Z-Man's T.R.D.TubeZ, according to Drew Reese

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.

This is the slightly torn T.R.D. TubeZ that tangled with 50 smallmouth bass.

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.

DSCN1204 (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.

Recommended for You


Navionics adds SonarChart Shading to its Platinum+ and HotMaps Platinum cartography

In-Fisherman - April 29, 2019

Navionics adds SonarChart Shading and HotMaps Platinum.


Deep Cranking Confessions from the Pro's

John Neporadny Jr - December 18, 2017

Here's some important crankbait lessons from the big leagues.


Rigging Soft Bass Baits Correctly

Matt Straw - May 15, 2018

Balance is the goal when tipping jigs with trailers.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's Jeff Miller shares a room-full of new gear for 2020 with Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Frigid Water Smallmouths

Doug Stange swims jigs with precision for frigid-water smallmouths.

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...


Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2019

Ned Kehde - July 05, 2019

Midwest Finesse June 2019 fishing logs.

Midwest Finesse

Strike King Lure Company's Ned Ocho

Ned Kehde - August 05, 2019

The Strike King Ned Ocho Worm was designed after the proven original Strike King Ocho Stick...

Midwest Finesse

Riot Baits' Baton

Ned Kehde - July 18, 2019

The Baton's unique design combined with its heavy salt content create a fast fall rate and...

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.