Rolf Balansiak
Wishmaster Big Baits
The Late Rolf Balansiak was known throughout the Muskie-fishing community as the best big bait maker out there.. bar none.

Rolf has been intrigued by lures since his early days of fishing, even before he ever owned or used them. Since becoming a serious fisherman as a teenager, he has developed a passion for boating and has had the privilege of having several boats of his own. Rolf has also successfully run a sport fishing charter boat in the past. Being surrounded by water and fish so often naturally provided him the opportunity to really focus on learning about fishing and many different species of freshwater fish.

And throughout all his years of fishing, Rolf has always believed one constant to be true: BIG BAITS CATCH BIG FISH!

He has attended many fishing and outdoor shows over the years in search of the ultimate big bait. But he was always disappointed. It seemed that nobody else shared his mantra that big baits catch big fish.

In recent years, he has noticed a small trend of somewhat larger baits on the market, but none of them satisfied Rolf's size expectations. And he found that the quality of hardware, fit, finish and strength was still lacking and unreliable when it came time to battle a trophy fish. Ultimately, the rigors of trophy fishing took a premature toll on many of the larger sized baits he tried. They just weren't built tough enough and he realized that a trophy fishing big bait designed to withstand many battles would be an asset to any collection. So he decided to take on the challenge of designing and handcrafting a big bait with wire through construction. One that offered strength, longevity, and dependability with an aesthetic appeal that is second to none.

As a multi-species fisherman, Rolf also understands that the larger trophy fish lurk in deeper waters. So the big bait he envisioned had to be capable of probing these deeper waters, yet float when not moving.


After much more experimenting, Rolf decided to research his passion before going back to the drawing board. The final result is the exquisite Wishmaster Big Bait™. Each one hand crafted, numbered and dated by the artist. A collector's piece as suitable to showcase on your mantle as it is to catch the big trophy fish you've always dreamt of.

Rolf's earlier baits still hang on his wall today as a source of inspiration. It took eight years to create and perfect a bait that is beautiful, dives deep and withstands the test of repeated use. The encouragement Rolf received as he continually perfected the Wishmaster Big Bait™ provided him with the incentive he needed to design a bait that strikes a balance between form and function.

On the morning of Thursday, January 17th 2008, the life of a truly Great Artisan was taken from us. The Musky-Angling community at large mourns the death of one of our own, and honors the memory of one of our Pioneers. Rolf Balansiak was a Great Man and Gifted Artist who had a big heart and an undying passion for doing what he loved to do. Rolf was the best in the World at what he did and shall be remembered and honored for many years to come.

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