Stanley’s Poppn’ Toad, a hollow body soft-plastic frog with a pronounced cup in the nose, is going places.
Texans Lonnie Stanley and John Hale have followed up on the success and popularity of the Top Toad with this popping model that has really caught on.
What the Poppn’ Toad has going for it is the ability to plop slowly or quickly across water and vegetation. It has the distinctive feet of the Top Toad, which enhances its appeal.
Poppn’ Frogs are perfect in and around peppergrass and hydrilla, as well as “Kissimmee-looking” grass anywhere in the country, Stanley said
Combinations of underwater vegetation with lily pads make it even deadlier, he said.
“With two grasses (and lily pads), it’s great,” Stanley said. “With three grasses (and lily pads), it’s even better.”
Stanley and Hale appreciate the end result to their efforts to make a bogus frog bass anglers were clamoring for the past few years.
“It’s kind of a natural deal,” Stanley said. “It’s well-made. I’m really proud of the way it works.
“We made the front nose where the (screw lock of the special double hook) goes in a lot stronger. We made a lot of improvements; we went back to make it look more like a Pop-R or Yellow Magic. I came up with the idea, and John perfected it.”
They started working on the project heart last summer, Stanley said. After field testing, the final prototype was ready in October 2015 and the men who created it busted some bass’ chops on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.
Poppn’ Toads hit the regional market in early May and have been catching bass ever since, Hale said. Sales have been good since they went into production.
Hale gives a lion’s share of the credit to Chris Archer of Ruston, La., who kept tweaking the molds to conform to the ideas tendered by the artificial lure manufacturers.
“It was a matter of getting with the old man to see exactly what we could do and couldn’t do,” Hale said. “He was able to put that concave nose to it, and we had to get the weight right. The biggest thing was getting the mold built. The whole deal to making a hollow body frog is getting enough air to float it.”
Without getting into specifics, the mandrel, an insert that goes into the hollow body, is the key to success whenever plastic is injected into the mold, he said.
Making a concave surface on a soft-plastic product is extremely challenging, he said. Archer met the challenge and, voila, the Poppn’ Toad was born.
Stanley got the ball rolling after the popular Top Toad was introduced. Hale remembers that time well.
“Well, you know, we came out with the Top Toad first,” Hale said. “People were talking about a popper. Lonnie took a Top Toad and cut a section about 3/16 inches wide and slid it up on (the nose) and glued it in place, and it had a lip like a popper and it worked.
“We made a bunch of those. Friends fished with them and caught fish. Lonnie said, ‘Man, this is great. Can you make one? Produce one?’”
There were other concerns, such as it being top heavy, so the redesign included taking some of the weight off the back and flanks of the new poppers.
The Poppn’ Toad’s versatility shows, as it can be worked as a popper or in the traditional retrieve of a Top Toad. Hale advised casting it, letting it sit until the ripples disappear, and then bringing it back.
Their creation is durable, Stanley said, noting he has caught up to 15 bass on one Poppn’ Toad.
Even after they are banged up almost beyond repair, many bassers wrap small rubber bands around then to keep the double hook attached to the soft plastic.
Stanley has done that and even used monofilament and a square knot to keep the Poppn’ Toad in action.
Looking ahead, Stanley believes more and more redfish will be eating up the Poppn’ Toad. He has reports of redfish being caught on the Poppn’ plastic frog this summer on Sabine Lake.
Poppn’ Toads are available in nine colors, he said, noting there are plans to have up to 16 colors.
For more information on the Poppn’ Toad and other Stanley Jigs products, go to www.fishstanley.com or call 936-876-5713.