You’ve got to love a good topwater bite. Thus, you’ve got to love a good topwater toad. If that’s an overreaching statement that you find offensive, and you would rather bounce a Ned rig on the bottom while bass blowup on the surface, then I’m truly sorry. Though, I doubt it merits an apology.
The product up for review today is, in fact, a good topwater toad. The NetBait BaitFuel BF Toad packs quite the punch, with a durable body and two quick kicking legs. And it comes impregnated with BaitFuel, the new scent attractant that’s all the bass fishing craze nowadays.
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Not Just Another Toad
Though at first glance, there are several similarities between the BF Toad and other toads on the market, the presence of BaitFuel really may be the thing that sets this soft plastic apart.
For skeptics, scent can seem like a gimmick. For others, it’s a sworn necessity. I kind of land in the middle. I’m not dipping my lipless crankbait in a jar of ground-up crawfish guts, but I do believe there’s something to scent.
For what it’s worth, a lot of heavy hitters in the professional fishing world (that aren’t sponsored by BaitFuel) agree with me. And, BaitFuel claims there’s scientific research that backs up their new product. All I can speak to is the real world application. And this bait works, whether it be for that reason or another.
I’m a bit skeptical myself that scent on a toad makes all that much difference during the retrieve, as the bait is scooting along the surface fairly quickly. But when it comes to a bass eating a bait completely and holding onto it, a scented bait may very well be the difference between a bass getting a bait good and just boiling on it.
The Build of the BF Toad
Falling back to the overall design, NetBait again capitalized on some of the main characteristics that define quality toads. Sharp, V-cut legs generate a quick action with a crisp sound. And from above and below, the body has an average width and length to it, measuring 4-inches long and less than an inch in width.
But when you look at this bait from the side, you will notice something that NetBait did do a little differently. There are two elevated ridges running along the back of the bait that have a valley in between them. This recessed area creates a pocket of sorts for the exposed hook point to lay in, making this bait even more weedless than competing toads.
Durability a Welcomed Plus on BF Toad
Though the legs of the BF Toad are thin, they are a good bit more durable than most others I’ve fished. The material that NetBait used is soft, but still holds up well through several fish catches.
This goes for the body of the bait as well as the legs. Some toads have to be re-rigged constantly and can even tear just from the simple grueling nature of having to be fished through and over dense cover. This toad is a workhorse.
You won’t likely catch several big fish on a single bait. But with five to a pack for $4.79, I certainly could put a 20-pound bag together for less than five bucks.
Personal Experiences with the BF Toad
I took the NetBait BaitFuel BF Toad out on Lake Seminole back in early March to put it to the test. There were a few fish up shallow spawning, a few coming off the bed and several more headed that way. There are vast shallow flats on Seminole covered with lily pads and other vegetation. So a toad was the perfect tool for the job.
Paired with a Fitzgerald Fishing 7-foot, 10-inch Ledge Rod, a Lew’s Super Duty Speed Spool Reel and 50- pound Sufix 832 Braid, I set to flailing the BF Toad around. I chose to rig the toad on a weightless Gamakatsu 4/0 SuperLine EWG Hook for the task, wanting the bait to be as snag resistant as possible in the dense cover.
It wasn’t long before I had a 3-pounder smoke it, waking on the bait from 6- or 7-feet out. Then, about 20 minutes later, I saw another big wake coming. The fish missed the bait on the initial swipe, but circled around and engulfed it on the second pass. This one weighed between 5- and 6-pounds.
Did BaitFuel make the difference on the bass coming back to get it or not? I’ll let you be the judge in this video I shot on Seminole. But that one fish and subsequent follow-up was certainly a confidence builder for me personally.