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Tackle Storage

Bask in Its Organization : The Lakewood Products A048 Swimbait Box

Date: 10/30/07
Tackle type: Tackle Storage
Manufacturer: Lakewood Products
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.42

For bass fisherman, building an arsenal of swimbaits poses a storage problem not necessarily unique amongst their existing tackle, but certainly with specific enough requirements to tax most any storage systems currently in use. The primary difficulty in storing swimbaits?  - the need for space, and lots of it. Swimbaits are big, take a lot of room, and after you’ve passed about half a dozen in your arsenal, carrying them around efficiently can become a real chore. Enter Lakewood Products, a company well known amongst musky and pike fisherman for producing quality big bait storage solutions. Today, we present to you their A048 Medium Swimbait storage box.

Introducing the Lakewood Products A048 Swimbait Case

Lakewood Products A048 Specifications

Dimensions 18" w x 12" d x 12" h (not including exterior pockets)
Storage Compartments 10 smaller compartments : 5 larger
Colors Two (black or blue)
Price as Tested $125

Background: Muskie and pike bait boxes are ideally suited for swimbait storage spatially. Unfortunately, functionally, these boxes are made for baits that can be hung by their rear hooks. This doesn't quite work for the majority of bass swimbaits because their hooks are along the body of the lure. Additionally, many bass swimbaits are made from soft plastic and need to be stored straight up and down in order to avoid kinking.


It's a deck extension and tackle stowing system all in one.


David Conway is an acclaimed custom rod builder and big bait fisherman out of Southern California. He's quite familiar with the struggles many big bait fishermen have had with storing their bait collections, so about a year or two ago he contacted Lakewood Products about an idea he had to customize one of their musky and pike bait boxes to suit the needs of the swimbait fisherman. His idea was simple, take a box similar to that already in production and provide a method by which baits could be hung by their line ties over the middle of each compartment.

Prefer to keep it tucked away in a storage compartment but think the lid will get in the way? It won't. As shown above, the lid folds back so you can easily stow it with the lid folded back and out of the way.

The A048 is actually one of two boxes Lakewood Products, with the help of David Conway, have produced. The A049 is the original and a good deal larger than the A048. I chose the latter for review simply because of easier manageability and the option to stow the box in the front compartment of my Skeeter SX180. The one thing that came to mind when my box arrived in the mail was "solid". To say this box is stout is an understatement.

From left to right, Cal's stash of Rago (first row); 3:16 & Triple Trout (second row), Fish Arrow, Spro, Slammers and some secret test baits (middle row); It Jacks, Black Dog Baits, Matt Lures (4th row); and finally Huddleston Deluxe Trouts and Rago Real Trouts (last row).

Real World Tests: Unfortunately, actual testing of this box was delayed for one, seemingly minor detail. Up until recently, the A048 has been shipped without the necessary clips with which to hang your baits from the wooden rods. I spoke with Steve Wagnitz, President of Lakewood Products, regarding this issue and he assured me this oversight will be resolved shortly. You see, they are still in the early stages with this product and assumed most that will be buying their boxes had an existing system in place whereby they could simply transfer existing clips to their Lakewood box and be on their way. They're now seeing this is not necessarily the case, so they are taking the necessary steps to resolve this shortcoming and ensure future sales of their swimbait storage boxes will include all the necessary hardware.

15 total interior compartments with three different clip systems tested

Relatively easy access to all baits

The Clips: But just in case you're looking for suggestions, the following is what I did to get my box up and running. First and foremost, while my A048 did not come with any clips, it did come with many rubber o-rings pre-installed on the wooden dowels included with the box. This might seem like an unimportant detail, but actually, if you've ever tried to locate similar rings to use in your Senko wacky rig, you know finding the appropriately sized o-rings is not a simple task.

Six 22nd Century Triple Trouts stowed side by side in one of the center compartments thanks to some s-clips

S-Clips: So from these o-rings, you can secure some metal s-clips. I was able to find these clips at my local hardware store. But if you find, as I did, there are some compartments where you need more s-clips than you have o-rings, you can also use zip-ties to hold the clips to the wooden dowels. The only trouble with this method is the s-clips are open ended (opening up the possibility of baits coming loose during rough runs), and the thickness of the metal may not fit through the line tie on all swimbaits.

Four Huddleston Deluxe Trout plugs stowed side by side in a center compartment thanks to some large snaps zip-tied to the wooden dowel

Snaps: Enter option two, snaps. I took some of large snaps I had laying around and zip-tied them to the dowels to handle those baits whose line ties I could not get around the s-clips (namely, my Huddelston Deluxe trout plugs). The trouble with these, of course, is it makes the need for the rubber o-rings a bit obsolete. Also, the snaps are a bit difficult to get to in order to open and hang your baits.

About eight, Mattlures Trout Series baits stowed on six snap swivels in a side compartment

Snaps Swivels: Option three was to take some large snap swivels I had, zip tie them to the wooden dowel, and have at it. This system seemed to work very well with the only downside being the length of the snap swivel combo takes away from the depth you have to store extra-long baits. Otherwise, they're a bit easier to get to and you have the option of storing your baits with the snaps closed or open.

The wooden dowels span from front to back...


Next Section: Onto the actual bait storage









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