New Product Alert from Z-Man: Smallmouth Snackables

Ladson, SC – Bass lead charmed lives. Unlike humans, they’re obliged to eat whatever bugs them. Consider bass and their mortal enemy, the round goby— those ubiquitous underwater invaders that harass smallmouth nests by the dozen, gulping bass eggs like Skittles. Helps explain why smallmouths and predators of all species exhibit unquenchable appetites for the pudgy little pests—and why gamefish balloon to impressive proportions by way of an endless goby buffet.

A natural enticement for bass in goby-rich environments—Great Lakes and beyond—the new 2.4-inch TRD GobyZ™ reinforces Z-Man’s trendsetting finesse bait lineup with a surprisingly adaptable shape. Poured with extra malleable, 10X Tough ElaZtech®, the TRD GobyZ compresses as easily as the live version, meaning bass snap and don’t let go. Yet even after dozens of aggressive attacks, a single one of these runt-sized swimbaits is no worse for wear. That’s the ElaZtech advantage, those difference making rewards that separate the TRD GobyZ from all other goby-imitating swimbaits in existence—optimal combinations of softness, action and all-day durability.

“Although it almost perfectly mimics a snack-sized round goby, the new TRD GobyZ is also an incredibly versatile finesse bait,” notes Z-Man pro Grae Buck, whose Pennsylvania homebase puts him a cast from lakes Ontario, Erie and other bass and goby rich environments. “Put the bait on a Pro ShroomZ™ or my favorite Ned jighead, the Football NedZ™, for an enticing bottom-crawling, slow swimming presentation. The bait’s natural buoyancy gives it a nice leisurely spiral and glide on the drop. Smallmouths always react to this slow-spiraling action, like a tube only with way more visual realism and allure.

“What’s really cool is that after letting the bait freefall, you’ll pick up slack and often detect the tug of a bass already hanging on.”

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Z-Man’s new 2.4″ Ned rig-sized TRD GobyZ.

Beyond the bait’s powerful Ned rig apps, Buck has also been toying with another sneaky trick, shockingly effective when the bottom is filthy with gobies by the dozen. “The TRD GobyZ’ buoyant ElaZtech body makes it crazy effective on a dropshot, too,” believes Buck. “Even though gobies don’t often swim more than an inch or two above bottom, suspending this bait on a dropshot has been absolutely crushing giant smallmouths for me. The dropshot gives the bait a different presence. Maybe looks more vulnerable to the bass. It’s especially effective when bass aren’t as aggressive or when they’re inundated with scores of the live baitfish, and you need your bait to stand out from the hoards.”

Even on lakes without gobies, Buck notes, bass see and feed on all kinds of bottom-dwelling species—from gobies to sculpin, darters to bullheads, willow cats to perch. The TRD GobyZ’ lazy-kicking paddle tail wags with subtle yet lifelike swimming action, even at ultra-slow retrieve speeds, suggestive of all kinds of structure-hugging prey. “We’ve fished the TRD GobyZ on lakes where bass have never seen a goby. Doesn’t matter. In all kinds of lakes and reservoirs, bass of every species are chowing down on this bait with amazing aggression.”

Sculpted with a broad, portly body and flat underside, the TRD GobyZ traverses its way across sand and rocky substrate like a 4×4—buoyant ElaZtech body halting its rate of fall while keeping it free from snags. The bait’s flat belly also allows it to nap comfortably on the lake floor, just like a goby does, buoyant tail slightly elevated for visibility. True-to-life anatomy includes protruding eyeballs, elongated pectoral, dorsal and anal fins and a flattened, round caudal fin/paddletail that delivers subtle, natural swimming motions at any retrieve speed.

“Whether you throw this cool little finesse bait on a Ned jig or a dropshot, its authentic, squishy body and natural buoyancy give you a lot of confidence—and for good reason,” notes Buck. “Typically, I like to fish the TRD GobyZ with a drag and stop retrieve. Gobies don’t really swim. They just tail-kick—almost like a tadpole— and crawl along the bottom, stop and go. But I also occasionally like to jerk or hop it 6 inches and pause. Try to dart it side-to-side. And when you stop, the bait uses its buoyancy to elevate just slightly, triggering bites even after a 10 to 20 second rest.

“If you fish the Great Lakes or even if your home waters lack gobies entirely . . . the TRD GobyZ always seems to induce bites. For Ned rig and dropshot fans, the new bait adds a gnarly new dimension to an already proven Z-Man finesse system. Compact swimbait. Bottom dwelling critter. And an undeniable bass catcher.”

Enabled by its ultra-soft ElaZtech body, the Ned-rig-friendly TRD GobyZ swimbait matches the texture and action of a live round goby, while also mimicking other bottom-dwelling forage. Available in October, the 2.4″ TRD GobyZ features ten potent colors, including natural goby/earth tones and stand-out patterns for sight fishing. MSRP $4.99 per 6-pack. For more information, visit

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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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