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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Friday, May 23, 2008

• Rigging A Plastic Frog

Like many of my other recent posts, this one comes after so many visitors landed on the site looking for instructions on actually rigging a plastic frog. I've posted reviews on both the Stanley Ribbit and the Zoom Horny Toad. I did not, however, explain how to rig the hook in great detail in either post. It's not much different than rigging a worm Texas rigged. Looking at plastic frogs, you'll notice that the body usually has a slit on the back and sometimes even on the belly molded specifically for hooks. The hooks are made especially for plastic frogs. A screw-lock mechanism is attached to the eye of the hook which is meant to be twisted into the nose of the plastic frog. That screw secures the frog in place on the hook preventing any slipping unlike regular wide gap hooks. Zoom makes the Horny Toad hooks and Stanley makes both a weighted hook and a plain frog hook. I'll explain how to rig both, but I'll primarily be using the Zoom Horny Toad and Horny Toad hooks in my illustrations.

If you plan on using another hook, like an EWG hook without a screw-lock for example, please visit this post on Texas rigging.

Got the frog? Got the hook? Okay. Let's go.

Hold the frog just behind the head with two fingers in one hand. Hold the hook by the eye and the spiral screw in the other hand with two fingers. Position the screw so that it lines up straight with the nose. Press the screw into the nose of the frog and apply some slight pressure with your other hand with the plastic frog. Begin turning the frog so that it winds onto the screw. Keep turning until the nose of the frog approaches the eye of the hook. Make sure to keep the loop of the screw-lock on the back side of the hook-eye as illustrated in the top photo. Stop turning when the body of the frog is positioned in such a way that the wire on the screw-lock forms a flat plane and at the same time lines up so that the point of the hook is situated directly beneath the body of the frog.

Grab the hook by the shaft side of the hook bend with two or three fingers of one hand and grab the frog with the other hand. Decide where the hook point is going to enter the body of the frog. Now bend the body of the frog in an arch-like fashion and at the same time, push the hook point at a right angle into the body of the frog along the slit designed especially for frog hooks. Push the hook point through, straighten out the body of the frog, and look at the positioning of the hook. The point should be resting completely above the skin of the plastic frog and pointing directly at the nose. Again, the loop on the screw-lock should line up in a flat plane against the nose of the frog and against the eye of the hook.

You can Texspose the point of the hook for added weedless capability, but I find that this isn't always necessary. To Texspose a hook, rig as above. Then once the point is resting against the skin of the frog, pull the upper body of the frog away from the hook point and allow it to slide back down over the tip of the point. This buries the point of the hook into the plastic keeping it away from anything it might get hung up on. When a fish bites, that force is still enough to dislodge the point and push the body of the frog down the hook as intended.

Related Posts:
Stanley Ribbit
Zoom Horny Toad
Strike King Rage Toad
Back To Basics: The Texas Rig


Basspastor said...

I've never used the screw in frog hooks. Maybe I should give them a try as that I am not really satisfied with the Mustad Impact Soft Plastic hook I use. The hook is pretty good as far a hook ups go, but the plastic ribbed part that goes into the nose of the plastic doesn't grip the all that great especially after one fish thus the need for Super Glue, which is a pain in the arse. I've tried offset 5/0 hooks with various bends on frogs but results were not good.

Something new that I want to try is the Tru-Tungsten “Hack Attack” Frog Hook. This frog hook is unique in that it has a double hook.

BassFishingDem said...

That Hackney Frog Hook looks interesting. It looks like there is an offset neck too. Gamakatsu and Owner both make double frog hooks too. I saw the Gammy hook in-store and it looked too big. I tried to modify a Mustad liver/bait hook with two hooks like that, but I think it adds too much weight and makes the frog swim funny. I posted something about that one.

These screw on hooks hold in place so well I actually use them on other plastics and make them last a little longer.

Anonymous said...

Found the info on rigging of great help as there is none on the package. Also, there was no "bead" inside with the frogs. What is that about?

andy Cappellano said...

I have tried all frog hooks and the best by far as for hookups is the Eagle Claw 5/0 weedless hook. Just bring the hook under the nose and up between the eyes. When a bass hits, he gets the whole hook in his mouth. I have increased my hookups by 100 percent.

Anonymous said...

I tell you what, I weigh my watermelon red zoom horny toads on a Texas Rig. WHAT????? Amazing find. The bass swallow em whole. Grab the pliers and have fun!!!!!!!

Garry said...

For the past three years I have had success fishing Yum Buzz Frogs, Rage Tail Toads, and many of their cousins from other manufacturers.

My experience wasn't quite an instant success. Like everything else there was a learning curve. To save you the growing pains here are my Quick-Tips for anyone who is just starting to use these great baits.

First, here's the technical side of the story.
After much trial, error, experimentation and expense, I am now using 4/0 Mustad Ultra Point 32826BLN jig hooks. I added a stainless steel corkscrew that snaps through the 45 degree eye. I bought the hooks and screws from Barlow's, an on-line tackle making supplies place in the States. When assembled, this give me a unit that's quite similar to those expensive Owner Screw-Lock hooks.


The corkscrew holds the solid body frog/toad to the eye of the hook. It can't slide down the shank and ball-up blocking the hook point. It also stops the bait from getting torn or thrown off by a fish.

On a recent fishing trip I caught a Musky on a Yum Buzz Frog. Although the hook point had worn a groove in my toad, before the musky hit, with this set-up, one toad might have lasted me all day. The Musky tore the bait in half, but the head was still securely attached to the corkscrew.


These toads are fished fairly fast, like a buzz-bait, not with a slow twitch like a hollow body Skum-Frog etc. The bait will sometimes roll over on the retrieve. When it does I give the rod tip a quick pop...If that doesn't roll it back over, I keep cranking. They seem to work either way.

Last year I decided that for toads/frogs etc. I preferred a casting rod. Part of that was for the hook-set but mostly in was the amount of weed you sometimes have to move to drag-in the fish.

Since this is a reaction bait, and the cover is heavy, I am using 20# Mono. I keep most of the line off the water with a high rod tip. However as the bait gets closer and the rod tip comes down, the buoyant mono helps the bait ride high. Thirty or forty pound braid would work just as well, but the thicker mono turned out to be a bonus when the unexpected Musky hit.

This is a big-fish bait. Dinks will come up and grab a leg, dragging the bait under, but fish over a pound will swallow it whole!

When fishing these toads, if you get a hit but no hook-up, [b]stop reeling[/b]. I have seen two or three bass following the bait. Very often the smallest fish rushes ahead and hits the toad without hooking up. If you stop reeling and let the bait hang dead-in-the-water the biggest fish might grab it. I have seen this several times. In fact we caught a five pounder last year that way. I was coaching the clients girlfriend and saw the whole thing unfold through my Polarized lenses.

One last thought on using baits that attract big fish...Most of the lakes I fish have Musky in them, but when I'm Bass fishing, I don't carry a net. However, I always carry Knipex hook cutters and a Boca Grip in my tool locker.


A Wife and a Steady Job have ruined many a Good Fisherman.

jerrydurden said...

Glad to have found your blog. I was searching for instructions on rigging a plastic frog. Headed to Henderson Swamp tomorrow. Thanks!
jerry durden

port canaveral fishing charters said...

Good Info! I dont make it out to the fresh water areas that often but heck this will give me a reason to go out and buy some new rigs, then go back to my fresh water fishing spot! Thanks for the article!