Z-Man Baby Goat Review

The Z-Man Goat Twin Tail Grub comes in three sizes to give anglers three distinctive lures. You have the Goat. This is the flagship bait of the lineup, measuring 3 and 3/4 inches and built more for flipping, Texas rigs and use as a trailer on bigger baits. Then there’s the Billy Goat. This is the big daddy of the bunch, coming in at 4 and 1/2 inches long. It’s primarily used as a big flipping bait.

And then there’s the focus of today’s review, the Z-Man Baby Goat. Though it’s the smallest of the three at only 3 inches, I think Goldilocks got it wrong and this little guy is actually the one that’s just right. You can do several things with this bait, and it’s durability solves a few issues that you run into with other baits.

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Basic Build

The starting point when talking about any Z-Man soft bait has to be the material used to make it. Z-Man’s proprietary ElaZtech material is extremely durable, stretchy and buoyant. These three characteristics work in unison to make many of the Z-Man baits uniquely equipped to solve certain issues in whatever bait genre they fall into.

Taking a quick look at this smallest offering in the Goat lineup, we see that the bait is a mere 3 inches in length. It has a fairly straight, grub style body with two small claws that are flanged along the tips. These flanges catch water and help the claws to kick when the bait falls through the water or is reeled along.

Baby Goat as a Trailer

Using the Baby Goat as a trailer is certainly one of the best ways to maximize the benefits of the ElaZtech material used to create it. This soft material is again very durable and extremely stretchy. Bass often grab only the pinchers or tail of a trailer and miss the hook entirely. With traditional soft plastics, these short strikes lead to torn and lost baits, that then have to be replaced by new baits.

Replacing a soft plastic trailer takes time, and money. And while the minute or so it takes to reach in the box, get out a new trailer, pull the old one off, thread the new one on and get back to fishing may seem inconsequential, the time and frustration can certainly add up. Especially in a tournament situation. And if you go through a couple packs of baits in a day, you’re out 10 bucks in a hurry these days.

With the Baby Goat, you can slide this lure on and just fish. A toothy critter might get the better of it eventually, but no bass is going to bite through it. That’s an absolute guarantee.

Though this size bait is a little small for a full-size ChatterBait, it is the perfect size for the recently developed ChatterBait Mini Max. It fits the profile of this undersized vibrating jig perfectly. It also makes for a great micro swim jig trailer, and the lighter colors look good on the back of Z-Man’s WillowVibe. Basically it’s a great trailer for a small bait.

Baby Goat as a Ned Rig

The Ned rig is another technique where you can go through a lot of baits in a hurry. Thus the durability of ElaZtech is very appealing. This is part of what makes several of the Z-Man soft plastics some of the best baits ever created for a Ned rig. You can generate dozens of bites with just one bait, where you would have likely went through a dozen or more baits made from a traditional soft plastic. 

And remember, ElaZtech floats. So the baits stand up perfectly on the bottom, which is exactly what you want a Ned rig to do. This doesn’t happen though with all soft plastics. In fact, almost all others fall over. But the Baby Goat stands perfectly straight, with the claws up in a defense posture. And then it scoots along whit the claws up when you drag it, just like a crawfish would. 

Rigging and Other Considerations with Goat

There are a few challenges with ElaZtech. The durably and stretch of the bait are great, when used to your advantage. But ElaZtech can be challenging too if you’ve never worked with it. When rigging the Baby Goat on a Ned rig for instance, you’re going to need to do it in one motion. You can start most other soft plastics onto the hook, release the bait, move down a little and push it up some more.

If you do this with a bait made from ElaZtech, you’ll rarely end up with a straight bait. Instead, you want to take the bait in one hand and the hook in the other, and in one motion go from inserting the hook point into the nose of the bait to popping it out of the back. This will create a cleaner profile when you’re done.

You’ll also have to work the bait up onto the trailer keeper a little more than you do with other soft plastics. This is step two, and does not have to be done in the same motion as running the bait up onto the hook. Once the bait is on the hook shaft, instead of pushing the bait up onto the keeper, you’ll actually take the head of the bait and pull it up onto the bard of the bait keeper.

Don’t be shy here, you’re not going to rip the bait or tear it. But you’ll need to stretch the nose end of the bait to get it up and over the barb. Once you get the hang of this, it’s easy. And the bait is locked on at that point. You won’t have to push it back up between bites or casts like some other trailers.

Final Thoughts on Baby Goat

The Baby Goat comes in a pack of 6 for $5. That’s not a bad deal when you take into consideration this one pack of baits will literally last as long as 10 packs of a competitor’s. The baits can melt and stick together in extreme heat, so avoid leaving a pack of these on the deck of the boat for a few days for example, and you’ll be fine.

The Baby Goats come packaged in a tray within a bag, which I like. This keeps the baits straight and in good order. The durability and buoyancy of these baits give them a clear advantage over the competition when looking for a small trailer or bait to slide up on a Ned rig. If you haven’t yet checked out the Baby Goat, this is an easy bait to recommend.

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