Ladson, SC – If anglers have learned anything about ElaZtech®—that seemingly extra-terrestrial superplastic formula endowed with unmatched softness, action and longevity—it’s that bait performance rises to another level when married to the right specialized hook or jighead. What catches more Ned rig bass than a Finesse TRD™ / Finesse ShroomZ™ combo? Or ensnares more saltwater slams than a DieZel MinnowZ™ swimbait on a DieZel Eye™ jighead? Sure, ElaZtech shines on traditional hooks, too. But when a Z-Man bait-and-hook unite to create a cohesive fish catching system, lure movement and maxed out fish-per-bait ratios ascend to incomparable heights of awesome.
Creating a next level softbait-to-hook tandem, Z-Man’s new ZWG™ Weighted Swimbait Hook aligns, grips and holds ElaZtech and other conventional soft plastics, cast after cast. Completely customized and forged to spec, the ZWG hook eases softbait rigging, locking baits into place with specialized “keepers” fore and aft. For ballast and dead-on alignment, a slim-profile weight rides the hook shank. Weights such as “1/8” or “3/16” are clearly marked and stamped into the lead, offering easy identification for strategic hook selection.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the angler’s on-the-water experience, simplifying the rigging process, elevating bait performance and helping extend the life of a single ElaZtech bait—even beyond its already-bulletproof nature,” notes Jose Chavez, Z-Man Director of Product Development. “The new ZWG hook immediately boosts angler success, simply by shortening rigging time and effort, keeping baits locked perfectly in place for the long haul.”
To position the hookpoint perfectly straight and parallel to a chosen softbait, a low-vis silicone bead pins the hook bend flush to the bait. The bead effectively eliminates the requirement to Texpose-rig the bait, freeing the angler to Texas/weedless rig or Texpose, if they prefer. The specialized “sticky” bead grasps and pins the bait in place, maintaining a natural, optimal presentation at all times.
Stationed on the neck of the eyelet, a molded plastic keeper with a sharp, conical barb further eases ElaZtech rigging, locking the bait’s nose securely, nice and tight to the eye. Together, the specialized keeper combo boosts hookup ratios and prevents baits from sliding down the hook, should you miss a strike. The dual keeper system holds the bait’s head and body tight to the hook, preventing bait movement during critical stages of your presentation.
Zeroing in on the lethal weapon itself, the ZWG features a dual-tapered hook point that perpetually maintains its wicked-sharpness. The business end begins with a traditional taper, transitioning to acute angled razor edges that preserve penetration integrity. Custom forged from heavy-duty steel and finished with corrosion resistant black nickel plating, the hook’s advanced mechanics functionally close the rigging circle with select soft plastics presentations.
Paddletail swimbaits like the new Mulletron™ and Scented PaddlerZ™, soft jerks like the Scented Jerk ShadZ™ and specialized shapes like the Turbo FattyZ™ and GOAT™ series are all comfortably at home on a ZWG. Or, use your imagination for even more killer combinations.
“Everyone knows the incredible advantages of ElaZtech superplastics,” notes Z-Man pro and MLF competitor David Walker. “But put a bait like the DieZel MinnowZ or even a topwater bait like the GOAT ToadZ™ on a ZWG hook and their performance and longevity become undeniable.
“Not only does this cool new hook ease and shorten your rigging time,” notes Walker, “its specialized keepers lock and hold baits arrow-straight, every time. No sliding down the hook or wasted time continuously repositioning the hookpoint on weedless rigged baits. This is a high-level hook design that brings out the best in your favorite ElaZtech baits—extending their lifespans even more, if that’s possible.”
“The ZWG hook reflects the fact that Z-Man really listened to the needs of hardcore anglers,” suggests Captain C.A. Richardson, Z-Man pro angler and host of FlatsClassTV. “The keepers are strategically and smartly designed to lock both the nose and midsection of the bait tight to steel. They’re completely hidden inside the bait, making the hook very snag resistant and preventing it from picking up grass. The keel weight is also positioned slightly forward, toward the hook eye, yielding longer ‘weight-forward’ casts.
“Easy ID of hook weight also lets me quickly match my ZWG to the water depth and conditions,” adds Richardson. “Just today, way up in skinny water, we boated a 30-inch Snook, ‘tickling the belly’ of a Mulletron swimbait with a 1/16-ounce ZWG.
“Finally, no more digging around for other generic hooks that simply don’t bring out the best in ElaZtech superplastics or even traditional softbaits.”
Available in 3/0 (1/16-, 1/8-, 3/16-ounce), 4/0 (1/16-, 1/8-, 3/16-ounce) and 5/0 (1/8-, 3/16-, ¼-ounce) sizes, the new ZWG Weighted Swimbait Hook creates a secure, linear softbait connection—and creates endless, innovative bait-and-hook possibilities. 3-packs of the ZWG hooks (MSRP $6.49 per pack) will be available in October. For more information, visit zmanfishing.com.
About Z-Man Fishing Products
A dynamic Charleston, South Carolina based company, Z-Man Fishing Products has melded leading edge fishing tackle with technology for nearly three decades. Z-Man has long been among the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material used in jigs, spinnerbaits and other lures. Creator of the Original ChatterBait®, Z-Man is also the renowned innovators of 10X Tough ElaZtech softbaits, fast becoming the most coveted baits in fresh- and saltwater. Z-Man is one of the fastest-growing lure brands worldwide.