December 14, 2015
By Ned Kehde
Some Midwest finesse anglers are wacky rig devotees. These anglers are always in search of the best way to securely rig Z-Man's Fishing Products' Finesse WormZ, Finesse T.R.D., and ZinkerZ to a jig.
Those three Z-Man's soft-plastic baits, which are made with a material that is called ElaZtech, are exceptionally durable. In fact, Midwest finesse anglers have caught as many as 163 largemouth bass on the same Finesse WormZ. And across the years, Midwest finesse anglers have discovered that the effectiveness of the Finesse WormZ, Finesse T.R.D., and ZinkerZ increases markedly as they age and are pummeled by scores of largemouth bass. But when Midwest finesse anglers wacky rig a Finesse WormZ, Finesse T.R.D., and ZinkerZ , they have found that it is impossible to have these baits stay affixed to a jig long enough to get them properly aged and pummeled.
It looks, however, as if Fred Ward of Phoenix and Fast Freddie's Stuff has created a solution, and it is called the Perfect Wacky O-Ring. These o-rings are designed to keep the shank of the hook perpendicular to the Finesse WormZ, or Finesse T.R.D., or ZinkerZ rather than sliding the hook under the o-ring and having the shank of the hook parallel to the Finesse WormZ, or Finesse T.R.D., or ZinkerZ.
The Perfect Wacky O-Ring accomplishes this task by attaching a second and smaller o-ring to the o-ring that is affixed to the torso of the Finesse WormZ, or Finesse T.R.D., or ZinkerZ, and the hook is affixed to the second and smaller o-ring. This arrangement allows the hook to be in the perfect position, as well as keeping a Z-Man's bait firmly attached to the hook cast after cast and bass after bass, which will allow these baits to become aged, pummeled, and extremely alluring to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass.
The Perfect Wacky O-Ring is made from silicon. It is available in four colors: black, clear, green pumpkin, and oxblood. There are three sizes. The magnum-size o-ring is designed to fit Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits' seven- and nine-inch Senkos. The second one is the Senko size,which fits Yamamoto's five- and six-inch Senkos, as well as Z-Man's ZinkerZ and Finesse T.R.D. The finesse-size o-ring is designed to fit the finesse worms made by Roboworms, and it will fit similar size finesse worms made by other manufacturers, such as Z-Man's four-inch Finesse WormZ.
Anglers will be able to purchase them on Dec. 15. A package of 48 Perfect Wacky O-Rings, which includes the three sizes and four colors of the o-rings, and two applicators costs $14.95. The applicator expands the diameter of the Perfect Wacky O-Ring so that it will easily slip over the torso of a soft-plastic stickbait or plastic worm. One applicator is for the the magnum-size o-rings, and the second one is for the Senko-size and finesse-size o-rings. A package of refills costs $6.20, and the refill package contains 25 o-rings, and each refill package contains one size and one color.
(1) For more information see this link: http://www.wackysaddle.com.
(2) Midwest finesse anglers are leery about mixing Z-Man's ElaZtech baits with other kinds of plastics, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The reason for that is because PVC will cause ElaZtech baits to melt. We asked Daniel Nussbaum of Ladson, South Carolina, who is Z-Man's General Manager, about the interaction of PVC with ElaZtech, and he said in an email: "It usually takes more than a few hours for the two to start reacting. I don't know exactly, but I would be surprised if there were any changes within 24 hours." He also noted that he had never heard of any issues with o-rings designed for wacky rigging, and the reason for that is they are made out of vulcanized rubber rather than PVC, and ElaZtech is not affected by rubber. Fred Ward's Perfect Wacky O-Ring is made out of silicon, and Nussbaum said: "Silicone will not react with ElaZtech. Over time, it may absorb some of the oils we use in our material, but over the course of a day of fishing, it would not present any issues."
(3) We would like to receive reports from anglers who work with the Perfect Wacky O-Ring on ElaZtech baits. We would also like to receive reports about the durability of the Perfect Wacky O-Ring and how well they stay attached to a hook.