December 13, 2017
On Mar. 12, 2014, we published a Midwest Finesse column entitled "Z-Man's Fishing Products' Finesse ShadZ: a discourse on its manifold merits."
We noted in that column that it had been a mainstay for Midwest finesse anglers since 2011. Three and a half years later, it still is a mainstay, and we suspect that it always will be.
At the 2017 International Conventions of Allied Sportfishing Trades show at Orlando, Florida, Z-Man introduced four new hues of the Finesse ShadZ to the angling world.
And for the Midwest finesse anglers who ply crystalline waterways, where the black bass spend a lot of time foraging on slender, shiny, and tiny fish -- such as young or small alewives, bluntnose minnows, brook silversides, chubs, ciscoes, smelt, threadfin shad, and similar specimens, three of these new colors will be a wonderful asset. They are Shiner, Smelt, and The Deal.
The Shiner has an olive-brown hue and silver hue. The olive hue is along its back or dorsal, and its belly is silver. It is translucent.
The Smelt possesses a gray hue and silver hue. Its back is gray, and its belly is silver. It is primarily translucent. But some areas are almost transparent and a few areas are almost opaque.
The Deal possesses an olive-gray hue and silver hue that are highlighted with black flakes and tiny blue flake. Its belly is silver, and its back possesses the olive-brown hue. It is translucent.
The fourth color is called the Meat Dog. In some anglers' eyes, it replicates the hues of various sunfishes, daces, and darters. But Daniel Nusssbaum of Ladson, South Carolina, who is president of Z-Man, said in an email that it is dark blue on top and green on the bottom. It replicates a popular soft-plastic-bait color rather than any kind of forage. It is a color that many of Z-Man's professional anglers have requested for their drop-shot tactics in clear-water fisheries. It is translucent and a tad opaque in places.
In addition to being an efficacious black-bass lure, Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and Sioux Narrows, Ontario, Canada, has found it to be a stellar walleye bait, which he affixes to a Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. According to Reese, the Finesse ShadZ will inveigle considerably more walleye than all of the traditional live-bait rigs that anglers have employed for years on end when they are pursuing walleye on the Lake of the Woods, which lies on the Minnesota and Ontario border. And in the eyes of the Lake of the Woods' walleye, it is likely that the three hues will make the Finesse ShadZ even more alluring to them. Reese has also found the Finesse ShadZ to be a dandy bait for catching the Lake of the Woods' lake trout.
Besides the four new colors, the Finesse ShadZ is available in Blue Steel, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin/Blue Flake, Junebug, Pumpkin /Green Flake, Morningwood, Watermelon, and Watermelon Red.
(It needs to be noted that Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas have found across the years that transparent and translucent soft-plastic baits are more effective in clear-water environs than they are in stained and murky waterways. Likewise, opaque soft-plastic baits are more effective in stained and murky waters than transparent and translucent ones. There is a long-lived myth in the angling world that finesse tactics should be aimed at black bass that reside in clear-water environs, but the Midwest finesse anglers who ply the stained flatland reservoirs in northeastern Kansas have found that their finesse tactics with soft-plastic baits work as well in stained waterways as they do in clear waterways. For example, the Pearl Finesse ShadZ, which is opaque, has been a very effective stained-water bait in northeastern Kansas since 2011. )
The Finesse ShadZ is exceptionably soft and flexible. It is not salt impregnated, which enhances its durability and ability to glide slowly when Midwest finesse anglers employ the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. In fact, it is so durable that Midwest finesse anglers, who affix them to a Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig, can catch from 50 to 125 black bass on the same Finesse ShadZ. It is not enhanced with a scent, but if anglers prefer to employ a scented Finesse ShadZ, Z-Man recommends that anglers use one of Pro-Cure Bait Scents'Super Gel scents.
A package of eight can be purchased for $4.49.
(1) Here is a link to Z-Man's website: https://zmanfishing.com/store/categories/elaztech/finesse_shadz.
(2) Here is the link to our 2014 Midwest Finesse column about the Finesse ShadZ: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-fishing-products-finesse-shadz/#ixzz4vgJHVvx2.
(3) Since Shin Fukae of Osaka, Japan, introduced Midwest finesse anglers to the virtues of a shad-shaped worm on April 1, 2006, at Beaver Lake, Arkansas, it has played a significant role in our repertoire. Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column about how Fukae employed the shad-shaped worm that he used at Beaver Lake: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/a-midwest-finesse-tribute-to-shin-fukae/.