Words by David Chick
When a hobby turned into a way of life, Justin Lucas, an up-and-coming professional angler from Guntersville, Alabama, had his priorities shifted. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the man’s 2014 Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab, which went from a bone-stock workhorse to a full-blown, purpose-built pickup.
The truck-buying mood struck Lucas in the fall of last year, as he was pondering what brand to buy. “I was a rookie to the sport, and I wanted to create an image with my truck and boat.”
“On one hand, there’s the contingency appeal. Toyota wanted to get its name out there with the Bassmaster Elite Series, and offered some pretty sweet prizes to competitors who did well and drove one of its trucks.”
Lucas continued, “I had contacts at A.R.E., as it was one of my sponsors. The company also wanted to make its presence known in professional fishing, and had me get in touch with its national fleet and commercial manager to discuss the design and build process.
It also didn’t hurt that the Tundra, a nameplate that Lucas was familiar with, felt good to drive and haul stuff around. “The truck is my first-ever 4×4, and it’s been a blast everywhere I take it, which is a lot of places,” he commented. “I participate all over the country in nine or 10 national tournaments a year, in addition to the local ones.”
The build on the truck was a quick one, done by multiple parties in a matter of two days. “This is the first truck build I have been involved in, and I was just blown away by the transformation,” said Lucas.
The first change saw a Skyjacker six-inch lift kit installed on the truck, giving Lucas a more commanding view of his surroundings when towing his 21-foot Ranger Bass boat to the lake. A Hellwig sway bar was also installed on the rearend to offer better stability when hauling stuff around.
A N-Fab front bumper beefed up the face of the Tundra, along with an LED-lit grille and LED-lamps from Rigid Industries to cover everything that lay ahead. Bushwacker Pocket Style fender flares add a touch of ruggedness on all fours, accentuated by the 18-inch Monster Energy Edition Dropstars wheels and 35-inch Toyo Open Country A/T II tires. Little was done to the internals, other than an upgraded exhaust from Magnaflow and a K&N air intake, giving the 5.7L V8 some more get-up-and-go.
The attractive and eye-catching custom wrap made by Pure Fishing, gives Lucas’ Toyota Tundra an unmistakeable and easily recognizable appearance. “Everywhere I go, everyone knows it’s me,” said Lucas. “The truck and boat look so good together now.”
Yet one of his favorite alterations are the A.R.E. Z Series truck cap, A.R.E. pickup vault lockable storage drawers that integrate right into the truck’s bed, and the A.R.E. rod pods mounted atop the truck cap for holding angling gear. Lucas said, “They make the truck so easy to use on the road and at the tournaments.”
It’s hard to disagree with statements like that. Justin Lucas’ A.R.E. Toyota Tundra is just the right amount of unique and utilitarian, and outfitted with some top quality products.
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