Z-Man Fishing Products' Blue-Steel and Morningwood Finesse ShadZ

When Dwight Keefer of Phoenix, Arizona, started using  Z-Man's Fishing Products' Finesse ShadZ in 2011, he proclaimed that it is one of the top ten bass lures that has ever been made.

Keefer's angling pedigree stretches back to the 1960s. In fact, he is one of the pioneers of Midwest finesse fishing, and he was mentored by the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, who originated many of the Midwest finesse tactics in the 1950s and 1960s. While Keefer was a sophomore at the University of Kansas, he won the 1967 World Series of Sport Fishing Championship at Long Lake, Wisconsin. He competed at the second BASS Master Classic, which was held on Percy Priest Reservoir in Tennessee. Besides his many angling and tournament endeavors, Keefer worked in the tackle industry for a number of years. In sum, his perspectives about what constitutes an effective bass lure stem for some substantial roots.

Since 2010, the Finesse ShadZ has been one of the primary staples in Midwest finesse anglers' repertoire -- especially in the cold-water scenarios. For instance, 40 of the 48 largemouth bass that I caught on Nov. 14 at a 195-acre community reservoir in northeastern Kansas were allured by a green-pumpkin Finesse ShadZ rigged on a chartreuse 1/32-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig. I fished from 11:20 a.m. to 2:10 p.m., and the surface temperature around the lairs that I fished ranged from 47 to 49 degrees.

During the springs and summer of 2012 and 2013, several top-of-the-line Canadian walleye anglers discovered that the pearl Finesse ShadZ rigged on a jig was their most effective bait -- even surpassing livebait options by significant margins. During the spring, these walleye anglers often cast and retrieve it, and in the summer, they employ the Finesse ShadZ with a vertical presentation.

During the winter of 2013-14, some black bass anglers in the Ozarks are planning on using a vertical presentation with the Finesse ShadZ to allure suspended and deep-water largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass that are foraging on threadfin shad. (And we hope the report on this phenomenon in the months to come.)

At the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades at Las Vegas on July 9-12, Z-Man Fishing introduced two new colors of the Finesse ShadZ to the angling world. Those colors are blue steel and morningwood. Throughout the winter of 2013-14, we suspect that the Ozarks bass anglers will be testing the blue-steel Finesse ShadZ affixed to a jig.

In regard to the morningwood hue, Daniel Nussbaum, who is Z-Man's general manager, said: "We got a lot of requests from anglers (such as  our pro staff  and anglers we've met on the road) for our Finesse WormZ and Finesse ShadZ in a translucent pink color with some blue highlights in it.  This has been a very popular color for anglers who use drop-shot rigs in deep, clear waterways on West coast and the Southeast. For instance, at Lake Lanier Georgia, this color is popular in the summer when anglers target spotted bass with drop-shot rigs around brushpiles in 20 to 30 feet of water.  I don't know how useful it will be for  shallow-water finesse techniques, but that the pink-blue combination has been a hot color in certain fisheries."

The Finesse ShadZ is an exceptionally durable bait. In fact, one package can withstand the abuse rendered by 600 and more largemouth bass.

A package of eight retails for $5.49 at Z-Man's online store. Some retailers sell them for $3.99 a package.

The blue-steel Finesse ShadZ

The morningwood Finesse ShadZ

End notes

For more information about using a Finesse ShadZ for walleye in Canadian waterways, please use this link: http://www.in-fisherman.com/2013/10/01/z-man-goes-canada/

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