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Enthusiast Review : Tackle Storage


Enthusiast Management : Check In to Check Out the Megabass Asylum (continued)
 

Blade Baits Storage: In the slide out blade shelf, the Asylum has room for up to ten spinnerbaits and four buzzbaits. While the shelf holds these baits rather well, care must be taken when sliding it back in as the buzzbaits don't always fall in line with the shelf's alignment mechanism. More often than not, I had to reach in and pinch down the buzzbait wires so that I could slide the shelf back into its stowed position.

 

This pull out shelf holds up to 10 spinnerbaits and 4 buzzbaits

 

Miscellaneous Storage: Finally, in the lower compartment, there's room for miscellaneous items like one 3600 series Plano utility box and a few odds and ends such. Pliers, cutting tools, a lipper, and a bag or two of your favorite plastics will fit in this compartment but not much else. To be honest, I was hoping for a bit more capacity, and even a bit more versatility in this beast of a tackle box. After loading the Asylum with a good selection of blade baits and plugs, and throwing in a 3600 utility box full of terminal tackle, I had no room for other essentials such as jigs and plastics. The Asylum definitely forces you to be efficient in your packing.

 

The bottom compartment is large enough for only one 3600 sized Plano utility box plus some miscellaneous tools and supplies.

 

Effectiveness: Despite its shortcomings, the Asylum is a fantastic tool to have on the water. Especially if your game is hardbaits. It's really just a modern day take on the old school tackle box. With the hard bait plugs stored in their own, easy to see, easy to access cubby holes, pulling one out and switching around is as easy as it comes. No messing around pulling utility boxes in and out of your bag or under-deck tackle hold, and no throwing baits in the wrong box because you were in too much of a rush switching baits around to bother with searching for the proper place to store a discarded bait. The Asylum really helps you concentrate on the task at hand by getting you rigged up and back in business quickly.

 

Buzzbaits have the tendency to interfere with the closing of the slide out blade shelf
 

In order to push the shelf back in, we had to continually pinch the wire of our buzzbaits to fit them beneath the alignment guides

 

Ventilation: One concern, in a closed box such as this is ventilation of your hard baits. Plastic plugs, if left in a closed container, can heat very rapidly and expand from the inside out, instantly becoming useless. I've lost an entire box load of premium baits by leaving them out in the sun, so the Asylum's plastic canopy left me a little uneasy all summer long. While the Asylum does feature holes and vents throughout its construction, I'm not too confident in the actual engineering of these vents and whether enough cross ventilation can be achieved with any of the covers other than the aluminum ventilator hood. Strategically placed holes on the sides, top or bottom of the plastic canopies would be reassuring. Unfortunately, there are none present.

 

The plug matrix features some small vents in the back to mitigate against overheating during hot, sunny days

  

Durability: There's no questioning the durability of the Asylum's aluminum shell. While it may be subject to dents and dings, as would any metal case, it is put together well and will hold up to the toughest of conditions. What I may call into question, however, is the choice of hardware on the Asylum. The latches, hinges, and to some degree, handle are serviceable, but do not necessarily inspire long lasting confidence. I experienced no issues with any of these items during one summer's worth of use, but only more time will tell if I'm just being paranoid or if my concerns are valid. For now, simply take it under advisement as a cautionary note.

 

The Asylum appears to be vented at the bottom, but with the unit sitting on top of a carpeted deck, the reality of any real airflow through this vent is minimal at best

 

Availability: As with their rods, for now, Megabass is only making the Asylum available outside of Japan through a special order with Megabass USA. Some online vendors within Japan may offer assistance with this acquisition as well, so if you're interested in acquiring one, this is definitely another option - especially if you're not in North America. There were some reports that the first run of these boxes is complete, so selection may be limited at this time. It's best to discuss these details directly with your vendor of choice for the most up to date information.

 

Ratings:

Megabass Asylum Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Everything but the hardware feels  rock solid. 8
Performance Built for use either in your trophy room or boat, the Asylum does what its designed for very well. 9
Price Outrageously priced for a tackle box 5
Features Vents in the plastic canopy for a bit more cross ventilation insurance would be nice 8
Design (Ergonomics) Definitely built to impress as a showcase for your baits with actual utility being somewhat secondary 8
Application For spinnerbait and plug storage, the Asylum is hard to beat and versatility is not its intended purpose. 9

Total Score

7.83

  
Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Unprecedented ease of access for hard bait plugs L Insanely expensive
J Very stout and stable on the boat even while moving L Very rigid and inflexible in what you can carry inside
J Definitely a conversation piece  L Hardware feels a little light duty

    

Mostly impractical, yet entirely functional, the Asylum inspires a following on the fringe of pure madness

 

Conclusion: Clearly for the form follows function crowd, the Megabass Asylum is too big, too bulky, very impractical, and severely inflexible. On the other hand, for those continually on the search for the unique and intrinsically artistic (i.e. the enthusiasts), the Asylum has a lore and a draw that will entice you to the brink of pure insanity. While not the end all and be all of tackle management solutions, what little the Asylum does, it does very well. It is, as we discovered, certainly not without its downsides, yet, in the end, despite it's relatively low score and long list of areas for improvement, a day on the water with the Asylum and the hassle free access to your baits du jour is truly something. Be mindful of its shortcomings, relish in that for which it was designed, and you will understand the insanity that must have inspired the Asylum and the madness that leaves me with no choice but to award it with our Ultimate Enthusiast Award!

 

                                              

 

 

 

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