Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Z-Man's three-inch FattyZ prototype

Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Z-Man's three-inch FattyZ prototype

When Z-Man Fishing Products introduced their FattyZ and Hula StickZ to the angling world last July at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, a bevy of Midwest finesse anglers sang choruses of praise.

And since then the Hula StickZ that is affixed to a jig has become one of the dominant smallmouth bass baits for a group of Midwest finesse anglers who ply some of the oligotrophic waterways along the Canadian and United States border.  And in the hands of a number of Midwest finesse anglers that ply some of the man-made reservoirs that stipple the Heartland, the Hula StickZ-and-jig-combo has inveigled untold numbers of largemouth bass.

On July 23, 2012, we posted a blog entitled "Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Z-Man's FattyZ." It featured Luke Clausen of Spokane Valley, Washington, and it pinpointed the way that he successfully used it at several FLW tournaments in 2012. We also wrote about how Midwest finesse anglers would customize this five-inch bait, making the tail  segment of it into an unique 2 1/2-inch stick- or senko-style bait and its head section into a 2 1/2-inch tube-style bait. Then we would attach those 2 1/2-inch baits to a 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig.

On Aug. 8, 2012, we posted a blog entitled  "Finesse News Network's Gear Guide: Z-Man's FattyZ, an update,"  which provided more details about how and  where we employed the Gopher jig and 2 1/2-inch tail segment of the FattyZ , as well as some photographs of largemouth and smallmouth bass that this combo inveigled.



As the late summer and fall of 2012 unfolded into the winter of 2012-13 in northeastern Kansas, the 2 1/2-inch tail segment of a FattyZ on a 1/16-ounce Gopher jig became  one of our most effective Midwest finesse baits for alluring largemouth bass -- especially in waters as cold as 40 degrees.  It even surpassed our traditional standard-bearer, which is the 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ. (What's more, the 2 1/2-inch head that is customized into a tube has been an extremely profitable tool at times for alluring largemouth bass, such as  a five-pound, 11-ouncer that we caught at a 2,600-acre power-plant reservoir on Jan. 7.)


On Feb. 10, we received an e-mail from Daniel Nussbaum of Ladson, South Carolina, and Z-Man Fishing Products, who announced that Z-Man was in the throes of working on a three-inch prototype of the  FattyZ.  Besides being the general manager and executive vice president of Z-Man, Nussbaum is an ardent saltwater angler who has found that redfish and seatrout are readily allured by the five-inch FattyZ -and-jig combo -- especially in cold-water scenarios, and he suspects that redfish and seatrout will find the three-inch prototype to be enticing, too.

Nussbaum also sent us three prototypes to examine and test, and they arrived on Feb. 25. At first glance and touch, they looked and felt as if they will become one of the primary baits in our Midwest finesse repertoire.

We would have field tested them several times during the last days of February and first ones of March, but Old Man Winter walloped us with too much snow and below freezing weather. So, it wasn't until Mar. 4 that Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I were able to get afloat at a 2,600-acre power-plant reservoir in eastern Kansas, where the wintertime bass traditionally exhibit a hankering for Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ.  On this outing, the largemouth bass fishing was more than a touch trying, and we were able to catch only 28 largemouth bass in 4 1/2 hours of fishing. Most of them were allured by Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ affixed to a 1/16-ounce  Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig, but five largemouth bass and one white bass were inveigled by the three-inch FattyZ prototype on a red 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.  As 2013 unfolds, we will post reports about the three-inch FattyZ and its ability to allure the largemouth and smallmouth bass that abide in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas.


*************************************************************************************


***********************************************************************************

Nussbaum has been using the five-inch FattyZ for redfish since October of 2011.  In December of 2012, he cut the head and tail off  of the torso of the FattyZ. Then he glued the head and tail together to make the first three-inch FattyZ,  and he successfully used it to catch seatrout and redfish.  (That bait is in the photograph above).  In February, the Z-Man staff used Nussbaum's trimmed and glued rendition to make the mold for the prototype and poured some ElaZtech into the mold to make a few prototypes.

Recommended for You

Catfish is meaty, juicy and holds up well in this soul-satisfying fried fish recipe with homemade chips and tartar sauce. Fish Recipes

Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Catfish is meaty, juicy and holds up well in this soul-satisfying fried fish recipe with...

In-Fisherman

Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

In-Fisherman Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat! Bass

Topwater Lure Secrets for Bass

Jim Edlund - April 26, 2018

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

And handful of lure options produce big pike early in the season.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's Jeff Miller shares a room-full of new gear for 2020 with Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers nationwide. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Here are the past Midwest Finesse Fishing logs for the month of November. Midwest Finesse

Novembers of the Past

Ned Kehde

Here are the past Midwest Finesse Fishing logs for the month of November.

Here is what we discovered about the YUM Ned Minnow. Midwest Finesse

YUM'S Ned Minnow

Ned Kehde

Here is what we discovered about the YUM Ned Minnow.

It is a soft-plastic finesse bait that was designed by Skeet Reese. Midwest Finesse

Berkley Fishing's Powerbait Ca$h Out Worm

Ned Kehde - December 20, 2019

It is a soft-plastic finesse bait that was designed by Skeet Reese.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.