July 07, 2022
By Game & Fish Staff
Z-Man Fishing is expecting to make a splash at this year’s ICAST fishing trade show, scheduled July 19-22 in Orlando.
Among the company’s new-for-2022 offerings include:
HellraiZer Tail Blade Topwater Lure
Scheduled to be unveiled during ICAST, the mysterious new lure is said to produce "some of the craziest topwater action of your life." More from Z-man:
"Created by original ChatterBait architect Ron Davis, the new Z-Man HellraiZer carves the water with a familiar pulse and sound— and a mad, desperate action only a predator and its prey can appreciate.
"But when you tie it on and crank it across the surface, something happens to your heartbeat. You can’t put your finger on the feeling, though your instincts tell you something electrifying and a little dangerous is about to happen. You keep winding, witnessing the lure’s strangely familiar fleeing action, listening to its hypnotic, water-churning invitations. Like you’re observing a wounded fish or some other critter sneaking its way across the surface—trying desperately not to be detected from beneath."
Ned Rig Goes Micro
Another mystery bait expected to be unveiled around ICAST is the Z-Man’s new Micro Finesse BaitZ and Micro Finesse ShroomZ jigs to bring popular Ned rig to panfish -- and trout and bass, too. The big reveal is expected soon. Says the company, "For the first time ever, crappie, panfish and ultra-finesse fans stand to benefit from the softness, buoyancy and accentuated action—and the unparalleled toughness— of ElaZtech . . . via five new snack-sized softbait profiles."
DieZel Eye Jigheads
At the end of June, Z-Man released info on its new mondo-size jighead, the DieZel Eye, which comes in eight hook-weight combos from 3/8-ounce-6/0 size to a 3-ounce-8/0 beast. Available in August, the DieZel Eye is built for big baits, such as the 5- and 7-inch DieZel MinnowZ and other supersized soft plastics. They feature black nickel Tri-Forge Power Hooks with a three-sided configuration and cutting edges tapering toward the hookpoint.
"While standard jig hooks are forged on two-sides, we equipped the DieZel Eye Jighead with exclusive Tri-Forge hooks, which feature a triangular cross section at the bend for unmatched strength," said Z-Man President Daniel Nussbaum. "Our hook-strength tests showed that the Tri-Forge Power Hooks were significantly stronger than traditional hooks. Makes all the difference in the world when you’re wrenching on a heavyweight saltwater predator. The points on these hooks are also sticky sharp for penetrating the toughest, boniest jaws that bite."
Coming in red, glow or chartreuse, the jigheads have an MSRP of $5.99 to $11.99 per 2-pack, depending on style.
Z-Man’s supersized DieZel Eye was developed and crafted in concert with jig head makers Eye Strike Fishing, leading with the lure’s oversized 3D eyes.
South Carolina inshore legend and Eye Strike Fishing co-owner, Ralph Phillips added, "Over decades of successful fishing, the most productive lures, by far, proved to be those sporting bright, prominent eyes. … No other strike target can match the eyes in terms of provoking a predatory response. It’s why large, vibrant, lifelike eyeballs dominate the DieZel Eye Jighead."
Learn more: www.zmanfishing.com
Midwest Finesse Swim Jig
Also arriving at tackle stores in August, is the Ned rig-friendly Midwest Finesse Swim Jig (MSRP $4.99), featuring ¼-, 3/16- and 5/32-ounce sizes in six colors.
"I'm a diehard finesse guy, but I also recognize plenty of situations in which standard exposed-hook Ned rig stuff isn't quite so efficient," said Drew Reese, among the greatest angling tacticians of his era (he was 7th at the first Bassmaster Classic.) "A major motivation behind the design of the Midwest Finesse Swim Jig was to give anglers another tool in their finesse arsenal that fishes faster and shines in heavier cover where standard mushroom jigs aren't so efficient.”
He says the new jig makes sense for heavy-cover finesse bass fishing.
"I tested a ton of different weedless finesse style jigs and found that most of them just weren't right for finesse fishing in Midwest lakes and reservoirs," Reese said. "Most lacked the right light-wire hooks for light line or contained weed guards too rigid to hook bass."
The new jig can be easily cast with light line and spinning tackle. "Sometimes, you simply need a jig that can be fished a little faster, maybe across a grassy flat or around submerged wood. While slower-moving Finesse ShroomZ jigheads and small ElaZtech baits shine in loads of situations, bass often react even more favorably to a faster swimming presentation, especially in a downsized package.”
Read more from Reese about the new Midwest Finesse Swim Jig