Z-Man's Hula StickZ: an Update
September 28, 2015
On July 10, 2012, we published our first gear guide about Z-Man Fishing Products' Hula StickZ.
Since then, we have penned many words describing and lauding its effectiveness. A goodly number of those words have appeared in our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing, which we publish every month. These monthly guides contain anglers' logs that are initially circulated on the Finesse News Network, and then we edit them and publish them at http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/. The logs describe how, when, and where Midwest finesse anglers at various locales around the nation catch largemouth bass, Guadeloupe bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. A significant number of the logs contain observations about the Hula StickZ. In the endnotes below, there is a bibliography with Internet links to some of the other stories we have published about the Hula StickZ.
Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and Sioux Narrows, Ontario, designed the Hula StickZ for Z-Man. Reese is one of the forefathers of Midwest finesse fishing, and he was mentored as a youngster in the 1960s by Chuck Woods of Kansas City, Missouri, and Ray Fincke of Overland Park, Kansas.
Woods was the creator of the Beetle, Beetle Spin, and several other Midwest finesse baits. Fincke was a talented multispecies angler, who created spinning rods for Midwest finesse applications and owned a tackle store where Reese worked when he was a high school student and where Woods hung out and created baits when he wasn't fishing or working as a painter. Several years after Reese graduated from college, he competed in the first Bass Master Classic. At the Classic, he used the rods, lures, and tactics that he learned from Woods and Fincke, as well as from Virgil and Bill Ward of Amsterdam, Missouri, who he worked with at Bass Buster Lure Company.
In 1972, Reese stopped tournament fishing, saying that tournaments took something he loved to do and turned it into a job. Since then, he says he has been having a ball for more than 50 years by fishing with light line and finesse tactics.
Since 1992, Reese has been keeping tract of every black bass that he has caught. And on August 25, he reported on the Finesse News Network that he caught black bass number 50,000, which was a two-pound smallmouth bass. He didn't catch this smallmouth bass on a Hula StickZ, but since the summer of 2012, he has come to the conclusion that the Hula StickZ is the most effective black bass bait that he has ever employed, and it has helped him immensely to reach that 50,000 mark. (Reese, by the way, rigs the Hula StickZ on Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jigs, which he also designed.)
At this year's International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades Show in Orlando, Florida, Z-Man introduced two new color combinations of the Hula StickZ. Those colors are Black/Blue Flake and The Deal, and at last year's show, Z-Man introduced the California Craw and Canada Craw. It is now available in nine colors. Reese especially relishes the California Craw and Canada Craw Hula StickZ.
Some anglers are curious about the color called The Deal, and we asked Daniel Nussbaum, who is the general manager and executive vice president at Z-Man to describe it for us. And in an Aug, 26 email, he wrote: "The Deal isn't meant to replicate the hue of a specific baitfish or invertebrate, but it is a color combination that we came up with based on some suggestions from various anglers. The back is a pearlescent-green-pumpkin color, and the belly is a translucent shimmering blue with iridescent violet flakes. We figured it would be a good addition to the product line as it has applications for worms, creatures, and swimbaits. And it is different than any colors we've seen on the market."
Anglers can purchase a package of five Hula StickZs from one Internet retailer for $3.99.
Here are five links to other stories about the Hula StickZ: