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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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

• Proof of Concept: Double Frog Rig

With the new found success of the double fluke rig, aka the donkey rig, other similar approaches are being revisited. One such rig is the double frog rig. This post will examine the double frog rig from a "proof of concept" standpoint. Like many of my posts, this entry was inspired by a hit from a visitor searching for info on the double frog rig.

If you aren't familiar with the setup, let me introduce you to the double rig. Two soft plastic baits are rigged at the same time. One lure trails the other, connected via a sliding barrel swivel bound to a separate stretch of leader line. The chances of catching fish with a double rig may be increased given the right circumstances. In many instances, the chances of catching two fish in one cast is increased. Anglers like Mark Menendez, Doug Stange, and Tom Mann Jr. have all shown that this rig works. Who's to say the topwater soft plastic frog cannot join in the fun?

What you'll need for this rig:
Two frog hooks, one quality barrel swivel, durable main line to resist abrasion from the barrel swivel, & leader line to attach the second frog

Slide the barrel swivel onto the main line.

Tie on the first hook.

Tie anywhere from 8 to 18 inches of leader line onto the barrel swivel.
(I prefer using a kind of loop knot, so my leader will already be tied to the swivel before sliding it onto the main line.)

Tie the second hook onto the leader.

Slide on your frogs and you're ready to fish!

The convention has been to use a double rig when bass are schooling. Any apparent topwater action or shad feeding frenzy should be signs for you to tie on a double rig. A bass will likely strike the second frog and not the first, but if one should hit the first and miss, the second will serve as a backup.

The Retrieve:
A topwater double frog rig might benefit from a twitching technique similar to how one might fish a fluke, however, this is a topwater lure. I would recommend using a steady retrieve. Observe how each frog paddles across the surface. Adjust the speed of your retrieve to cater to what the bass want.

Vary the leader length as much as you want. Use different brand frogs together. Even add a third frog to the mix.

Tips & Potential Problems:
Consider the weight of the hook in designing your rig. In a double fluke rig, the first hook is preferentially heavier. Seeing as how this is a topwater rig, you'll want a hook which will accommodate the presentation, so I recommend using the same kind of hook on each frog. I used 4/0 EWG Gamakatsu hooks.

Use a weight appropriate rod. Remember, you're throwing two frogs now, not one. A rod with a faster tip may end up making the casting this rig feel like throwing a wet towel.

The barrel swivel tends to ride close to the nose of the first frog. In doing so, it has a tendency to rotate up, making the frog at the front swim upside down with its nose riding high. It just doesn't swim properly. To remedy the situation, simply rig the frog upside down so it will swim as intended. Rigging the first frog upside down ends up making the hook ride upside down. The hookset might be hindered as a result.

On Facebook, Don Theoret (kayakfishing) pondered whether one should rig the two frogs in a style much similar to a drop shot, rigging the front frog inline, allowing the second frog to trail behind on the same stretch of line. He figured that if rigged this way, the first frog would not swim right at all. I agree with his suspicions.

I see two potential issues with this rig, both involving the hookset. One would think that with a double rig, a certain amount of slack exists between one frog and the next. With that added slack, I wonder whether setting the hook would benefit as the slack adds just enough of a delay for a bass to swallow the lure. Alternatively, it might hinder the hookset and not provide enough hook penetration. A second concern has to do with the force of the hookset. With the amount of gusto applied to a hookset on a topwater bite, I wonder how stable the connection is between the main line and the second line. Could this be a weak breaking point?

As with any rig with multiple sections of line, getting tangled might be unavoidable. You'll just have to roll with the punches on that one.

This should probably go without saying, but make sure the eye of your barrel swivel is not wider than the eye of your hook. You see where this is going? The barrel swivel could slide right off given the right set of circumstances.

The rig appears to function as one might expect. It may not be perfect, but both frogs in tandem behave the same as if they were swimming by themselves. The rig is not entirely weedless, but in open water or areas with sparse floating vegetation, the rig should perform well. No matter which soft plastic frog you pick, much more commotion is made on the surface. Whether it draws a strike is another story. The success of the double fluke rig suggests that a double frog rig would be equally productive and increase your odds of catching fish.

Related Posts:
Double Fluke Rig
Rigging a Plastic Frog

YouTube Video


MDTolic said...

Hmmm. I’ve never tried the donkey rig, but I’ve always meant to. This, however, does not look like something I would tie on. With the flukes, you’re underwater and the baits are able to swim separately (from what I can tell). I can’t imagine the first frog would swim well at all. That swivel would grab all sorts of debris and the line, if not tangled on the cast, would most certainly hinder the action of the swimming legs; wouldn’t it? I’d expect the trailer frog to generate most of the hits too. So why bother with the first one? I guess I do so well with my trusty, single, Ribbit, I have no reason to mess with the formula. I hope to read more on how it works for you though.

BassFishingDem said...

The front frog swims surprisingly well. As I said above, the only way I could get it to swim right was if I rigged the hook upside down through the frog. The swivel doesn't hang up as bad as one might think. I actually ran it through some sparse salvinia and it came through okay. Clumps can be problematic. A smaller swivel might make the rig more weedless. I chose a larger swivel for display purposes only. Much easier to see.

The idea is to simulate more than a single frog swimming along. Like the double fluke rig, a loner frog may not be enough to draw out the strike, but two just might do the trick. Different formula for bass in a different mood.

The line really doesn't tangle. I only had trouble with it bouncing over the rod as I was walking down the pier. The rig really behaves. On a cast, the second frog tends to hang back because the swivel starts to move up the line. Each frog lands a few feet apart.

I actually have video of the rig in action. I just can't compress it down to a reasonable size without losing the detail I want. I'll either need someone else working the camera or I need to figure out a way to get a close up. I really need a tripod for stuff like this.

MDTolic said...

Interesting. I didn't think about the second frog sliding away from the first on the cast.

Spiderman said...

Perhaps you could use braided line for the leader. I could see how it would be easy to have slack on the hookset and break the leader with mono.