Berkley Swamp Lord Popping Frog Review

The product recommendations on our site are independently chosen by our editors. When you click through our links, we may earn a commission. 

There is no bait I love to throw more than a hollow body frog. Sometimes, I sit and look at them in the winter when a Shad Rap and a Ned rig are the only things I can get bit on. I sit there and look at my frog box longingly, wallowing in fond memories of blowups and big bass choking my baits. It’s a melancholy practice, more bitter than sweet. However, just the faint hope of spring on the horizon and a willing bass biting my frog again is enough to help me weather the doom and gloom of early winter sunsets and long cold nights. 

Praise God it’s not winter now. It’s not even spring anymore. Those Ned rigs and Shad Raps lie dormant in my tackle boxes these days. I don’t go pining away over them. No, they are tucked away where they need to be. Now, I have a frog tied on every time I go fishing. One such frog that has gotten a lot of work lately is the Berkley Swamp Lord Popping Frog.

Buy at Bass Pro

Buy at Tackle Warehouse


Berkley released two new hollow body frogs last summer: the Berkley Swamp Lord Frog and the Berkley Swamp Lord Popping Frog. I reviewed the former first this spring, as I believe a standard “walking” frog is better suited for cooler water as opposed to the more aggressive popping frog. As the early post spawn sets in and bass begin to guard fry and chase bluegill, I prefer a popping frog instead. So that’s the season in which I chose to test the new Swamp Lord Popping Frog. 

I really liked the regular Swamp Lord. The hook in that frog is strong and sharp and the bait held up to a good bit of abuse. This gave me confidence that I’d like the popping version as well before I even pulled it out of the packaging. I figured that the company used most of the same components in its design. I was right. 


For a real workout, I took this popping frog to a local pond a buddy of mine owns. I left the whole bait exactly as it comes out of the package for testing. I didn’t trim the legs or bend up the hooks like I typically do with all my frogs. Sometimes, the angle of a frog’s hooks make it hard to get a good hookset, bending them up can help with this. I usually trim a frog’s legs so that the bait has a smaller overall profile, giving the bass less to swipe at and potentially miss. 

However, for testing of these frogs, I don’t like to do this right away. Opening up a hook like this can damage its integrity and lead to it bending out too much on the hookset or the fight—which would result in a false negative of a bait. Additionally, some frog manufactures have started designing their frogs and frog hooks to where the hooks don’t need to be opened up at all. I found the latter to be the case with this frog. 


Of the half dozen quality bites I got on the Swamp Lord Popping Frog that day, all of them got the bait good and felt the brunt of the powerful Berkley Fusion 19 double frog hook that the designers used with this bait. I didn’t see the need to modify the hook at all partly because the hook points already have a nice upward trajectory to them. Additionally, I didn’t feel the need to modify that hook becasue of the material that Berkley used in designing the body of this frog. 

The body of the frog is super soft but still very durable. The softness allows the bait to compress easily, more easily even than many other frogs I’ve tried. I believe the combination of the soft body of this frog and the angle of the Fusion 19 hook points is what’s to credit for the good hookup ratio of this bait. 


If we look at the rest of the bait’s design, the angled mouth has a nice cup to it. The bait chugs along with a medium gurgle, not too aggressive but not too soft either; more like what Goldilocks would be all about, if she was into frogs. The wide body of the bait also helps if float well. Finally, the flat belly of the bait makes it a great frog for skipping too. 

Even though a popping frog is obviously designed to pop, I like to be able to walk one side to side gently at times too. This is especially the case if I’m fishing around isolated targets or if I miss a fish. It’s important in these situations to be able to walk the frog back and forth, almost in place, to either give the fish that missed it another opportunity to bite or to really milk the area closest to each target I’m throwing at. 


The Berkley Fusion 19 frog hook is awesome in this thing. What really sets this bait apart is how the company dealt with the area where the hook exits the frog. The hole in a frog’s belly where the hook emerges is the Achilles heel of many a frog. Water inevitably gets into all frogs through this hole, which then has to be squeezed out of the frog for it to float and work well. Figuring out how to minimize this intrusion is a common goal of the whole hollow body bait market.

Berkley made their best attempt by sliding a rubber sleeve onto the hook shaft and then using that to sort of plug the hole around the hook. What they did here works better than anything else I’ve seen done. A little water still inevitably gets into the frog over time. However, I’d say I’ve had to squeeze the water out of this frog maybe one time for every five that I’d have to do with another frog.


I’m a fan of the Swamp Lord Popping Frog. I think Berkley (and professional angler Bobby Lane) did a good job with the design of this bait. They listened to the complaints anglers had about other frogs and then tried their best to solve those issues. This bait does as good of a job of keeping water out of it as any I’ve fished with. The hook orientation and subsequent hookup ratio are as good as, if not better than, any I’ve seen from any other frog. It’s a new favorite for me for sure, one I’d feel confident throwing with money on the line. 

The Berkley Swamp Lord Popping Frog is available in 11 colors and retails for $9.99.

Buy at Bass Pro

Buy at Tackle Warehouse