Saturday, January 3, 2015

Lunker Frog Review

The ICAST 2013: Best Soft Lure

This looks like just another soft plastic frog lure with the exception of the legs. Instead of having silicone skirts for legs, this frog has realistic soft plastic legs. And the box claims that they will retract when paused and straighten when retrieved.

Frog in a box

The plastic of the frog feels soft and supple and like any other hollow bodied frog, will expose the hooks when the body is compressed.

LH is tattooed on the left ribcage and realism is good as this particular paint scheme (King Toad) matches the favourite frog for our local haruans and tomans.

Test Location #1

Gear Used

Rod: Abu Garcia Vendetta 5'6" Medium Heavy
Line: Berkley Fireline 40lb Braid
Reel: Abu Garcia baitcaster

We tested the Lunker Frog at a disused pond and found that the lure casts pretty well because of its weight (1/2 oz). It lands on its belly almost every time. Its does take in some water and sits bottom slightly down. The hooks are pretty sharp and the body collapses easily under pressure. But our expectations of the lure's legs to extend almost fully on the retrieve were quickly diminished as it only extends slightly.

This lure does attract fish as we got hits and misses during our 3 hours of testing. One fish (our guess is Channa Striata or Haruan) that was of significant size shook the hook as it was nearing the bank. 

We had the Dengkil anglers use the most common soft plastic frog found in most local stores against our Lunker Frog and found that size does matter. The Dengkil team had caught a sizeable Haruan (Channa Striata) on their plastic frog which is sized similar to the River2Sea's Baby Bully 45. Whilst our Lunker Frog, which is bigger, managed to get numerous hits and hookups, but failed to land a fish. (This is due to the fish being able to shake off the hooks when nearing the grassy banks)

Durability is quite impressive as the colours and plastic are intact even after numerous missed casts, hookups and casting the lure (accidentally) onto rocky banks.

The legs were still intact after the hits and misses but it would be a whole lot better to use the smaller Pocket Frog or River2sea's Baby Bully 45 for our local species.

With this lure, its all about the legs as they flail around when retrieved and are durable to stretch. BUT, the main concern is where the legs join the body. This is its weakest point and if a fish were to pull one or both of the lure's legs hard enough, they will certainly detach from the body. A way around this is to glue the joints where the legs meet the body.
There are no spares for the legs even when contacting the manufacturer, they told us that they do not sell the legs separately and given the cost to purchase one of this lure exceeds the RM40 mark, we believe that this lure is not cost effective for local anglers.

Comparing this lure to the River2Sea's Baby Bully, the build quality is better on the Lunker Frog as the outer skin did not flake off like in the case of the Baby Bully.

You can find numerous manufacturers producing the soft plastic frogs nowadays, and they range from below RM10 to RM20. From small to large frogs, you can source them from local tackle stores nationwide. This is the most economical alternative we can find to the Lunker Frog. Legs or no legs, plastic frogs are fun to fish and this is the most important point in fishing - Fun.

The Lunker Frog comes in 10 colour options to choose from and can be bought online at Tackle Warehouse (they don't ship to Malaysia) and Bass Pro Shops.

Alternative frogs that can be sourced locally includes TCE Tackle's frog, SAS, Starlit and etc.

Quality / Finishing: 8/10
Durability: 7/10 (Because of the legs detaching after a while)
Price: 3/10

We will run further field tests with this Lunker Frog but at a different location to unleash the full potential of this lure. So there is no conclusion yet in this review. Please await part 2.

NOTE: Special thanks to the Big Ted & the Dengkil team for bringing us to the test location. We conduct field tests at wild ponds, rivers, reservoirs to find out the best gears and lures for the job. Thank you for your support and hope to be fishing with you again.

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