Fishing can be quite an expensive sport. Whether you cast a line for a bit of individual R&R, as a way to catch up with friends, or because you are feeding your own desire to test yourself against others in competitive tournament conditions. Without even counting your ‘must need’ hardware like rods and reels, terminal tackle adds up quickly as well. Line, leader, hard bodied lures, soft plastics and jig heads can easily amount to a couple of hundred dollars for your basic needs. I have always believed that fishing with soft plastics is definitely a cheaper option than hard bodied lures. But after you start adding up the jig heads and packets of lures themselves, although you may be paying a dollar or two a piece which doesn’t seem much compared to ten or twenty dollars and upwards for a single hard bodied lure, it starts adding up.
Some may call me tight but where I can, I try to hang on to my soft plastics (with the exclusion of protein based soft plastics like the Gulp or Aqua products) and jig heads during and after each trip so that I can reuse them again. I put them in a container and when I wash the boat down, they get a rinse then go on the bench to dry and be reused.
We all learn important lessons from time to time, and I have no doubt that others have experienced this before, but here’s a lesson for newcomers to the soft plastic scene (and maybe some other naïve anglers out there like myself). Z-Man soft plastics ‘don’t play well with others’. What do I mean by this? As I mentioned above, the lures and jig heads that I cycle through during my days fishing go into a container to be rinsed and left to dry on the bench.
However, DO NOT do this with Z-Man soft plastics – well don’t mix them with other regular soft plastics at least. Quite obviously there is something in the material and make up of these soft plastics that reacts with the standard soft plastic material. The end result is a mess. Whatever reaction takes place causes the Z-Man lures to essentially melt while the other lures go slimy, some of which actually deform from their regular shape.
In my recent experience I was lucky though. On this first and hopefully last occasion, I only had a handful of lures sitting in a pile on the bench drying and fortunately for me it wasn’t like other times where I have had a significant amount sitting in a pile drying which potentially would have amounted to quite a number of dollars worth of lures wasted.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Z-Man range is fantastic and is something that generally finds its way into my initial lineup. They catch fish, are durable, come in a pretty extensive range and are almost indestructible – that is unless you mix them with other soft plastic lures for more than a couple of days.
If you aren’t already aware of this, take this as a lesson that you don’t need to learn the hard way. Protect your hard earned and make sure you don’t mix these lures or you’ll end up with a big glob of useless plastic goo sitting on your bench.