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Tackle Storage

Bask in Its Organization : The Lakewood Products A048 Swimbait Box (continued)

Bait Storage: Working through the actual hardware issue, I found getting baits into the Lakewood Box was not quite as easy as it may seem. In many cases, I had to lift the wooden dowel up out of its pre-cut slot so I had enough room to get the bait into the compartment and enough access hold the bait as I was trying to hook it onto a clip. It doesn't sound like much, but believe me, I ended up with a lot of baits falling down to the bottom of the cubby holes before I figured out I could just lift the rods up to slide the baits in.

... and are held in place by notches cut into the hard plastic dividers.


Taking Baits Out: So, once the baits are in and your A048 is full, visibility is great and actual access to get one or two specific baits out is quite easy. In some cases, you can work your fingers around the dowel and get the bait out without having to lift up the entire rod full of baits, but in other cases, the latter technique is necessary. This can get a little hairy if the water is not calm, but it's doable.

The A048 comes with the requisite handle straps...


Effectiveness: Despite the logistical short comings, once you get the box filled with baits and start using it, it's a pretty invaluable system. All my baits hung in there quite securely - even the ones on the open s-clips - through both rough and calm rides on the boat. I fully expected the baits I had hanging by s-clips to come off during some unexpected rough water on the California Delta, but none of them did. It was a pleasant surprise.

... and a shoulder strap though it's hard to imagine anyone traveling any great distance with this case slung over their shoulder!

Capacity: The A048's marketing flyer describes this case as being able to easily store 35 10" or smaller baits. This is certainly the case. In fact, I was able to store about 50 baits of varying sizes in my case - far more than I'd ever need on any single fishing trip. The sad news is, I still had more than what I could fit into the box. Time for the A049 maybe?!?!

A Velcro strap on the front makes it easy to attach accessories

Features: The A048 comes with two side compartments sized appropriately to store one Plano 3600 series box each or other supplies such as a Lipper, camera, etc.. Additionally, the front of the A049 features open slotted compartments for loose items like keys, pliers, sunscreen or anything else you can fit inside and a strip of Velcro for fast-connect of items you might have Velcro-enabled. Unfortunately the side compartments are not quite large enough for the Falcon FTO system of boxes.

While the pockets in front are good for loose items

Earlier in this article, I mentioned the A048 is one stout case, and it is thanks to its hart plastic guts. This interior structure is surrounded by a durable, yet cushioned fabric similar to neoprene but not quite as dense and with a bit more durable outer shell. Turn the case around and you'll notice at the bottom along the back are two D-rings that can be used to fasten the case against a seat post should you decide to leave the case on deck (a detail borrowed from the much larger A049).

D-rings can be found on the back at the base of the case should you decide to secure it to a seat post

Then there's the side pockets - one on each side


Well, ok, fine, you're thinking, right? I mean who is going to leave such a large, obtrusive case on deck as a tripping hazard you have to step around each time you want to get by? Well, what if we told you the A048 and it's larger sibling the A049 are both so stout, you can actually stand on them to use as a casting platform? Sound crazy? Because these and the other cases designed and built by Lakewood Products are so big, this is an actual design consideration with this product.


Sized appropriately for the industry standard Plano 3600 series box

Even with a 3600 box inside, there's a little wiggle room for extra items.


Armed with that knowledge, the natural position for this case on my boat was right at the base of the front deck, directly adjacent to my single console. For several trips we used it as a step when moving up and down the front deck and around the boat and I tell you, the A048 was flawless in this secondary role.


Unfortunately, while width of the side pocket can accommodate a Falcon FTO terminal tackle box...

... its height cannot. If the side pocket had a two zipper closures, however, this might be doable.


Availability: The A048 and A049 are available immediately from Lakewood Products but be sure to check with them while you are placing your order to see if they have been able to procure the recommended clips to accompany either case - assuming this is important to you. Otherwise, if not, one of the suggested solutions we went through should work. At the time of this writing, their website had not yet been updated to show the availability of these cases, if this is still the case and you're interested in ordering one, simply send them an email to get the ball rolling.



Lakewood Products A048 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A little rough around the inside edges, but this case is not built to impress with fancy details. 8
Performance Baits can be tough to get in and out. 8
Price A bit on the steep side, but then again, so are my Rago and 3:16 baits! 7
Features Scored giving Lakewood Products the benefit of the doubt that future generations will include clips 9
Design (Ergonomics) Double sided zippers on the outside pockets would be great. Otherwise, a tackle case you can stand on - enough said! 9
Application If big baits are your game, you've got to get one of these cases 9.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J About as indestructible as a tackle box can be L Pricey
J Can hold a lot of swimbaits and stores each one in a manner to assure they won't develop a kink that will destroy their swimming action L Ours did not come with hanging clips - but again, this is being resolved
J Doubles as a secondary casting platform or an intermediate step between decks
J Small enough to fit in many bass boat storage compartments


How many tackle boxes can you do this with? In the words of Zander, the Lakewood Products A048 is one BUFF case!


Conclusion: The A048 Swimbait Box by Lakewood Products is a tackle box that holds a lot of promise. Just a few refinements here and there and it will be an invaluable addition to any a big bait fisherman's storage needs. I can already see several of these stacked in my garage each dedicated to a specific manufacturer's baits and color coded for easy reference - maybe even embroidered with each company's logo! Better yet, maybe one box for floating baits, another for slow sinks, and one more for fast sinking baits; oh yeah, and don't forget about hard plastic versus soft plastic; US baits versus those made in Japan or elsewhere? ... is there no end to the madness? We sure hope not. If big baits are your game, and you're finding make-shift storage solutions getting unwieldy, order yourself up one of these bad boys and bask in the organization. I'm glad I did. Thanks David Conway and Lakewood Products for a fine product and a nice solution to my swimbait storage needs.









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