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Lure Review



Taking Aim at the Ubiquitous Stick Bait, Missile Bait's New The 48 Worm


Date: 1/17/18
Tackle Type: Lures
Manufacturer: Missile Baits
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.92 - GOOD

Missile Baits has really stormed onto the scene over the last couple of years with the popularity of their D-Bomb, Missile Craw, Drop Craw among other baits. Inconspicuously missing from their arsenal however, has been that do-nothing soft plastic stick bait so pervasive in other brands. That changed this past year at ICAST when Missile Jigs introduced their interpretation of this bait, The 48. Let's see how this bait stacks up.


Missile Baits The 48 Specifications

Type Stick Bait
Material Soft Plastic
Colors/Patterns 10
Sizes One - 4.8"
Scent/Plastic Treatment Salt Injected
# per package 8
Resealable Bag? Yes
MSRP $4.99

Introducing Missile Bait's new The 48 worm.

Impressions: When we think of that soft plastic stick bait, the one every other will be compared to from here through the foreseeable future is Gary Yamamoto's Senko. Most bait manufacturers, when seeking to create a bait to compete in this category simply mimic the shape and profile of this proven bait. Missile Baits it seems, has gone to great lengths not to do this. Their "The 48" worm measures only 4.8 inches in length but features a profile with two kind of fat ends connected through a skinny section in the middle.


The 48 worm features a profile with two kind of fat ends connected through a skinny section in the middle.


These ends aren't symmetrical and are actually layered and shaped more like a hand pour with a distinct top and bottom. The top of the bait has very subtle ridges mimicking those found on a night crawler and they are directed out from the middle on both ends.

My favorite way to fish this bait was wacky style.

Real World Tests: I fished The 48 two different ways, on a jig head rigged in a manner I used to refer to as a lazy man's Neko Rig but now popularized as the Ned Rig, and wacky style with a weighted jig head.

Owner's Wacky Jighead is a weedless, weighted jighead made especially for wacky style worms.


I was never a big proponent of the Neko Rig primarily because I don't like the idea of occasionally losing that nail weight in one end of the plastic bait or losing the bait all together with the weight still inside. Though the action is a little different with a weighted jighead because of where your line is attached to the bait, I always preferred rigging my weighted stick bait in this manner also because you can Texas rig the plastic.

The 48 rigged on the Owner Wacky Jighead.

Missile Bait's The 48 worm is a really good soft plastic stick bait to fish Neko Rig style because of that skinny mid section. It gives the bait a natural hinge so when you hop the bait or even just drag it along the bottom, the free end dances around unencumbered closely resembling a night crawler that's fallen into the water writhing around as it sinks to the bottom.

If you prefer more of a do-nothing action, Missile Baits recommends cutting the bait in half giving you two baits in one.

There's no denying wacky rigged worms catch fish.

Rigged with a weighted jighead like Owner's Wacky Jig Head, both ends of The 48 worm are free to move around and do so much more freely than traditionally shaped soft plastic stick baits. This was actually my favorite way to fish this bait.

Taking a closer look at The 48 reveals a true top and bottom.

Design & Ergonomics: Unlike many other soft plastic stick baits, Missile Baits offers The 48 in only one size - its namesake dimension of 4.8 inches. The baits come in a re-sealable package of eight and are not packed or poured with any fish attractant scent but the plastic is salt injected to aid with buoyancy. The salt also has the tendency to make he fish hold onto the bait a bit longer having the same effect as a scent without the mess.

The top of the bait features ridges for a realistic texture.

Price & Applications: Missile Baits prices all their soft plastic baits at $4.99. As mentioned earlier, for The 48, you get eight baits per package at this price. Fish the bait wacky, ned rigged, neko rigged, or straight up Texas rigged weightless, it's a surprisingly versatile bait for a profile often associated with "do nothing".

The bottom of the bait is more smooth, kind of reminiscent of a hand poured bait.


Missile Baits The 48 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Very consistent bait to bait 8
Performance Just enough shimmy on a dead fall to keep things interesting and a lot of action if you choose to shake the tip of your rod to work the bait 8
Price Really good "family" price on these baits 7.5
Features Fish them whole or cut them in half for a little more finesse. The re-sealable bag and salt injection are nice touches 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Subtle yet effective contour 7.5
Application Soft plastic baits are always versatile and The 48 is no exception 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Nice action on the fall - especially rigged wacky - Kind of silly considering the bait is named after its size, but only one size from which to choose in a bait style typically offered in several
+ Very versatile bait  
+ Salt injected  


Did I mention The 48 makes a nice jig trailer too?


Conclusion: Missile Baits continues to impress with their attention to detail offering products that are a little more than just a "me too" interpretation of a bait genre. Of course, there are similarities between The 48 and other wacky style worms on the market, but at least its not another direct copy of the Senko. If you're already a fan of Missile Baits and haven't tried The 48, what are you waiting for? On the other hand, if you've yet to sample a bait from this manufacturer, The 48 is not a bad place to start.


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