Many people are familiar with the Snag Proof line of frogs such as Bobby’s Perfect Frog and Ish’s Phat Frog. However, long before those were created – heck, even long before Ish Monroe was created (born 1974), there was the original Snag Proof Frog. Today’s post takes a short look back at the birth of the hollow-bellied frog.
The Snagproof Company was established around 1961. It’s roots actually go back to the late 1950s, when one Harry Ehlers got the idea for a weedless frog bait to fish in the many farm ponds which he angled. Harry was an advertising executive for the maker of Totes rubber rainboots, and as such was very familiar with the soft dipped plastic used to cover boots and make them waterproof. It took a few months to get the design down right, but thanks to a lot of hard work at night after his “real” job was over for the day, as well as the softer plastic materials available following World War II, Harry finally completed the world’s first weedless frog.
He advertised the bait in one of the most popular fishing magazines of the time, the classified section of Field & Stream. It wasn’t long before the bait caught some popularity, and enough orders came in to make Snag Proof a full time business. The company would later move to its current facility outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The frog was the most popular lure, designed to tip up at rest so the line was less inclined to become tangled in the aquatic grass. However, other similar hollow-bodied baits in the product line followed, such as the leech, the moss mouse (gray mouse) and the crawdad. All had a soft, hollow body with a weedless hook on the underside. Eventually, creative bass anglers would alter and modify the originally designed bait with things like larger and more modern hooks, spinnerbait skirts for legs, and additional weight and rattles. Eventually these modifications would lead to the more modernized style of bait we find on the shelves of our local tackle stores now days, but it all began over 50 years ago with that first plastic mold.