I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

• A Few Frogs Part 2: The Ribbit

The popularity of the Stanley Ribbit picked up a few months ago and at first, I thought it was just another fad like with the Sizmic Toad. Stanley Lures makes the Ribbit. This frog is available in numerous colors, some of which are rather strange and that makes the Ribbit stand out as a player in the soft plastic frog world. Stanley makes three different kinds of Ribbits. The regular Ribbit frog is 3 1/2" in length and sinks. There is a 3 1/2" floating version of the Ribbit. The Bull Ribbit is much like the original except that it is an inch longer at 4 1/2" and is much heavier. Stanley Lures also makes hooks exclusively for the Ribbit. You can rig it with a weighted "Wedgehead" Stanley frog hook or a weightless frog hook. I had no idea so many different frog hooks were out there until writing this post. Stanley Frog Hooks come in 3/0 (I think), 4/0, and 5/0 sizes and the weighted "Wedgehead" hooks are available in in 1/4oz and 1/8oz weights. Like most plastic frogs, there is a notch in the plastic on its back for the wide gap hook to fit into snugly making the lure somewhat weedless. Every lure company out there makes this notch a standard in their mold design, but each one will choose to experiment with foot and leg design. The feet on the Ribbit are round and face inward giving off a distinct action and splash. Stanley Lures has given anglers another great option in topwater bass fishing.

I own all three models of the Ribbit lineup in black. I prefer using the floating Ribbit. It allows me to slow things down. I cast, let it sit for a few seconds, or move it a little and then let it sit. This sort of approach is enough to get attention, but keep the lure in the strike zone. A lot of strikes come when I let it sit, so I am often on edge and alert right after the cast. I never let the floating Ribbit sit still too long in clear or clear to stained water. All three Ribbits perform well as topwater lures. You can buzz either Ribbit across the top fast and really splash things up or you can bring it along just under the surface making a wavy trail through the water. You can let it drop, hop it, and even Carolina rig it if you like. I rig it Texas rigged using the Zoom horny toad screw-lock hooks instead of the Stanley hooks on the floating Ribbit and Bull Ribbit, but use the "Wedgehead" hooks on the standard Ribbit. I noticed more bass throwing the frogs rigged with the plain Stanley hook and not the Zoom hooks. The Bull Ribbit will need a slightly larger hook, so do not use anything smaller than a 5/0 hook. A 4/0 hook is fine for the other two models. Your experiences may be different, so be sure to post a comment below.

As with every plastic frog, you do have to wait to feel the fish before setting the hook. It's very hard to resist setting the hook on a blow up, but learning the hook set timing is very important. I don't have a lot of difficulty with hooksets on the Ribbit. The Bull Ribbit is definitely heavy and harder to manage with a medium power rod or on rods with a fast action tip. The tip just can't handle the weight. I have not caught anything on the Bull Ribbit yet though. You might also avoid using a high speed ratio reel with these frogs. I find that the action attracts more fish if you're not burning it back to the boat. Consider using a standard 6:1 reel unless you have trouble keeping the frog on the surface. There is a healthy balance, so use what suits you.

I have found the Ribbit to be just as durable as other frogs. I don't think there is anything special about the plastic they use. If you need to do a patch job on body damage, melt down some plastic from a Zoom Horny Toad and patch the hole. If you find the hook slips too much, Texspose the hook point into the skin of the frog. Ribbits are garlic scented, but the scent soon fades. I'm not convinced the scent makes much of a difference and cannot consider it an advantage over other plastic frogs.

For those of you that are fond of fishing with soft plastic frogs, you probably will not be disappointed with the Stanley Ribbit. I would not make this frog your exclusive topwater soft plastic lure. The unique action and noise will vary from one lure to another, so have a Ribbit ready in your arsenal if another toad isn't working. Sometimes a slightly different splash or noise will draw a strike when other lures do not. I cannot sit here and tell you the Stanley Ribbit will outfish every other frog out there. One frog will do the job one day and not produce the next, so learn to fish the Ribbit as best you can without excluding other brands.

I'm a little disappointed with how the Ribbits are sold. If you buy the regular ones that come five to a pack, you will probably be fine. I have noticed some tackle stores charge more than what they should for Ribbits. I cannot come to grips with Bull Ribbits only coming in packs of three. What really bugs me is how they have somehow marketed a pack of three Ribbits with one already rigged on a hook. Unless you have a hard time finding the Stanley frog hooks, which is actually a problem for me, I see no reason to buy the 3-pack with one Ribbit pre-rigged.

Related Posts:
A Few Frogs Part 1: Scumfrog
A Few Frogs Part 3: Zoom Horny Toad
A Few Frogs Part 4: Strike King Rage Toad
Rigging A Plastic Frog