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The Eyes Have It

The Story Behind the Omnipresent Trout Eye Jighead

LADSON, SC (April 19, 2018) – "If you look at a lot of the greatest saltwater lures out there, they all have one thing in common," observes trout and redfish fanatic Ralph Phillips. "Eyes. A large, lively set of eyes. Underwater, eyes can be the trigger, the one anatomical detail that really attracts predator fish to a lure."

Many seasons ago, when Phillips first met Dave Fladd, neither angler had lure design on his mind. Instead, the friendship was all about exploring the Lowcountry for the big redfish and trout that haunted its immense network of tidal creeks. It's a bond between fishing buddies that remains today — years after the anglers laid claim to one of the most popular saltwater jigheads ever made.

The challenge in designing the Trout Eye, recalls Fladd, an optical engineer by trade, "was to make a jig whose head was predominantly a big pair of 3-D eyeballs. At first, we just made the jig for ourselves — sort of the ultimate trout and redfish jig that married perfectly with our favorite Z-Man softbaits. We started by pouring the jigheads six at a time on Ralph's back porch. We had no idea what would happen next . . ."

A Z-Man Fishing TV exclusive, Project Z: ProFileZ takes you on the water with the folks who count on Z-Man Fishing Products daily as tournament anglers, guides, and industry professionals. Take a trip with us to our ProZ' home waters to learn their stories and how they've ended up where they are today—as well as why they rely on Z-Man baits day-in and day-out.

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