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Lure Review

Strike King's Rage Toad brings the Fury (continued)

Casting: Before casting this bait you have to arm it with a 4/0 to 6/0 wide gap hook. I preferred to rig it weightless but it is feasible to rig it with a weighted hook or weight on top for pitching. I think a 5/0 hook is the perfect size for most applications and rigged weightless the toad is easy to cast. I rig the Rage Toad with the eyes up and just the very tip of the hook point buried into the back for extra weedlessness. 

Time to cast this lure and see what it can do

The first thing I noticed when casting the bait was the very satisfying “plop” sound and splash the bait makes when it hits the surface of the water. Not that I am any expert on frog splashes in particular but the bait sounds to me like exactly what a frog should sound like when it takes a plunge.

The dark colored Watermelon Red Flake worked well on Clear Lake while the Pearl and Green Pumpkin/Pearl Belly worked better on the California Delta

Retrieve: Once the lure is in the water if you are planning to fish the bait on top of the water a higher speed reel makes it easy to get and keep the lure on plane. Once retrieved the two rage tail pac-man style feet go into overdrive churning the water and putting out a serious wake complete with bubbles and a relatively loud accompanying splashing sound. Depending on the thickness of the surface vegetation you will want to make subtle adjustments to your rod tip angle to help keep the frog up and moving.

The Rage Toad leaves a serious wake

Rigged weedless the Rage Toad moves through even the nastiest structure very well, but I definitely preferred fishing the frog with braided line versus mono. Not only did the braided line make it easy to  keep the frog on the surface but it also allowed for instant hooksets the minute a fish would explode on the bait… and explode is exactly what fish did on the Rage Toad.

Some of the patterns features Coffee scent...

It didn’t matter if it was heavy vegetation or open water fish are drawn to the commotion the Rage Toad generates and when they strike it is usually very violent. These are the topwater strikes I dream about, and I wish I could have caught one of these blowups on camera, but every time we were ready to go the fish would get camera shy… to the point we started getting superstitious and had to put the cameras into the rod lockers… and sure enough the minute we did this we would get bites. While I still really like the Zoom Horny Toads the Rage Toad definitely puts out more vibration and noise and is an easy bait to build topwater confidence on. The lure worked best on warm days when fish were feeding on the surface and it is somewhat important to match the hatch, for example darker colors worked better on Clear Lake and white bellied versions were money on the Delta. 

...and yes it actually does smell like a shot of espresso

Some of the patterns are actually infused with coffee bean granules and coffee bean oil, these baits actually smell like coffee. Strike King believes that this is a natural attractant to bass and causes them to hold on to the lure and helps mask human and plastic scents. I’m not sure I buy this or that it really matters on this particular bait. While it probably doesn’t hurt I find it unlikely bass are chasing up the Rage Toad because they detect Starbucks in the wake, but hey it probably makes the lure more pleasant to anglers and it certainly didn’t hurt the strike ratio. In addition the granules do give the lure a slightly more natural tone that differentiates them from traditional plastics so why not… bring on the caffeine.

The rage Toad is surprisingly durable and can last through 3-4 fish quite easily

Durability: Some plastics are impregnated with so much salt/sand that they break after one fish while others are extremely durable but never get bit because they look like lifeless pieces of plastic in the water, the Rage Toad actually strikes a nice balance and not only moves nicely but is able to survive 3 to 4 strikes before the bait is beat up to the point your better off grabbing a fresh one from the pack.

The Rage Toad performed well in testing and works over both vegetation and open water

Price & Applications: Retailing for 4.99 per pack of five the Rage Toad is on the more expensive side when compared to other frogs like the Zoom Horny Toad which retails for only $3.39 for a pack of five. There are eight popular color/patterns to choose from which is a lot fewer than many other brands and while most of the popular patterns like Black, Green Pumpkin, Chartreuse and Pearl (white) are covered it would be nice to have some more combo colors like June bug/chartreuse and green and yellow combinations. Hopefully Strike King will bring out more colors in the future. When it comes to applications lures of this style are mostly fished with a steady retrieve on the surface but many anglers also flip and pitch this style of lure into heavy cover or use them as a jig or spinnerbait trailer, the Rage Toad is no different and can be fished a variety of ways effectively.


Strike King Rage Toad Ratings (?/10)


Great overall construction that is as good or better than the competing soft bodied frogs already on the market


Excellent performance when fished topwater, this frog causes a lot of disturbance in the water and calls up fish which strike this bait with vehemence


A little more expensive than competing frogs on the market


The main feature on this bait are the well designed "Rage Tail" feet which resembles Pac Man. Would like to see more patterns and color mixes added to the range in the future

Design (Ergonomics)

Easy to fish this is one lure that is easy to build confidence on. The lure works in both weedy areas as well as over open water. Best when the weather is warm and fish are feeding up on top


In addition to topwater the Rage Toad can also be used for underwater work as well as added as a jig or spinnerbait trailer


Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
(For a detailed explanation of the ratings go here)

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Easy and fun to fish L Not as many patterns available as other brands
J Creates a serious wake L More expensive than some competing soft bodied frogs
J Great durability survives multiple fish  
J More detailed than other toads  
J Works over open water as well as weeded structure  


Conclusion: Have you had your dose of coffee today? Rage Toads might just be what you need to wake up that frog bite. These baits proved to be just as effective as some of the top selling soft bodied frogs on the market and in some ways are actually easier to fish. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get these baits churning the water up and fish absolutely respond. Rage Toads proved to be effective over both vegetation and open water and while I’m not exactly sure what to make of the coffee infusion on some of the patterns I also don’t think it is a negative characteristic either. The Rage Toads are capable of enticing bass up from the depths and easily make my short list of preferred topwater toads… these over-caffeinated frogs bring the fury!

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