Exciting Times for Iconic Frog Brands
By Vance McCullough
Is there anything in all of fishing to rival the experience of watching a bass blow up on a frog?
All the startle of topwater fishing, leading to a bare-knuckles, heavy cover brawl on par with that experienced while flippin’ giants out of thick mats, frog fishing combines the best of two techniques known to produce oversized bass and heart-stopping action.
Everyone who has experience this thrill owes a hearty ‘thank you’ to Harry Ehlers, Sr. who invented the original hollow-bodied floating frog fifty-several years ago and appropriately named the company ‘Snag Proof’ as the lure allowed anglers to explore previously impenetrable bass hideouts.
His children, Connie Fuller and Harry Ehlers, Jr., ran Snag Proof for many years, successfully refining their dad’s designs and implementing ideas from frog-fishing guru Bobby Barack, along with input and new designs from top tournament pros, including Bassmaster Classic Champ Chris Lane and Elite Series standout Ish Monroe.
A few years back, Connie and Harry, Jr. sold the company to Californian Nathan Chandler. Chandler owned a plastics company and thought he could improve on the formula. Snag Proof lures were still being manufactured in America – a point of pride. However, the altered frogs were too stiff, resulting in poor hook up ratios for heartbroken anglers who just wanted their beloved Snag Proof frogs back.
Last month, Fishing Tackle Retailer announced that American Baitworks bought the company, moving it under the Southern Lure Co. umbrella along with its sibling, Scum Frog, long known as an outstanding value-priced option for frog slingers.
“Snag Proof is a true American original and we’re excited to have, what we believe, are the only two frog companies currently being manufactured in the USA. The hard work starts now and we are going to introduce Snag Proof to a whole new generation of anglers.” said Matt Massey, President and COO of American Baitworks. “We are investing heavily in modernizing Snag Proof with new product designs and enhanced manufacturing. Snag Proof was hugely innovative when the company sprang onto the scene many years ago and we are bringing that same energy and innovation back to the company.”
Snag Proof’s manufacturing, operations and distribution have been moved to Southern Mississippi, alongside those of Scum Frog.
Miss Connie is happy. “Both Harry and I are excited for the future of the company our dad started. We’re happy to see the company in the hands of people who fish and have a passion for frog fishing in particular.”
Connie has actually been in the Snag Proof ‘kitchen’ helping the new owners return to the original formula that made the frogs slick in cover but also allowed proper penetration to grasp a bass firmly by the jaw.
It’s a painstaking process.
“She has been in there telling us ‘turn up the heat here, change that over there’,” smiled Frank Makin, brand manager for Snag Proof and Scum Frog.
Resuscitated by new ownership and restored by its original innovators, the new Snag Proof promises a return to greatness and the production of a favorite standby of veteran anglers and a ‘new’ favorite for a younger generation of fishing enthusiasts.