Ever seen a crayfish dance? Hard to imagine such a critter capable of so many different gears—slow-strut, stop-and-bop and even an unpredictable reverse turbo mode that catches everyone off guard. Like other eight-legged buggers, crayfish frequently tip-toe across the terrain. The surprise comes when a crayfish hits reverse, pumping its tail and scooting along bottom in a blur of sand, silt and undulation. In escape mode, a craw can flat out cruise. But when they’re done running, they’ll stop and cop an attitude, flashing their two menacing pincers—what science folks call chelipeds—threatening as a two-fisted bandit waving twin Colt-45s.
Actually, if you’re a big bass who’s been around the block, the crayfish double claw pump simply serves as extra enticement. In a flash, craw goes bye-bye. As in, all that remains are dismembered claws and other crunchy bits, littering the bottom of your livewell. Alternatively, if you’re an artificial crustacean called Hella CrawZ, your claws and other anatomy remain safely intact, even after enduring dozens of bass bites. Come to think of it, a spic-and-span livewell is one more reason to put one of the new ElaZtech® craw-baits on your hook.
“You look at Z-Man’s new Hella CrawZ on a Texas rig or CrossEyeZ™ Flipping Jig and just sort of assume it’s for slow, bottom-hugging presentations only,” notes Z-Man pro Mark Daniels, Jr. “Actually, this little ElaZtech bait does so much more in the water than you’d believe. Never stops moving—fast, slow or dead-stop.”
Parading a pair of flattened, mega-sized flapper claws, the new 3.75-inch Hella CrawZ is a compact crawfish-profile jig trailer and flipping bait with bonus tricks under its crown. The bait’s appeal, in part, lies within its 10X Tough ElaZtech composition. At rest, the Hella CrawZ’ buoyant pincers float up and hover in full menace mode. The slightest twitch of the line or faintest underwater flow activate its claws, which wave and flap in the current. Put one on a hook and it’s there to stay, outlasting comparable soft plastic trailers by impressive margins. And like its living, breathing counterpart, the Hella CrawZ surprises you with its ability to bolt.
“This bait does so much more than shine in flipping situations,” notes Daniels. “I absolutely love what it does when you speed it up. The Hella CrawZ moves amazing on a swim jig. Looks and works killer on a football head— or on a wobble jig or a Carolina rig. Man, put it on a ChatterBait and see what happens. Wind it a little faster and the bait waves and pulses; you get mad action from those flapper claws.”
Daniels, who proposed the original Hella CrawZ design, advocated thin, flattened claws from day-one. “We created the bait’s claws with slightly thicker outer ridges for a stronger thumping vibe and heightened flapping action. When you retrieve it faster on a swim jig, its buoyant claws keep the bait a little higher in the water column, perfect for swimming over grass. Or, hop it along on the same swim jig to activate its pincers so they flap, wave and rise up between hops. We left the salt out of this bait to max out buoyancy and flap factor.
“Before rigging the bait, add a dab of superglue to the hook-shank and you’ve got a more or less permanent jig-trailer connection. Imagine flipping the same jig and trailer all day long, even in heavier cover.”
Beyond its high-action claws, the compact Hella CrawZ sports a lifelike segmented crayfish torso and carapace, plus beady eyes and quivering antennae. The bait’s slightly flattened torso, says Daniels, further balances the bait, preventing it from tipping over—a common, yet little-known dilemma with other crawfish trailers—especially non-buoyant baits. The Hella CrawZ’ segmented torso also sports a ventral hook slot for easy, streamlined rigging.
Available at outdoor retailers in September, the Z-Man Hella CrawZ features ten elite color patterns, hand-picked by Z-Man pro Mark Daniels Jr. MSRP $4.49 per 3-pack. For more information, visit www.zmanfishing.com.