The Doybns Champion Series 735c is the best frog fishing rod made. There I said it! I get a lot of questions about hollow body frog fishing for bass. Everything from what’s the best rod and reel combination, to which frog and color to use. Frog color, that’s easy, use a dark color in muddy water or low light conditions and a light color in clearer water or bright conditions. Which frog, that’s up to you; there are a lot of excellent ones out there. The rod you use is vital, and what I’m going to talk about.
You can pick your brand; there are as many quality rods on the market as there are quality frogs. I use a Dobyns Champion Series 735c because I think it’s the best frog rod made. I’ll explain why, and you can put that information into the rod of your choice.
The Dobyns Champion 735c is 7 foot 3 inches with a lot of power in the base of the rod, yet a perfect tip for casting long distances and setting hooks. It’s rated a Medium Heavy with an extra fast tip. Each rod manufacturer has a guideline that is used to determine the action of their rods. Light, medium, and heavy are not standard across the rod industry. So, one company’s Medium Heavy action might be considered a heavy by another company. The Dobyns Champion Series 735c Medium Heavy rod is strong throughout the bottom two thirds of the rod, and then it starts to limber up in the top one third. (This is a generalization; there is a lot that Gary Dobyns could describe with regards to rod actions). When we talk about tip action, we are referring to where the rod bends when you are working or casting a bait. The faster tip equates to less bend down the length of the rod starting from the tip. Or in rod building terms, the faster it stops bending when load is applied–an extra fast tip action is going to feel stiffer to the angler. The Dobyns 735c extra fast tip has a flexible two to three inches and then it tightens up into the next 10 inches. This gives you the flexibility to pop your line and get a fantastic dog walking action with a hollow body frog, but when you get a strike the rod will load quickly into the bottom two thirds and drive the hook home.
Some will argue that the tip of the perfect frog rod needs to be a fast action versus extra fast action to prevent the angler from pulling the bait from the bass. I can agree with this for anglers just starting out with hollow body frogs. However, for more experienced anglers that can control the urge to set the hook before you feel the strike, a slower tip is not a smart idea. As an angler gains more experience with hollow body frogs, they will want a faster tip. How long you expect to use the rod should be taken into consideration when making a purchase. If you are a beginner and except the fact that you’ll want to upgrade your equipment through the season, then I would recommend a fast tip versus extra fast tip for your first frog rod. The fast tip is forgiving for the angler that sets the hook too soon; however, you’ll be giving up some power necessary to move large bass from thick vegetation. The faster tip [extra fast] allows an angler to plant the frog’s hooks into the jaw of a bass quickly, and then get that bass moving out of the cover. Usually when we’re casting frogs, it’s to some pretty nasty cover; the faster you can get a bass turned and headed out of the cover, the higher your hook to land ratio will be.
Why not go with a heavy action rod then? That boils down to casting ability, trying to cast a frog long distances over grass flats, or lily pad fields just isn’t going to happen successfully with a rod that is too stiff. Add some wind and your casting distance will plummet. Another factor is casting to tight targets. When trying to cast under docks, under limbs, or into small pockets along the bank, a heavy action rod, will destroy your accuracy. A medium heavy rod with an extra fast tip gives you the best of both worlds; a rod that can cast a hollow body frog a country mile or short distances with pin point accuracy, and the power to move a bass towards the boat after you hook up at the end of that long cast.
When fishing frogs, getting a solid hook set is vital to landing a bass that is on the other side of an acre of vegetation. Using a longer rod helps move more line during a hook set, thus giving an advantage to the angler. A 7 foot 3 inch rod is the perfect length for casting and setting the hook while being short enough to work a frog effectively. I do a lot of “walk the dog” action with my hollow body frogs. This is easiest to achieve with the rod tip pointed at the water. If the rod were any longer, I would slap the water or side of the boat while I was trying to work my frog. No matter what action you are trying to impart on a hollow body frog, you’ll find that it’s most effective with the rod pointed down. This also gives you the maximum line movement when you set the hook. If you are holding your rod at the 7 o’clock position, you’ll move a lot of line as you swing through the 2 o’clock position. If you’re holding your rod up in the 10 or 11 o’clock position when a bass strikes, you move much less line. You move more line exponentially with a longer rod multiplied against the distance of your swing. A 7 foot 3 inch rod is the perfect length to work a frog and still get excellent hook setting power.
These same attributes are also effective for working toad type baits. So for the angler on a budget and trying to maximize rod efficiency, the Dobyns Champion 735c is a two for one set up. No matter what rod company you use, look to a medium heavy with and extra fast tip for your hollow body frog applications. You’ll see improved casting, accuracy, and hook setting power.
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