Introducing Z-Man’s New PrawnstarZ

Z-Man® reveals new high-performance, pre-rigged shrimp softbait.

Ladson, SC – When an inshore fishing guide the likes of Florida’s Captain C.A. Richardson digs into his little sneak box and ties on a new prototype ElaZtech® bait, it’s probably time to pay attention. When that bait is a live shrimp replica created by Z-Man®—winners of the last two ICAST Best Saltwater Soft Lure awards in a row—it’s a good indication the stars have aligned and you’re about to experience a Funkadelic day of fishing.

On the eve of its unveiling, the new Z-Man PrawnstarZ™ has already accounted for a boatload of big redfish, seatrout and snook. Most of the PrawnstarZ prototypes are still in operation, too—a testament to the toughness of its superplastic anatomy. It’s especially impressive when you consider the bait’s remarkably lifelike stature and range of natural movements—and just how many times each one of these lures gets eaten.

“Soft shrimp baits have been notoriously difficult to design, because re-creating the multifaceted swimming motions of a real crustacean is just so incredibly complex,” suggests Captain Richardson. “All it took was one cast with this lure to realize Z-Man knocked it out of the park.” 

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Two PrawnstarZ sizes (3.5″ & 5″) mimic an array of salty shrimp hatches.

“But what’s so amazing about the PrawnstarZ is that it looks and acts the part. It’s got all the anatomically correct attributes, including antennae, swimming legs and tail fan. So, each of these appendages offer visual realism and the crustacean-like movements of an actual live shrimp.”

Perfectly weighted and balanced to maintain an authentic horizontal posture as the bait freefalls and when it sits on bottom, the pre-rigged PrawnstarZ excels at an array of inshore applications: shallow sight-casting to redfish, drifting and freelining for seatrout, dragging bottom for flounder, plying oyster bars, docks and mangroves for snook or simply hovering under a popping cork.

The PrawnstarZ leans on an optimized blend of its durable, buoyant ElaZtech body and precision-balanced weight structure to retain a natural, horizontal, shrimp-like posture at all times—rather than diving and sinking head-first.

Driven by its active crustacean anatomy, the new PrawnstarZ isn’t just stylized with lively-looking appendages, it’s brought to life with these structures. “The bait doesn’t just look attractive, its action driven,” explains Richardson. “Each limb and leg is strategically designed to move like a live shrimp.”

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Captain C.A. Richardson calls the PrawnstarZ an incredibly convincing sight fishing bait.

“Give the bait a big rip and its upturned tail fan dolphin-kicks and goes into escape mode, bait pumping up, up and away. The action is so convincingly real, all propelled by the lure’s hinged tail, which functions like a spoiler, pushing the bait back down. We call the action the Alabama shake, and the PrawnstarZ does it better than any other shrimp bait I’ve seen.”

On the freefall, says Richardson, the lure glides horizontally, a function of its buoyant body and optimized weight distribution. “Swim it slowly forward or scoot it across bottom and the PrawnstarZ’ little pleopods (swimming legs) pulse and quiver, its antennae swish back and flutter. These are all killer visuals that breathe convincing life into the lure, and absolutely entice selective predators to go nose down and poof! In the water, I’m telling you, it’s tricky to tell this lure apart from a real shrimp.”

Freeing the PrawnstarZ’ tail to pump, thrust and parachute, deep-cut abdominal segments free and liberate the bait to act as intended. “By building the lure from ElaZtech, we were able to cut deep segments joined by razor-thin slices of material to enable maximum tail movement—all without worries about breakage,” notes Z-Man Director of Product Development Jose Chavez. “ElaZtech is just a really tough, amazing material.”

“Z-Man even envisioned and replicated the auditory skills of real shrimp—that unmistakable clicking sound shrimp make which predators absolutely zone in on,” Richardson notes. Built into the PrawnstarZ’ balanced internal weight/hook system, an internal glass rattle rings out with each bottom contact or shake of the rodtip.”

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To match assorted shrimp hatches, the PrawnstarZ features two sizes—3.5-inch, 3/16-ounce and 5-inch, 1/2-ounce. “That smaller size will be perfect for that late summer, fall into winter phase when the bite gets a little tougher,” believes Richardson.

“So many situations we face that are just begging for this bait. For casting to tailing redfish, it’s already a homerun. Dragging and drifting in current and tides, just giving the lure a sharp twitch every now and then. For pitching into potholes and bars, barely giving it short hops. Letting it soak beneath a popping cork, especially when shrimp are sizzling in dock lights . . . Z-Man just gave us another big hit.”

Impersonating the most prolific inshore snack, the 10X Tough ElaZtech PrawnstarZ is set to hit the water in September. Each lure is armed with wicked sharp, 2X Strong 2/0 (3.5”) or 5/0 (5”) Mustad® UltraPoint® hooks. Twelve super vivid, hand-painted color apps match every water clarity and shrimp color phase, coast to coast. Available in 3.5”, 3/16-ounce (2 per pack) and 5”, 1/2-ounce (1 per pack) sizes, MSRP $8.99. For more intel, visit or see it in action at the 2024 ICAST show, booth #4808.

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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.

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