Fishing soft plastics are not only a fun way to fish, but they are also effective at catching a wide range of fish like; bream, bass, flathead, golden perch, redfin and trout. They are also versatile to use, so in this article we are going to cover 9 ways on how to rig the popular Z-Man soft plastic 2.5” grub. (Or GrubZ, as Z-Man call them.)
We also go over in the FAQs, what hook size to use, as well as what weighted jig head to use. As well as underwater images of what the rigs look like.
For how to rig the grub, click on – How To Rig A Z-Man Soft Plastic 2.5” Grub
Ways On How To Rig The Z-Man Soft Plastics 2.5 Inch GrubZ
Here is the list of ways and we will go through in more detail for each below, as well as some tips, positives and negatives for the rig.
- Jig Head
- Hidden Weight
- Ned Rig
- Normal Hook – No Jig Head
- Trailer For Skirted Jig / Hair Jig
- Assist Hooks
You can also use these rigging methods above on other soft plastic brands like; Daiwa Bait Junkie, Squidgies, Keitech, Mister Twister, Yamamoto Baits, Zoom Baits, Strike King, Bite Science and Berkley Gulp soft plastics.
Some of these methods can also be used on creature baits, paddle tails and Senko type baits, not just the curly tails.
The simplest way to fish the curly tail grub, back in the day of the original Mister Twister, is just with a standard jig head.
With some movement from the rod, like a twitch or wind you can get some great action of the tail.
Even if the angler doesn’t retrieve the lure, the current or tide can impart movement on the tail.
Just by dropping the bail over in deep water, the tail will flutter on the way down and get some bites.
Another way to rig the 2.5” grub is by using a weedless hook. Not only it is good for fishing in weedy areas, but the hook being covered up / or partially covered helps with other snags like fallen timber.
As well as the curly tail grubs, the weedless hooks can be rigged for minnow paddle tails, Z-Man frogs, worms, shads and other creature baits.
The negatives of this rig are: For fish with smaller mouths, the gape on the hook is wide because of the design and it is hard to source a small size weedless hook.
Also some anglers say their catch rate can drop when fishing a weedless rigs. I guess you have to weigh up the opportunities of being more in the strike zone. Also time spent on fishing, rather than constantly getting weed off the hooks or losing tackle on snags.
Hidden Weight System
A hidden weight jig head is another way to rig the curly tail grub.
The beauty about this is it is generally a lighter weight jig head and will flutter down nicely for bream, etc. Which is ideal for fishing under piers, close to deep structure.
Also the hidden weight can be good for clearer water, or finicky fussy fish as you don’t have the big clump of lead for the head.
However, the negatives of this rig is, as the hidden weighted jig head is lighter, you wouldn’t use it for rough waters, surf fishing or where you need weight to get the lure down quickly in deep water.
Another disadvantage of the lighter weight of the hook, also means less casting distance, but isn’t an issue with deep vertical fishing.
You can rig and fish the 2.5 inch grub with the Ned rig. Which is basically a mushroom head jig type. This is ideal for weed free lake and clear sea bottoms, as when the jig head sinks down, it stands on its head. The tail stands up and flutters about with some twitches, or the current working the tail, enticing the fish to bite.
The angler can use small twitches or big hops, (small or large hops depending on fish species, depth, etc.) to fish it.
The Ned rig is not only good for curly tail grubs, but also good for creature baits like yabbies, (crawfish, crawdads) like the Z-Man baby goat lure. As the pincers hold up, it looks like a yabby is in a defensive posture to the fish.
Worm or stick bait soft plastics can also worked with this set up and are popular for fishing in America.
Tackle Tactics has the NedlockZ mushroom jig head style available from your local fishing tackle store or Anaconda and BCF.
Normal Hook – No Jig head
This method is a bit different and not commonly used, but you use a normal hook through the soft plastic. This method of rigging the soft plastic can be added as an added attractor to a bait rig.
You can put a dropper on and have it above or below your baited hook. (If the fish see the movement, they can investigate it more and take the curly tail grub, or the baited hook. Either way it is a win.)
This works well where you can give it some little bit of action, so the tail can move. Or use it in rivers, or where the sea current can make it flutter.
Remember a lot of the soft plastics like Z-Man are buoyant, so may float if you don’t have a heavy enough hook.
A paternoster rig, with 2 droppers is also an option.
For something completely different, a heavy metal blade on the end of the rig may also be used. One negative of this, as you are fishing two lures, you have more of a chance of getting snagged or tangled. However, it can be rigged like one lure is chasing the curly tail grub on retrieve.
Spinnerbait / Jig Spinner
Another way to rig the grub is use the curly tail grub on a spinnerbait or jig spinner. You just add the soft plastic to the weighted jig head you want and then clip the jig spinner on to the jig head.
Jig spinners and spinner baits are ideal for creating more action and movement and are a option for fishing murky water.
You can get the spinner blades in assorted colours and materials like silver, copper, gold coloured or bronze blades. As well as the blades have different profile designs, like the willow bade, or a Colorado blade.
For something different, you can also buy jig heads like the Tackle Tactics Revlockz, which has a single spinner blade attached to the bottom of the jig head.
Another effective way to make your soft plastic have more vibration and movement is to insert it on a chatterbait jig head.
To make it match the 2.5” grub size, you would have to use the smaller chatterbaits, or micro – chatterbaits. Otherwise the hook size can be too big for the smallish 2.5” size.
Chatterbaits are good for redfin (English Perch) and a host of other predatory fish species.
Trailer For A Skirted Jig Or Hair Jig
Using the soft plastic grub as a trailer for a skirted jig, hair jig, or bucktail jig is another option.
One negative is you don’t want the skirt hanging over too much, or too thick and it interferes with the natural swim action of the curly tail grub. Otherwise you would be nearly better without the soft plastic trailer grub on.
Don’t be afraid to cut and trim the length or thickness of the skirt, for the best lure action.
Another option is you can make your own skirted jig. Use fly tying materials or craft items on a normal jig head.
If you are getting a few strikes and not many hook ups, you might put some stinger or assist hooks on the curly tail. Some fish species like whiting can strike short, so assist hooks can help the catch rate.
You might use a size #6 hook, or smaller depending on you species targeted. However, be careful it doesn’t interfere with the tail action fluttering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can You Buy Z-Man 2.5” Curly Tail Grubs From?
Your local fishing store near you, BCF, Tackle Tactics, online fishing shops, Amazon, eBay and Anaconda (affiliate link) Click Here To Check The Range And Latest Prices
What Size Hook For The Z-Man 2.5” Curly Tail Grubs
For the 2.5” grub, you might use a size hook #1/0, #1, #2, #3. #4. With the #1/0 hook being the biggest and the #4 being the smallest.
Be sure to check the hook size, so it matches not only the soft plastic size, but also the fish species you are after. As an example for trout you don’t want a big #2/0 size hook.
The old saying, a small hook can catch a big fish, but a big hook may not be able to catch a small fish has a ring of truth to it. As long as the thickness or the curly tail grub body, doesn’t interfere when the fish bites with a small hook.
Where Can You Get The Jig Heads From?
Tackle Tactics has a wide range of different weighted jig heads and sizes. They also have different designs, like the Ned jig heads, weedless hooks and spinner blade jig head.
BCF, Anaconda and quality tackle shops near you, also have different brand jig heads.
What Weight Jig Head For The Z-Man 2.5 Inch Curly Tail Grub?
This will depend on the depth you want to fish, conditions and fish species.
Jig head weights for the 2.5” soft plastic normally come in: 1/20 oz., 1/16 oz., 1/12 oz. 1/10, 1/8 oz., 1/6 oz., ¼ oz.
Too heavy of a weight and the soft plastic will plummet down to the bottom without much action.
A too light of a jig head and the lure may never get down into the strike zone, where the fish are holding, especially in strong currents, deep water or surf. A light jig head can also be hard to cast a fair distance as well for land based angling.
The humble but effective soft plastic 2.5” curly tail grub and the Z–Man GrubZ can be rigged many different ways. This not only gives you options for rigging the lure, but also gives you different fishing techniques and choices to hook the big one.
Authors – Ted Jones & Craig “Howie”