Tackle Tips

How to Make a Stinger Hook for Soft-Plastic Toads

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Cut treble stinger not filed

There is nothing more explosive that a giant bass hammering a topwater toad being pulled through the slop. The bite can be unexpected and many times the angler really doesn’t know when it will occur. Quick reaction to the bite is critical, but too quick can mean missed fish. Busting through vegetation usually means these fish are feeling the vibration of the bait versus seeing it. Zeroing in on it is the tough part, and many misses are not angler misses but rather the bass actually missing the toad.

In the last few years, plastic buzzing frogs, as many call them, have gotten much better and are in a unique category of their own. Toads like the Zoom’s Horny ToadKicker Fish’s Xplodin’ Toad and Strike King’s Rage Toad all have characteristics that make them much different to fish, unlike any other genre of bait on the market. The have larger bodies, unique legs and the vibration they make allows them to be fished in the heaviest cover or even in open water. Great colors combined with great action can turn a so-so day into a great one very quickly.

By the very nature of the way the toad is built, missed fish are part of the equation. The legs of the toad create the action and short strikes can result. The type of the frog determines what hook works best. Larger offset worm hooks, up to 5/0, are used on larger, bulkier frogs and smaller hooks of the same type like 3/0 and 4/0 are used on thinner/smaller frogs. There are some frog specific hooks on the marketplace from Gamakatsu that also work very well. The are much like the hooks in the hollow bodied frogs like the Spro Bronzeye, Kopper’s Live Target Hollow Body Frog Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frog or  Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect Frog.

We like to take the “miss” out the equation whenever possible, and we have two methods of using a treble hook as a stinger hook. The first method is pictured above where we clip one of the hooks and use the other two as stingers positioned in the legs. Besides better hook ups this method allows the legs to be spread further for better action as well. Simply position the hook on the main hook with the line tie horizontal to the frog. Clip the exposed hook and add a keeper to keep the hook from coming loose. We use surgical tubing or a coffee straw for this application. Once positioned correctly we then file the shank down to the weld for a cleaner presentation and so it doesn’t pick up trash on the retrieve.

SpinTech  stinger

The second method of attaching a full treble as a stinger takes a special hook. We use the SpinTech treble for this application. Position the hook based on the worm hook used in the bend of the hook by pushing the line tie end through the frog. The SpinTech Treble gives the ability to turn the line tie for correct position to allow the worm hook to pass through. Other hooks do not allow for proper positioning of the line tie in most applications. Simply bury the hook points in the frog body and you are ready for action. This method is a bit harder on the frog after a few fish so you may have to buy more frogs as a result. We like the thicker bodied frogs for this set up.

Using a stinger hook in your frog fishing will allow for better hook-ups and eliminate many short strikes.