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Another Tungsten Triumph from Northland

BEMIDJI, Minn. – For decades, Northland’s short-shank Fire-Ball Jig has been a mainstay with walleye and multispecies anglers across the country—even overseas—and stuck fish wherever its employed. It’s a proven fish-catcher and has earned cult-like status among anglers of all walks, from pros to guides to weekend warriors.

So, the efficacy of the short-shank is proven. With a shorter hook shank, the jig makes fishing minnows, leeches, ‘crawlers, or other live bait easier and more effective. Hooksets are immediate and typically secured nicely in bony maws for net wielding and photo opportunities.

But that’s not to say you can’t fish plastics on it. Short-shank jigs excel with baits like the 3-inch Northland Impulse® Jig’N Leech and Impulse Jig ‘Crawler. You can also fish the 3-inch Impulse Smelt Minnow with success.

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New for 2023, Northland is proud to introduce the Tungsten Short-Shank Jig, a workhorse that is sure to supplant many other jigs in anglers’ tackleboxes. Made from eco-friendly and heavyweight tungsten, the jig is 30% denser than traditional lead jigs.

What’s this mean for anglers? First, tungsten offers sensitivity that far surpasses its lead counterpart. Tungsten jigs telegraph every bottom nuance and the slightest nudge or bite from fish, especially when coupled with braid, a fluorocarbon leader, and an extra-fast action spinning rod. The tungsten jig itself becomes a fishfinder of sorts—an indicator whether you’re fishing hard or soft bottom, weeds, rocks, or sand.

The new Northland Tungsten Short-Shank Jig also features a sticky-sharp, premium Mustad Ultra Point wide-gap hook and dual hook keepers to lock on soft plastics or live bait. Red “T” eyes easily identify the jig as tungsten and draw in visual feeders like walleyes, perch, and smallmouth bass.

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Widely available, the new Short-Shank Tungsten Jig comes in three sizes and eight colors—1/8-, ¼-, and 3/8-ounce with size 1/0, 2/0, and 3/0 hooks, respectively. Proven, fish-catching patterns include Gold Shiner, Firetiger, Parrot, Bubblegum, Glo Moonlight, Sunrise, Parakeet, and Glo Watermelon. The jigs are available in two packs with an MSRP of $6.99. Higher quantity packs will be available soon, to include: 1/8-ounce Tungsten Jigs five per card for $18.99; ¼-ounce in a pack of five for $19.99; and, 3/8-ounce in a pack of four for $19.99.

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Tungsten Short-Shank jigs are bit more expensive than their lead equivalents, and largely due to the cost of raw materials and manufacturing processes. Unlike lead—which can be molded around a hook in vast quantities— the extreme temperatures required to mold tungsten would make the hook brittle if the same processes were used. Because of this, each tungsten head is molded separate from the hook and then a premium Mustad hook is welded into place to form a strong reliable jig. And once you discover the sensitivity and fast-fishing of these jigs, the price will pale in comparison to the fish-catching benefits.

It happened in the hardwater realm over a decade ago after the Russians and Finns introduced us to the benefits of tungsten on hardwater. The same thing will eventually happen in the open-water walleye realm. Competitive bass anglers are already hip to tungsten and more everyday largemouth and smallmouth anglers have made the switch entirely.

Another benefit of the Tungsten Short-Shank Jig is you can get away with using a smaller size jig for added finesse. Compared to lead jigs, tungsten jigs are a ¼-ounce smaller in volume comparison.

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Northland Team Pro and hardworking guide Brian “Bro” Brosdahl comments: “I like the action of the new Northland Short-Shank Tungsten Jig. The flat head goes side to side when you jig it. It’s like a Fire-Ball but with the swinging pill-head action. It fishes fast. It jigs solid so you can tell bottom composition and feel those light bites. It jigs heavy for its size and gets down to the bottom quickly. The dual hook-keeper design is great for keeping expensive live bait or soft plastics pinned. It’s a killer on fast-current rivers, too.”

Bro adds: “I never just hook live bait in the lips. With minnows, I go into the mouth and come out behind their head, so they still look natural, but it’s hard to get them off. With leeches, I hook the leech right behind the sucker—a little farther back than you’d do live bait rigging—and then push it up on the live bait keeper. After dunking them, they stretch out and you can pitch the bait out there. The Tungsten Short-Shank Jig is great for vertical fishing or pitching. In heavy winds, the heavier tungsten keeps your line straighter.”

When it comes to rod, reel, and line set up to effectively fish the new Northland Tungsten Short-Shank Jig, Bro is never without a fluorocarbon. “When vertical fishing, fluoro helps keep the bait perfectly up and down below the boat. I use superline and a fluorocarbon leader for everything else—typically a 10-pound braid mainline and a three- to four-feet section of eight- or 10-pound fluorocarbon leader. To secure the bait, I use a Palomar knot or Improved Clinch. They tie faster when it’s windy in the boat. To attach the braid to the fluorocarbon leader, I use a Double-Uni over the Alberto knot because they’re easier to tie in the wind on the water.”

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In terms of his favorite colors, Bro adds: “Color depends on the water clarity. For clear waters, I like Parrot, blue-tinged Glo Moonlight, and Glo Watermelon. For stained waters, I gravitate towards anything with pink and white, Parrot, and Gold Shiner. I put the blue and white Glo Moonlight on my guide clients’ lines and typically experiment with other colors—but the Glow Moonlight always produces no matter where I’m fishing.”

So, whether you’re fishing live bait or soft plastics, you’re going to find that the new Tungsten Short-Shank Jig is a true wonder, what with its ability to telegraph every subtle nuance of bottom composition and the slightest fish nudge or bite.

ABOUT Northland® Fishing Tackle

In 1975, a young Northwoods fishing guide named John Peterson started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his clients in a small remote cabin in northern Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high quality components, and most importantly, were catching fish when no other baits were working! Word spread like wildfire, the phone started ringing… and the Northland Fishing Tackle® brand was in hot demand! For 40 years now, John and the Northland® team have been designing, testing and perfecting an exclusive line of products that catch fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland® is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, spinnerbaits and spoons for crappies, bluegills, perch, walleyes, bass, trout, northern pike and muskies.

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