The Z-Man Difference
Free from the constraints and conventions that otherwise limit anglers’ on-the-water succcess, Z-Man has forever been empowered by the idea of alternative lure concepts and innovative fishing systems.
From day-one, rather than crafting baits from conventional PVC soft plastics, Z-Man® chose an independent line of thinking, formulating a radical, entirely new brand of superplastics. The first ever softbaits composed of 100-percent non-toxic ElaZtech®, the groundbreaking Z-Man formula offers anglers numerous user-friendly, fish-catching benefits—far superior to traditional soft plastics in nearly every criteria.
Composed of a special ultralow-durometer formula—equal to the softness of the highest-grade hand-poured soft plastics—supple, naturally malleable ElaZtech baits boast exceptional bite retention. Unlike other baits, however, ElaZtech’s soft lifelike structure also equals incredible durability and toughness. A single ElaZtech bait has been known to last for weeks or months of casting, catching dozens to hundreds of fish. The current ElaZtech world record stands at 255 fish, caught on a single TRD TicklerZ™. Adding another element of realism— providing natural buoyancy and a baitfish-like posture, underwater— Z-Man superplastics helped inspire and propel the modern Ned rig (or Midwest finesse fishing) movement.
One essential observation came from Drew Reese, a professional bass angler, lure designer and friend of the legendary Ned Kehde:
“When Ned put some early ElaZtech bait prototypes in my hands, I immediately realized this material would be revolutionary. ElaZtech baits exhibit the underwater angle all lure companies have been trying to achieve since the early 1900s: to make a bait that doesn’t lie flat on bottom, but that rises up on its own and move like something truly alive.”
Even while developing and perfecting their ElaZtech formula—long before anglers had ever heard of the ChatterBait®—Z-Man began fostering a friendship with master lure designer, Ron Davis. When Bryan Thrift won major bass tourneys with Davis’ Original ChatterBaits in 2005 and 2006, demand for the lures overwhelmed manufacturing capacity. Soon, Z-Man assumed full lure-making responsibilities and acquired from the Davises all ChatterBait patents and the intellectual property itself. To this, day Z-Man and the Davises work in concert to produce new and innovative lure designs featuring the patented, now-famous ChatterBlade®.
In 2022, Z-Man unveiled the HellraiZer™, a first-of-its-kind self-walking, tail-bladed topwater lure. At the 2022 ICAST trade show, Z-Man won awards for both Best New Saltwater Soft Lure (Kicker CrabZ™) and Best New Terminal Tackle (DieZel Eye™ Jighead), while the 2023 ICAST show saw Z-Man bring home Best New Freshwater Hard Lure (ChatterBait® Elite EVO™) and Best New Saltwater Soft Lure (Mulletron™ LT) awards. Meanwhile, Z-Man’s cutting-edge Micro Finesse™ bait series is rewriting the rules of panfish engagement. Expert anglers are already calling Micro Finesse baits the next, natural evolution of the Ned rig.
Throughout its entire 35-plus-year existence, the people at Z-Man Fishing have never wavered from the company’s original vision: To throw out the book of traditional lure-making; to create and put in anglers’ hands truly category-defining lures, softbaits and jig systems that simply catch fish. At Z-Man, authentic innovation remains a badge of honor, recognized and admired by its countless fishing fans across the globe.
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