The Biggest Little Swimbait

The Biggest Little Swimbait

Aug 07, 2023

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The Biggest Little Swimbait

New Z-Man® 3-inch HerculeZ™ swimbait earns ‘immortal’ status

Ladson, SC (August 08, 2023) – It’s the question every angler eventually faces: If you were stranded on an island and could cast just one lure the rest of your life, what would it be?

Clearly, you’d want something versatile, a lure capable of straight tail-kicking action or stop-and-hop retrieves alike. It would need to be sized, shaped and textured like natural, live forage—endowed to entice strikes from predators of every stripe, from eater-sized fish to photo-worthy beasts. And most importantly, the lure would need to be tough enough to withstand days, weeks and months of hardcore fishing abuse.

Checking every box and then some, Z-Man® recently unveiled a new 3-inch version of its proven HerculeZ™ pre-rigged swimbait. Enabled by its 10X Tough ElaZtech® anatomy, HerculeZ is the first flexible pre-rigged swimbait that’s soft, lifelike and long-lasting at the same time. Think hyper-realistic soft swimbait and hardbait, combined.

Fulfilling a vacant niche among seas of otherwise flimsy snackable swimbaits, the new 3-inch HerculeZ lives up to its name, hooking and manhandling steel-trap jaws and razor-edge teeth with distinction. “Hook” is the key word. But before revealing the big little lure’s edge, consider authentic feedback from hardcore saltwater guides who push things to the max, every day.

“For hard-hitting bull redfish and pure fish catching action, the HerculeZ might be one of the best lures we’ve ever fished,” suggests Captain Eric Newman, exceptional saltwater guide and co-owner of southern Louisiana’s Journey South Outfitters. “Because it can be fished in all water conditions, this lure has honestly changed the way we redfish.

All 3 sizes of the HerculeZ swimbait
Z-Man's versatile new 3" HerculeZ swimbait (right) joins its 4", 5" and 6" brethren.


“We use it sight fishing, working the lure higher in the water column,” offers Newman, who guides every day, alongside his equally diehard wife, Captain Moe Newman. “Alternatively, when the water is especially dirty, we can also slow-roll this same lure along bottom and continue crushing the reds. We think the tail puts out a special vibration that big redfish absolutely crush on.”

Just to validate the bite sized HerculeZ’s toughness, Newman drops another big fish bombshell. “While the 3-incher is exceptional for big redfish and trophy seatrout in skinny water, the larger 4-, 5- and 6-inch versions have become our go-to tarpon lures—both for sight fishing and blind casting. Heck, big tuna love ‘em, too. Amazing that such as small lure can handle such large fish. Just the other day, we caught 170-pound yellowfin on it. Three-hour battle and the hook still looks like new.”

Armed with a super heavy duty, wide gap 3/0 Mustad® hook, the new 3-inch HerculeZ enters big fish battles fearlessly. Supported by its stinging sharpness, the swimbait’s muscular, open hook easily penetrates the broadest, boniest jaws. For extra hooking power, an auxiliary stainless wire eyelet in the belly accepts a secondary treble or stinger hook—or an ancillary spinner blade for extra bling.

Captain Mo Newman with a Bull Red Caught on the HerculeZ Swimbait

“The HerculeZ’s powerful hook is a really big deal,” adds Newman. “Because finding similar sized baits with strong, truly die-hard hooks that hold up to monster fish is next to impossible.” Indeed, until now, anglers have often been unable to tap key saltwater opportunities because most smaller swimbaits simply aren’t equipped to handle the bite force and violence of tough, often sharp-toothed fish.

Bolstering its bulletproof hook and body, the HerculeZ swimbait conceals a ¼-ounce internal zinc weight / harness for primo castability and optimal rate of fall. Going skin-deep, the HerculeZ lets its naturally soft ElaZtech scale, gill and fin anatomy do the talking. 3D eyes and hand painted color schemes add to the lure’s lively baitfish illusion.

Propelling the HerculeZ in a run-for-its-life retreating action, a cutting-edge curved paddletail cups water and emits palpable, panic-like vibrations. The swimbait’s keeled, deep torso contours add a seductive side-to-side body roll on the straight retrieve. Fish it fast, steady or super slow-rolled—the HerculeZ’s tail never stops sending live bait-like signals across all underwater frequencies.

HerculeZ swimbait showing the belly eyelet to attach a blade

A belly eyelet accepts a secondary hook or even an attractor blade.

“The bait’s super-soft ElaZtech composition means you can activate HerculeZ’ tail even at slower retrieve speeds,” notes Newman. “The material and tail design make it move and kick even if you merely let the lure free-fall. This type of fluid, free kicking paddletail is almost unheard of among swimbaits made with traditional, more rigid PVC plastics. It’s exactly the type of lure we need to keep our clients on big, bad fish, every day of the year.”

Kai with a Tarpon caught on the HerculeZ Swimbait

An energetic yet rugged series of pre-rigged swimbaits, the HerculeZ family now offers even more value and versatility, adding a 3-inch baby to its clan of 4-, 5- and 6-inch last-all-day lures.

  • First of its kind pre-rigged 10X Tough ElaZtech swimbait
  • Heavy-duty, black-nickel, chemically sharpened Mustad® hooks
  • Eight (8) popular Z-Man color patterns
  • Four HerculeZ sizes include 3”, 4”, 5” and 6”
  • 3” HerculeZ available in October (MSRP $9.99 per 2-pack)
HerculeZ Swimbait