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Z-Man Shad FryZ Micro Finesse Review

The past couple of years, I’ve really been expanding my knowledge of finesse fishing. I’m a big proponent of Bait Finesse System and the fun it adds to my fishing and exploration with a small light rod with a shallow-spooled casting reel made to specifically cast small lures in tight quarters. But I’m equally enamored with the many finesse techniques around it and other types of fishing. I experimented a lot this year with hover strolling, jig and minnow fishing and of course micro plastics. And I’ve latched onto a few baits as my favorites. One of those that has become my staple for a lot of different fish is the Z-Man Shad FryZ Micro Finesse bait. I like a bunch of the Z-Man Micro Baits and I’ve written about the Micro TRD already.

The Z-Man Shad FryZ Micro Finesse swimbait offers a great little swimming plastic that catches everything. It looks like a little shad fry and I’ve caught nice bass, big crappie, giant bluegill and redear on it as well as catfish, drum, sauger and more. I’ll give you some things I’ve learned about this micro bait and micro baits in general and some great ways to employ it in your fishing.


z-man shad fryz build


This swimbait is unique in that it’s not narrow with a tiny tail in the back like almost all other micro plastics for panfish. This swimbait has a more shad profile with a larger, taller body that tapers at the tail. The Shad FryZ only measures 1 3/4 inches long. So it’s a compact TPE bait with all the properties folks like in Z-Man baits.

The Shad FryZ rig well on Z-Man Micro Shroomz Finesse head. I like the 1/15 and 1/10 size heads with their small hooks. A normal 1/16 ounce head will work as well but you want the ones with a wire keeper rather than a lead keeper work much better. But you want to keep the hook small like a No.6 or No. 8.


I enjoy the color options they offer. They are also pretty unique compared to other panfish plastics. They have some good translucent colors you won’t find anywhere else. I like the blue glimmer one in clear water and I like the space guppy color for stained water. And the Firetreuse has been good for me in muddy water. But I like that there are some unique combinations as well as staples everyone loves.

z-man micro finesse baits


I’ve been a big fan of the Z-Man Micro Finesse baits since they came out. One of the biggest bass I hooked this year was on the Micro Finesse TRD as well as one of the largest bluegills I caught this year. I’ve caught a ton of nice crappie and bass on the Shad FryZ, and the LarvaZ has produced a ton of nice bluegills and shellcrackers for me. And their two new offerings the Baby BallerZ and Micro Goat are awesome new micro finesse shapes that swim great and I’ll be sharing those soon as well too. But if you haven’t checked out the micro baits from Z-Man you really should. 

crappie on z-man shad fryz micro finesse


One of the best attributes of the Z-Man Shad FryZ Micro Finesse bait comes from its ability to kick at ultra slow speeds. You can wind this bait at a low speed and the bait has a subtle shimmy and kick that more closely mimics a small baitfish. Small baitfish don’t flap their tails hard. They just undulate through the water with a slight shimmy of the tail and these Shad FryZ make that same motion. That’s nice when you’re trying to keep a bait moving without moving it too much. A bluegill likes a bait to duck and dive more than a crappie. For the most part a crappie wants a bait to stutter and change without moving too much or having too much action. You can get both actions out of the Shad FryZ.


Because the Shad Fryz mimics new of the year shad so well, I’ve managed to catch a bunch of bass on them with light line on my BFS setups. I’ve done really well fishing the Shad FryZ around docks, brush piles and rip rap. Places where you often find shad congregating will yield good results with the Shad FryZ. 

If you’re looking for a do-it all finesse bait for your light setups, the Shad FryZ certainly fit the bill. You can find all 10 colors of the Shad FryZ at and other retailers that carry Z-Man Micro Finesse Baits.