Well gang, here it is mid May and one of the lure categories I look forward to using most is the venerable hollow body frog. There are a few new offerings in this category for 2011 and we’re going to take a look at one of them tonight. The Koppers Live Target Hollow Body Frog.
This bait was introduced at I-Cast 2010 and received the “Best Soft Lure Winner” award. When I first saw it I knew that this was going to be one of the lures that I would be reviewing as soon as I had the chance to fish it a bit and see what it could do. So with no further ado, let’s get it on the water!
The Devil’s In The Details
The first thing that you will notice is that like all Koppers products, this frog is incredibly detailed in the finish department. Once again, the folks at Koppers have imitated the appearance of a frog incredibly well. It comes in four colors and two sizes. The smaller being the FGH55T which is 2 1/4 inches long and the larger being the FGH65T that is 2 5/8 inches long. The color selections are the same for both sizes. For our review we chose the 65T in Brown Black and Green Yellow.
All of us have probably fished these hollow frog baits at one time or another and there are inherent problems with all of them. The first being that they tend to fill with water after just a couple of casts which results in you squeezing them out. Occasionally, all over yourself! This has never been one of the more endearing characteristics of these baits to me. It has also made me wonder over the years what the fish are thinking when they hit one of these lures that is full of water.
Do the bass just figure its the guts of the frog squishing out as they chomp down? Is this one of the reasons that this type of bait has a notoriously low hook-up to strike ratio? After having fished the Live Target frog several times, I am very pleased with the fact that the larger version of this bait does not fill with water. Not once, other than when a fish ate it, has it become water-logged. A definite advantage over other hollow body frogs.
The other thing that has come a long way is the plastisol used in constructing the body of the Koppers. It is easily the softest, most pliable material to date on a frog. While this was a great attribute, I was also concerned that it might make the Live Target less durable than it’s competitors but that hasn’t been the case. It has withstood the rigors of normal frog fishing as well as the other frogs that I usually carry.
Hooks And Action
The hooks on the Live Target Frog are good and sharp right out of the package and have stayed that way since I got them. However, the action of the Koppers is one that is a bit more difficult to master than some of the other hollow body frogs. You can make it walk-the-dog and once you find the rhythm it does a fair job of moving side to side.
The trick to it is to barely, and I mean BARELY twitch your rod tip. It is easy to overpower this lure so that all it does is move straight ahead with a plop, plop kind of action. You’ll notice that the Live Target Frog’s motion is a bit constricted. It seems as though it turns in line with the center of the body as opposed to the entire frog turning. This translates to a motion that is a small side to side movement. It will make you slow way down to achieve the walking type retrieve.
I have used the Live Target Hollow Body Frog in among the lilies, on top of the pads, on top of slop and in open water next to stick-ups. I have gotten strikes in all of these conditions and have converted 70% when the fish actually take the bait under. This strike to hook-up ratio is better than any of the other frogs that I have used in the past so I am pleased with that. I wish that there were more colors available but possibly in the future, Koppers will add to the current patterns.
Overall, I give the Koppers Live Target Hollow Body Frog 3 stars.
See ya on the water…