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Z-man TRDs breaking down over time/formula change?

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I went to use a TRD today and when I went to stretch it to get some salt out it tore in half.  I was then able to tear each half into quarters.   It was the second to last bait I had in the bag and when I pulled out the final one the same thing happened.  Thinking back, I had the same thing happen maybe a month or so ago when I was making up a pile of Neds for a wading trip.  In that case it was the last lure in the bag so I didn't really pay attention.  

I know I have/had some of these bags for maybe 2-3 years at this point along with some newer bags.  From feeling a few lures out of a bag I know I bought within the year, it feels very different in texture and firmness then the ones that fell apart today.  

Has anyone here had them break down like this?  Also, any idea if they changed the formula in the last year or so? 

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1 hour ago, Bunnielab said:

I went to use a TRD today and when I went to stretch it to get some salt out it tore in half.  I was then able to tear each half into quarters.   It was the second to last bait I had in the bag and when I pulled out the final one the same thing happened.  Thinking back, I had the same thing happen maybe a month or so ago when I was making up a pile of Neds for a wading trip.  In that case it was the last lure in the bag so I didn't really pay attention.  

I know I have/had some of these bags for maybe 2-3 years at this point along with some newer bags.  From feeling a few lures out of a bag I know I bought within the year, it feels very different in texture and firmness then the ones that fell apart today.  

Has anyone here had them break down like this?  Also, any idea if they changed the formula in the last year or so? 

Sounds like there is an issue.

A-Jay

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2 hours ago, Bunnielab said:

I went to use a TRD today and when I went to stretch it to get some salt out it tore in half.  I was then able to tear each half into quarters.   It was the second to last bait I had in the bag and when I pulled out the final one the same thing happened.  Thinking back, I had the same thing happen maybe a month or so ago when I was making up a pile of Neds for a wading trip.  In that case it was the last lure in the bag so I didn't really pay attention.  

I know I have/had some of these bags for maybe 2-3 years at this point along with some newer bags.  From feeling a few lures out of a bag I know I bought within the year, it feels very different in texture and firmness then the ones that fell apart today.  

Has anyone here had them break down like this?  Also, any idea if they changed the formula in the last year or so? 

Not exactly the issue you had, but I had one rigged that I fished today, and while it didn't rip, it is showing more wear and tear after one fish vs Zinkerz after many. The TRD seems like a more dense plastic overall vs the Zinkerz and I don't get the float or movement out of them. Overall not impressed, but they do catch fish so not all is lost. In the future I will stick with the Zinkerz. The TRDs that I have were bought this year.

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1 hour ago, A-Jay said:

Sounds like there is an issue.

A-Jay

Ah, but these were in the factory bags the entire time.  They were recently unearthed when I reorganized my hobby room.  They really felt totally different then the TRDs I bought recently this spring.  I found one more of the ones that broke today, I had rigged it up maybe a week or two ago and stuck it in a mixed (but Z-man factory bag) bag of Ned stuff I keep in my PFD.  

The Green Gobey is a new color, so we know that one is pretty recently bought.  The Coppertruse one is an old one.  Both were slowly pulled to about 14", then allowed to snap back.  The Gobey shed some salt and is slightly longer and much more pliable while the Coppertruse snapped apart at like 8-9".  I snapped it again and tried to take a close up of the inside but my phone will not focus that close. The Coppertruse shed a ton of salt and really felt spongy. 

FCmaCs8l.jpg?1

 

28 minutes ago, cgolf said:

Not exactly the issue you had, but I had one rigged that I fished today, and while it didn't rip, it is showing more wear and tear after one fish vs Zinkerz after many. The TRD seems like a more dense plastic overall vs the Zinkerz and I don't get the float or movement out of them. Overall not impressed, but they do catch fish so not all is lost. In the future I will stick with the Zinkerz. The TRDs that I have were bought this year.

Yea, this is why I think they reformulated them at some point.  They used to feel just like the Zlinkers, but now they seem closer to their finesse worms or what ever those fat ones are called.  

 

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Bunnielab, I work with Z-Man and wanted to address your concerns directly.  Sorry for the issue you experienced with the TRDs - I don't think we've received feedback like this, so it is definitely not typical.  We stand behind our product 100% and will gladly send you some replacements if you like, just let us know.  We have not changed the formula for this bait, but it sounds like maybe the couple of baits that tore easily may have inadvertently had a slightly higher salt content or may have been exposed to moisture inside the bag, which could explain the spongier texture.

One difference between the TRD and the ZinkerZ is the amount of salt impregnated in each.  The ZinkerZ is molded with 45% salt by weight to cause the bait the sink and counteract the buoyancy of ElaZtech, while the TRD is made with only 25% salt, which allows it to retain its buoyancy.  The reason we impregnate the TRD with salt is to duplicate the texture of a worn ZinkerZ - once the ZinkerZ loses some salt, it takes on a spongier feel and becomes buoyant, and those are characteristics that Midwest finesse anglers feel increases the effectiveness of the baits.  That said, it's difficult to maintain 100% consistent salt content in these baits, which is more noticeable in ElaZtech than with conventional plastics given their buoyancy and stretchiness. 

Whether you're using the ZinkerZ or TRD (or Hula StickZ for that matter) for Ned Rig applications, one thing we recommend is that you stretch and rub the baits before using them to loosen up and remove some of the salt.  As noted above, this adds to the baits' buoyancy (allows them to consistently stand up off the bottom at rest and slows the sink rate) and replicates the spongy feel of a well-worn bait that is so desirable.  Salt effectively stiffens the baits as well, so stretching and rubbing them makes the baits more pliable and limber and ultimately adds to the fish catching action.

If you would like us to send you some replacement baits, just let us know!

 

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Typical of Z-Man customer service, excellent.  Always stand behind their products.

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The more I look at the pic above, the more I think that there was a little bit of water or moisture in the bag of Coppertreuse baits that caused the plastic to begin to deteoriate.  While our baits are not truly biodegradable, the do break down over time when exposed to the elements, and I believe that water can speed this up.  Salt in our baits attracts moisture.  We're located on the coast in South Carolina where the humidity is ridiculously high - in the summer, it feels like a steamroom here!  If I leave heavily salted baits like the TRD or ZinkerZ loose on my workbench in the garage, they attract moisture due to the salt (unsalted baits don't do this) and literally feel like a wet sponge after a few days.  I've noticed that the baits lose their durability, much like you experienced.  I think the moral of the story is to make sure that our bags don't get moisture in them or that wet baits don't get returned to the bags.  I can't say for certain that this is what happened here, but that Coppertreuse turd sure does remind me of those wet spongy baits from my garage!  Regardless, there's still a chance that you received bad product, and we're glad to send replacements.

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Thanks for the reply.  I am not really upset, just curious and the only reason I noticed was that I gave them the "full stretch" I was used to doing with TRDs and Hula Sticks instead of the more gentle "tug" I do for the Zlinkers.  

There is every chance in the two or three years I had these packs open they absorbed some moisture, I kayak and wade fish a lot and wetness gets everywhere some days.   The whole "salt absorbs moisture" thing escaped me, maybe I need to throw a desiccant pack into the bags I keep in my car.  

 Honestly, I prefer the spongy texture as I think it gives a better action and in any case, other then three I ripped up, the rest of those baits caught me hundreds of fish, so I am completely satisfied.  If you ever come across a batch of extra salty TRDs, save them for me!:P

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I can tell you from my experience direct sunlight tears up the Zman TRDs.  I keep them in their original bag.  Fishing last weekend I left two bags out in the direct sunlight and they looked microwaved.  It was only about 72 degrees but the sublight zaps them.

 

Also worth noting that the bait keeper on the Zman mushroom jigs tears up the TRDs too.  They'll get twisted up internally.  And good luck getting a TRD off the shroom jig without a) destroying the TRD or b ) ripping off the bait keeper soldered to the hook.  And most times fighting a smallie, the free end of the TRD will hook itself on the jig.  So you can eff up a Shroom jig and TRD on one fish.  One good thing I noticed is they are tougher on snags.  

I LOVE the Zman Ned Rig set up.  Love love love it.  It Catches fish. But they aren't indestructible as some lead you to believe. 

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