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Z-Man Fishing Product’s MinnowZ has 10 New Colors

by Ned Kehde   |  February 14th, 2014 2


Z-Man Fishing Product’s MinnowZ has been a saltwater staple for a number of years. And its pearl, mud-minnow and glow-chartreuse hues have also played a role in the grub tactics that some temperate bass anglers employ. Recently some Midwest finesse anglers have affixed it on either a 1/16- or 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig, and they use it to pursue largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass  as they would a traditional bass grub or small swimbait by swimming it across patches of coontail and bushy pondweed or along wind-blown rocky points and shorelines. 

This three-inch soft-plastic grub or swimbait is manufactured from a material called ElaZtech, which Z-Man describes as being exceptionally soft and buoyant. Moreover, it is extremely durable. In fact, it is so durable that some temperate bass anglers have tangled with 100 white bass with the same MinnowZ. 

It is graced with a boot tail, which generates noticeable thumps and gyrations of its torso. Its back is endowed with a dorsal fin, which is also a hook slot, and if finesse anglers us a small hook on their jigs, this dorsal fin also become a minor weed guard. 

In 2013, Z-Man added 10 new colors to their MinnowZ repertoire. Several are aimed at the saltwater market, but the Bluegill, Bloodworm, Mood Ring, Motor Oil, Purple/Chartreuse Tail, and Rootbeer/Chartreuse Tail hues look as if they will catch the eyes of some Midwest finesse anglers and their black bass quarries.

Some retailers sell a package of eight for $3.99.


Drew Reese’s lineage as a Midwest finesse anglers reaches back to its inception, when it was created by the  late Chuck Woods and Ray Fincke in Kansas City during the 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays Reese resides in Rantoul, Kansas, and spends his summers in Ontario chasing smallmouth bass. During the summer of 2013, he discovered that the MinnowZ rigged on either a 1/15- or 1/10-ounce homemade mushroom-style jig is more than a grub or small swimbait that emulates a minnow or a smelt and is  retrieved by swimming it across smallmouth bass lairs.  Reese found that hopping and bouncing it along the bottom seems to replicate the antics of a crayfish, and by executing such a retrieve, he tangled with an impressive array of smallmouth bass in 2013. To read more about Reese’s smallmouth bass tactics, please examine the Midwest finesse column at this link:



  • Steve Craven

    Hey Ned, Steve from central Maryland here, just returned from a 8 day fresh/saltwater trip to Florida and thought I would share some details. 2 days in the St Johns river for largemouth and crappie, 2 days in the Indian River/Mosquito Lagoon system for Reds, Trout and Snook (among others). St Johns was tough. The cold weather that stayed in the area for most of the winter made for long, slow days with lethargic, non-agressive bass. 3 anglers in 3 kayaks for a total of 21 hrs on the water for a grand total of 32 bass and about 20-25 crappie. Started with Midwest Finesse and worked our way through every thing we brought. No consistent patterns/locations. Indian River and Mosquito lagoon were a different story. Used Z-Mans Minnow Z on 1/8 oz swimbait hooks rigged weedless in various colors, absolutelly killer Reds and Trout. Don’t have final tally, but between us we caught hundreds of fish. Jacks, a few Snook, Ladyfish, small Tarpon and Saltwater Catfish in addititon to the Reds and Trout. Sight fishing plus general fan casting/junk fishing on flats and along weed edges and through sandholes. 2 days of golf also. Fabulous trip, hope to do it again next year. Hope all is well with you and yours, talk to you soon, Steve Craven

    • nkehde

      Thanks for sending us your Florida insights. As spring unfolds, we are looking forward to reading about your Midwest finesse endeavors in Maryland. Please keep us posted, and, of course, we will be interested in reading about yourFlorida expeditions in 2015 unfold.
      Best wishes,

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