I had previously touted the Mustad 91768 with a snap on screw lock as the best (and probably cheapest) hooks for the Curly Buzz Frogs in all sizes. More recently I had noted I could go up a size using the heavier and stronger 38112 instead, except I didn’t think they made a 38112 small enough for the Curly Buzz Frog Mini. The smallest 38112 is 3/0. I had previously thrown the Curly Buzz Frog Mini on a 1/0 91768 hook.
Anyway, for CBF Jr and larger frogs I had found I liked the slightly heavier 38112 hook over the 91768. I thought I was going to have to keep using the 91768 hook for the mini. First part of the year when the new little frogs are just venturing out into open water for the first time the CBF Mini draw a lot of strikes. Earlier than some other topwater baits.
Some people have reported they have a hard time throwing the CBF Mini. I use 20lb or even 15lb reduced diameter braid (MaxCuatro or Beyond8) on a medium light fast action spinning rod. I do admit I make a lot of hard snap casts to get it out there, but I have fished it very successfully since I first came out with it. I have been thinking about it for a while. I do not want to change the bait, but like I said some people (one actually) have said they have issues casting such a light bait. I have had to adjust to be able to fish it efficiently myself and I invented it. I’ve also caught a lot of fish on it just the way it is. I think it’s the perfect size for the first of the early spring frog bite. I do not want to change it.
My solution isn’t really novel. I decided to make a weighted hook. It’s not even novel for the Curly Buzz Frog. A long time ago I fished one hook all summer long that I had found tangled up in a tree. It was the prefect size for the Curly Buzz Frog Regular or standard size. The original Curly Buzz Frog. It had a light slender lead weighted bottom, cast insane distances, and hooked fish. I straightened that hook many times as I looked for whoever sold it. I never found it. There are some kinda-sorta similar weighted swimbait hooks, but none of them were quite right. I never found who sold that one. I decided to kill two stones with one bird. Make a weighted swimbait hook mold for the hooks I already use. Not heavy. Just an extra 1/16 to 1/8 ounce. I could go heavier. The frogs will surface and skim with a heavier weight than you might think due to their very wide cross section. Heavier isn’t really needed. The weight might add a little casting distance for all the frogs, but for the Junior and larger with a properly adjusted rod/reel/line setup casts as far as I ever need to. The weighted hook just makes sure it lands point side up a little more consistently allowing me to take up line and start cranking instantly as it settles on the water. The frog will self right from the weight of an unweighted hook if you leave it set, but it takes a moment or two. It doesn’t keep it from catching fish. I just like it better when it retrieves point side up. Anyway, I was think a mold for weighted hooks would allow me to make all the frogs fish just a tiny bit better and help with casting for those who struggled with casting the CBF Mini.
While I was standing there looking at my huge wall of sample hooks, I was thinking it sure would be nice if there was a heavy wire like the 38112 that would fit the CBF Mini. I could clearly see the 3/0 smallest 38112 was larger than the 1/0 91768 which was my old best match for the CBF Mini. I just happened to have a CBF Mini rigged up on a rod nearby in those I am getting ready for next season. I looked at it, and saw there was still a little room behind the hook. Not much but a little. Just for the heck of it I snapped a screw lock bait keeper onto the 3/0 38112 and tried it. I just knew it wouldn’t work. That it would be to big. It fits. It does sit a little further back in the CBF Mini, but it’s still in the body of the bait.
This is what I came up with for matches:
CBF Mini – 3/0 38112 with added snap on screw lock
CBF Junior – 5/0 38112 with added snap on screw lock
CBF Regular – 6/0 38112 (maybe even 7/0) with added snap on screw lock
CBF Jumbo – 7/0 or 8/0 38112 with added snap on screw lock
I am personally a fan of the Hitchhiker copper bait keepers. I think they stretch and bend out of shape and allow me to catch more fish on a bait before the nose of the bait blows out and will no longer hold on the keeper. If you prefer another snap on bait keeper use what you like.
Now, I need to fill up one of my medium light fast action spinning rods with fresh line first to test it, but I personally think the added weight of the larger heavier larger hook may assist a little with casting the CBF Mini. I might not “need” a weighted hook. Well, I didn’t before, but I acknowledge it takes some skills and properly matched up equipment. It might make it easier for anybody.
DO NOT PANIC! I still plan to make a weighted hook mold for 1/16 and 1/8 for each of the sizes I settle on for each of the Curly Buzz Frog sizes. I have bags of all the sizes of 38112 I have sitting on my desk right now. Expect it to be available sometime this spring. I will make it to “fit” 38112 hooks, but other hooks might also drop in the mold. I’m not trying for universal, but it should not be single fit either.