By: Blake Tollefson
Specifications: 1/16, 1/8, and 3/8
Target Species: Panfish, Walleye, Bass, and Trout
It may be revered as an ice fishing lure, but the Z-Viber has proven itself again and again that it isn’t just for hardwater. Offered in three different sizes, and ten different colors, the Z-Viber was designed to cover a wide range of applications and species.
The original Z-Viber (1/16) launched in the fall of 2017, and took the ice fishing world by storm. To date, it still maintains its title as the world’s smallest lipless crankbait. In 2018, two additional sizes were added to the Z-Viber family (1/8 and 3/8). All three lures were designed with a baitfish profile and finish in mind. Each lure come standard with internal tungsten rattles to call fish in from a distance. The 1/16 Z-Viber features a single hook design, while the larger sizes feature a double treble hook design.
As discussed, the Z-Viber is often referred to as an ice fishing lure, however, there are several different ways to fish the Z-Viber throughout the open water season. Vertical jigging applications are where the lure’s abilities truly shine. It’s density makes it drop quick and fish fast in deep water. It’s finesse, yet fast fishing design makes it a top choice for picking off the most aggressive fish in a school. A quick rip or lift of the rod will send vibrations throughout the water column. Following the quick lifts with short jigging strokes and the occasional pause will help entice fish to bite. Vertical techniques are highly effective for suspended panfish and bottom oriented gamefish.
The Z-Viber family also performs well when fished via cast and retrieve methods. Pitch the bait out away from the boat and let it fall on a slack line. Retrieve it with a gentle ripping motion by sweeping the rod from nine-o-clock to eleven-o-clock, paired with a pause on the drop. Fish will often grab the bait on the fall. A steady cast and retrieve cranking motion, similar to a crankbait or jig & plastic, is also a proven technique for fishing the Z-Viber during the open water season. The single hook on the 1/16 Z-Viber makes it a great choice for cast and retrieval in weeds and other heavy cover.
Last but not least, trolling is another efficient technique for fishing the Z-Viber. The smaller sizes make great trolling baits for panfish and trout. The 1/8 and 3/8 sizes were developed with three rigging locations, so the user can alter the way in which the bait moves through the water. Effective speeds for trolling range from 0.75 mph to 1.5 mph, depending on target species and areas. The Z-Viber is great for trolling along weedlines, or in areas where fish are more spread out.
Haven’t tried the Z-Viber yet? Now is the time. Stay tuned in coming weeks for some exciting news regarding Eurotackle’s Z-Series.