Friday, March 22, 2019

Z-Man's New Neko ShroomZ Nose Weight

Ask pro angler Mark Daniels Jr. to call out his all-time favorite finesse rig and the answer is easy: “Neko rig, man, no question.” Daniels, a rising star on the Major League Fishing Tour calls the Neko an “always-on-deck” technique.
Easing the process of weighting his favorite soft stickbaits, Daniels recently unveiled Z-Man’s Neko ShroomZ Nose Weight, an intelligent terminal tackle accessory that’s simple and effective to rig with all softbaits, including ElaZtech®.
“The Neko ShroomZ employs the same head design as Z-Man’s Finesse ShroomZ jighead, a shape that adds a sweet rocking, pivoting action to whatever bait you put on the hook,” said Daniels. “This cool little weight has a stainless centering wire and a double-barbed keeper. The wire easily penetrates the material and makes it way easier to rig perfectly straight. The keeper grabs hold and stays locked in place.”

Z-Man confidant Drew Reese, co-creator of the Neko ShroomZ, said the team worked through “at least nine different keeper configurations before implementing its final, bulletproof design. It grabs and holds ElaZtech just as well as other soft plastics; much easier to rig than traditional nail- and screw-style weights. If you’re dealing with extra aggressive bass that like to jump and thrash on the hook, a tiny drop of superglue on the shaft creates a permanent connection.”
Timed to tap spring bass bites across America, Daniels offers advice for putting the Neko ShroomZ to work. “I’ve always got a medium action spinning rod on the casting deck, Neko-rigged with a Z-Man Hula StickZ—that’s my favorite finesse bait for sure. The Finesse WormZ is another fish catcher. And I’m super hyped about a brand new ElaZtech bait I’ve been throwing lately. Can’t talk about that yet,” he says with a playful grin. “But stay tuned.”
Neko Tackle
Daniels casts his Neko rigs with 15-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid and a 6- to 10-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader. “You need line that’s fine and supple enough to maximize the action of a Neko rigged bait. From there, I run a #2 Owner Sniper Finesse hook, impaling the worm about 1/8-inch up from the egg sack, toward the narrower end.”
While traditional Neko- and wacky-rigging requires the angler to slide a rubber O-ring over the bait, under which the hook is planted, ElaZtech is actually tough and tear-resistant enough to eliminate this extra accessory. “You can definitely direct-hook ElaZtech baits for Neko rig fishing,” Daniels observes. “Sometimes, though, I’ll still use an O-ring, which helps prevent the hook from stabbing back into the bait on a hookset. The O-ring also helps the bait slide up the line, so you’re directly connected to the bass.

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