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Z-Man® Rocks at Big Rock
New TRD CrawZ™ wins Best Freshwater Lure at annual outdoor dealer expo

That empty peg at the tackle store is trying to tell you something. Hiding between endless rows and racks of colorfully packaged plastic worms, a single vacant rectangle of real estate whispers the best fishing tip of all: This is the hot lure; the one that sells out the fastest; the bait the fish can’t get enough of.

At the January 2019 Big Rock Sports Show—the annual granddaddy of fishing tackle retail exhibitions—Z-Man’s TRD CrawZ was the one, perhaps the hottest bait in America. Among ten distinguished awards for top new products at this year’s outdoor-industry sales extravaganza, honors for Best Freshwater Lure went to Z-Man’s lively little crayfish bait.

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The 2019 Best Freshwater Lure, as voted on by Big Rock Sports dealers.

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Z-Man’s Finesse BulletZ Jighead is a perfect match for the pint-sized TRD CrawZ.

Headquartered within Nashville’s Music City Center, January 7-9, the 2019 Big Rock Sports Outdoor Expo was its largest ever, consolidating two annual shows into one central location. The premier outdoor sporting goods distributor in North America, Big Rock Sports, LLC, supplies more than 15,000 retailers with the best products from over 1,200 manufacturers; that’s 70,000 fishing products, give or take a few.

In other words, retailers who cast their vote for the TRD CrawZ had a pretty fair selection of new products from which to choose.

“The New Product Showcase at our Outdoor Expo is a true indicator of the products most valued by our national, seasoned dealer community,” said Bob Hunter, Vice President of Merchandising for Big Rock Sports. “So, seeing our dealers crown the Z-Man TRD CrawZ the top new freshwater lure did not come as a big surprise. The bait has an extremely realistic design; its extra buoyant claws give the TRD CrawZ the ideal posture and presentation when it hits the bottom. This is a well-deserved win for the folks at Z-Man.”

An intelligent evolution of Z-Man’s finesse TRD bait series, the 2-1/2-inch TRD CrawZ has been a hot seller since its release in fall 2018. The new mini-crayfish bait also gives fans of Ned Rig style fishing a lively, forage-mimicking option beyond Z-Man’s classic Finesse TRD and its other popular downsized baits.

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“It’s nice that Big Rock gives the retailer a voice in choosing the best new products,” opined Matt McKee, owner of McKee Outdoors, an independent tackle dealer in Maryville, Tennessee. “We’ve had tremendous success with Z-Man products, and the new TRD CrawZ is already proving to be a huge hit with my customers. It’s a fish catcher and another super well-designed Z-Man bait.”

Kenny Boulier, manager of Oceans East in Virginia Beach agrees. “We’ve already had to re-order the Z-Man TRD CrawZ several times since stocking it in our store last fall,” said Boulier. “Demand for Z-Man baits has really taken off lately; it’s the only brand we carry that occupies two whole rows in our store. Freshwater and saltwater anglers, it seems, have both discovered the advantages of ElaZtech. Happy to see Z-Man win.”

“Winning this award means a lot to us,” adds Z-Man National Sales Manager Glenn Young. “There's no media hype involved in the voting at all. Rather, this award is voted on by the dealers, the folks who will be selling the lure in their shops. If they’re excited about it, we know we did something right. We knew this was a great bait, but this award really helps validate that. We're very grateful for the support from the dealer community and Big Rock Sports.”

Luke Clausen, a prominent professional angler on the Major League Fishing / Bass Pro Shops Tour calls the bait he helped design “a cool little craw that’s every bit the fish catcher as the rest of the TRD series. The CrawZ has an incredibly lifelike crawfish profile, and at a size all bass feed upon.”

Clausen notes further advantages of the bait’s ElaZtech composition. “ElaZtech is the future of soft baits. It’s a remarkable, non-toxic material that allowed us give the bait’s bulbous claws the ideal amount of buoyancy. When you fish the TRD CrawZ, the claws lay back on the fall and stand up at rest. Exactly like the real deal.” //

About: Z-Man Fishing Products

About ElaZtech®: Z-Man’s proprietary ElaZtech material is remarkably soft, pliable, and 10X tougher than traditional soft plastics. ElaZtech resists nicks, cuts, and tears better than other softbaits and boasts one of the highest fish-per-bait ratings in the industry, resulting in anglers not having to waste time searching for a new bait when the fish are biting. This unique material is naturally buoyant, creating a more visible, lifelike, and attractive target to gamefish. Unlike most other soft plastic baits, ElaZtech contains no PVC, plastisol or phthalates, and is non-toxic.