I’ve been fishing the Z-Man Fishing Mag SwimZ Swimbait quite a bit. This bait is on the larger end of the spectrum when talking about soft swimbaits, measuring 8 inches in length. And it is also the most durable swimbait you’ll find, made from Z-Man’s stretchy and tear-proof ElaZtech material.
While there are obvious advantages provided by the elasticity of ElaZtech, the material’s extreme buoyancy does limit this bait’s versatility in some ways. But these drawbacks, which we’ll discuss in a moment, occur as other new doors are simultaneously opened for the swimbait fishing enthusiast looking to do something a little different. In other words, there’s a lot to unpack here.
For those unfamiliar with Z-Man soft plastics, the company uses a proprietary material called ElaZtech that is extremely durable. This makes their baits some of the more popular for saltwater fishing in particular, where toothy critters can saw through a pack of soft plastics as fast as you can rig them up.
Though bass have far less destructive bites compared to their saltwater counterparts, they can still tear up a bait in a hurry. So, the durability of ElaZtech always helps Z-Man’s baits outlast their competition, no matter the particular bait type. The same is the case with the Mag SwimZ, as repetitive bites and casts through dense cover have negligible ill effects on these baits and the chance of having your tail snipped off by a short-striking bass is completely eliminated.
However, incomprehensible durability is just half the story when it comes to ElaZtech. This material is also extremely buoyant, far more so than almost all other soft plastic baits used for bass fishing. This has both positive and negative effects when talking about swimbait fishing in particular.
THE GOOD AND BAD OF BUOYANCY
Because ElaZtech floats, the Mag SwimZ aren’t particularly well-suited for fishing on a jighead, in current or on ledges for instance. In these situations, you want a bait that sinks fast and stays down. This requires using jigheads weighing as much as 1 ounce or more to get even normal soft plastic swimbaits down to the bottom. Due to the buoyancy of the Mag SwimZ, it’s challenging to fish these baits deeper than 10 or 12 feet, though it can be done with a super heavy jighead.
But, there’s a plus side to this story as well. The buoyancy of the bait actually does open some new doors for anglers that like to fish bigger swimbaits. You can still rig this bait on a big jig head, able to cast the bigger bait farther and reel it higher in the water column than other baits its size. This adds a whole new ROS (Rate of Stall) option to your soft swimbait lineup. But, the coolest place this buoyancy changes things is when fishing this swimbait along the surface.
I spent my time fishing the Z-Man Mag SwimZ along the surface. Using a 7/0 VMC Heavy Duty Wide Gap Hook, I rigged the Mag SwimZ weedless to fish around shoreline vegetation during the spawn. I like to put a bell weight on the shaft of the hook when fishing a swimbait this way to increase my range and to help the bait track better, with its belly down. This bell weight is also able to swing back and forth as the swimbait wobbles back through the water, exaggerating the bait’s oscillation.
The only downside to adding a bell weight to a swimbait, is that it sometimes causes the bait to sink and catch on cover during the retrieve. This is especially the case if a bass swirls on the bait, and I then try to slow my swimbait down or stop it in a hole to give the fish a second chance. The cool thing about the Mag SwimZ is that I can crawl the bait along super slow or even stop it entirely, even with the added weight, and this is solely a resulting benefit of the buoyancy of the ElaZtech.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MAG SWIMZ
Taking a look around the bait, it’s again 8-inches long. The Mag SwimZ also has a slit along the back of the bait where the hook point can lay. I don’t recommend tucking the hook point back into this bait like you might with other soft plastics, in order to make them weedless. Because ElaZtech is so stretchy, the hook point can have a hard time popping through sometimes. The best way to rig this bait is to expose the hook point entirely, and then let it lay in this groove along the back, making the bait weedless while also keeping the hook poised and ready to latch onto whatever comes calling.
The tail of the Mag SwimZ has a fairly unique curvature to it, which works well for the material. There’s a nice steady wagging of the tail as this bait wobbles widely along. I really like the packaging of these baits as well, Z-Man opting for a molded plastic package that keeps the baits true to their original shape.
Available in 7 colors and coming in packs of three for $8.99, the Mag SwimZ lineup offers something comparable to most any larger baitfish forage you’d like to imitate, while giving you three baits for less than ten bucks that will outlast a hundred dollars’ worth of swimbaits made from traditional soft plastic materials.
All in all, for specific purposes, the Mag SwimZ Swimbait is a solid option. This bait offers unique advantages in certain situations, and is a great value considering the packaging and durability of the bait. You can buy just one pack of these, store them properly, and have a large soft swimbait on hand whenever you need it for months and months.