Saline, MI – Ever fished a balance? You know, those eccentric-looking, horizontal hanging contrivances with Scandinavian ancestry? Chances are, if you’ve been paying attention to trends in walleye, ice and even bass baits these past few years — even if you’ve never heard anyone utter the term “balance lure” — you probably have.
Ironically, even though the origins of the balance reach back at least fifty years, these steadfast fish catchers are just now garnering serious attention from anglers on ice as well as open water. Pioneers in innovative lures of Scandinavian design, FISKAS has long offered one of the most complete lines of panfish to walleye sized balance lures in North America.
Interestingly, though anglers quickly recognize some of the walleye-sized balance lures armed with multiple hooks and a rear swim fin, additional unique designs from FISKAS (yourbobbersdown.com) give anglers a vast array of intriguing, potent presentations.
While many companies sell but a single swimming balance lure, FISKAS crafts and offers no fewer than 29 different varieties, all available in up to 15 hand-painted, fish-catching color patterns. Each intriguing model, in fact, boasts a unique body shape and specific balance point, resulting in its own lively swimming action. The FISKAS N23 Bug Eye, for example, darts on the up-stroke, and glides and wobbles appealingly on the drop.
The fun and challenge of fishing a FISKAS Balance, says Phil Morse, exceptional angler and 2005 North American Ice Fishing Champion, lies in experimenting with and discovering each model’s built-in aptitudes.
“Right now, as ice leaves big lakes and reservoirs, one of the sweetest presentations for shallow water perch and other panfish is a FISKAS Balance dressed with a microsplastic Little Atom Nuggie,” says Morse, who lives near Michigan’s perch-rich Lake St. Clair. “The beauty of a FISKAS Balance model N46 Minnow or an N25 Dogleg is that every time you jig it, the lure darts away from and then returns immediately to center, maintaining a natural, horizontal posture all along. Rigged with different plastics, each balance also exhibits its own distinctive swimming, gliding, quivering action.”
When covering water and casting, Morse fishes the FISKAS / Little Atom plastic combo below a stationary float, rigged with a small piece of rubber tubing on the bobber stem for quick depth changes. Hanging below, the compact, heavy FISKAS Balance provides extra horizontal coverage when jigged, widening its attraction radius relative to traditional jigs. Because each FISKAS Balance always returns to horizontal, the lure hovers in exceptional hook-setting position.
“I’m amazed more anglers haven’t discovered the FISKAS N24 Gill Getter. It’s a tiny (1/70-ounce) balance with a single hook protruding from either side of the jighead. Add a Micro Nuggie or a Wedgee to one hook—there’s no way a big perch or bluegill can bite this lure without getting stung. It’s really a brilliant, well balanced jig design.”
Morse adds that a loop knot yields significant advantages over traditional line-lure connections.
“A loop knot augments jig action, pivot, and the ease with which it can be inhaled into a biting fish’s mouth.”
A fascinating, frequently exceptional alternative to traditional jigs or jigging lures, FISKAS’ Balances represent a truly nonconformist lure category—perhaps the most interesting, effective presentation to cross the North Atlantic these past fifty years.