Tackle Reviews

Z-Man RaZor ShadZ Swimbait Review

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Over the past few years, I’ve started utilizing a bladed swim jig much more in my bass fishing endeavors. It has become a very important part of my arsenal and as long as the water temperature is above 50 degrees, I’ve learned that it will catch bass in a wide array of situations. Throughout my constant experimentation with it, however, I quickly learned that finding the right trailer can be pretty darn difficult. I have littered my boat with all kinds of shapes and colors of soft plastics, but very few of them looked the way I wanted them to. 

Last year, I picked up a few packs of Z-Man RaZor ShadZ from a local tackle store and to be honest, it has been the only Chatterbait trailer I’ve used for the past 13 months. There are a few very important reasons behind my affinity for it, and in the next few slides I’ll explain exactly what I mean. 

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Outstanding action

If you rig the Z-Man RaZor ShadZ on a hook by itself, it doesn’t have much action, to be totally honest. But when you rig it on the back of your favorite Chatterbait, it comes alive and puts off an excellent action that closely mimics a fleeing baitfish. Its segmented construction allows for a wild and erratic hunting action and it has worked wonders for me on many different fisheries. I’ve had a lot of success skipping it underneath docks, burning it across flats and especially ripping it through vegetation. 

I tend to reach for a bladed swim jig whenever I’m fishing clear water. I love to fish quickly, but I never have much success fishing crankbaits in clear water, so this has essentially turned into my clear-water crankbait of sorts. When you’re targeting bass in clear water, however, I’ve learned that a bulky trailer tends to overpower the fish and instead of getting bites, you’ll have a lot of followers and short strikes.

The RaZor ShadZ performs excellently in clear water. Just this past week, I used it to catch a nice 4-pound largemouth fishing in an area where I could see the bottom in almost 6 feet. This may not sound clear to our northern readers, but down here in Georgia, that type of clarity can be a little intimidating. While other anglers might fish with finesse gear in that situation, this realistic trailer has allowed me to power fish with 17-pound fluorocarbon and get plenty of good bites. 

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It allows for easy skip casts

Because the RaZor ShadZ doesn’t have a bunch of crazy appendages hanging from it, it’s a very streamlined profile that facilitates easy skip casts in tight quarters. I can skip a traditional jig really well, but for the longest time I was having some serious issues skipping my bladed swim jigs. I actually quit trying after a while because I was so tired of picking out backlashes. 

The day I bought a pack of RaZor ShadZ, however, I figured I’d give it another shot. All of the sudden, I was able to skip my Chatterbaits 15 to 20 feet underneath both docks without even thinking about it. I wasn’t constantly messing with my reel settings and it didn’t take a bunch of concentration or skill. Sure enough, I got on an awesome pattern a few days later and the only way I could get bites was by skipping this combo underneath the walkways of boat docks. If I were still using a bulky trailer, I’m positive that I would have never had the confidence or ability to find this pattern. 

Fast-forward 13 months and this has become one of my favorite ways to quickly search for an effective dock pattern. I’m willing to bet that I have a Chatterbait and RaZor ShadZ combo on my front deck at least 75 percent of the year. 

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Comes through grass without a hitch

I’m not quite sure what you call the grass in my area; it’s similar to water willow but it’s also filled with stems that are as big around as my thumb. The bass definitely use it and it can be a big producer, but most anglers around here throw a hollow-bellied frog in it because that’s the least irritating way to fish it. I was one of those people until I started tinkering with the RaZor ShadZ. 

When I rig this trailer on the back of a Z-Man/Evergreen Chatterbait Jack Hammer, I can get it through the thickest grass patches on the lake without any issues. That may sound a bit over-the-top, but it’s the truth. It slithers in and out of those big stems with ease and if you feel it bump a chunk of grass, a simple pop of your rod tip will get it through every time.

I’ve taken advantage of this over the past year. When I find a few fish in the grass, I’ll set down my topwater lures and throw this instead. The bass never see it and you can definitely tell by the way they eat it. 

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You won’t find a more durable trailer

If you’ve never used ElaZtech material before, it may throw you for a loop at first. It also might take you a few tries to rig the RaZor ShadZ correctly, but once you figure it out, you won’t have to rig another one for quite a while. This trailer does not slide down the shank of the hook, no matter how you fish it, and it will last for dozens and dozens of fish catches. The RaZor ShadZ featured in this photo has easily caught 40 or 50 bass and shows almost no signs of damage. I was using this exact same bait in May of 2017 and I’m still using it in March of 2018. 

I spent about $10 when I bought two packs of RaZor ShadZ 13 months ago and I still have three left. That’s unbelievable value.

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Great looking colors

You’ll have 1o colors to choose from if you decide to try the RaZor ShadZ. The colors are consistent and lifelike, so you should have no problems finding a combination that closely mimics the prominent bass forage in your area. Below are the color combinations I use the most:

  • Pearl – In lowlight conditions and clear water, this is a tough color to beat. I pair it with any white-colored Chatterbait Jack Hammer. 
  • Smokey Shad – Because this color has a lot of flake in it, it has a great flash in clear to moderately stained water on sunny days. Stick with a white-colored bladed swim jig and you’ll catch bass. 
  • Breaking Bream – When you put this on the back of a green pumpkin Chatterbait, it’s as good of a bluegill or small panfish imitation that I’ve seen. I tend to use this color on sunny days in the late spring and throughout the entire summer when water temperatures are between 70 and 90 degrees, which is when bluegill become a major player in my part of the country. 
  • Green Pumpkin – When it’s cloudy and you know they’re eating panfish, this is an excellent choice. It doesn’t have any reflective flake in it, which gives it a bold silhouette in lowlight conditions. 

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Available at Tackle Warehouse

If you throw any brand of bladed swim jigs, I sincerely suggest grabbing a few packs of these. They’ve expanded my bladed jig fishing tenfold and I really think they’ll do the same for you. 

The Z-Man RaZor ShadZ are available at TackleWarehouse.com