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Event Article: 2009 ICAST Coverage

Panther Martin's New Big Eyed Pro Frogs and Sea Eagle's Frameless Pontoon Boat

Date: 7/21/09
Location: Orlando, Florida
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Manufacturer: Panther Martin / Sea Eagle
Reviewer: Team TackleTour



Introduction: Panther Martin and Sea Eagle both had exciting new products displayed at ICAST. Panther Martin showed a new frog called the Big Eyed Pro Frog which has a patented weedguard design and a solid body. Sea Eagle displayed their new Frameless Pontoon Boat that we already previewed but got more detailed information to report.


Introducing the new Panther Martin Big Eyed Pro Frogs

Panther Martin Big Eyed Pro Frog: Frog fishing is one of the most entertaining topwater techniques to employ. Panther Martin has been building frogs for 50 years now and this year at ICAST they reveal their latest evolution called the Big Eyed Pro Frog that incorporates some quality features designed to incite more strikes and keep them pinned on.


We really like the new design, body, legs, and hook with a new weedguard


The Big Eyed Pro Frog is different than other frogs in that it features a solid body instead of a hollow one so it doesn't take on water like hollow frogs. The Big Eyed Pro Frog is designed with the company's exclusive Polycore Dual-Density Body technology. The high-density soft plastic outer skin gives the Pro Frog a natural look and feel and provides the added weight to cast further. The solid, low-density inner polymer core anchors the hardware and delivers permanent floatation. The lure is designed with a concave throat contour that allows the lure to wake, walk, splash, and pop like no hollow bodied frog can.


Instead of a solid leg like before the Pro Frog uses skirts for added effectiveness


Here's another unique feature about the Panther Martin new frog. It has a patented Pro-Tec weedguard by lure designer Tom Fusco which protects the hook point on all sides as well as eliminates what he calls "weedguard rollover" while gliding through the thickest mats and weeds. If by slim chance the weedguard disengages during a cast or when it lands, you can still fish the frog as the weedguard's tip has a convex plastic guard that allows the guard to slide pass the hook point when a fish strikes.


A patented Pro-Tec weedguard is easy to trigger, keeps the lure weedless, and won't catch on the loop due to its design


The new frog uses a high-quality Owner hook, has huge holographic eyes, and frog legs made of elastic skirts. The Panther Martin Big Eyed Pro Frog comes in five exciting patterns, two sizes of 3/8 and 5/8 ounces, and will retail for about $7.49 and will become available in September 2009.


Engaged and disengaged


Notice the convex design of the black plastic portion of the hook hanger, this is the patented design that makes the weedguard so effective


Panther Martin Holographic Spinners: Panther Martin also builds upon the  top selling PM Holographic Spinners by introducing four new holographic patterns:


Holographic Green/Gold

Holographic Gold/Orange

Holographic Silver/Blue

Holographic Silver/Gold


The new holographic spinners are available in sizes 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 15 and available now.


Trout will love to chase these new holographic spinners


Sea Eagle 285 FPB: We've already done a in-depth preview on the 285 FPB but we were able to see if first hand loaded with all the accessories.


The Sea Eagle 285 FPB, completely frameless and portable


The design of the 385 FPB is different in that you are elevated from the water and the floor of the FPB doesn't touch water unless you overload the inflatable. The U-shaped pontoon, which has two separate chambers keep the floor floating above water. This is similar to the previous Sea Eagle inflatable boats we have tested.


The U-shaped duel-chamber pontoons keep you and the floor elevated for better hydrodynamics


Cecil shows JIP how light the 285 FPB is when completely rigged with the Pro Package


The motor mount on the 285 FPB is rugged and easy to install. Just make sure to install it when the boat is not 100% inflated yet. The mount can hold any electric motor and can even be used with a gas motor up to 3HP max.


Bow storage bag to keep your things dry


Rod holders are also built onto the Sea Eagle. They are able to hold different sized rod handles with the use of inserts. These insert adapters hallow anglers to decrease the diameter of the rod holder so rods of varying sized grips will fit in securely making it possible to accommodate both fresh and saltwater rods.


An integrated rod holder that can hold rod handles of multiple sizes


Just by adding the floorboard it increases stability and allows you to stand up and fish


The floor board is a must for anglers. We stood on it during ICAST and it was stable and very similar feel to the other Sea Eagle inflatable boats.


A rugged motor mount can hold electric or gas powered motors up to 3HP


The 285 FPB comes with a standard seat or an elevated swivel seat. There's a trade off here and will probably be redesigned in the future. The inflatable seat that comes with the standard package, it sits low to the floor of the inflatable so rowing is more efficient. The elevated swivel seat is much more supportive as it has a rigid chair and is the better choice for motoring. Cecil Hoge told us that in the next revision of the FPB they will change the oar locks to make the unit easier to row from either seat options.


Oars are locked in to prevent them from falling over


The elevated swivel seat is elevated to make for more comfortable seating while fishing


An inflatable seat comes with the standard package. Upgrade to the Pro package to get the swivel seat and base pictured above


Even when the complete unit is rigged with the Pro package it is still extremely lightweight and easy to carry by one person. There are handles upfront and in the rear of the FPB. Cecil also told us that Cabelas among other big retailers will be stocking these in their stores. So if you want to see one before you purchasing it online now you have the option to kick the tires...um the pontoon tube actually. The company is finding that most anglers are buying the Pro package over the Deluxe because the Pro has the swivel seat with aluminum support, motor mount, and wooden floorboard, all of which are desirable features for anglers.


Thanks to Cecil Hoge and Thomas Fusco for showing us the Big Eyed Pro Frog and 285 FPB frameless pontoon

Conclusion: Panther Martin and Sea Eagle both always have something exciting to show us at shows. Panther Martin's new frog is a return to a classic solid bodied design with an advanced weedguard. The Sea Eagle 285 FPB, this is a top notch one person inflatable boat that's completely frameless. This new inflatable is extremely portable and can be launched just about anywhere you can carry the boat. It features useful accessories such as a motor mount, floorboard, and rod holders. Both of these products impressed us with their functional easy to employ yet effective designs. 








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