November 27, 2013
By Ned Kehde
On July 23, 2012, we published a blog about Z-Man's Fishing Products' FattyZ, which was introduced to the angling world at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades on July 11 - 13, 2012, at Orlando, Florida.
In that initial blog, we noted that the creation of the FattyZ was spawned by Luke Clausen, who is a talented professional bass tournament angler from Spokane Valley, Washington.
At Clausen's behest and with his help, Z-Man created a bait that Clausen calls a power-finesse lure. It possesses a subtler and slimmer profile than Z-Man's five-inch ZinkerZ. Unlike the ZinkerZ, its tail wags with the slightest provocation, and it even undulates seductively during a deadsticking presentation. Because 25 percent of the FattyZ's body weight is salt and 40 percent of the body weight of the ZinkerZ is salt, the speed that the FattyZ drops from the surface to the bottom or into a bass' lair is slower than that of the ZinkerZ. Clausen described the fall-rate of the FattyZ as "a natural fall."
From the get-go, Midwest finesse anglers haven't used the FattyZ the way that Clausen and Z-Man created it to be used. They customize it, making it into a purely finesse bait, attaching it to a 1/32-ounce, 1/16-ounce, or 3/32-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig, and using it to catch oodles of largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass -- especially in cold-water situations.
To customize this 4 7/8-inch bait, Midwest finesse anglers separate its tail and its lower torso from its head and its upper torso. They sever it at the spot on its belly where the back portion of the molded-in slot ends. This creates a 2 1/2- to 2 5/8-inch stick-style bait. The front portion of this customized bait is 2 1/4 to 2 3/8-inches long, and the anglers use a pair if sharp Fiskar scissors to cut six to eight tentacles within the framework of the molded-in slot, creating a what they call solid-body-tube-style bait, and they have nicknamed it the FattyZ tube. When Midwest finesse anglers rig one of these FattyZ baits on a Gopher jig, the jig hook is exposed. But if anglers are working with the FattyZ tube around snaggy lairs, they can use one of the tube's tentacles as a hook guard.
At the 2013 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, Z-Man announced that it was manufacturing the FattyZ in six new colors: Bluegill, Green Pumpkin/Orange, Mood Ring, PB&J, Redbone, and Sprayed Grass. Several of these colors looks as if they will be effective for Midwest finesse applications. (A photograph of a Mood Ring ZinkerZ appears at the top of this blog.)
Of course, power anglers can use the FattyZ and its new colors the way Clausen intended it to be employed, which is with casting tackle and rigged Texas-style on a 3/16-ounce Z-Man Shaky HeadZ jig or with a 3/16-ounce slip sinker and 4/0 offset worm hook.
A package of six can be purchased at Z-Man's retail store for $5.49 (http://zmanfishing.com/store/categories/elaztech/fattyz), but some retailers sell them for $3.99.
For more information about the FattyZ, please examine the following links:
(5) Some of our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing note how, when, and where we use the FattyZ. For example, our "Midwest Finesse Fishing: November 2013" blog, which will be published in December, will contain several references to the customized FattyZ.