Ladson, SC – Strolling the soft plastics aisle at your favorite tackle shop, you’re tempted to believe the baits inside those blue packs labeled “Z-Man® 10X Tough ElaZtech®” are just like all the others. The reality of Z-Man’s space-alien softbait material, however, stretches far beyond its physical façade.
You want to see what the hype’s about, so you grab a pack ElaZtech and pull out a worm. The material feels softer, more malleable—yet somehow, it’s also tougher— than any softbait you’ve fished before. How is that possible?
Put the bait on a jighook and drop it to the bottom of the lake. Watch as its tail rises up and hovers enticingly off the substrate, just like a living thing. That’s not supposed to happen, is it?
After catching your 23rd bass on the same exact ElaZtech worm you started with, you realize something crazy and a little awesome might be happening. Sort of like the first time you tried to break braided superline with your bare hands, only a lot less painful.
First, don’t try that again. Second, take a spin through the ElaZtech hacks below (don’t forget to click the video) and try not to let your mind be blown.
(1) Stretch and Swim
Z-Man adds salt to baits like the Finesse TRD™ and ZinkerZ™ to provide casting weight and texture and neutralize buoyancy for certain fishing applications. But if you’re after a more buoyant presentation and a bait with a bit more off-bottom motion, simply stretch the material to shed salt and add underwater elevation.
(2) Lock it Down
To lock an ElaZtech bait to the base of a jighead for the duration, a simple dab of Loctite Super Glue Gel to the jig’s collar creates a nearly permanent connection.
(3) Pop ShadZ™ Topwater Rigging
The advanced properties of ElaZtech allow baits like the Pop ShadZ surface bait to be easily rigged with a traditional EWG style hook or modified with a treble hook for open water schooling action, where fish tend to slash at a bait. Thank Z-Man sales manager extraordinaire Glenn Young for this sweet little ditty!
(4) Weedless TicklerZ™
January 24, 2012. La Cygne Lake, Kansas. Ned Kehde remembers the day he first experimented with a new, crazy-cool weedless rig. Ned also recalls the box score: 25 largemouth bass, three wipers, four white bass and one crappie— just another day for the legendary Ned-man. The lure? A reverse-weedless rigged Hula StickZ™, but it works just as well with a TicklerZ, Bang StickZ™, or, well, you get the idea.
(5) ElaZtech Over-the-Eye Trick
This interesting little hack gives you one more weird, wild thing you can do with ElaZtech that actually improves your lure’s performance, preventing baits from sliding down the hook shank—even after repeated strikes and catches. Check the video for the how-to.
(6) Pro-Cure It!
Ever tried washing pine sap off your hands? Slather your favorite ElaZtech bait with Pro-Cure Super Gel for similar scent stick-to-it-ness. Turns out, a special bond forms between ElaZtech and oil based scents like Pro-Cure and Bang Aerosol—the stuff bonds to the bait and doesn’t easily wash off. For a super concentrated fish-attracting cocktail, try pre-marinating your baits in scent. Or, try stretching a salt-impregnated ElaZtech bait, which removes salt and leaves tiny pockets in the material that act like an attractant sponge.
(7) A Little Chin Music
Add bling to any ElaZtech bait by impaling it with a TRD SpinZ™. Stick the spinner in the tail of a Finesse TRD for extra flash and vibration. Plant it in the underside of a MinnowZ™ or other paddletail swimbait for an underspin affect.
(BONUS) Silicone Implants
The soft toughness of ElaZtech lets you get wiggy with off-the-wall bait mods and other plastic surgery. Take a threading device such as a bobbin threader (used for fly tying) and add multiple strands of silicone or living rubber to your favorite bait. The result is a whole other level of action and something bass potentially haven’t seen before.
When you’re done munching boat snacks or chowing lunch, simply stretch out the tail end of a StreakZ™ and in a pinch, you’ve got yourself a nice little strand of dental floss. (Yes, we’ve tried it. Yes, it works. And yes, it tastes nothing like wintergreen.)