Daniels, who won the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series event on Lake Oahe, South Dakota by casting TRD-Series softbaits, speaks energetically about Z-Man’s newest “creature,” the TRD BugZ. “This shape and profile are absolutely natural,” he says. “Like other TRD baits, the BugZ is subtle and non-threatening, yet has a bunch of little goodies built into its 2-3/4-inch body.”
Equally allured by ElaZtech baits, smallmouth bass fanatic and fellow Major League Fishing Tour angler, Luke Clausen was the first to suggest the idea of a downsized creature bait. “Big smallmouths love to eat small stuff—invertebrates like little one- and two-inch crayfish,” Clausen asserts. “Z-Man’s new TRD BugZ leans on an incredibly productive bass bait profile and downsizes it to Ned Rig proportions. It looks like a craw, acts like a craw, but with a slowed down drop-speed and awesome back-and-forth spiral on the drop.”
Smartly crafted with a wealth of fish-catching attributes, the TRD BugZ exhibits a slightly pear-shaped, flattened silhouette, highlighted with deep-cut ribs across its torso. Riddled with crustacean-like bumps, a primary flapper tail extends an inch from the torso, and can be split into two claw-like sections, or left intact. On each side of the tail is a secondary, leaf-shaped “flipper,” each one molded to lie perpendicular to the torso and tail, producing offsetting action and faint pulsing vibrations.