Zman Plastics and TT HeadlockZ Jigheads Product Review and Rigging
There has been alot of chatter about these on the net lately and some friends of mine swear by these. To be honest I wasn't interested in these until the HeadlockZ Jigheads were released as supergluing jigheads onto plastics was always a pain in the bum. However the hardyness of the plastic appealed to me, especially for tarpon work as they tend to tear plastics to shreds with their constant jumping, but also for use on toothy critters like Tailor and Mackerel. While slugs work most of the time on these fish there are times when a more subtle approach with a plastic works better.
Zman Plastics come in a variety of shapes and colours, from 2.5" curl tails to 8" Jerk Shads and one major point in thier favour all styles come in a plain white/pearl colour. It has been a major sore point for me that many plastic brands do not come in a plain white/pearl colour particularly in the smallest 3" jerk shad styles, one of the most effective colour and styles for use in the seaway. Sure have all the fruity colours you like but plain white or pearl should be available in every soft plastic brand in every size.
A 60cm atrpon caught on a 2.5" Pearl Curl tail and 3/8oz Tt Headlock Jighead
I have been using the 3" MinnowZ and the 2.5" curl Tail in Pearl/ Shimmer Pearl/PearlBlueGlimmer for a couple of months now and have put them through some rigorous testing so the first question is.. are they as tough as claimed? Well... sort of, they are much tougher than any standard plastic but Tarpon will still tear them a new one after 5 or so fish. Usually the first tear isn't terminal so you can go on using them but eventually they will tear free and you'll lose the plastic.
Secondly, do they catch fish? Well yes they do BUT If fish are scarce there are better lures out there in my opinion. For prospecting work I prefer Ecogear grass minnows, Squidgy Flick Baits, Gulp Jerk Shads and Charlie Brewers Sliders. All of those have consistently pulled fish(and big fish too) when prospecting for fish, the same cannot be said for the Zmans I have been using. That said, if the fish are feeding hard, and are not fussy the Zmans will catch fish and last longer than any other plastic so they definitely have a place in my tackle box.
This Zman Minnow and TT Headlock Jighead combo has caught half a dozen Tarpon and has numerous tears but still fishable, just.
Now on to the TT HeadlockZ JigheadZ. Do they work as claimed? Well.. sort of. I have found that the HeadlockZ jigheads are much better than a standard jighead BUT the plastic will still get pulled down the hook if a fish grabs it hard and doesn't hookup. The solution to this is to place a tiny amount of superglue on the mid keeper section before sliding the plastic right up to the head. Its a much better way of keeping the plastic in place and keeps the superglue away from the head which has always bugged me. I do all this at home and once the plastic gets torn or disappears out on the water just clip a new prerigged plastic on. Simple, Fast and Effective.
Now one of my major complaints about jigheads lately is that even the heaviest one I could find was being straightened by tarpon. The extra heavy duty hook used on the HeadlockZ jigheads solves this problem, its been through alot(including me lifting 3kg Tarpon into the boat by the trace) and has yet to even look like straightening so I have now adopted the HeadlockZ jigheads throughout my whole plastic collection and I'm phasing out the old TT jigheads I used to use. One word of caution though, the black plating on the hooks used on these jigheads is prone to rusting quite quickly once it hits salt water so make sure you either wash the used plastics or don't put them with other jigheads. The hook point is quite durable and will remain sharp for quite a few fish, just make sure you check it every half dozen fish to make sure.
So overall a solid couple of products but they could still do with a bit of work, I'm happy enough to reccomend them as I will keeping them in the tackle box for those occasions when the fish are on the bite yet still want a plastic. These plastics will be included prerigged in the SeawayFishing Starter, Pro and Ultimate Lure Packs I will be releasing in about 4 weeks time.
One last thing, make sure you keep these in the original packet, mixing these plastics with other brands causes them to melt. Its not pretty, so keep them separate.
ZMan Lures - 7.95/Pack - Availability - Most Tackle Stores, BCF
TT HeadlockZ Jigheads - 7.95/pack - Avaialability - Most Tackle Stores, BCF. Most used sizes 3/8oz, 2/0 - 3/8oz 3/0 - 1/4oz 1/0- 1/4oz 3/0- 1/2oz 3/0
Websites - Zman Australia TT Jigheads
First step is to make sure the plastic is on straight, then pull it back out so the mid keeper is exposed. the apply a SMALL amount of super glue(I recommend a Gel type as its easier to handle) to the mid keeper. Then push it straight back on.
When you are finished the jighead should lie straight along the plastic with the hook point exposed.
Prerigged Zman 2.5" Curl Tails