I’ve always loved fishing a soft-plastic toad, but it’s tough to find any innovation with this type of bait; a lot of them are almost identical. After testing the new Zoom Frog, however, I can comfortably say that this is one of the more innovative toads I’ve had an opportunity to test in recent years. Don’t let its relatively ordinary look fool you, because this dude has some really cool features anglers should know about.
Not your average material
This isn’t your average soft-plastic toad; it’s actually not even plastic. The Zoom Frog is made from super durable rubber that can withstand a crazy amount of abuse before it needs replacing. You can stretch the body and the legs several times the original length without any ripping or tearing whatsoever. I’ve caught almost a dozen fish with just one of these baits, which is great because they come in 3-packs. If you rig it correctly, I don’t see why you couldn’t catch 30 bass with one pack of Zoom Frogs.
Because the body of the Zoom Frog is so rubbery, I don’t recommend rigging it on a spring-lock hook; you’ll have a super tough time penetrating the spring into the nose of the bait. Instead, I’ve been using a 5/0 Lazer Trokar MagWorm B.A.R.B. EWG Hook and it has been working perfectly. The integrated pin design of this hook keeps the nose of the Zoom Frog securely in place, even after hours of repeated skip casts. I experimented with several different hooks and so far, this is definitely my first choice.
Denser material adds castability
I’ve been able to make some pretty ridiculous casts while testing the Zoom Frog. These types of baits require long casts because they’re meant to cover large expanses of water quickly, and this design certainly allows you to do that. Paired with a medium-heavy rod and 65-pound braided line, you’ll have no problems launching this bait across thick mats and grass lines.
You’ll also notice that the body of the Zoom Frog is rather flat, which is a huge help for making longer and more accurate skip casts. I’ve had a bunch of fun skipping this bait underneath boat docks and even if you’re not the best skipper, you’ll find these casts fairly simple. Although the paddle feet are rather bulky, they don’t seem to hinder this bait as it skips across the surface.
This is one of the more exciting features of the Zoom Frog, in my opinion. Every other soft-plastic toad I’ve used sinks like a brick when you momentarily pause your retrieve, which can make it tough to key-in on small irregularities and other pieces of cover. Essentially, they can move through the strike zone too quickly without giving the bass long enough to attack it.
The Zoom Frog will float (not slowly sink, either) when it’s at rest. This allows for a totally different approach when you’re fishing it. You can reel it across grass and suddenly stop it in small holes and the bass will come out and clobber it. I’ve also had some luck fishing it very slowly while pumping my rod tip, similar to how you’d fish a swim jig, when the fish aren’t as active in the middle of the day. I don’t have to worry about reeling it fast enough to keep it on the surface, which allows me to cater towards those more lethargic midday bass.
This thing thumps
I’ve fished very few toad-style baits with the same sound as the Zoom Frog. Because its legs are so rubbery, it almost makes a muffled Whopper Plopper-type sound as it paddles across the surface. It kicks hard whether you’re fishing it slow or fast and I highly doubt the bass have heard much like it. It also leaves a fairly prominent bubble trail at all retrieve speeds.
One small thing
When it’s a little breezy on the water, the Zoom Frog does tend to land upside-down a few times throughout the day. Thankfully, this hasn’t caused me to miss any fish so far, but I felt like it was worth mentioning. After noticing this small issue, I actually started clamping a really lightweight split-shot sinker to the hook and it seems to really help in windy conditions. It’s not the prettiest tackle tweak I’ve ever done, but it works and the bass don’t seem to mind so far.