Scores of Midwest finesse anglers are thinking that Z-Man Fishing Products' new T.R.D. TubeZ will become one of their standard-bearers.
Because it has the potential to be a Midwest finesse standard-bearer, we noted in the endnotes of our July 22 gear guide that featured the T.R.D. TubeZ that we would periodically publish updates about it.
We recently received some insights about its durability and effectiveness from Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and we think his observations are noteworthy.
Reese spends about 90 days a year fishing at the Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada, and during the past several years, he has helped Z-Man create several Midwest finesse baits, such as the Hula StickZ, Finesse T.R.D., Finesse ShroomZ, and T.R.D. TubeZ. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Finesse News Network and a contributor to the Midwest Finesse column. He is also one of the forefathers of Midwest finesse fishing, which stems back into the 1950s and 1960s.
Here is what Reese said in a July 31 email: "The number of fish it catches is staggering." In regard to its durability, he said, "I have been catching large numbers on the new tube and would say that it holds up well for at least the first 25 [smallmouth bass]." The biggest issue, he says, is that it slides off of the bait keeper that is affixed to the shank of the jig's hook. When that happens, Reese merely removes the T.R.D. TubeZ from the ShroomZ Finesse jig, and then he rethreads it onto the hook. After it is reattached to the jig, it is ready to allure and tangle with an array of smallmouth bass.
Reese's email included a photograph of a Canada Craw T.R.D. TubeZ on a green-pumpkin 1/10-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig that had endured donnybrooks with 50 smallmouth bass within a span of two hours and 40 minutes. The photograph revealed that there is a tear in the middle of the TRD TubeZ's torso adjacent to the hook. Despite that tear, Reese said it had the wherewithal to withstand several more donnybrooks.
In a telephone conversation on Aug. 4, Reese praised another one of the T.R.D. TubeZ's virtues, which revolves around the fact that it doesn't become as twisted and askew on the jig as often as the Finesse T.R.D., Hula StickZ, and 2 1/2-inch ZinkeZ when it is engulfed by a fish. One of the frequent complaints that newcomers to Midwest finesse fishing utter revolves around the Finesse T.R.D., Hula StickZ, and 2 1/2-inch ZinkeZ becoming cattywompus when they are attacked by a fish.
In an Aug. 5 email, Reese said that he has not been able to acquire every color of the T.R.D. TubeZ. Since June 25, Reese has found that the most effective colors at the Lake of the Woods have been Canada Craw, Mudbug, and The Deal. He said, "What really puzzles me is I am not having much success with a green-pumpkin one even on cloudy days." Traditionally, green-pumpkin Z-Man's Finesse T.R.D. or Hula StickZ pay Reeves a lot of dividends on cloudy days, and on sunny ones, the soft-plastic baits with colorful and shiny flakes are effective ones. Therefore, he thought that the green-pumpkin T.R.D.TubeZ would be very effective on cloudy days.
Reese described his most effective retrieve with the T.R.D. TubeZ at the Lake of the Woods has been what he calls "three very subtle pumps [or lifts of the rod] then a pause. The beauty of the ShroomZ head and the tube is when it is sitting on the bottom.
Reese is well aware that many Midwest finesse anglers customize and shorten their soft-plastic baits. He advised anglers not to tinker with the T.R.D. TubeZ, proclaiming that it is perfect as it is.
(1) Here is the link to the first gear guide about Z-Man's T.R.D. TubeZ: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-trd-tubez.
(2) For more information about Drew Reese's uses of the T.R.D. TubeZ at the Lake of the Woods, please see his June 25 log at this link: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/midwest-finesse-fishing-june-2016/.
(3) For information about its effectiveness in the flatland reservoirs, see the July 1 log and July 19 log in the July guide to Midwest Finesse at this link: https://www.in-fisherman.com/gear-accessories/line/midwest-finesse-fishing-july-2016/.
(4) When my wife, Patty, and I were on our vacation in Minnesota from July 24 to July 29, I caught a smallmouth bass on my second cast of that vacation. That handsome brute was inveigled on a California Craw T.R.D. TubeZ affixed to a black 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. Here is a photograph of that smallmouth bass with the T.R.D. TubeZ by its mouth.
(5) In the future, we hope to publish Midwest Finesse columns about how we use it in Minnesota and northeastern Kansas. There will also be a Midwest Finesse column that focuses on how Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, uses it for catching riverine smallmouth bass in part of the world.