November 13th, 2014
Z-Man Project Z Chatterbait Product Reviewby Grant Pentiricci July 13, 2015
If you are not familiar with chatterbaits, you ought to be; especially if you are a bass angler! Z-Man Fishing is the producer of the “original” chatterbait. They are, in many ways, the company that is responsible for the popularity of this noisy little jig. That’s why we just had to bring you a Z Man Project Z chatterbait product review!
Demanding anglers starting asking for some refinements; and Z-Man set out to re-design the original chatterbait to address anglers’ concerns. It was through Z-Man’s collaboration with anglers that Project Z was born.
Members of our Contributor team are avid original chatterbait users. When we found out about the new Project Z chatterbaits, we immediately contacted Z-Man and asked for access to these baits. Here are some of our unbiased thoughts on the re-designed chatterbait, starting with the specifications and product claims.
Project Z Chatterbait Features
- Chemically-sharpened, heavy-duty Mustad® UltraPoint® black nickel hook
- Unique, stainless hex-shaped ChatterBlade®, stamped and electroplated in the USA
- New, super-strong quick clip attached to the blade for an incredibly secure connection
- Hardened stainless wireform blade attachment molded into the head
- Multi-step, skirt-matched paint schemes
- New Z-Tie™ double umbrella EZ Skirt® for a fuller skirt profile, rivaling the look of a hand-tied skirt
- Enlarged jighead collar to eliminate skirt slippage
- Super-sharp, double-keeper jighead barbs to hold soft plastic trailers securely in place
- 3D eyes for an ultra-realistic look
- Cast, painted, assembled, and packaged in the USA
- Available in 3/8 and 1/2 ounce weights (5/0 hook)
- Larger 3/4 and 1 ounce weights (6/0 hook) available Summer 2015
Of all the new Project Z Chatterbait features, the biggest improvement that our team noted was the super strong quick clip attachment. This is much stronger than the older original chatterbait design and won’t open or get deformed after several fish catches. This is a significant improvement! With the quick clip attachment you can quickly switch baits if needed. We simply tied right on to the clip, and since it is a closed loop design, there was no danger of having our knot come off.
We also liked the new enlarged skirt collar, along with the double-keeper jighead barbs to keep everything neatly in place during fishing. While using this new design, we didn’t need to use any glue or helpers to keep everything in place. This meant more time fishing and allowed us to focus on catching more fish! With the original Chatterbaits, we used to wrap braid around the skirt to hold it in place and prevent slippage.
“The new design allows anglers to focus on whats important and not worry about things that can distract them, or take away from their fishing” mentioned Jeremy Schneider, AnglingAuthority.com Contributor.
The Project Z Chatterbait comes in four sizes: 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and 1-oz. Depending on the size, the price varies from $7.99- $8.99 USD. As far as bladed swimjigs go, the Project Z Chatterbait is not the cheapest. However, I feel that you are getting a refined bait that has all the features anglers can want. You can pick up the Project Z Chatterbait online, or at most tackle shops. Can’t find them locally? You can easily order them directly from Z Man fishing by clicking here and visiting their site.
On The Water
Since we use chatterbaits to target bass hiding out in cover, we opted to test these baits using a 7’4″ heavy power rod with a fast action tip. We used a fast reel (Abu Garcia STX 7:1 gear ratio) that was spooled up with 50-lb braid tied directly to the quick clip.
The Project Z Chatterbait easily fished through cover and any weeds that hung up were easy to get off the lure with a quick pop of the wrist. We found that the trailer keeper did its job well and the skirt stayed in place. There was no messing around between casts with this bait!
We used the Diesel Minnow as a trailer for the Project Z Chatterbait among others. Z Man recommends keeping your plastics in their original packaging to prevent warping from heat and this worked during our testing. Unfortunately, plastics that were tied on and left in rod lockers under the sun for days did not fare as well.
To get an in-depth look at some of my thoughts, trailers used and colors, check out this video. It has more specifics on how the Project Z Chatterbait did in our testing:
By reading through this review you can tell that our team enjoyed reviewing this bait. It has been refined in a thoughtful way and the changes Z Man made to the bait reflect that; kudos to ZMan!
UPDATE – ICAST 2015 – Here’s an interesting and insightful conversation we had with David Walker and Luke Clausen on the Z Man Chatterbait. They had some great tips on how they catch fish with this ZMan bait:
About AuthorMore info about author
Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci