Best soft plastic frogs and toads

Fishing a Soft plastic frog– also known as the topwater frog – is a very fun way to catch fish. The thrill of watching that little leg-kicking frog scurry to the surface, while the tension of an expected explosion builds – there’s nothing quite like it in all of bass fishing. Sure, you can reel a Buzzer or Whopper Plopper along the bank. But these frogs are all-terrain vehicles. Because these pelagic frogs can be caught quickly, their bites are often heart-stopping. Whether you call it a buzz frog, a water frog, or a soft plastic frog, these baits are made to reel firmly to attract ferocious strikes – almost like a lure.

You can launch one of these weedless lures back into the thickest cover imaginable, reel it onto dry land if you wish and get a bite out of a big bait in just inches of water. For all these reasons and more, we decided to compile a list of the best topwater frogs for bass fishing.

Best Overall Frog – Zoom Horned Frog

The Zoom Horny Toad is the gold standard when it comes to buzzing frogs. This bait has a crisp action thanks to its thin, sharply cut feet. This design allows the horn frog to be reeled at a moderate to very fast speed while producing a clear and consistent sound and disturbance. This sharp action makes the horned frog a great fishing bait during the warmer months of the year, starting around the spawn and continuing all the way through late fall.

This weedless bait can be rigged with a technique-specific frog hook or a simple 4/0 extra wide gap (EWG) hook. The horned frog is also great for rigging a buzzbait without a skirt. Both of these tackle styles can be used to fish this frog around a wide range of shallow cover. Because the bait has a meaty body and thin legs, the horned frog is great for jigging, whether on the back of a buzzbait or without weeds. Not many anglers know that this shad-colored lure is dynamite in clear, shallow water as well, especially in the fall. It’s like a masterful upland trap bait.

Read our full Zoom Horny Toad review.

Purchase in warehouse processing

Stanley Ribbit Frog

Best Slow Frog – Stanley Ribbett

There are two basic types of frogs: those that have better movement when they roll quickly, and those that have better movement when they roll slowly. The Stanley Ribbit is a perfect example of a slow frog. Its paddle-shaped feet provide a good amount of resistance, allowing the angler to slowly reel the bait across the top of the water while making a gentle, subtle gurgling sound.

The Ribbit’s ability to fish slowly makes it one of the best frogs for fishing early and late in the year. When the water is cold, fish are less active and less likely to feed on topwaters. However, there is a turning point around 60 degrees where bass become more active and willing to commit to something up above. But the taste must be delicate. This is when the Stanley Ribbit and a few other frogs like it are most uniquely suited to the surface water task.

Purchase in warehouse processing

Zoom in on the uni frog

Best Frog Swimbait – Zoom Uni Toad

This is the smallest of our best toads, only hitting the market in 2023. But the Uni Toad has earned its place on this list by filling a gap that most of us didn’t even realize existed. This lure is a hybrid between a swimbait and a frog, and is somewhat unique. Sure, there are other great swimbaits that can be fished along the surface, like the Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper and Gambler Big EZ swimbaits, but these other lures are still swimbaits in the traditional sense.

Although you can reel them along the surface, these other lures can also be fished below the surface, through plants, in open water and as trailers on other baits. The Uni Toad, on the other hand, is specifically designed for surface water application only. By utilizing a wider frog-shaped body compared to the slimmer body of a swimbait, the Zoom has produced up to a single-legged frog that stays on the surface better than any other remotely similar bait.

Read our full Zoom Uni Toad review.

Purchase in warehouse processing

The frog with the thumping tail of the angry king

Best Rage Toad – Strike King Rage Toad

In the late 2000s, Strike King took a look at the frog market and found a niche of its own to fill. The Zoom Horny Toad and Stanley Ribbit came along a long time ago and established themselves as front runners in this field, but neither of these baits were particularly high. So, in 2010, “Angry Frog” came along like a wrecking ball.

Strike King has actually used their unique “Rage Tail” lip design to create some of the best soft plastic baits ever, like the Rage Craw. By incorporating this Rage Tail lip into the frog’s legs, Strike King has built a bait that creates absolute chaos above the water, whether reeled slowly or quickly. This aggressive action isn’t always the best thing a frog can have, but when it is, you’ll likely see a bass on this bait from a long distance away to annihilate it.

Purchase in warehouse processing

netbait bf frog

Best Scented Frog – NetBait BaitFuel BF Toad

The NetBait BaitFuel BF Toad is another newcomer to the market and has already cemented itself on the ‘best’ list. Using technology to impregnate baits with a less obtrusive but still highly effective scent, NetBait launched several BaitFuel soft plastic baits in 2022. While scents have been shown to have an impact in helping bass adhere to slow-moving baits, there is understandable skepticism regarding their effect. A necessity when it comes to faster moving surface baits.

However, once a bait action like the BF Toad catches the attention of a bass and generates a strike, there is no reason to doubt that the scent of the bait will help the fish stick to it long enough for the angler to cast and catch. Adjust the hook. Regardless of the smell, the NetBait BF Toad’s design and action alone make it a solid choice regardless.

Read our full NetBait BaitFuel BF Toad review.

Purchase in warehouse processing

Seismic frog

Best Toad Trailer – Kalin Sismic Toad

There are dozens of different brands of frogs on the market today. Big brand names and big advertising budgets help a few of these baits rise to the top of our minds as consumers. If these baits are also of high quality, they become the preferred bait in their potential spaces. With all this in mind, it’s easy for quality bait to fall through the cracks. Look no further than Kalin’s seismic toad for a good example.

The seismic frog has been around for decades. Manufactured by Uncle Josh and sold under the brand name Sizmic Lures originally, it is now part of the Kalin brand of lures. This frog performs well and blends the sounds of the Horny Toad and Stanley Ribbit together, while also holding a very unique place in the frog market as a bait well suited for use as a trailer on swim jigs, vibrating rigs and other lures.

Purchase in warehouse processing

Frog fishing rods

Catching a soft plastic frog or bumblebee frog is not difficult. It’s a matter of tying one on an EWG hook and then choosing the right setup to fish it. The rod is a very important accessory for frog fishing. You need a rod that can throw a very light bait. Most frogs on a weightless hook will weigh less than 3/8 of an ounce. So it’s not the easiest to cast. So you need a rod with a good tip to load the lighter bait onto the cast and be able to get it out there. I like a medium heavy rod with a slightly softer tip to help with casting accuracy.

You usually need a backbone in the rod to get the fish out of cover. So a medium to heavy duty fast action rod to a fast action rod is right. Personally, I like a slightly shorter rod. Something in the 6 feet 10 inches to 7 feet range is fine for me. If you’re fishing it in very heavy vegetation, you’ll likely have to increase your rod length and strength and sacrifice a bit of casting distance.

Catching frog and toad

The hollow-bodied frog is usually fished with a rod, imparting action on the bait through a series of downward twitches of the rod. While frog fishing is usually done using a reel. Make a long cast and return it to the boat. The weight of the hook is usually enough to sink the frog slowly, so when you pause it will sink below the surface. So you have to keep him moving to keep him gurgling at the top. I generally like 30-65 pound braid for frog fishing and I usually like 30-40 pound braid for toad fishing.

We also have the best hollow frog guide if you want to see great frog fishing options.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: