Skip to main content

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.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Portable Hornady Rapid Safes - Security on the Water

Portable Hornady Rapid Safes - Security on the Water

Hornady Security has a new line of portable safes with applications for anglers who want to have a firearm on board their boats, just in case.

Daiwa Dark Water Rods

Daiwa Dark Water Rods

From barracuda to wahoo to kingfish to sailfish and beyond, these new Daiwa saltwater rods rely on HVG technology (that makes them 50% lighter), soft tips to protect leaders as big fish make strong runs, and strong backbones to help anglers crank up hard-fighting species from below.

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Doug Stange uses softbaits from Berkley to entice finicky smallmouth bass.

Largemouth Bass: Tricks of Our Trade

Largemouth Bass: Tricks of Our Trade

The In-Fisherman staff reveals insider swimming jig tips and tricks for big bass.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Bass rigs can be simple or complex, but most have evolved to include multiple variations.Bass Rigs You Need to Be Fishing Bass

Bass Rigs You Need to Be Fishing

Matt Straw

Bass rigs can be simple or complex, but most have evolved to include multiple variations.

You're going to love this Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe! These deep-fried walleye strips are tasty and dress up nicely when served in a basket or on a plate with fresh fruit such as grapes and strawberries.Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe Fish Recipes

Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe

In-Fisherman

You're going to love this Beer-Battered Fish Fingers Recipe! These deep-fried walleye strips...

Introduced species often directly or indirectly adversely affect native species.Questioning Fish Introductions Other Fish

Questioning Fish Introductions

Dr. Hal Schramm - July 06, 2020

Introduced species often directly or indirectly adversely affect native species.

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

This July guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 15 logs.Midwest Finesse Fishing: July 2020 Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: July 2020

Ned Kehde - August 03, 2020

This July guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 15 logs.

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 22 logs.Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2020 Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2020

Ned Kehde - September 08, 2020

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 22 logs.

It is impregnated with salt and Bizz Bait's Jack'em Juice.Bizz Baits' Ned Dizzy Midwest Finesse

Bizz Baits' Ned Dizzy

Ned Kehde - September 17, 2020

It is impregnated with salt and Bizz Bait's Jack'em Juice.

It is impregnated with a shrimp scent.Reins Fishing's three-inch Rockvibe Shad Midwest Finesse

Reins Fishing's three-inch Rockvibe Shad

Ned Kehde - September 21, 2020

It is impregnated with a shrimp scent.

See More Midwest Finesse

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now