I’ve been excited about the SPRO Bronzeye Shad 65 for several months. After getting a sneak peek at one of the prototype models last spring, I had a feeling it would be catching a lot of bass for me.
Fast-forward a few months and my premonition has come true—it’s definitely producing some big fish. This isn’t your regular, run-of-the-mill topwater frog, folks. This thing is a SPRO Bronzeye Frog on steroids.
Walks like a dream
On my guided fishing trips, my novice clients often struggle with walking topwater baits. For years, it’s severely limited me when fishing topwaters for schooling fish. The SPRO Bronzeye Shad 65, however, is really changing my approach.
After a long cast, just barely twitch it to achieve an unreal walking action. If you give it a quick, hard twitch and give it some slack, you can even make the Bronzeye Shad make a 180 degree turn—talk about driving short-striking bass crazy.
For a narrower walking action, simply twitch it a bit faster with less slack in between twitches. This is extremely productive when the bass are super aggressive.
The vertically placed twin-tails on the back of the Bronzeye Shad make all of the difference in the world. Not only do they allow it to walk easier, but they add stability to avoid any rolling during your cadence.
A lot of “soft” topwater baits aren’t very soft. When a bass bites, the plastic surrounding the hooks needs to fully collapse in order to promote solid hookups. You may get a hook in them at first with harder baits, but you’ll experience with a lot of heartaches.
The Bronzeye Shad is extremely soft and collapses very well upon strikes, fully exposing the double 4/0 Gamakatsu hooks. I’ve enjoyed a very good hookup ratio with it so far. The topwater bite hasn’t been outstanding in my area, but even the “slurpers” who come up and barely take the Bronzeye Shad underwater have been hooked well.
Spinning rod-friendly… wait, what?
Yes, I said it. You can throw the SPRO Bronzeye Shad 65 on a spinning rod if you so desire. If you’re not very good at skipping casting gear, don’t be afraid of this bait. It skips extremely well, allowing you to target the hardest-to-reach, darkest cover.
While you can certainly fish the Bronzeye Shad around heavy cover, it’s actually designed more for open water presentations. If you’re casting along rip rap, schooling fish or floating docks, I don’t think there’s a huge need for a broomstick rod and 65-pound braid.
Like I said, the bait collapses well, making an enormous, come-off-the-floor hookset unnecessary. Using 20-pound braid on a spinning outfit will land 99.9-percent of the bass you hook on the Bronzeye Shad. Regardless of your skill level, you can catch plenty of bass with this bait.
If you notice, SPRO doesn’t offer the Bronzeye Shad in a bunch of frog colors—that’s what the Bronzeye Frog and Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog are for. Instead, they’ve put together some beautiful shad and bluegill imitation colors that are extremely realistic.
These good-looking color schemes last, too. I know it looks cool to have a scarred topwater bait to show your buddies, but in clear water situations, you need a realistic color scheme. After catching a bunch of bass on the Bronzeye Shad, they’re all in great shape, both looking and performing like new.