Z-Man Pop ShadZ Review [Top Pros, Cons & Rigging Tips]

By: Tony Acevedo on September 18, 2018
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Z-man Pop ShadZ Head

The Z-Man Pop ShadZ is a soft plastic topwater lure that you can rig weedless.

The head is shaped like a traditional bass popper and the soft plastic body gives you action like a fluke.

This lure is a good choice when you are fishing around shallow water structure such as mangrove trees or oyster beds.

After using this lure consistently, I wanted to give you my full honest review of the Z-Man Pop Shadz.

In this article, I go over my top pros and cons for this lure and give you some tips for how to rig it in the video review at the bottom of the article.

Note: We are not affiliated with any fishing lure companies. Let us know if you’ve used this lure and what you thought of it in the comments section. Your honest feedback is always welcome on any products we review!

Z-Man Pop ShadZ Specs

Z-Man Pop ShadZ Pack

The Z-Man Pop ShadZ packs come with three Pop ShadZ per pack.

They can be rigged weedless on a heavy wire 4/0 or 5/0 offset EWG style hook.

The lure comes in 4″ and 5″ sizes and there are eight different color variations for each size.

A Z-Man Pop ShadZ pack is $5.99 on the Z-Man website.

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Z-Man Pop ShadZ Video Review 

In this video, I go over my top pros and cons for the Z-Man Pop ShadZ. I also show you how to rig the lure and give you a demo of how it looks in the water.

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Z-Man Pop ShadZ and Hook

This is a good lure choice when other topwater plugs may get hung up on structure.

I especially like fishing them around mangroves.

While it’s not the easiest to rig, it offers a solid choice for topwater action in weeds and structure.

Remember, we are not affiliated with any fishing lure companies. All our reviews are fair and unbiased.

If you have any questions about these lures or have a suggestion for what product we should review next, let us know in the comments.

Tight Lines!

Click Here To See More Topwater Lure Reviews

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Lee Chaney
1 year ago

Tony, how do you pinpoint the best areas when your in a target rich environment. I try current,structure,bait, but some just don’t produce. I fish an area where everything looks good.

Lee Chaney
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Fish are there. They bite also. There’s just so much cover, bait, current. Some hold fish, just don’t bite. Thought there might be small defining points. I would be glad to send you an overhead of the area for dissection.

Tom Mangus
1 year ago

Another tip for everyone. I use Bait buttons alot for keeping plastics in place on the hook. As well as for trailer hooks. You can get them at Walmart. Here’s a video of some uses.

Lee Chaney
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Mangus

Super glue!

Tom Mangus
1 year ago

Great review Tony. Love the pop shadz. I regularly use a 5/0 hook and it floats it fine. It skips very well too..let it rest a few seconds before starting the retrieve. I get many bites on the original pause in deep cover. So soft that even as thick as it is there is no problem with hook set. They have a toad that is also great. Sometimes in open water I like to rig it with a small drop line tied to the bend of the hook and put a jerk shad behind it about 12 to 24 inches depending on water depth it the fish are short striking it.
Looking forward to more reviews. Thanks as always.

Rick Brixon
1 year ago

FYI, if you are not aware Ebay sells the twist pins with a center wire. Make any hook you want into a twist on hook. Thanks for all the work (fun) you guys put into this endeavor.

Steven Free
1 year ago

Well I have some news for you Tony I know you did a review on the live target hollow body mullet because I made a comment to it a little while ago but I found and have used another lure that’s also weedless and is a topwater and is alot less expensive then the live target its from savage gear lures and although I can’t remember the exact name it has 2 hooks rigged on each side of the lure almost like the weedless frogs snagproof makes and it also has a feather on the tail end and I have found it to be as weedless as the live target mullet is and its solid soft rubbery plastic so it doesn’t fill with water like the live target does a great lure and like I said about half the price of the live target also I have used a lure additive from do a lures called a chug head its a concave piece of plastic that fits on the head of just about any kind of soft plastic bait that turns it into a chug bait it comes in an array of colors about 6 bucks for a pack of about 4 heads anyways just saying thanks for what you do😁

Keith Donald
1 year ago

Nice “grass walker” type lure. Reminds me a little bit of this unique soft plastic lure from “Trout Support” based out of Texas which’s is briefly reviewed here: https://www.texassaltwaterfishingmagazine.com/fishing/features/martin-strarup/there-s-a-new-fishing-lure-in-town

Raymond Bierschenk
1 year ago

Nice video, Tony! I’m straining to see how you have your kayak stored on the side on a furniture dolly? I’d be interested in seeing some info on that!

Kevin Silver
1 year ago

Thanks Tony! I’ve always found the z-man products frustrating to put on a spring lock hook. This tip made my day!

Lee Chaney
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Silver

Kevin, you can also take the hook and give the spring lock a starter hole that helps it go on easier.

Brent Palmer
Brent Palmer
1 year ago

Great review Tony and I agree with the pros and cons! I like the tip about the spring lock hooks and will try that for all of my Z-Man lures!!

I love the Pop Shadz and use them a lot. We don’t have mangroves up here in the Panhandle but I fish the flats and the trout and redfish (as well as the ladyfish and everything else that will hit a top water) love them. Many times I couldn’t get a fish to hit a hard top water plug but I would throw the Pop Shadz and would catch fish.

I am not a good tech guy but I have a fun little YouTube channel (average everyday fisherman show) that has a review as well as a video of me using it and nailing a limit of trout (not all of them shown) and a big old redfish. Since I am not fishing around structure much, I usually rig it with a treble hook. It can be thrown quite a distance for its weight so no worries about that. I love them!

Gary Rankel
1 year ago

Thanks, Tony…..this is one of the few Z man lures that I don’t like. Don’t care for the action at all – much prefer walk the dog types and there are several weedless lures out there I use.

Jason Mathews
1 year ago

I like the style of this lure, does it have any weight to it for casting since its topwater?

MICHAEL Drozdowski
1 year ago

Good info, Tony… So have you used it and if so, had any success?

Jeremy Suelflow
1 year ago

yea was wondering the same thing. Seems like a great bait though

Luke Simonds
1 year ago

I have heard that the Mustad Grip Pin hooks work great for these pop shadz baits… it’s basically the same thing as the worm hook shown in this video, but it has a defined ridge at the top corner of the keeper bend that keeps the material from sliding down.

James Crews
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

The Mustad Grip Pins are the only wide gap style hooks I’ll use with zman products. They’re awesome!

Allen Tufts
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds


Captain CA goes over the ways to hook this topwater lure in one of his videos. I’m not sure if it’s a salt strong video or a flatsclass video but it’s out there somewhere on YouTube or perhaps even on the zman website.
He recimmended the grip pin mustad hook, and also demonstrated a method to feed the hook and leader line thru the bait and rig a treble hook to fish it just like a topwater lure. After watching that I had to try it out and we actually caught six or seven small trout on that same rigging a few weeks ago in a small trenasse or creek.

I prefer the weightless/weighted worm hook rigging either owner or mustad myself fished over submerged grass mats or shallow man made oyster beds. I’ve caught several reds on this setup in the white/bone color and/or mullet color.