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If Paul Bunyan Needed a Ned Rig

Who knew the Ned Rig could shape-shift from bite-sized to full meal deal? That a so-called "finesse bait" could be pitched with a baitcast reel and 20-pound line? That some of the biggest bass in the lake eat aforementioned bait like there's no tomorrow?

Okay, so referring to Z-Man's new Giant TRD as a finesse bait slightly stretches the truth—a little like pulling both ends of the bait until it rips. Except for the fact the portly new stickbait doesn't have a breaking point. Unlike most every other soft stickbait in existence, the TRD simply refuses to rip or fall apart. Chalk that up to the superiority of Z-Man's proprietary soft bait material, ElaZtech®.

As Major League Fishing (MLF) Tour angler Luke Clausen notes, "The shape and profile of the Finesse TRD™ is one of the all-time greats. But if you're fishing big bass water— places like Texas, Mexico or deep ledges on the Tennessee River— a big fat Giant TRD is right on the money. It's an unassuming, non-threatening bait that's simply suggestive of bass forage, both vertebrates and invertebrates; the thing sits right up off bottom and just looks like food."

Built with maximum meat and big-bass appeal, the new Giant TRD offers appetizing traits in abundance: oodles of tail-wagging action, ample flotation, extreme softness and incomparable ElaZtech durability. The monster soft-stick features a ribbed torso and a smooth posterior, bespeckled with biologically accurate bumps. A 15-percent salt composition heightens the bait's flavor and palatability while preserving its buoyancy.

Designed to mate seamlessly with Z-Man's new Mag ShroomZ™ and Mag ShroomZ™ Weedless jigheads, the zero-gravity Giant TRD remains ever-visible, standing up on bottom, where it continuously waves to any bigmouth in the neighborhood.

Mirroring the mushroom shaped head and welded wire keeper of the original Finesse ShroomZ jig, the Mag ShroomZ beefs up to a custom 6/0 wide gap hook. The Mag ShroomZ Weedless jighead adds an adjustable double, multi-strand wire weedguard for working cleanly through brush and vegetation. Precision-cut mushroom heads on both jigs stand straight up on bottom, and add lively pivoting, rocking motion to baits when dragged. The upright posture also yields exceptional hooksets.

"I like to think of the Giant TRD / Mag ShroomZ combo as a mega shaky-head," says Stephen Browning, a colleague of Clausen's on the MFL Bass Pro Tour. "You might also call it power-finesse fishing. Throw it on a casting rod and 14- to 16-pound fluorocarbon. Let it hit bottom and soak for 4 to 6 seconds. Give it short little pulls or hops as you retrieve it back to the boat. Much of the action and appeal occurs as the bait sits tail-up, on bottom, just like regular Ned rig fishing."

Browning adds another rigging wrinkle. "One other cool method is to pitch and flip baits like the ZinkerZ™ or Giant TRD on a Texas rig. Fish it around shallow cover, grasslines, stumps or flooded brush. You're power-finessing heavily pressured fish, and it scores big bites when bass grow accustomed to seeing other baits. Even when you stop working it, the buoyant Giant TRD is always working overtime down there."

Clausen also foresees fishing the Giant TRD / Mag ShroomZ Weedless combo in deep water situations, such as reservoir ledges. "For so many years, we've always searched for a bait that stood straight up out on deep ledges. We used to use special stand-up jigs and hand-poured worms. You could achieve some of the buoyancy, sure. But the hand-pours always fell apart after a fish or two.

"The Giant TRD is so durable I think you could probably fish the same worm for a week, and still be in good shape."

Crafted around the proven Finesse TRD framework, the 6-inch Giant TRD will be released in mid-July. Six-packs of the upsized stickbait will be offered in 12 select Z-Man colors, MSRP $5.99.

Also available in July, Mag ShroomZ and Mag ShroomZ Weedless jigheads perfectly match Mag FattyZ™, Giant TRD and other upsized soft-sticks and worms. Both 6/0 jigheads are offered in Green Pumpkin or Black and 1/8-, 3/16-, ¼- and 3/8-ounce weights.

For more information, visit www.zmanfishing.com, or stop by Z-Man booth #5118 at ICAST 2019.

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