Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Teckel Sprinkler Frog - Test Drive (pre-release)

I was honoured and privileged to get my hands on a pre-release version of Teckel's all new Sprinkler frog, a bait that may just prove to bring your frog fishing in 2017 to a whole new level!

You know those times when you hit the lake and the conditions are just perfect for top water, but you're just not sure if you should throw a frog, a buzz bait or maybe even a whopper plopper? That's the exact time you should pick up a Sprinkler frog, here's why:

Off the Shelf

Being that this frog is not yet available I cant really tell you what its shelf presence was like. I can tell you that videos speak louder then images.. meaning that watching this frog in action sold me quicker then any other frog I've purchased. (and you know Ive got a tackle junkie in me)

I  use Teckel baits on a fairly regular basis, so I knew what to expect quality and material wise. The body and hooks are top notch and the sprinkler foot is also more robust then I expected. I'm fearing a pike attack, but other then that this frog should hold up well.

My main concern here is the ability to replace the foot when it becomes damaged or completely ripped off the bait. Sure I could Frankenstein something up, but once you see this frog swim you are going to want to keep the same action with a replacement foot. At this time I cant confirm or deny if Teckel will be offering replacement feet. (please do!)

Teckel has always offered a wide selection of colour options for each of their frogs, I would expect the Sprinkler to be no different. You can see some of the colour options on their Facebook page (HERE) where they have been sneak peeking the frog since late 2016. The Video at the end of this article also shows off the 8 color choices that should be available at launch.

On The Water

It been awhile since I was as impressed with a frogs on the water performance as I was with the Sprinkler frog. From the very first cast I saw incredible potential in this bait and it has officially made it into my #1 Frog box for the 2017 season.

As an angler that loves to frog fish but is not a huge fan of popper frogs, I'm always looking for that perfect crossover bait that can bring the noise in calm and windy situations alike. The Sprinkler Frog is that bait. If you love the noise and the look of a whopper plopper coming your way, this is frog is for you!

It's important to me that you can work a frog at various speeds and that it still performs, the Sprinkler frog runs straight and true, when run at high speeds it  kicks up a rooster tail like the ones you see at tournament blast off and at slower speeds you get that sweet, sweet gurgle of the perfect buzz bait.

Unlike a traditional buzz bait or the Whopper Plopper the Sprinkler frog can be fished in pretty much any situation, meaning it be climbed over structure, and that it glides over pads, and any loose debris in the water that would consistently foul up a treble hooks ruining your retrieve. Unlike other Buzz-Frogs the use of a kicker foot in place of a blade ensures it fishes like a frog in the areas you actually want to throw a frog.

Although I stressed it above, I will do so again, anytime you add a soft plastic appendage to a bait there is the chance (a good one) that the soft plastic will get ripped up, or ripped off. At this time I don't know if Teckel plans to offer replacement Sprinkler feet, and if they don't this could be a short lived frog.

The Sprinkler frog pairs well with a Dobyns Sierra Series 735 which provides enough tip to make accurate casts all while still having the backbone needed to haul fish out of the nastiest of cover. As always I paired it with a Daiwa Tatula, this time a CT model.

At first glance you way want to write this frog off as gimmicky or a novelty item. Do you self a favor and don't let your first impressions fool you, this frog is legit,

Check out BassJunkies Frog Pond for a full review HERE

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Confessions of a Tackle Junkie - Volume 1

Fisherman's Log - May 2017 - Tackle Warehouse order #... um, whom am I kidding I lost count years ago.

If you consider yourself a tackle junkie then you have probably already mastered the art of "the on-line tackle order", but for those who haven't, see below for some tricks and tips on who to get the most out of each and every your you place.  My purchases are primarily made up of a mix of products that include "new toys", "personal favorites ", "impulse buys" and of course the most boring, but often most needed.. Terminal Tackle

Have a peek that my most recent tackle overdose

Throwing a curve ball at you here, you've been following along at home then you know I don't often fish Strike King products, though I'm not sure I can tell you why. Strike King boasts an impressive Pro Staff with some of the industries biggest names and each and every year they product new products that are priced for guys like me (the average Joe). But if I was to rummage through my tackle room I don't think you'd find many product baring the Strike King logo.. but that's about to change. On this order I added 3 Strike King baits to my cart

 Strike King - Super Toad 

This is an obvious one, as I needed to get my hands on this frog in order to do a Frog Pond review of it at some point this season. With that said I kinda excited about this frog and I made sure I added at least 2 packs to my order. The Green Pumpkin with Chartreuse belly as well as the White belly both made the final cut on this order.

Strike King - Hack Attack Jig

The victim of good marketing here, I was watching the 2017 Strike King promotional video about the Super Toad and of course Greg Hackney was the angler showcasing it. At the end of the video a new video queued up (damn you YouTube!) and it was Greg showing off his Hack Attack jig.. Well I have a think for jigs, though I rarely throw them, so my impulse buy ticklers kicked in and I added a 1/2 and a 3/4oz version of the Hack Attack to my shopping cart... I'm now at 4 jig boxes and need to start actually throwing some.

Often a new bait will catch my eye and trigger what will eventually will become a tackle order. The V&M Flat Wild is that such bait. I noticed it in the "new" section of Tackle Warehouses website and it started what became the order you see here. 

My current bait of choice for flipping timber is the Zoom Z-Hog, it has a nice chunky body with two sets of legs, one fast and the other slow. These characteristics can be found on the Flat Wild and its the reason this bait caught my attention. I'm not ready to put away the Z-Hog yet, but  believe me the Flat Wild will definitely spend some time knocking wood this season. 

A large part of buying new baits is the trust factor, and Gambler Lures won my trust years ago which means I often purchase their new baits each season, no questions asked.

Like with the Flat Wild, my purchase of the Stinger was in part due to its familiarity to a bait I also already own.. The Missile D-Bomb. With its water moving ridged body and large flapping craws this bait will get a good look under my flipping skirt early and hopefully often this season.

Call this one a "new toy" as well as an "impulse buy". The Doomsday Tackle Fat Man caught my attention due to its unusual look and the fact that it didn't remind me of any other baits I currently have in my arsenal. The tale of this bait is thick and heavy, and I really hope it swims.  

I'm looking forward to slipping a skirt on this bait and sliding it over some pads. The commotion this bait should cause will make even the most pressured fish take notice. 

I've been in a monogamous relationship with War Eagle Spinner baits for the past few seasons, but this year I decided it was time to play the field again and I'm in search of a few new options, enter: The Gary Yamamoto Lite Wire Spinner Bait.

I'll be honest the words "Lite-Wire" don't usually do it for me, because what Gary is telling me is that I'm going to spend a lot of time bending that wire back into shape after each fish I catch.. so why did I buy it? well I as looking and could new blade baits and with the different head design and large blades it was different enough from what I currently fish that I was willing to give it shot. Next up I need a few more Colorado blades in my arsenal. 

Another fairly long term relationship I have is with Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. Im almost embarrased to say it as Im not a huge fan of the company, their marketing or most of their products.. but the Skinny Dipper is my go-to soft plastic swim bait.

Looking to replace the Skinny Dipper the ShadTeez from Westin offers an incredible life like finish in an impressive selection of sizes. The main issue here is pricing, the ShadTeez in this (4.75") size only comes 2 to a pack and retails for about $4.99USD. Thats about what I pay for a pack of seven skinny dippers.. lets hope this last a few fish.

VMC  - Ike Approved

I'm not as loyal to a hook company as I probably should be. My hook box is a mix match of brands, styles and sizes. Each year I do my best to test out the new options on the market in hopes of settling down with someone nice.

This season the Ike Approved selection from VMX caught my attention. I'm a braid user (80-90% of the time) and the resin sealed eye on these hooks were there biggest selling feature. On this order I picked up a few packs including the X-Long which I use on larger worm and soft swim baits as well as the Heavy Duty EWG for some of my new flipping baits.

When it comes to terminal tackle quality is #1 but pricing is a close second. VMC really caters to us weekend warriors and both my wallet and I appreciate that.

Gamakatsu - Worm Hook (wire guard)

As mentioned above Im not a loyal hook company guy, but Gamakatsu holds a worm.. sorry warm place in my heart and probably takes up the largest portion of my hook box. Its the hook I learned to fish on, its readily available and I trust it's quality.

This style hook on the other hand is not really common for me, but I plan to spend some time on the Neko rig this season and those damn YouTube videos tell me this is the hook style to use, lol. So Ive picked up some nails, grabbed my wacky rig o-rings and now I have the hook.. lets see if this technique lives up to the hype.

Well there you have it, a high level look at my most recent tackle order. If you didn't noticed this order is flipping heavy, and there is a pretty simple reason behind that, and its that I spend a huge amount of time flipping, so I load up on baits whenever I can. There is nothing worse then running out of your favorite bait mid season, so if you re a Tackle Junkie like me.. stock up now!