Ask An Angler: Can You Fish A Topwater Frog On A Spinning Rod?

Can you fish a topwater frog on spinning gear?

Yes, the answer is yes.

While some purists may disagree, fishing is a sport where the primary intention is to outsmart an animal with a pea-sized brain. While there are recommendations, patterns, and suggested techniques, do what you want so long as you catch fish while not bothering anyone or breaking the law.

Baitcasting gear is the first choice in topwater frog fishing because of its ability to accurately cast, efficiently work a bait, and more easily winch in fighting fish.

So yes, most of the time, you should use casting gear when fishing a topwater frog. Preferably a medium-heavy to heavy powered rod paired with a high-speed casting reel spooled with a braided line ranging from 30-65 pounds.

But let’s say you don’t own a baitcaster, or maybe you haven’t quite mastered them. Does that mean you can’t fish a topwater frog? Not to me. So, let’s talk about how you can still get the job done with spinning gear.

Spinning Gear For Topwater Frogs

Start with a medium-heavy spinning rod and then grab a 2500-3500 size spinning reel spooled with braided line. If you don’t have the right line, pick up a spool of 20-30lb  Power Pro or Googan Squad braid from Karl’s Shop.

Instead of the traditional 3″ inch topwater frogs, opt for downsized versions like the Googan Squad Mini Filthy Frog, the Terminator 2.5″ Walking Frog, or even the classic Scum Frog. These options pack all of the tasty features in a topwater frog into a smaller, more spinning-friendly package. 

Where To Throw Your Frog

lily pads

Aim for the froggy-looking areas like emerging vegetation along the shoreline, patches of lily pads on a shallow flat, or around docks and brush sitting close to the bank.

Focusing on the irregular features within the area you decide on should also help. If it’s weeds, look for an open patch, point, or pocket. If it’s wood, look for the nasty cover where others might not have cast. When fishing a dock, aim for the pillars, posts, fences, or pontoon boat tunnels.

Make The Most Out Of Each Cast

Topwater Frog Spinning Rod

Whip your rod tip with each cast to maximize casting distance and follow that up with different techniques based on your conditions. If you’re fishing over grass, keep the rod tip pointed up to help prevent your line from getting caught up. If you’re fishing open water, point the rod tip down and apply quick jerks with the rod tip to get your frog to ‘’walk the dog’’. Every so often, add in a pause to help give nearby fish one more chance.

Spinning Is Winning

If you’re a spinning rod angler hesitant about tossing around a topwater frog, don’t be. Get some braid, tighten down on the drag and start fishing downsized frogs with confidence. Over time, as you advance your frog fishing skills, then you can bump up to the big leagues and start fishing with a baitcaster.

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