It's time to talk frog fishing for bass. Z-Man, the manufacturer of the original ChatterBait, has made its first entry into the hollow body frog market with the Z-Man Leap FrogZ, and they're pretty sweet. Diving in with two sizes of both popping and walking style frogs, we're going to focus today's review on the Z-Man Leap FrogZ Walking Frog. Time to get it hopping.
… I'm sorry for that one. I couldn't help it.
How does it walk?
Well, for a walking-style hollow body frog, there's really no place else to start a review than with this simple question and I'm pleased to report this is one of the easiest frogs to walk that I have ever fished with. I've fished a frog a lot over the years; I absolutely love to fish a frog. And, with a little time, I can nail down a pretty good cadence to get any of them to walk reasonably well. There wasn't much time needed with the Z-Man Leap FrogZ, however.
I fished the bait straight out of the pack, without trimming the legs, and it walked super easy. I honestly believe this is the easiest frog to walk I've ever fished with. It has a nice keel to the belly of it, which plays a big part in how well a frog walks. If the belly is too flat, the bait is harder to walk. But if the keel has too sharp of a V, the bait is hard to skip. Another pleasant report coming.
How does it skip?
The keel of the Leap FrogZ has the perfect shape to make the bait super easy to walk, while still not being so drastic that it can't be skipped well. When a frog has a super sharp V to the belly, it will often catch on the water's surface and dig in when trying to skip the bait or deflect the bait off to one side and divert it from skipping along the intended path.
Sometimes a poorly designed keel will even cause the bait to deflect way up into the air when it hits the water, sending the bait careening into a dock, bush or whatever other cover I'm trying to skip under. The Leap FrogZ however does a good job skipping low to the water, in a straight line and pretty far. So this frog is built to skip; the rest really comes down to the skipper.
Something different, but not necessarily a "bad" different
One thing I noticed with the Leap FrogZ is that the body often came up and off the hook, riding up my line during the fight similar to how a Fluke or line-through swimbait might. The result was that the fish had less plastic to throw during the fight, which isn't a bad thing. I'm not sure the Leap FrogZ was designed with this intent, but moving weight and mass away from the point where a fish is hooked is an extremely effective way to take leverage away from the fish and ensure more bass make it to the boat.
Readjusting the frog back onto the hook took all of 10 seconds after a fish catch and in a scenario where you might only get 3 to 5 bites on a frog in a day, any little bump up in the hookup ratio is welcomed and could mean the difference in boating one more of those quality fish every few trips.
The body of the Leap FrogZ is pretty soft, which I like and I believe should receive a lot of the credit for how well the fish get hooked with the bait. The body collapses really well, with no internal obstructions like rattles that are found in some frogs. Being soft and able to collapse fully gives the angler that much better of a chance to hook a bass on a bite.
Having a softer body does result in a little more water entering the frog versus some harder frogs. But what you're gaining is worth what you're giving up in my opinion. And again, I've fished with a lot of hollow body frogs and in that time, I've found very few that keep water out well, especially after breaking them in for a day or two. A quick squeeze every 12 to 15 casts and the bait's out of the water maybe an extra two seconds before you're back to it. No different from most frogs.
In conclusion, the Leap FrogZ walks extremely well and is a frog I'd truly recommend to even the most novice frog fisherman wanting to learn the cadence needed to walk a bait like this. The hookup ratio is great and the hook itself is strong. The originally perceived inconvenience of the frog sliding up my line turned out to have a silver lining and wasn't that big of a deal. So overall, I'd definitely say this is a solid frog.
It's also a little more affordable than some other frogs. And though I spent my time fishing with the 2 3/4-inch version, the Leap FrogZ Walking Frog also comes in a 2 1/4-inch version which I imagine is quite a fun little nugget to fish with. Available in several colors ranging from black to white with a few more natural shades in between, the Z-Man Leap FrogZ is worth giving a look.
The Z-Man Leap FrogZ Walking Frog is available at the following retailers: