BoatUS ANGLER: Do It Yourself Department
Bugs Bunny Meets Kermit The Frog
by Capt. Steve Chaconas, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
Without a doubt, the hollow frog, originally made by Harry Ehlers on his kitchen stove and resulting in his company Snag Proof, is basically the same as it was in the 1950s. A hollow rubber body, a pair of strong hooks and some kind of twin tails...usually a spinnerbait skirt.
The idea behind the tails is to add a bit of action, a little more bulk for visibility, while also allowing some subtle movement of the legs. An interesting innovation came hopping along with the Furbit Frog from Optimum baits. This newcomer came with lively rabbit fur legs. Rabbit fur has been a staple of fly fishermen across the globe. These strips undulate and the short hairs never stop moving with the slightest action. A fish fooler for sure!
What's up Doc?
To enhance the appearance of your froggy favorite or to repair a frog cut off at the knees, rabbit strips are perfect and easy to install! Jann's Netcraft (jannsnetcraft.com) has it all...Zonker Strips, available in a rainbow of colors, are precision cut, soft tanned strips of rabbit fur. For a bit of visual contrast, vertical black barring enhances the natural movement of rabbit strips. And crosscut rabbit strips add a bit more movement. All of these come in 1/8 inch widths, perfect for hollow frog legs!
Short or long, these strips will rejuvenate or improve any hollow frog. Installation is easy too. There are three methods. The easiest is to get some Pro's Soft Bait Glue and insert the end of a rabbit strip into one of the existing holes for the skirts. Then add a drop of glue taking care not to let the glue run toward the end of the rabbit tail, rather toward the hollow frog instead. If the holes are a bit larger, tie an overhand knot and stuff the knot into the existing hole in the rubber frog. Then add glue. Then repeat on the other side.
The last method involves threading the full length of the fur piece in one hole and out of the other. Fashioning a hook out of a thin paper clip makes this easier. Then tie a knot close to the rubber body and pull back into the hollow body. Do the same on the other leg, but this knot needs to be pushed back into the frog. Then add glue at the rubber frog where the rabbit fur exits. The knots will hold the fur in place better.
Trim the rabbit legs to equal lengths and go fishing. Longer lengths are great for open water and shorter for thick cover. Whatever the frog presentation, adding very slight movements and frequent pauses...some longer than usual...the legs will keep moving allowing the hair to create enticing movements. Pulling the furry frog will force the legs together and when stopped, they will spread out again. Fish can’t stand this!
A word of caution, don't put these "new" frogs away wet...let them air dry and they will last longer. These new frogs will catch more fish, especially in open water applications and leap frog to the front of your tackle box.