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Lure Review


FW Installment #4 : A Frog by Any Other Color is Still a Frog (continued)

 

Flip in the Bird: The Koppers Live Target Field Mouse can certainly be considered a different looking "frog" but the Flip in the Bird takes it to a whole different level. We have been fishing this bait for a season and a half and since the bait was first introduced the company has further refined and improved the bait, as well as introduced a plethora of new patterns.


Like a hollow bodied frog is basic construction but very different in profile

Flip in the Bird Specifications

Frog Type Hollow Body, Surface
Length 2 3/4"
Weight 5/8oz.
Colors/Patterns 8
MSRP $11.99

The "Bird" is a lure created by angler Sam Kennedy who has been fishing for over 30 years. A little bit of trivia is that Sam was also a linebacker with the San Francisco 49er's back in 1988 when they won the Superbowl. Beyond the NFL Sam also has a background in engineering and he first got the idea for the Flip in Bird bait when he witnessed bass preying on birds on his local ponds. He went back to his garage and started putting together lure prototypes, the Bird was born.


The Flip in the Bird lure features wings and a tail

Action: The distinctively styled Flip in the bird lure is designed to be thrown into thick cover or slop but also can be fished in shallow or open water. It makes use of many of the same basic principles and features found in traditional frogs including a hollow body to promote buoyancy and rubber skirting to mimic feathers. Casting this bait is easy but we did notice that unlike most frogs this bait does seem to land on its back quite often. It is possible to flip it over but it is a nuisance when you just want to start fishing or make that perfect cast only to have it land belly up. To make it easier to flip the bird over easier it anglers can trim the wings and tail. There are video's on the manufacturers site that demonstrate this procedure. It doesn't take more than a few seconds but one has to wonder why not just have the Bird tuned right out of the package? Once properly situated in the water the effect is a impressive as the skirting on the sides and back spread out like wing and tail feathers.

The hooks are very weedless and tucked away in channels in the Bird's back

Weedlessness: The Bird doesn't walk as easily as other traditional frogs as the wings create quite a bit of drag and ultimately we found it most effective when fished slowly. This is an excellent twitch bait and just a little action on the line is enough to bring this bait to life and make it look like a small bird that is struggling to escape the water. The hooks on this bait are held within channels on the Bird's back and it does a good job staying out of trouble, even in thick vegetation.

Even the underbelly is detailed

Taking on Water: Like other hollow bodied frogs that do not have a separate chamber the Bird can take on water over time. It doesn't take on any more or less water than your average frog and we really only noticed it after missed strikes.

In the water the wings and tail spread out to create the profile of a distressed bird in the water

Hookup Ratio: Speaking of missed strikes the Bird definitely drew strikes in our tests reinforcing the idea that Bass really are very opportunistic predators. Unfortunately the hook up ratio on the Bird out of the package was among the lowest of all the frogs we tested. It didn't seem to matter how lightning fast the hookset was, or even if we let fish eat the bait before setting, it was very easy to dislodge the bait. There are two issues here, first the same hook position that makes the bait so weedless also makes it harder to stick the hook during strikes. Second the material used on the bird is thicker and harder than many other frogs so it really takes quite a bit of pressure to collapse the body and fully expose the hooks. After missing a few quality fish we reached into the tackle box and bent the hooks upwards, reducing the weedlessness, but vastly improving hookups to the point that we were once again ready to give this bait a twitch.

The body is very durable but is so thick that it takes extra pressure to compress the bait and expose the hooks

Durability: One effect of that thick body is that it is extremely durable. It takes a lot to mess this bait up and your much more likely to lose this bait to a unreachable snag than you are to tear it apart. This bait is among the most durable "frogs" we have tested and can take plenty of abuse from impact with structure and fish strikes.

The Bird is most effective when it is just cast and twitched subtly

Availability: The Bird is available now at Tackle Warehouse for $11.99 each and comes in nine different patterns. Our favorites include the clown patterned "Sexy Red Head" and the "Yellow Headed Black" Bird which is a perfect match for the yellow headed birds. With so many patterns it is easy to match the birds that frequent your local pond or lake. 


Once tuned the Bird is not only fun to fish but a pretty effective bait

At the end of the day the Flip in the Bird is not without flaws out of the package but with a little tuning and the right action this bait is not only fun to fish but effective. Just how confident is the company that you will like this bait? Confident enough that they offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. If you are a frog fishermen that enjoys walking frogs and that constant rod action this is not the bait for you, but if you enjoy deadsticking or twitch baits this unique looking hollow body lure not only can deliver some pretty intense strikes but can be used to target big fish holding tight to structure.

Ratings:

Flip in the Bird Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A good construction that is very durable and will hold up to plenty of abuse. Unfortunately that super strong body also makes this bait a little harder to compress during strikes 8
Performance This is one of those baits that makes you skeptical at first but will draw strikes if fished slow and twitched. If you want to fish fast like traditional frogs this just isn't the right bait for you. The hookup ratio out of the box was not acceptable but once we bent those hooks out we enjoyed much better success, do this before you even hit the water! (without tuning we would lower this score by 2 points) 8.5
Price The bait is unique looking which helps justify the higher price a little bit. The company's money back guarantee brings this score up slightly 7.5
Features A unique profile, durable body and weedless design are all pluses. The downside is you definitely need to tune this bait out of the package for maximum effectiveness. We do give it bonus points for being so different than your average everyday hollow bodied frog 8
Design (Ergonomics) Once the bait is tuned it is actually easier to fish than many frogs. Just cast into the strike zone and twitch 8
Application This is a good twitch bait for more subtle topwater applications 8

Total Score

8.0
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Unique looking bait, something different for your arsenal - On the more expensive side
+ Good for targeting fish tight against structure - Needs to be tuned out of the package for optimal performance
+ Very durable  
+ Available in a wide array of patterns  
+ Money back guarantee  

 

Even frogs strike frogs. During our testing at Clear Lake this aggressive frog came up and struck this bait as Cal walked it across the surface

 

Conclusion: When it comes to topwater action frogs inspire some of the most jaw dropping splash strikes on the water so it really is no surprise that this category of baits are a favorite among bass anglers. There are so many "frog" class lures out there that "Frog Week" could have easily been "Frog Month." This year we walked, burned and popped the frogs that you, our readers, pinged us the most about or talked about on the forums. There are many others that we are still fishing that we just didn't log enough hours on to complete a write-up in this round so you can be sure there are more frog reviews coming down the pipe. Until then thanks for joining us on this latest installment.


 

 

   

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