and I often tie one on when fishing sparser cover or even open water (though I tend to throw a popping frog in open water situations)

When the pads start to choke out the water I usually put this guy away. It does not sit well on pads and kinda flops from side to side. 

When to Use: Sparse cover to Open Water, when a stealth presentation is called for. Can be used to cover water quickly or times when cover is spread out and your working long distances between. 

SnagProof - Popping Phattie

I've fished this frog so long it use to have another name! Remember when these were the Ish Poppin Phatties? well sometimes sponsorships change but one thing is for certain, if Ish still isn't fishing this frog he is seriously missing out! 

I actually carry the classic Phat Frog (see below) as well as the Popping Phattie in the #1 Frog box, but of the two the popping phattie sees way more time on the water. It is a great all around frog that fishes best in open water to sparse cover conditions where I can fully take advantage of its popping ability. Not a proper fan? thats ok, slow down and the popping Phattie can also be walked, which is a big plus as it avoids switching back and forth as the conditions and structure changes. 

I don't throw a lot of popping frogs, but its important to carry at least one in your box for the times when you really need to let the fish know your there... ring that dinner bell.

When to Use: Sparse cover to Open Water, when a louder presentation is called for. This could also be considered a crossover frog, ease up on the retrieve to walk and no pop this popping frog. Saves your time and line when not having to retie. 

SnagProof - Phat Frog

The Phat Frog is definitely a special teams player, and usually only gets the nod to play when the area I'm fishing is loaded with slop!. Its unique body design moves well over the nastiest of slop and rarely if ever comes back with salad. Unlike some of the other "all around" frogs in my box, this one was really designed to fish any situation. It just so happens that it ain't pretty, so it often get the dirty jobs, but hey someone has to do it! This frog has all the same perks as the above Popping Phattie so i won't go into great detail here, just use it!

Slop calls for a nice flat bottomed bait that won't catch or roll as it moves, this is that frog!

When to Use: Heavy to Medium cover and slop! 

Deps - Slither K

Although some situations call for noise, other call for stealth, that's where the Deps Slither K comes into the mix. This frog is a high end low profile version of a scum frog, it can be cast (quietly) into any hole or target, and its fur tail will drive the fish crazy even on a prolonged pause. 

Don't get me wrong, this bait looks sexy when killed, but moves even better when twitched. I work the Slither K one of two ways depending on the bite. First is a fast erratic walk, with the bait coming slowly to the boat but moving rapidly back and forth. The second is slow twitches, walking the frog home an inch at a time. The fur tail does a lot of the work for you here, so let it!

The Slither K is one of two bite size frogs I carry at all times. I find them best utilized in medium sparse cover or when working the edges. Cast them 1-2 feet in and work it along the edge, I guarantee there will be a bass following. 

When to Use: Medium to Sparse Cover and Edges, slower presentation. The ultimate pocket jumper, be sure to let this frog sit in every pocket and let the fish get a look at it.

EverGreen - Kicker Frog

This little guy often finds himself playing second fiddle to the Deps Slither K, they both get used in similar situations but the Slither K takes more patience then I have on some days, so enter the Kicker frog. 

EverGreen makes a nice bite sized frog with a seriously sharp single hook. This frog is always swallowed whole and that hook never seems to miss on the hookset. You don't need to work the Kicker frog as much or as slowly,as the Slither K but I often use it to fish the edges of the pads or sparser pockets. This frog is well built and has a very soft flexible body and has held up season after season and fish after fish. 

I have a feeling this frog may get bumped from the front lines in the coming seasons, but for now I like to have a variety of sizes available and the Kicker frog suits me just fine. Also being that its an import and $$$$ I like to get my moneys worth. 

When to Use: Medium to Sparse Cover and Edges, faster presentation. I use this frog when smaller profiles are needed but also when speed is my friend.

Tru Tungsten - Mad Maxx

Some will consider this a cheat, as the True Tungsten Mad Maxx frog has been discontinued for years . But I loaded up on them prior to TT going under and I'm glad I did. The Mad Maxx frog takes what SPRO started and ups the game, if has a similar body profile and angry look, but the body material is lighter and collapses as quickly and easily as a scum frog.

I call this my "confidence frog" if I'm going through a stretch with limited to no blow-ups or worse if Ive missed repeated fish I will often tie the Mad Maxx on to boost my confidence. 

I don't often push replicas but since TruTungsten is no more, I don't feel as bad sending you to the Castaic Boyd Bucket frog or the Blitz Frog both of these frogs use the same mold and if not the same, a nearly identical body material. I own one of each and I just close my eyes and pretend they are Mad Maxx's.

When to Use: This is an All Situations frog that can be used in medium/heavy to sparse cover. It will not see much time in heavy cover or open water due to is light weight frame. These frogs work well when walked and paused in a more continuous retrieve. 

Frog Pond Review: 7.4

Terminator - Walking Frog 

With one season under its belt the Terminator Walking frog will start 2017 in the main frog box, but it may see some time in triple-A as some of the newer frogs start to make an appearance. The Terminator Walking frog has a unique body that is built to fish and be seen in any type of situation. It's larger bulkier frame makes it sit well on pads, while its narrower ass-end gives it a nice look when paused over pockets. It also lives up to its name, and walks like a champ over and around cover and even in open water.

I wish I was able to give the Walking frog more time on the water, its nothing personal against the frog as it has been one of my favourite newcomers these past few years, it all comes down to  preference and for me the bulkier body and size are not what I'm normally looking for in a frog and I often reach for less hearty frogs.

When to Use: This is an all situations frog that does its best work in heavy to sparse cover. Like the Slither K this is a "pocket-jumper" a frog that I try to place and pause in each and every pocket in a given pad section.

Frog Pond Review: 9.2

There you have it, the secret is out, as an angler that has tried and tested nearly 130 frogs over the past 5 seasons, these 10 are the ones I trust day in and day out when I'm on the water. So, whats in your box!