Z-Man Fishing Products' 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ has been our Midwest finesse mainstay for years on end. It is beyond our abilities to count how many times we have uttered or written ZinkerZ during this decade. Nor do we know how many thousands of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that we have caught on it.
The 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ is the byproduct of using a pair of Fiskar-style scissors to cut the five-inch ZinkerZ in half, which allows a Midwest finesse angler get two ZinkerZs for the price of one. After it is cut in half, it is affixed onto a small mushroom-style jig, such as a 1/20- or 1/15-ounce Finesse ShroomZ jig.
During this current decade, the 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ has produced three offspring. They are the four-inch Hula StickZ, which was born in 2012; the 2 3/4-inch Finesse TRD, which was born in 2014; and the four-inch Big TRD, which came into being in 2016.
It is manufactured in array of colors, which is one of the many alluring aspects of the ZinkerZ in the eyes of Midwest finesse anglers, and Z-Man recently created two new colors, which are called Drew's Craw and White Lightning.
The Drew's Craw is a color combination named after Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and Sioux Narrows, Ontario, Canada. Drew is also the instigator of the Hula StickZ. Drew, who is one of the pioneers of Midwest finesse fishing that stems back into the 1960s, has spent many years observing crayfish and pondering how black bass related to them. Ultimately, he and the staff at Z-Man created a hue that replicates the scores and scores of crayfish that he has seen at many of the waterways that he has fished since the 1960s.
Its entire back or dorsal exhibits a brownish hue. Daniel Nussbaum of Ladson, South Carolina, who is the president of Z-Man, said in an email that dorsal is green-pumpkin but the bronze flakes give it a brownish hue. Its entire belly has a grayish hue. From the tip of its head to the tip of its tail, its back is enhanced with hundreds of black, bronze, and orange flakes, and its belly is adorned with black, chartreuse, and copper flakes.
Besides the ZinkerZ, Z-Man manufactures the Finesse TRD, Big TRD, Hula StickZ, TRD HogZ, and TRD TubeZ in the Drew's Craw hue.
The White Lightning ZinkerZ exhibits a blue-pearl hue that is highlighted with hundreds of silver flakes. And Midwest Finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas have found it to be a very effective color in the flatland reservoirs when the water is stained and the water temperature is in the 50s and 40s. Moreover, the Midwest finesse anglers in north-central Texas have found it to be a very effective color in their hill-land reservoirs when the water is stained and the black bass are exhibiting a hankering to forage upon small threadfin shad.
Anglers can also purchase a White Lightning Finesse TRD and Big TRD.
A package of six Drew's Craw or White Lightning ZinkerZ costs $4.49. A package of six Big TRDs costs $4.49. A package of eight Finesse TRDs costs $4.49. A package of six Hula StickZ costs $4.49. A package of six TRD HogZ costs $4.49. A package of six TRD TubeZ costs $4.49.
From our experiences as Midwest finesse anglers, The ZinkerZ, Big TRD, Finesse TRD, Hula StickZ, TRD HogZ, and TRD TubeZ are the most durable soft-plastic baits in the angling world. It is possible to tangle with more than 100 largemouth bass with the identical bait, and as they age and become stretched and tattered, they become more effective at inveigling the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that we pursue.
(1) Here are links to a few of the Midwest Finesse columns that we have published about the ZinkerZ, Big TRD, Finesse TRD, Hula StickZ, TRD HogZ, and TRD TubeZ: https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-t-r-d/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-big-t-r-d/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-finesse-t-r-d-and-2-12-inch-zinkerz-an-update/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-finesse-t-r-d-and-2-12-inch-zinkerz-an-update/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/z-mans-trd-tubez/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/z-mans-trd-hogz/; https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/finesse-news-networks-gear-guide-hula-stickz/; and https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/drew-reese-z-mans-hula-stickz/.
(2) In our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing, there are hundreds of logs and words written about how, when, or where to use the 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ, Finesse TRD, and Hula StickZ. Here is a link to our September 2017 guide: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/midwest-finesse-fishing-september-2017/.