Part swimbait. Part jigging minnow. One hundred percent fish-catching machine. When words seem insufficient to describe the action and success of a hot new lure like FISKAS Red Tail Swimmer, you simply pull down your hat, cast and continue catching fish.
Seems there’s something elusive, almost otherworldly about those especially ingenious lures. You can’t exactly put your finger on the appeal of a spinnerbait, or of certain soft plastic baits that resemble an alien creature more than an aquatic animal. All you know is, the bait hooks loads of fish.
A similar descriptor applies to what has become the hottest lure family in walleye fishing — and a rising star among bass and crappie enthusiasts. Most American anglers know very little about the Scandinavian-born balance lure, other than the fact this intriguing category has become renowned for its ability to trigger oodles of walleyes and other species, Sumo-sized, tournament winning specimens, in particular.
Interestingly, balance lure designs available to North American anglers have remained largely static and unaltered for half a century. In Eastern Europe, tackle shops ooze with aisles of the goods. Closer to home, however, only Michigan based FISKAS has quietly offered a truly extensive, innovative line of balance lures. The trailblazing provider of original Scandinavian lure designs, FISKAS currently sells twenty-nine different balance lure options alone.
Jamie Olson, co-owner of FISKAS and online retailer yourbobbersdown.com, explains the term balance lure and notes that while most anglers now recognize the fundamental lure shape and design, they may be unaware of the backstory. “Every one of the 29 balance lures in our catalog is built with a unique body shape and a specific balance point, maintaining the lure’s natural horizontal posture throughout the retrieve — whether its cast or vertically jigged. Each bait also moves with its own lively swimming, gliding, and darting action.
“While most anglers recognize the classic shape of a FISKAS Red Tail Swimmer, this wonderful lure actually represents but a minor segment of the overall Scandinavian balance lure category, albeit a very productive one.”
The Red Tail Swimmer, notes Olson, is built with attention to subtle though decisive details. “The Swimmer sports a slightly more elongated tail, or swimming lip, than most of the lures in this category. And the Swimmer’s baitfish body features a more radical bend in the midsection.
This shape-shift produces lively, swimbait-like motions on both the upstroke and the fall — a discreet enhancement in action that impresses anglers who wield it as well as, apparently, the fish.”
Designed in Sweden and originally offered for sale in North America in 2007, the FISKAS Swimmer has recently been augmented with a flexible, translucent red tail, enhancing visual gill-flash and perhaps mimicking a baitfish blood trail. The elongated swimming tail, says Olson, gives the Swimmer a bit more horizontal glide when you jig and pause it. The tail design, combined with the lure body’s pronounced curvature also produces the FISKAS Swimmer’s signature vibrations.
Professional angler and guide Tony Boshold chimes in with a tip for maximizing lure movement and action. “For giant walleyes, I like to dress each tine on the belly treble hook with a Little Atom Jumbo Wedgee — gives the bait a chandelier-like appearance. Looks funky, but these little plastics also impart mad action to the Swimmer — a killer combo that caught my personal best, a 32-1/2-inch walleye pushing 14-pounds.”
In the walleye arena and beyond, the interest in balance lures—what many anglers refer to as jigging minnows, swimming lures, bombing baits, or glidebaits — continues to gather momentum. As anglers discover the true scope of the category, with amazing new shapes, sizes and actions from across the Atlantic, the enigmatic balance lure is perhaps destined to become a new classic and a staple, steadfast fishing lure.
Offered in four sizes and numerous colors for crappies to bass to big walleyes, FISKAS Red Tail Swimmer is crafted with premium, sticky-sharp hooks and the finest hand-painted baitfish patterns available. The Swimmer represents but one of 29 exceptional FISKAS balance lures, available at yourbobbersdown.com and other retailers nationwide.
“We’ve always been about providing hard-to-find, tournament tested tackle,” affirms Olson. “Everything in our catalog is there for a very specific, fish-catching reason. Guess you could call us specialists in that regard. Our customers come to us mostly based on tips from buddies or from tournament wins. Our stuff isn’t necessarily the same as the mass-produced tackle you find in big box stores. And that’s one big reason for our success.”