On July 10, 2012, we penned 1,133 words about Z-Man Fishing Products' Hula StickZ, which was designed by Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas.
Reese is one of the pioneers of Midwest fishing. During his youth, he was coached by the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, who is heralded as the original architect of Midwest finesse fishing.
Since 2012, the Hula StickZ has become the dominate bait for scores of smallmouth bass anglers who ply some of the waterways in Ontario, Canada. In fact, Reese spends his summers in southwest Ontario, where he catches thousands of smallmouth bass and regularly wields a Hula StickZ affixed to a Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig.
It has also become one of the chief baits in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers who fish for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in Kansas and Missouri.
And as the word slowly spreads across the vast and intertwined piscatorial grapevine, it should eventually become the favorite stickbait of untold numbers of finesse and power anglers around the nation.
In essence, it is a stickbait that is adorned with four tentacles. Thus, it is a combo bait — part stickbait and part tube.
Some Midwest finesse anglers occasionally rig it with the tentacles around the collar of the jig and adjacent to the head, which resembles a sparse skirt.
Some of these anglers also affix one of the tentacles to the point of the hook, which makes a hook guard and allows these anglers to probe snaggy lairs.
Since Z-Man introduced the Hula StickZ in 2012, Daniel Nussbaum says the manufacturing formula has changed a touch, and now they are impregnated with 25 percent salt rather than 15 percent, and the material is slightly softer. Nussbaum said: "It's not a huge difference, but we feel it is a positive improvement for that bait." It is still an extremely buoyant bait, and when it is affixed to a jig and presented in a deadstick motif, the tail will rise off of the bottom 90 degrees and the four tentacles will undulate.
Z-Man has also recently introduced two new colors: California Craw and Canada Craw. And according to Reese, these two colors allured untold numbers of smallmouth bass for him and his friends in southwest Ontario during the summer of 2015.
A package of six can be purchased for $4.49 from one national retailer.
Here is a link to the July 10,2012, gear-guide about the Hula StickZ: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/finesse-news-networks-gear-guide-hula-stickz/.