Zman MinnowZ Product Review Video [Top 3 Pros & Cons]


Zman MinnowZ

Have you tried the Zman MinnowZ lures yet?

This post will show you what I’ve found to be the top 3 pros and cons of Zman’s 3-inch “MinnowZ” soft plastic tails after a few months of trying them out.

And if you have used these MinnowZ lures too, then please add your thoughts (good or bad) in the Comments section at the bottom so that others can learn from your experiences.

We are not affiliated with them in any way, so the comment feed will be completely uncensored.

Here are the topics that we’ll cover in this post:

  1. When To Use Zman MinnowZ Lures
  2. Zman MinnowZ Review Video
  3. Top 3 Pros & Cons
  4. How To Rig Zman MinnowZ Lures
  5. How To Retrieve Zman MinnowZ Lures

So let’s get started.

When To Use Zman MinnowZ Lures

zman minnowz packet

The Zman MinnowZ is a 3″ soft plastic bait that can be rigged on a multitude of different jig heads and hooks. It is designed to mimic a small baitfish, so it can be used to catch a very large variety of fish.

The paddle tail design enables this lure to be used in pretty much all types of environments, depths, & speeds.

I have been testing them out for the past few months in inshore saltwater environments and have caught a bunch of different species including:

  • Snook
  • Spotted Seatrout
  • Redfish
  • Mangrove Snapper
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Jacks
  • Ladyfish

I haven’t yet tried them in fresh water, but I am sure that bass will readily eat them too.

So far, I have been pleased with these baits, but there are certainly some cons that I’ve noticed along the way that I’ll descrive in the video below.

Zman MinnowZ Review Video

Here’s a quick video that I put together to explain the top pros and cons that I’ve found for these Zman MinnowZ lures… click the image below to watch the video.

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MinnowZ Pros & Cons

Here is a quick list of the top 3 pros and cons that I’ve found for these Zman MinnosZ lures. If you have any others that you’d like to add, please share them with everyone using the Comments section at the bottom of this page.

Top 3 Pros

  1. Very strong: many fish can be caught on each lure
  2. Good action in the water: they can attract strikes
  3. Great packaging: each bait arrives to you in good order

Top 3 Cons

  1. Tough to rig: the strong material makes rigging tough (rigging tutorial video below)
  2. Lightweight: they don’t cast quite as far as other soft plastics the same size
  3. Must be stored separately: the Zman baits cannot be stored in the same compartment as other soft plastics
    • They have a reaction to traditional oil-based soft plastics

How To Rig Zman MinnowZ Lures

The video below shows how to rig these Zman MinnowZ lures.

The general process is the same as other soft plastics, but unique “ElaZtch” material that they make these baits from requires some added steps as shown starting at the 3:41 mark of this video:

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See the loop knot that I recommend for tying this lure to your line

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How To Retrieve Zman MinnowZ Lures

The primary benefit of these paddle tail style soft plastics is that they provide their own action in the water (the tail moving back and forth), so the angler does not have to do a fancy retrieve.

These lures can catch fish simply by casting them out and reeling the line back in.

But to maximize results, it’s often smart to give it some type of unique motion in many cases.

CLICK HERE to see a detailed tutorial showing the top strategies and tactics for retrieving paddle tail lures (Insider Only).


 These Zman MinnowZ lures have proven to be a great choice for rigging on jig heads given that they are extremely strong and durable relative to most other soft plastics.

The core challenge is the rigging aspect because if that’s not done properly, the results will likely be very disappointing.

So be sure to practice the rigging technique shown in the video above before your next trip so that you do not miss out on any valuable fishing time.

If you have used these MinnowZ lures, please let us know your thoughts on which jig heads you like best as well as what species of fish you target with them in the Comment section below.

And if you have not used these MinnowZ lures, click here to learn more about them on Zman’s website.

Here are links that you will surely like if you enjoyed this post:

See Full Listing of Lure Reviews

Learn How To Consistently Catch Redfish, Snook, & Seatrout With Artificial Lures [PDF Guide]

See The Best Retrieve Tactics For Generating Strikes With These Lures [Insider Only]

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4 years ago

Can you take the memory out of deformed tails of padderz?

3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

You can dip the tails in boiling water and they will straighten out. I usually do it for 10-20 seconds, just be careful to not overdo it or the tail will eventually fall off. I did this recently with some older packages of z-man baits I had lying around from before they were packaged with the plastic inserts inside the bags to protect their shape. I was able to fix about 20 baits , consisting of Paddlerz, Pogyz and Minnowz.

Curtis Thompson
4 years ago

I have been using the scented ones. Have liked them fine and hadn’t explored any further. A significant number of baits will always be deformed. Don’t have the nice packaging to separate the baits. Anxious to find some of these lures and check them out. Thanks for the info.

Dustin Burbage
4 years ago

I bought a pack of these and tried to use them with a twistlock hook yesterday. Can confirm that it is near impossible to get one of these fed onto the screwtip of a twistlock hook.

Dustin Burbage
4 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Outstanding. I’ll definitely give that a shot, please forward a lot of good vibes to Mark. I’ve never had anything in the tacklebox stonewall me like that before.

That was my first time trying them and the fish were biting, after a few attempts It went back in the bag,

Richard Fiorentino
4 years ago

Sice it is so tough to rig these, do you think it would be ok to store the Minnowz with the jig head rigged? It would save time on the water to just tie it on or attach with fastach

Thom Ray
4 years ago

ZMan won’t dry out like a Gulp. I pre rig mine and leave them on after for the next trip. I do coat them w Procure the next time out .

4 years ago

Z-Man….Here on the Chesapeake a great lure when the Blues and Spanish Macs Arrive….If your using a reg soft plastic’/rubber….a blue will get your tail on the first Strike….I’ve had the Z-man’s last thru 10 bites or more….TOUGH!!!!

Neg Comment: Keep Zmans separate in your tackle box, even then, summer heat will mold them together if leave in heat too much or too long….

William Osborne
5 years ago

Z man minnows. Started using them in the 80s. H&H lure co. Cocahoe Minnows were the first paddle tail minnow jigs. Millions of trout and redfish have been caught on them. Green with red glitter and red with a white tail were the best colors.

Richard Devereaux
5 years ago

Rigging Z-man ElaZtech plastics on Eye Strike/Z-Man (Trout Eye, Redfish Eye, etc.) jig heads.

Once you have the point of the jig head through the back of the soft plastic, do NOT try to push the soft plastic over the retainer barbs. Instead, with 1 hand safely hold the exposed hook and with the other hand pull the “nose” of the soft plastic OVER the head of the jig. Then pull the “tail” of the soft plastic off the head of the jig to cover the retainer barbs.

from Dave Fladd, co-founder Eye Strike Fishing

Tdsteve33809 Latour
5 years ago

Nice! Thanks for the link

Thom Ray
4 years ago

Nice demo. Thanks. Love the jig heads.

Richard Devereaux
5 years ago

Helpful information

Rigging Z-Man ElaZtech soft plastics on Eye Strike jig heads. See link to Instagram video below.

Dave Fladd (in video) is co-founder of Eye Strike Fishing (, which manufactures the Eye Strike jig heads and markets these same jig heads through Z-Man (Trout Eye, Redfish Eye, Striper Eye, etc.)

Dan Shuford
5 years ago

Thanks Luke!! I like the way you break it down… I caught 12-13 trout and a couple redfish on the grass flats on one Houdini color Zman Minnowz. It’s still rigged up and plan to throw the same one Saturday. The weekend before I finally lost my first from the package, hung up on some structure… They are a little more difficult to rig, I think well worth the trouble. Like most of us… I have countless bags of soft plastics, every brand it seems.

It’s nice to see the lure companies putting more efforts in the soft plastics these days with new material, scents, designs and sizes…

Dan Shuford

David Stoots
5 years ago

I love the ZMan baits and have caught a lot of fish using the MinnowZ or the Diesel in Pin Fish color. The only negatives for me, as you mention, are the buoyancy and difficulty in rigging, especially with a Twist Lock type hook. And, they don’t skip cast very well because they are so buoyant.


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