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

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

Awesome Spoon Bluegill System

Awesome Spoon Bluegill System

Check out this deadly spoon system for big bluegills introduced by one of In-Fisherman's readers.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

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...

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. Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

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

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you can Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Z-Man Fishing Products has resurrected one of the great cornerstones of Midwest finesse fishing. Midwest Finesse

Z-Man Fishing Products' OG Mushroom Jighead

Ned Kehde - June 18, 2020

Z-Man Fishing Products has resurrected one of the great cornerstones of Midwest finesse...

The Tour Swim Worm's posterior section, including its unique paddle-style tail, is three inches long. Midwest Finesse

Big Bite Baits' Tour Swim Worm

Ned Kehde - June 12, 2020

The Tour Swim Worm's posterior section, including its unique paddle-style tail, is three...

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm. Midwest Finesse

Mann's Bait Company's SpringR Worm

Ned Kehde - July 02, 2020

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm.

The profile of its torso reflects the shapes of a variety of small fishes. Midwest Finesse

Berkley Fishing's PowerBait The Deal

Ned Kehde - May 26, 2020

The profile of its torso reflects the shapes of a variety of small fishes.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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