The secret is out: ElaZtech baits by Z-Man are a well balanced combination of salt (in most but not all cases) and plastic that is super stretchy & lifelike. These little dudes float, meaning they stand upright on a jighead, and they last forever.
In some cases you’ll want a softer bait, or a bait loaded with more salt that sinks faster, but in many cases being able to put on a bait that lasts forever (that gets more and more effective the more it gets ripped up with each and every battle) allows you to focus on the task at hand: casting, working the bait, and catching more fish.
So what’s the problem?
Well… there are a few issues that come with trying to work with ElaZtech. We’ve talked before about how ElaZtech will cause damage to your other plastics of paint if stored next to them. This is not a huge inconvenience if you remember to keep your Z-Man products separate from other baits.
The other issue though, is that ElaZtech is so tough and so stretchy, it can be difficult to properly line it up on a jighead, or work it over a keeper… and we want to use a keeper, because it will lock the plastic in place and help us focus on fishing – not fixing.
Let’s go over my top three selections for jigs and the specific applications in which they excel. All are in heavy rotation this year in #TheHuntFor250. They will help make your life a lot less frustrating… and put more fish in your boat!
The BEST Jighead for ElaZtech Jigworming
The best jig for ElaZtech is without a doubt the Eagle Claw Pro-V Finesse Jig. The jig comes in multiple sizes and colors, and in both a Trokar and a Laser Sharp version. The Pro-V bend in the hook is exceptional, it is low profile and when you stick a fish – it stays put. (Make sure you have pliers of hemostats with you to dislodge these jigs when you land a fish.) The paint chips and wears quickly if you are fishing rocks, but that’s no surprise.
This jig also comes in a weedless option.
The real benefit though, is the keeper. It is heavy duty and it will not bend when you pull the ElaZtech into place, but it is also pointy enough to be easily worked into the stretchy material. Flimsy wire keepers can actually bend as you push ElaZtech over them, and as you’ll see below, keepers that do not have a sharp edge won’t get buried – making it far too easy for the plastic to slide off. Jigs like that are useless for this kind of plastic material.
The Pro-V Finesse Jig is hands down the best jighead for ElaZtech jigworming.
The BEST Jighead for Small Soft Plastics
The Berkley Half Head Jig is a solid option for softer plastics that don’t need a robust keeper. They are a great jig for softer baits when you aren’t fishing around heavy cover, and the paint holds up well in rough terrain. These jigs also have a thicker wire than what you would find on similar jigs of the same size, which is nice if you are fishing around stronger fish that can straighten a hook.
ElaZtech, however, will slide right off of the collar-style keeper when you set the hook or pop your jigworm. I no longer use these jigheads for that application – but I am not getting rid of (minimizing) them – just re-purposing them.
This is an excellent jig for small soft plastic applications.
The BEST Jighead for Small Paddle Tail Swimbaits
Earlier this year I had a chance to meet Ethan Dhuyvetter (YouTube: The Online Outdoorsman) and we discussed his Mule Jigs. I ordered a few thinking I would try them on jigworms, and he very graciously tossed in a few packs of his Donkey Tails.
I’m glad he did… because up until this point I had not used smaller paddle tail swimbaits… but man… these things flat out catch fish! (I’m not kidding – we’re talking 40+ fish from 4 short trips so far this year, and 4 different species – videos will be out soon. Make sure to subscribe!)
We’ll do an in-depth review of these products in the coming weeks, but I had to mention them here, because the short shank on the Mule Jigs makes them a perfect pairing for small paddle tail swimbaits, like the Donkey Tail and the Donkey Tail Jr.
This short shank is extremely important for smaller swimbaits, because it allows them to displace water with their maximum action. They come to life. Longer shank hooks will actually prevent more of the body of the bait from moving, meaning less wiggle and less thump.
The skinny wire keeper on the Mule Jig easily slips into the Donkey Tail material, which is super stretchy like ElaZtech – meaning they last until you break them off.
For paddle tails swimbaits, the Mule Jig is the standout option.
Want to Learn More?
The 3 jigs above are all perfectly balanced for use with a unique fishing application.
If you’d like to learn more about how I rig the Pro-V Finesse Jig, download your free copy of Ned Rig Secrets. We discuss making Ned Rigs that are extremely effective while utilizing the Eagle Claw Pro-V Finesse Jigs as our primary delivery method.
All that’s left to do is grab some of these jigs for yourself, and get to catching some fish. I hope that the suggestions listed here help you become a more effective angler.
Some days… it all comes together…
Fishing is always fun – especially in Wisconsin – but it isn’t always as exciting as we’d like it to be. However, the slow days are what makes us appreciate the days when everything seems to come together, and you find loads of fish… like on this awesome morning.