Bassmaster Elite pro Jared Lintner is a self-proclaimed frog addict. “I have a frog problem. I carry two giant Plano boxes in my boat that are packed with frogs and have probably another 75 still in packages in my truck. Some of the other guys give me a hard time about having so many,” admits Lintner. He carries so many due to the actions and features that each different brand has and the fact that he wants to have something a little different if everyone is throwing the same type of hollow-bellied frog. Here, he breaks down the features of his favorite frogs as well as where to throw them, the gear he uses and how he increases his hookset ratio.
Breaking down the Frogs
The majority of Lintner’s frog fishing is done with a Snag Proof Ish’s Phat Frog, a Koppers Live Target, a Jackall Iobee and a Spro Bronzeye frog. All of them have their time and place and Lintner will not leave the dock without a variety of each. here they are in no particular order:
#1 Snag Proof Ish’s Frog
Lintner likes the Ish’s Phat Frog anytime the grass mats are thicker than normal. “It has a great profile and sits flatter than all of the others. This is important in the heavy mats because it won’t roll over and you get that bigger profile on top of the thick stuff,” says Lintner.
#2 Koppers Live Target Frog
The Koppers frog comes in 45, 55 and 65 sizes. Lintner prefers the biggest they offer, the 65 which is 2 5/8 inches long and weighs 3/4oz. “I have used the smaller ones and they are okay, but that giant one is what I use most,” says Lintner. He likes this brand of frog because of its realistic patterns and prefers to use this in sparse vegetation. “The Kopper’s is my go-to in the sparse stuff, where there are a lot of holes in the mats. Here, I like the great colors, they look exactly like a frog,” shares Lintner.
#3 Jackall Iobee
The colors and design of the Iobee are what draw Lintner to it. “The bluegill color is one of my all-time favorite frog colors, it’s just perfect. It’s also one of the softest frogs on the market and walks as good as a Spook,” says Lintner. Because of the softness, Lintner prefers to fish it around docks and laydowns since it has a tendency to collapse if fished in too thick of cover. “The softness of this frog is what makes it so good, but at the same time it sometimes collects grass on it. It is so soft that you don’t miss a hookset with them, I haven’t lost one yet on it because the hook is perfect and the body collapses when one hits it,” adds the Californian.
#4 Spro Bronzeye Frog
The Spro is an “all around frog” according to Jared Lintner. “It’s a little tougher than the others, but that’s what makes it good. That’s why you see Dean Rojas skipping it under trees and everything else, it won’t collapse when you hit it into something,” says Lintner. He prefers to fish this around timber, in lily pads, under willows and everywhere else he can get the frog.
Proving his addiction to frog fishing, Jared Lintner could not stop at four frogs he uses. “The Paycheck Transporter frog is another one I really like; it looks different than all the other frogs. It has legs coming out of the back and side and has a different profile than the others,” adds the Elite Series pro. He prefers this in pressured situations where everyone is throwing other brands and the fact that it walks with ease and has a unique spitting action.
Lintner also relies on popping frogs in certain situations, specifically if the water is off-colored. “The Ish’s Poppin Phattie and the Spro Poppin’ frog are good ones to use if you have both scattered grass and dirtier water. It allows you to slow down and let the fish find it easier,” shares Lintner.
In clear water Lintner prefers the more natural colors and goes to darker colors anytime he is fishing heavy cover. “If the fish can see it I will go with the greens and browns, but if it’s really thick cover I want a solid color to get a better profile. It’s usually either white or black and I use black probably 80% of the time,” adds Lintner.
Lintner has been using a prototype G Loomis GLX frog rod and believes it is perfect for frog fishing. “Years ago everyone was wielding them on the biggest, heaviest flipping sticks they could find. I realized a few years ago that you don’t need that heavy of a rod and if you are throwing a frog all day you will get worn out,” admits Lintner. Instead he prefers to have a rod that is between 7’3” and 7’5” long and that has a softer tip so he can walk the frog better, but still has the backbone to get them out of the thick cover. “You want it to be a fast action; it should load up around the third guide from the bottom. If it’s too heavy or is too long, you won’t be able to walk it as well or make accurate casts,” says Lintner.
Lintner always uses braided line and prefers the Sunline FX2 braid that was designed for frogging and flipping. “I like it because it is a round braid and casts really well. 90% of the time I will use 60lb, but if I am fishing really heavy cover I will use 80lb,” says the California pro. His reel of choice is a Shimano Chronarch E7 with a 7.0:1 gear ratio that allows him to keep the frog moving quickly if needed.
The best advice from Jared Lintner on retrieve cadence and speed is to let the fish tell you what they want. “I always start with a ‘twitch,twitch,twitch, pause” but there are time when they want it fished with a long pause and there are times when you have to reel it almost like a horny toad, straight back to the boat. Before you leave a good area, make sure you exhaust all of your options because they might want it a little differently,” mentions Lintner.
Setting the Hook and Customizing Your Frog
The biggest downfall to fishing hollow belly frogs is the hookup ratio, but there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of landing the fish. “I like to lay my frogs in the dash of my truck so they bake in the sun and get real soft, that helps you land more fish. I also like to bend my hooks out just a little bit to get a better bite to the hook; you sacrifice a little of the weedlessness but it definitely helps out,” adds Lintner.
One common piece of advice is to wait until you feel the weight of the fish before you set the hook. Jared Lintner agrees with this principle, but at the same time doesn’t do it. “I know I’ve had fish in practice before a tournament that will take the frog under and swim with it for a while, so you have time to set the hook if you wait. I don’t do that though and I set the hook as soon as I see my frog go under because I don’t want the fish to start swimming deeper into the thick mats, it just makes it harder to get them out of there,” says Lintner.
One thing Jared Lintner will do to customize his frog in certain situations is to add a split ring to the front. “I like the Owner Hyper Wire Split Rings because you get a better walking action out of your frog and they come in 80 and 120lb test so you aren’t going to bend them out,” shares Lintner.
Jared Lintner is a wealth of frog knowledge and counts it as one of his favorite ways to fish for bass. His “frog problem” has allowed him to experiment with all of the most popular frogs on the market, find a way to utilize the best features of all of them and apply them to each situation he is faced with on the water.