Fishing topwater frogs is some of the most exciting fishing there is.
Watching bass blow up on a frog will get your nerves racing!
Finding the right frog for the right situation is key. This guide will pick the best topwater frogs on the market.
I’ve also covered the best frogs for different categories. Some frogs are ideal for different scenarios. This guide will help you understand the difference.
What Makes A Good Topwater Frog?
Sometimes getting a good hookset with a topwater frog can be difficult. The hooks on topwater frogs are usually curved over the top of the frog.
The hooks are also placed close to the top of the frog’s body. This helps keep it weedless.
The downside of this is that when a bass strikes it has to compress the frog’s body so the tips of the hooks get exposed.
So, you don’t want a frog that has a very stiff body. A stiff body can make it much harder to get a good hookset.
You’d think that a soft bodied frog would be the ticket then. But this is not necessarily true. A frog with too soft a body will compress.
If a frog body compresses too much on landing, it can fill up with water. If your frog fills with water, it will sit low in the water and its action will be ruined. Yes, you could still get a strike, but a waterlogged frog is not ideal.
Another aspect is the weight placement. Hollow frogs will have the weight moved to the bottom. This helps ensure that the frog turns upright if it were to land upside down in the water. Nothing is worse than having your frog stay upside down after you make a perfect cast. It ruins its weedless capabilities and the action as well.
Detailed below are the best topwater frogs you can buy.
If you’re looking for a frog that can catch big fish, the Live Target Hollow Body will do the job. It comes in 3 sizes and 12 colors. This variety will let you pick the right frog for your water.
The Live Target Hollow Body Frog’s 3 sizes are as follows:
- Model: 45T Length: 1 3/4″ Weight: 1/4 ounce
- Model: 55T Length: 2 1/4″ Weight: 5/8 ounce
- Model: 65T Length: 2 5/8″ Weight: 3/4 ounce
If you’re not sure what size to get, I’d recommend you get the 55T and the 65T. If you can only get one size, I’d go ahead and get the big one. The 65T may look big but even small bass will attack it.
What’s great about the 65T is that it will attract the biggest bass.
As for colors, it’s hard to go wrong. You can buy just about any color and catch ’em. To start, you can try Green Yellow.
Ideally, you should have at least a couple of different colors on hand. Sometimes changing up the color can make the difference.
Fishing this frog is pretty straight forward. All you need to do is walk it like you would a walking bait.
Of course, you will occasionally need to drag it across piles of weeds or sticks and logs that rise out of the water.
This is not a problem. It’s a good thing. You’ll often get strikes right as the frog falls off of some type of cover. This is especially true with lily pads.
This frog is ideal for extremely weedy spots. It’s pointy nose will keep it snag-free most of the time.
Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog
The Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog is a classic topwater frog. It was designed by Dean Rojas. If you don’t know who he is, he won 4th place in the Bassmater Classic. He did it using a frog. After this he got together with Spro to design the Bronzeye.
The Bronzeye comes with a Gamakatsu’s EWG Double Frog Hook. EWG stands for Extra Wide Gap. This helps the hook get more bite into the bass’ jaw. The result is solid hooksets and fewer lost fish.
The Bronzeye has a narrower body. This makes it easier to walk the dog with it.
You can easily get a nice side-to-side motion with this frog. That’s great when you’re fishing open water areas within vegetation.
The Bronzeye is also great at resisting water entry. You don’t want water in your frog. It will ruin the action.
There are 3 sizes of Spro Bronzeye. The 60, 65 and the King Daddy.
Here are their specs:
- Model: 60 Length: 2.4″ Weight: 1/2 ounce.
- Model: 65 Length: 2.5″ Weight: 5/8 ounce.
- Model: King Daddy Length: 3.5″ Weight: 1 ounce.
As for colors, you have plenty to chose from. The size 65 comes in over 40 colors. The size 60 comes in 24 colors and the King Daddy comes in 8.
The Bronzeye also comes in a popping version. We’ll cover popping frogs later on.
Booyah Pad Crasher
The Booyah Pad Crasher is my favorite topwater frog. The regular and Jr. sizes are perfect in my opinion.
One key feature is that the body is the right softness. Soft enough for good hooksets and firm enough to not compress on landing.
These are the ideal qualities for casting a frog all day without having to constantly drain water out of it.
The weight distribution is good too. It’s very unlikely for this frog to land and stay upside down.
The pad crasher comes in two sizes:
- Model: Jr. Length: 2″ Weight: 1/4 ounce.
- Model: Regular Length: 2 1/2″ Weight: 1/2 ounce.
Check out this video of my Bassmaser Kayak Tournament. Here I catch 4 out of my five bass on the Pad Crasher in black color.
Best Popping Frogs
Next we’ll cover popping frogs. These frogs are similar to the hollow body frogs we looked at above. The difference is they have a cupped nose section.
This cup on the front is used to push water forward when you jerk the frog. When you do it quickly, the water will pop out and shoot forward. This creates a sound and commotion that can attract bass from long distances. Overall, popping frogs aren’t as weedless as the pointed nose variety. They can get hung up on weeds much more easily and are better suited to areas with more open water.
You’ll need to decide which frog is best for your situation. If the bass are scattered and aggressive, a popping frog could be just the ticket.
In heavy cover a standard pointed nose frog is probably better. Try them both and you’ll understand when to use them on your water.
Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog
Another design from one of the best frog anglers out there. If you like the regular Bronzeye frog then you should also try the Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog. It can be worked to make loud popping sounds and spit water. This method can attract bass from a distance or out from under cover like weed mats. The Poppin’ Frog comes with 3/0 Gamakatsu hooks for solid hook sets.
It comes in two models:
- Model: The Poppin’ Frog 60 Length: 2 3/8″ Weight: 1/2 ounce.
- Model: Baby Pop 50 Length: 2″ Weight: 1/4 ounce.
Booyah Poppin Pad Crasher Frogs
Like the regular Pad Crasher the Poppin Pad Crasher frog retains its solid reputation. It comes with the same features as the regular Pad Crasher. It’s ideal for windy or open water conditions where you need to call in the bass.
It also comes with long skirted legs. You can trim these down to your preference. It also has the right body firmness so that it collapses properly on a strike.
Poppin Pad Crasher: Length: 2 1/2″ Weight: 1/2 ounce.
Other Types Of Topwater Frogs
There are other types of topwater frogs besides the standard pointed hollow body with skirt legs and the popping hollow body.
These other types are worth a look.
You see, sometimes presenting a bait that’s different from what everyone is throwing can make a big difference.
A good example of this is the Stanley Top Toad.
Stanley Top Toad
The Stanley Top Toad is made of PVC soft plastic and comes equipped with a double 5/0 hook. You attach the hook to the front of the toad with a screw lock. When you buy a pack of Top Toads, you get one fully rigged and 1 or 2 more that are un-rigged. Un-rigged in this instance means that they come without the hook.
What’s different about the Top Toad is its legs. It has two soft plastic legs with flat paddles at the end. When you retrieve the Top Toad, the legs kick up and down rapidly. This makes for a unique commotion in the water. A quick retrieve can create a bubbly gurgling wake that bass love to smash.
The Top Toad: Length: 4″ Weight: 3/4 ounce.
Other types of topwater frogs you can get are buzzing frogs. These are more like buzzbaits with a soft plastic frog threaded onto the hook.
Another type is a topwater frog that has a spinning tail.
Booyah Toad Runner
The Booyah Toadrunner has a spinning tail that creates a crazy spinning action. The Toadrunner is based on the Booyah Pad Crasher. It’s modified with rails on the bottom to help get it up on plane and keep it tracking straight.
The tail looks like a boot tail and it spins 360 degrees. As it spins it creates a plopping sound that draws strikes.
The tail section is molded in wire. This allows you to twist it up or down to change the action to your liking.
The Toad Runner comes in two sizes:
- Model: Jr. Length: 3″ and Weight: 1/2 ounce.
- Model: Regular Length: 4 1/2″ Weight: 7/8 ounce.
Ideal Topwater Frog Setup
Best Topwater Frog Rod
When it comes to frog setups you want to go heavy. I use a 7 foot 2 inch heavy action rod.
Look for a heavy action rod that will work well with lures from a 1/2 ounce to about 2 ounces. A rod like this should have a Medium Fast to Fast action. You’ll want plenty of speed and power when setting the hook on a topwater frog.
A great high quality rod for fishing is Shimano Expride A 7′ 3″ Extra Heavy.
This rod will handle all day froggin’ sessions without wearing your arm out.
If you’re looking for a budget frogging rod I have a couple of choices.
The Dobyns Fury Casting Rod 7’3″ Mag Heavy is a great rod for handling heavy frogging action. The Fury series won’t break the bank yet it still features a great rob blank and excellent components.
KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series. The Kastking line isn’t known for being the best but you get solid value for your money. If you’re just starting out and can’t spend too much this is a rod to consider.
Best Topwater Frogging Reel
You’ll want to pair your heavy action rod with a high gear ratio reel. The high gear helps you quickly retrieve the frog once it’s out of the strike zone. Getting the frog back in quickly will help you be more efficient. You’ll be able to get more casts per hour with the higher gear ratio. I like at least a 7 to 1.
The trade off is that when you use a high gear ratio, you will lose a bit of torque.
The torque will give you more cranking power when you’re reeling in a fish. So, keep in mind, that if you need extra help when reeling in a big fish, you might want to opt for a smaller gear ratio.
Shimano SLX Series
The Shimano SLX Series comes in 3 models. The basic SLX model doesn’t come with an external brake adjustment. It has internal centrifugal brakes. It’s still a solid reel that feels very rigid and is easy to cast.
The SLX XT comes with enhanced brakes and an external brake adjustment system.
Finally, The SLX DC comes with a digitally controlled braking system. The DC gives you longer casts with less backlash. It has 4 external settings for its digital brakes. Check out my review of the SLX DC here.
Best Line For Topwater Frog Fishing
Braided line is the way to go when you’re looking for what line to use for frog fishing. I like to use at least 30 lb. test braid.
The low stretch you get with braid is a key to getting solid hook sets. Frogs usually come with solid double hooks. It takes some force to drive those hooks in.
Whether or not you use a leader is really up to you. You can get away without one.
If you’re fishing very clear water and you’re not getting bites, trying a fluoro leader wouldn’t hurt. A 4 or 5 foot fluoro leader of about 20 or 25lb. test should do the trick.
Frog fishing is definitely not a gimmick. You can catch giants with a topwater frog. Many tournaments have been won primarily by frog fishing.
What makes this technique even better, is that it’s great fun. Watching a bass explode on a frog really gets me going.
So, as soon as the weather starts to warm up and you get water temps in the 60s you can start throwing frogs.