Z-Man® Develops Technical, Tooth-Tough Saltwater Swimbait

Ladson, SC – Saltwater isn’t exactly a safe space. Sooner or later, things that live in the brine limp back home missing tails and fins, or bleeding through their gill-plates. Not a pretty sight, especially for an angler attempting to cast a standard soft plastic lure—as in, good luck getting it back to the boat intact. One slash and snap of the jaws and lure’s tail goes bye-bye. Another bait bites the dust.

All of which points straight to ElaZtech®, that impossibly soft yet tear resistant bait material that’s rewriting the rules of saltwater engagement. Suddenly, as Z-Man® releases its new Mulletron™ LT swimbait, jaws that snap and slash and amputate appendages don’t seem so scary anymore.

The first true-to-life mullet-pattern swimbait crafted from 10X Tough ElaZtech, the 4.5- and 6-inch Mulletron LT swimbaits move with a lazy, tail-kicking cadence that screams fresh mullet on the menu. Meanwhile, concealed within its extra-tough anatomy, a few tricks give the bait an extra boost of attraction.

“Live mullet represent one of the most prevalent, palatable baitfish species in the ocean,” notes saltwater swashbuckler and Z-Man Director of Product Development, Jose Chavez. “Up and down the entire Atlantic coast, down to the Gulf of Mexico and into the Pacific, striped mullet are a widespread, high-protein preyfish preferred by monster saltwater predators.

“In matching live baitfish to a soft ElaZtech swimbait, we emphasized visual realism, true-to-life swimming action and a bunch of smart mechanics that converge in the most functional mullet bait yet,” believes Chavez. “Because this bait targets the toughest predators—bull redfish, striped bass, snook and tarpon—we built it to hook and keep big fish buttoned down from bite ‘til they’re ‘in-the-boat.’”

Equipped with an intelligent reinforced, hard plastic line-through harness and smart rigging system, the Mulletron LT presents a fluid, natural swim motion with minimalist mechanical connections. To keep gamefish pinned indefinitely, the bait slides up and away from jaws and teeth, post hookset. “Larger, super aggressive predators use head-shakes and go aerial to try and dislodge hooks,” Chavez explains. “It’s why we constructed our line-through harness a little differently.”

Unlike most line-through swimbaits that employ a treble hook positioned on the belly—which decreases hook-up rates and increases snags—the Mulletron LT features a specialized hook pocket and harness that stations the hook topside. The hook itself is a custom-forged, heavy-duty, black nickel, sickle-style harpoon, armed to smoothly penetrate the bony upper jaws of any gamefish.

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Z-Man’s technical Mulletron Line-Through Swimbait will be on display at the 2023 ICAST show.

“The harness is designed so the hook slides in and sits recessed within the bait’s spine,” explains Chavez. “Thread your line through the bait’s nose and out the slot, tying to the single hook. Pull the line tight and the hook clicks back into place, giving the whole bait a clean, seamless appearance; resembles a molded-in jighead. Hook eye and knot are recessed and completely protected inside the bait. But when a fish eats the Mulletron and attempts to dislodge the hook, the bait body slides up the line, where fish can’t leverage its weight or bulk to come unbuttoned.

“Actually, compared to a treble, a single hook is safer for the angler and the fish,” says Chavez. “You’ve got just a single point of contact rather than three, concentrating all the hookset force into one.” Combined with its wide open, ample gap, the ingenious hook and line-through design affords exceptional hookset ratios and the highest landing rates possible.

“This bait really nails a mullet’s lazy tail-kicking cadence to a T,” he adds. “The Mulletron LT swims with the right amount of torso and tail movement, just enough body roll to enhance its tail-pumping action.”

Enabling its convincing, restrained motions, a rounded, wedge-shaped tail thumps hard, pulsing and pushing water at multiple retrieve speeds, including extra slow-rolling. Or, to mimic a mullet’s familiar V-waking action in the surf, increase retrieve speed so the tail bulges the surface.

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An integrated tail port allows the bait to be injected with your favorite scent/flavor attractant.

Up and down the coast, Mulletron LT swimbaits shine for covering large areas of open water within inshore saltwater environments. “Tarpon, stripers and snook, in particular, often respond recklessly to the bait, both because of its anatomical realism and its live mullet-like swim action,” adds Chavez. “When fish are staged up looking to ambush something, I’ll retrieve the lure with a slow-roll, like swimming natural forage right through the location.”

To maintain depth control, the Mulletron LT features a balanced, weighted internal harness. Coupled with its buoyant ElaZtech body, the bait maintains an upright posture on the slowest retrieves or on the fall. At rest on the bottom, the Mulletron sits slightly tail-up, mimicking a feeding, substrate-rooting mullet.

Two other sneaky-cool accoutrements: First, the internal harness sports a subtle rattle for sound stimulation. Simply give the lure a quick pop to activate the audible knocker. Meanwhile, a small hole on top of the bait’s tail provides an injection point for filling the bait with Pro-Cure Super Gel or other scent attractant.

Matching the realism and precise sink rates of technical swimbaits from the freshwater arena, the Mulletron LT offers a moderate rate of fall (ROF-8), sinking eight feet every ten seconds. Two size versions— a 4.5-incher weighing ¾-ounce (3/0 hook) and a 6-incher weighing 1-3/4-ounces (5/0 hook)—allow for matching local forage classes. Six fine-tuned color patterns correspond to various light and water conditions and mimic local mullet runs. The Mulletron LT’s ultra-realistic mullet profile is perfectly complemented by its highly detailed, hand-painted / photo-printed body finishes. Convincing, painted eyes outlast glue-on eyes offered on other large swimbaits. Available in October, the 4.5” and 6” Z-Man Mulletron LT will be sold for $9.99 and $12.99, respectively. For more information, visit www.zmanfishing.com.

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