March 1st, 2014
The OSP Diving Frog is a very interesting bait if you consider it’s possible applications. Hollow bodied frogs are usually intended for topwater use and that’s it. However, in recent years there has been a movement towards frogs that can serve multiple purposes and the OPS Diving Frog is part of this.
OSP (Osprey Spiritual Performer) is not the only lure manufacturer that has caught onto this trend. There are other “hybrid” frogs such as the Molix Supernato and the Kahara Crank to name a few however, the OSP diving frog achieves its multiple uses through sheer design ingenuity without re-inventing frog design, or adding any special parts. This bait is worth a closer look.
The question we have is: Is the OSP diving frog really unique enough to go out of your way to obtain? Isn’t there a frog that is readily available that does everything the OSP Diving Frog does?
The manufacturer, OSP is a Japanese company founded in 2000. The OSP diving frog was designed and tested in Japan with input from Japanese anglers. The Diving Frog was released for the Japanese market in July of 2008 and has never really been sold or marketed in North America, which in my mind still makes it a unique lure to this date – the vast majority of anglers are still not aware of this lure. The Diving Frog was developed and fished extensively in Japan and over 50 proto-types were manufactured to develop the hook, line-eye & silicone skirt.
The Diving Frog is the creation of Wal-Mart FLW tour pro Toshinari Namiki. He also happens to be the president of OSP. We had the opportunity to ask him exactly why the Diving Frog was developed and Toshi told us that he “wanted a frog that wobbles like a crankbait…” and that is why he produced this bait.
The Diving Frog is not readily available on popular websites such as Tacklewarehouse. To obtain one of these frogs you will either have to find a local retailer that carries them, buy one on Ebay, or purchase one online from alternative web retailers. This frog is hard to come by and before this review I had owned only one of these baits and fished it in specific conditions. When OSP approached me about a review I was already very familiar with this bait.
OSP Diving Frog Features
- totally weedless soft bodied frog design
- scalloped nose for multiple effects: popper, chugger, crankbait or darter
- Low center of gravity weight
- welded tie-on ring
- vertical assist wire for attaching spinner blades etc…
- 60mm long
- weights in at 14.0 g
- available in 24 colors
The Diving Frog is probably one of the coolest hybrid frogs available. Among the pros to this bait I would count its versatility at working open water pockets using different actions. The scalloped nose on the Diving Frog is unique and allows it to dive like a square bill crank. This type of retrieve lets the angler work open water quickly if a reaction bite is on. If there is a slow topwater bite, this frog can be popped or darted across the surface as well.
Aside from the versatility of the OSP Diving Frog, it is also well thought out. The designers have added lots of small details that make this bait a must have. The welded tie on o-ring is an amazing feature that makes tying on effortless. There is no need to inspect your knot to make sure its on a split ring (like most other frogs have) correctly, or that the split ring didn’t get compromised during your last hookset. You can be certain its tied on securely (assuming you tied the knot correctly).
The Diving Frog also benefits from a very low center of gravity. OSP has added a belly weight that not only keeps the soft body of the frog in place, but also lowers the frog in the water. This translates to a frog that casts further due to the added weight, but also sits lower in the water to make sure fish can strike their target accurately.
The Diving Frog also cleverly has a clasp added at the back for an optional spinning blade during retrieve. Diving Frog developer Toshinari Namiki explained it best when he told us:
When you are annoyed by miss hooking, you can attach a spinner blade. Then you don’t have to worry about miss hooking fish because bass aim at spinner blade. Spinner blades have appeal power, so you can make a reluctant bass in cover bite even when they will not bite normal frogs.
When fish just don’t seem to want a traditional frog, the OSP Diving Frog can be modified to show them “something different” and that may be just the ticket.
The OSP Diving Frog does have a couple of cons. Although it is a well thought out lure, its poor availability in North America is a big drawback. The lack of distribution for the Diving Frog increases the price and buying this lure typically means ordering from Japan (or elsewhere) and facing import taxes, exchange rates and artificially higher prices (due to low supply). If you find it in a local tackle shop its definitely worth picking up a few.
I did find another drawback when fishing the Diving Frog. This was due to the design of the scalloped nose, the Diving Frog’s cupped nose snags slightly more than a regular frog. I have found that ALL popper frogs snag slightly simply due to their design. I would say that this is an inherent drawback of all poppers, not just the OSP Diving Frog.
On The Water
I have been fishing the Diving Frog for several seasons and although it is not the frog that I always have tied on, it is a frog that I always keep in my tacklebag. It is an EXCELLENT frog for using as a search bait or open water situations. When bass are aggressively ambushing moving lures from cover this frog rocks! When cranking it the Diving Frog behaves very much like a square bill crank diving 1-2 feet.
I typically fish this frog with a 7’4″ heavy action/ fast tipped rod. Braid is the only line I will throw with any frog and the Diving Frog is no exception. I tie straight on using a palomar knot and have never had a break off.
Hooksets are positive and I find that its no different than using a regular frog, so all the standard rules for topwater frogs apply. If the fish strikes and you feel the weight- let em’ have it! The hook is stout and can take hard hooksets without bending open.
When fishing the Diving Frog I have also found the shallow crank abilities of the frog highly effective. I have had a lot of success using this frog as a search bait swimming it between groupings of lilly pads or hydrilla. Again, I found it most effective when bass were on the edges of cover and ambushing prey. I have also found that northern pike and musky really like to inhale this frog so consider yourself warned!
Developer of the Diving Frog, Toshinari Namiki, described his method for fishing this lure as:
This frog is not intended for dense cover but for outside matted cover or thin cover. If you want to fish tight spots, you can fish it slowly with a popper-like action or swinging action. At the same time you can get a bite between tight spots by tempting bass with a wobble action. Moreover, this frog can dive down with a popping sound.
Overall I would recommend the Diving Frog as something different for anglers to present to bass. I probably wouldn’t go as far as to say its indispensable, but it is worth keeping a few around! The Diving Frog works best as a search bait in between cover or as a popper/ darter combo. Honestly, I think the OSP Diving Frog is just too expensive and hard to acquire to keep as your everyday workhorse frog. The OSP Diving Frog is something special to tie on when conditions are just right.
So, to answer the question we asked in the beginning of the article: the OSP Diving Frog is probably not worth chasing down if you are an occasional recreational angler. However, if you are a topwater junkie, lure collector, tournament angler or a serious weekend warrior the Diving Frog may be worth adding to your arsenal.
If the Diving Frog were easily accessible and cost effective I would probably recommend it to anglers as a very versatile topwater, but that is just not the case with this lure right now.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to hear experiences that other anglers have had with this lure.
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci