Lucky Craft vs Calissa

Lucky Craft vs Calissa: Is the Lucky Craft FM 110 worth the buy at its average price of around $20? Is the near-doubled price tag in comparison to its competitors justified? Is there a productive alternative to Lucky Craft?

These are all very fine questions. In fact, almost any angler who’s used or even heard of Lucky Craft lures has likely asked one of these. It seems justifiable to spend $20 on a lure that’s proven and that catches fish. But every time I lose one, or even come close to losing one, I can’t help but search for cheaper alternatives.

In order to fish the LC FM 110 in the surf with the greatest chance of success, in my experience, you should be running the lure in close proximity to structure. While sandy troughs, scallops, and holes can produce, rocky, reefy structure has proven to be the best bet when throwing lures. The only problem with that is the possibility of snagging your lure on a rock and losing $20 just like that. This is why I want to take a look at Lucky Craft vs Calissa.

LC Pearl White vs Calissa Pearl White Look-Alike

Both of these lures have been known to catch predatory fish like halibut, perch, striped bass, white sea bass and more. It’s time to put them to the test in a one-v-one comparison.

Lucky Craft is a very proven brand. To remind you of some of its success, below (if you recall) is a recent catch on the LC FM 110.

corvina fishing from the surf
23.5″ corvina

I’ve stocked up on a few Calissa lures and Caivo lures. Both have been said to be reputable alternatives for Lucky Craft Flash Minnow 110s and both are cheaper. In this article, we will be overviewing a head to head comparison of the LC FM 110 and the Calissa based on my personal experiences thus far. So let’s discuss Lucky Craft vs Calissa.


Winner: Draw

Note: When purchasing from amazon, all sizes are the same lure (4 1/2, 110mm, 5/8 oz). All illustrate the same lure, so even though only the “5/8 oz” size is available, that’s still the same and correct lure. It’s simply because different sellers label them in different manners.

These lures look so alike! If you swap the hooks and hold them side by side, the untrained eye (and even trained eye) might very easily mistake one for the other. From the paint job to the shape, these lures are virtually identical. Luckily, there’s typically some form of writing on the bottom that depicts which is which.

Lucky Craft vs Calissa
Top: Calissa | Bottom Lucky Craft FM 110

But, I’ve got to say, when I opened the package upon arrival, I was wondering where these had been all my life. Literally the same design, same paint, same weight, same bill, same everything! The hooks are a slightly different color, and if you look closely enough, you might be able to see a tiny discrepancy in the shade of white. The eyes might be slightly different as well, but, they are extremely similar in appearance.


Neither lure casts as far as a C-rig (1 ounce), nor do either cast as they are designed to 100% of the time. The LC will cast further than the Calissa (on average) by about 10 feet. When the Calissa casts as designed in that tight aerodynamic manner, it can cast equally as far as the LC. The only reason its average range is shorter than the LC is that it doesn’t keep that tight flight as frequently as the LC does.

Winner: Lucky Craft

I will say however, that the Calissa is the best flying look-alike that I’ve thrown yet. I’ve still yet to test out Caivo, but in comparison to Rapala and some other name brands, the Calissa flies very solidly.

Swim Ability

At first, I couldn’t tell the difference. With a normal-normal/fast retrieve, the Calissa has a good wobble and it looks great in the water; similar to the LC, but not the same. After some time, I could tell there was something just slightly different.

The Lucky Craft is unique in that it has such a tight wobble; it’s almost a signature of the brand. The Calissa has a good wobble too, just not as tight a wobble. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the LC swims “better”. It’s just a different style.

Winner: Lucky Craft

Why does the LC have the edge in this category? Two things that the Calissa can’t do (that the LC can do) were the deciding factors.

1.) Working a slow retrieve:

Versatility is huge when it comes to throwing lures in the surf. You want to be able to switch up retrieves from slow to fast, to a twitch etc. The LC can do all of these, and technically speaking, so can the Calissa. But, what sets the LC apart from the Calissa, is the LC’s ability to maintain that wobble even throughout a slow retrieve. That, the Calissa simply cannot do. I don’t know why or what about the design causes this. But, I do know that much of my success on the LC has been on a slow retrieve… sometimes even hooking fish on a stopped retrieve.

2.) Working through sea weed:

I think both of these factors stem from the fact that the Calissa’s wobble isn’t as tight as the LC’s. Now, there’s no arguing that when there’s seaweed in the water, lures become infinitely more difficult to fish successfully. But, with thin strands of eel grass, the LC can handle one or two of those and still hold its wobble. Therefore, still having a solid shot to attract and hook a fish.

With the Calissa, even when the slightest piece of weed accumulated on the lure, the wobble was lost. While it’s still possible to hook fish in that state, it’s less likely.


Winner: Lucky Craft

For your reference, here’s the gear and tackle that I use when surf fishing (material for C-rig is included as well). Note that when fishing Lucky Craft, you only need a rod, reel, mainline, and lure. Click here for a detailed explanation of why I use what I use.

While spending equal time using the Lucky Craft Pearl White, in comparison to the Calissa Pearl White look-alike, I’ve caught yellowfin croaker, perch and halibut on the LC while I’ve yet to catch anything on the Calissa.

Bottom line

Winner of Lucky Craft vs Calissa: Lucky Craft

While the Lucky Craft (so far) has the edge, I will continue to compare them and update this article as needed. Given my experiences thus far, I would say the the LC is the better buy. Whether the price is justified is up in the air. It’s a great lure that produces fish, but twenty dollars is still twenty dollars. Then again, catching quality fish is priceless!

Do I think the Calissa has potential? YES!!! Remember, I am very accustomed to throwing the LC and I know which retrieves I like and which ones work. This is why I’m going to continue throwing both. At the very least, when casting on and through those rocky, reefy patches, I have much more confidence and show less hesitation with the Calissa. This alone, could help me (and anyone for that matter) catch that monster fish that’s just waiting for its prey to pass just inches away from its hide-out underneath a rock.

Either way, it’s always good to try them out for yourself. If you’re looking to purchase the exact lures I’ve been using, here are the links:

Lucky Craft FM 110 Pearl White

Calissa 110 Pearl White (there were very few left in stock for these guys so my second recommendation if you can’t get the pearl white is the chrome sardine).

Be sure to check out the Surf Fishing In So Cal Shop Page for apparel and shark rigs.


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