Every so often, you run into a bait design that’s extremely simple but flat-out catches giant bass. I’ve been using the Zoom Z Nail for a long time and it’s one of my go-to baits when the fishing gets really tough. I didn’t really want to let the cat out of the bag with this review, but I just had to tell our readers how effective this little bait is. There are 4 specific things I love about the Z Nail.
The segmented body makes a lot of difference
The Zoom Z Nail features an extremely soft, segmented body that allows for a really unique action in the water. As it falls through the water column, it has a very tight shimmy and pulsates without any added action from the angler. When the fishing is tough, bass don’t always want a big, bulky bait jerked around in front of their nose, which makes the segmented body of the Z Nail so effective.
This subtle, yet enticing action has resulted in countless big fish catches for me around post-spawn fry guarders, mayfly hatches and even under docks and heavy cover on days with a high barometric pressure.
Unique profile promotes versatility
It’s hard to fish a Z Nail incorrectly, but over the years I’ve found a few presentations that really allow its distinctive action to shine. The majority of my Z Nail fishing is done with a wacky rig—following a long cast, I simply let it fall on a controlled slack line while incorporating very small twitches. When you let it fall, it sways side-to-side due to its tapered tail design. More often than not, your bites are going to come on the initial fall, which makes it a great way to dissect heavy cover.
I’ve also had a lot of success covering expansive flats with the Z Nail rigged on a weightless Texas rig. On bluebird days when the bass aren’t interested in crankbaits, this is an outstanding alternative. I make a really long cast and twitch the Z Nail like I would a soft jerkbait while letting it fall on a slack line. It’s important to watch your line, because the bass will hit most often eat it on the fall.
This bait also excels when fishing docks in ultra-clear water. I like to rig it on a 3/16-ounce shaky head and drag it around any vertical structure connected to the dock. When I get it near a post, I’ll stop dragging it and just shake it in place to allow that tapered tail to do its magic.
Because it has such a small profile, the Zoom Z Nail skips like a stone across the water. It doesn’t catch a lot of water on its initial impact with the water, so even novice anglers can get it very far back into cover.
It also casts very well in open water—it’s only 5 1/2 inches, but it’s a fairly dense bait. Its castability enables you to throw it on heavier line and use a smaller weight and stouter rod in thick cover to avoid breaking off big bass.
Durability saves you money
The Zoom Z Nail is very durable, even when wacky rigged. Many stick baits tend to rip and tear after just 1 or 2 fish, but that’s not the case with the Z Nail. It’s not uncommon to catch 5 or 6 fish on a single bait. It also holds up very well to skipping. I love to skip Z Nails under docks and I don’t have to worry about them coming off of the hook.
I recommend the Zoom Z Nail to anyone who likes to fish soft plastics. Just because it has a dainty profile doesn’t mean it won’t catch big bass. Priced at $4.39 per 10-pack, they’ve produced a lot of my bigger fish on guide trips and in tournaments which is why I always keep them stocked in my boat.
Review by Walker Smith