December 04, 2018
By Ned Kehde
X Zone Lures of Grimsby, Ontario, has been manufacturing soft-plastic finesse baits since 2011. And recently their Mini Slammer, Slim Slammer, The Original Slammer, Fat Slammer, Slammer Craw, Pro Leech, and Shiver Shad have caught the attention of Midwest finesse anglers. These baits are part of the X Zone’s Classic Hand Pour Series.
About two months after X Zone introduced its three-inch Ned Zone, which is part of its Pro Series, to the angling world on May 28, a veteran Midwest finesse angler and contributor to the Finesse News Network wondered why we had not published a gear guide about it. He called it a newfangled stick-style bait. He suggested that we get some details about it by contacting Jim Van Ryn of Smithville, Ontario, who is the proprietor of VRX Fishing Products, which is the parent company of X Zone Lures.
We contacted Van Ryn, and he sent us a package of X Zone Lures’ Pro Series 3” Ned Zones in the green-pumpkin-purple hue.
Here are some facts about this ultramodern Midwest finesse stick-style bait.
It is exactly three inches long. From the tip of its flat head or nose to the end of its bulbous tail, its epidermis is encircled with small ribs. There are 20 to 21 ribs per inch.
It is made from what X Zone says is a “top grade super soft plastic.” And it is very buoyant.
Its head is five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about fifteen-sixteenths of an inch.
Its torso is three-eighths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of about 1 1/4 inches.
The torso becomes smaller as it approaches the junction with the tail. At this junction, it is an eighth of an inch wide with a circumference of about fifteen-sixteenths of an inch.
X Zone describes its tail as being bulbous. Some folks, however, say it possesses an elliptical shape. There are others who describe it as possessing an oval shape. A few anglers might call it marquise shape. It is three-eighths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of 1 3/16 inches. This unique tail was designed to provoke the Ned Zone to exhibit a subtle and different gyration than the traditional styles of Midwest finesse stick-style baits display. The folks at X Zone describe it as “a seductive quivering action.”
Because the Ned Zone’s torso and tail are buoyant, the bulbous tail will rise above the bottom when an angler employs a deadstick presentation. In the minds of scores and scores of anglers, this is a much coveted feature.
Along its ventral area or belly, it is endowed with an alignment line. It begins at the tip of the head, and it is 1 15/16 inches long. This line helps anglers to rig it straight as an arrow onto a jig and the shank of the jig’s hook.
Midwest finesse anglers will affix it to a mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook and present it to their black-bass quarries by employing all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves and variations of those retrieves. According to X Zone, it can also be rigged on a wacky rig, drop shot, shaky head, split-shot rig, and Carolina rig.
It is available in the following colors: Bass Candy, Craw Laminate, Dirty Shad, Green Pumpkin Black Flake, Green Pumpkin Purple, Minnow Magic, Pearl Silver Flake, Perch, Purple Shiner, Smoke Pearl Laminate, 309, Violet Secret, Watermelon Pearl Laminate, and Watermelon Red Flake.
They are impregnated with salt and scent. The folks at X Zone note that the salt is a super-fine formula.
A package of 10 costs $3.99.