Z-Man EZ Keeperz Weighted Hook For Soft Plastics [VIDEO REVIEW]


It’s soft plastic weighted hook time!

If you’ve been following us here at Salt Strong for any amount of time, then you probably know that we love our Owner Twistlock Weighted Hooks

However, if you have ever tried using any of the Z-man soft plastic lures on a “spring locking hook” (like the Owner TwistLock), you may have run into some issues.

With the very stretchy material that the Z-man Soft Plastic Baits are made of, it is very difficult to get a spring to screw into these baits.

zman lures

So what’s the solution?

The Z-man Lure Company has come up with a pretty slick hook that will make it easier for you to rig their soft plastic lures if you like to use them on a weighted hook.

These hooks are called the EZ Keeperz Weighted Hook.

Let’s go over the pros and cons and then I’ll show you some video footage of me fishing with this new Z-man hook.

zman soft plastic
Zman Jerk Shad Rigged on the EZ Keeperz Hook

The “keeper” on the hook is U-Shaped and allows the soft plastic to be placed in the middle of it.

You would then squeeze the 2 prongs onto the bait and then give a little tug on the lure as you squeeze it to secure the lure onto the spikes inside of the clamp. 

This keeper also spins just in case you happen to rig your bait upside down.

zman ezkeeperz hook
Up close look at the Z-Man EZKeeperZ Hook

An alternate way of securing your bait onto the hook is to stick one side of the U-Shaped clamp directly into the head of the lure.

One side has a very sharp point that allows it to easily penetrate the Zman soft plastic baits.

You would then squeeze the clamp together and it will hold your bait securely.

zman hook

Another feature of this hook is that it has an o-ring on the shaft of the hook.

This ring is meant to be pushed up under the lure after you have rigged it to keep your bait from sliding down the hook.

z-man ezkeepers hook

What I found when using these hooks is that they also work very well with Gulp Jerk Shads.

As opposed to the rigging method that worked best with the Zman jerk shad, the Gulp worked best with the keeper clamped on the outside of the head of the lure.

zman ezkeeperz hook
Gulp Jerk Shad Rigged on the EZ Keeper Hook

As far as the price point of these hooks, they are in the same ball park as the Owner Weighted Twistlock Hooks, which will run you about $5-$7 for a 3-pack.

To help extend the life of your hooks, it is recommended to rinse them with fresh water as soon as you are done fishing for the day and dry them off.

Also, remove them from your line as the line can hold moisture and cause some rust to appear where the line is tied to the hook.

**Side Note: If you happen to lose one to a monster snook, a monster rock, or poor knot tying, there isn’t really much you can do there!

These hooks come in different sizes and weights, and in this review, I used the 4/0 1/8oz hook.

If I had to choose, I would prefer the 3/0 1/16oz size to keep a smaller profile.

The lighter weight also helps if sight fishing so that you don’t spook the fish with a large splash created from a heavy bait. It also gives the bait a more natural fall on the retrieve.

Using a heavier weight will cause your lure to fall too quickly which can actually spook the fish unless they are being super aggressive.

zman ezkeepers hook
Snook on a Zman Jerk Shad Rigged on an EZ Keeper Hook

In the following video, I will be discussing the best ways to use the EZ Keeper Hook for rigging Zman and Gulp soft plastic baits.

I was also able to hook into a few fish!


Z-Man EZ Keeperz Hook [Independent Review]

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From The Z-Man Website…

Here is the description of the EZ Keeperz hook for soft plastics (from the Z-Man website)

EZ KeeperZ incorporate unique, patent-pending keeper that is designed to securely hold all types of soft plastics, including ElaZtech®, Gulp!®, and conventional soft plastic baits.

The barbed, U-shaped stainless keeper clip allows for easy weedless rigging and ensures proper hook alignment for consistent lure action and hook sets, while minimizing tearing when used with more fragile non-ElaZtech baits. Each EZ KeeperZ is built on a custom, super-sharp, heavy-duty black nickel hook and is finished off with a durable black paint coating on the weight to help maintain a stealthy presentation.

Features of the Z-Man EZ Keeperz Weighted Hook
  • Patent-pending keeper design holds all types of soft plastics securely
  • Barbed, U-shaped stainless clip prevents baits from tearing and ensures proper hook alignment for consistent action and solid hook sets
  • Custom super-sharp, heavy duty, premium black nickel hooks
  • Rubber O-ring holds baits in place and prevents them from sliding out of position
  • Detailed rigging instructions and diagrams included on package
  • Available in 3/0, 4/0, and 5/0 hook sizes to match a variety of soft plastic baits
  • Offered in 1/16, 1/8, and 3/16 oz weights
  • Durable black coating on weight provides a stealthy presentation
  • 3 weighted hooks per pack
  • Cost – $5.99 for 3 hooks


Pretty cool hook design by Z-man.

It’s nice to finally have a weighted hook that works smoothly with stretchier soft plastics (like Z-man products).

I honestly shied away from Z-man soft plastics because most of them wouldn’t work with my Owner TwistLock hooks.

Great design overall (the o-ring to hold the bait in place was brilliant), and I was glad to see that it worked well with other soft plastics.

Check out more about the Z-Man EZ Keeperz weighted hook here on the main Z-Man page.

Any other questions for me on this hook or any other hook for soft plastics?

Let me know in the comments.

Fish On!

Related Post: Owner TwistLock Hook With Weighted Shaft [Video Review]

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Richard Fiorentino
5 years ago

Tony – If you like that gasket on the hook, you can buy a similar product and put it on any hook.

Luke Simonds
5 years ago

The price of those seems a bit steep… easier option is to simply get a rubber band and cut it up into small pieces that can be threaded onto the hook.

Richard Fiorentino
5 years ago

.. Hey Tony- How durable did you find the Z Man hook . When pushing the side in and then opening it a few times to put on a new soft plastic do you think that it might get weak?

Terry Reelitz
6 years ago

What are the overall best 2-3 colors of jerk shads for snook or redfish

John Kunzman
6 years ago

Thank you for this great review. I have been seeking a solution to the problem of getting a z-man soft plastic bait to stay in position on any of the jigs and/or weighted hooks that I have tried. This seems to be the answer.

Tony Acevedo
6 years ago
Reply to  John Kunzman

Not a problem John! We have another video coming soon with a more closer look at rigging soft plastics onto the hook.

Jim Davis
6 years ago

Great review. I just found the zman ezkeeper hooks after having issues with the owner twist lock hooks and my zman jerk shads. I used it this Las weekend. I caught a nice red, Jack, Spanish Mack(bit through line at boat), trout, bonnet head, lady fish and the dreaded cat fish on this set up with the pearl 5 in jerk shad. It’s has worked great for me and will continue to use it in the future. Tight lines!!

Tony Acevedo
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim Davis

Thanks for the feedback Jim! Glad it works well for you!

Gary Rankel
6 years ago

Great video, Tony. I’m a big fan of Z-man products and have been using their new EZ keeper hook since it came out exactly as you describe in your video. I paint the black weight on the hook red to provide a bleeding effect, and have had good success with it. I now have a bunch of twist lock hooks that will probably not be used again.

Tony Acevedo
6 years ago
Reply to  Gary Rankel

Thanks for the feedback Gary!


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