Exclusive first review of Preston Innovations' new carbon seatbox

Preston Innovations has just unveiled its best fishing seatbox ever, the stunning Absolute Carbon which, as its name suggests, is constructed primarily from carbon.  

1. OVERVIEW

The box is 25% lighter than Preston's original Absolute seat boxes and even includes a 100% aerospace grade carbon fibre footplate frame, legs and mudfeet. All box legs are 36mm, the same diameter seen on its recently-launched Absolute White 36 edition too. 

On the strength front it has strategic carbon fibre reinforcement in all key areas so the reduction in weight hasn't compromised on the stability. 

Looks-wise it's a matt black finish all over but we like this as it gives it a subtle yet classy and almost elegant feel. The legs in particular have a highly-attractive carbon type weave look too. 

Each carbon seatbox comes with its own unique identification number, a bit like a car chassis, and there's even going to be an owners club too. 

So how much will all this set you back? Well it carries an RRP of £2,199.99. Expensive yes but Preston's seatbox game just got a whole lot stronger... 

KEY FEATURES
•Re-designed leg blocks and telescopic carbon fibre inner legs, feature a TPE non-marking system
•Spring loaded quick release pins secure the footplate in place and the winder tray cassette
•Spirit level located on the central frame
•ABST units feature brand new ‘Mag Lok’ locking clips (fully compatible with all original Absolute Station Units and SeatBoxes)
•ABST tray is supplied with interchangeable colour tabs to match the colour choice of your winder selection
•Deluxe padded seat with an integrated shallow side drawer

THE PACKAGE
•40mm Concealed Front Drawer Unit
•40mm Compartmented Side Drawer Unit
•Deluxe Padded Seat With Integrated Side Drawer
•13cm Winder Tray (Complete With Winders)
•18cm Winder Tray (Complete With Winders)
•26cm Winder Tray (Complete With Winders)
•Cassette Lid
•Custom Designed Seatbox Cover
•Deluxe Padded Shoulder Strap
•Shuttle Adaptor
•Carbon Fibre “After-Care Kit”

2. WATCH THE VIDEO

3. WHY CARBON? A DESIGNER'S VIEW

With Preston Product Designer Chris Taylor, one of the driving forces behind the box. 

How easy was it to produce? 
Tackle such as poles and landing net handles are simple extrusions off a mandrel but with a seatbox you have to do a lot more with the carbon. You need to incorporate curves and reinforced points in key areas to withstand the weight of a large person.

To get the curves in the frame we used a foam core wrapped with a carbon weave, with extra wraps for strength where needed. Getting the correct finish was key too as it had to look as good as it performed.

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How does it compare to aluminium? 
We’ve put carbon in every place we’ve used aluminium in the past, including the footplate. We could have gone on and used carbon units too but the price would have been significantly more. It’s been three years in the making and compared to the original Absolutes, there’s a 3kg saving on weight.  

How come the £2,000-plus price point? 
Carbon doesn’t come cheap and it's about attention to detail too. The boxes are hand assembled in our factory, not mass produced, which we’ve never done before. Each one is hand wrapped and treated as an individual with its own identification number, so the carbon weave may differ slightly on each. We also meticulously inspect each one before it goes out, to make sure it meets our check list of quality.

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5. OUR VERDICT - THE BUGATTI VEYRON OF FISHING STATIONS

Angling Times Tackle editor Mark Sawyer has five good reasons why you should invest...

1. ITS LIGHTWEIGHT AND TOUGH AS OLD BOOTS
The carbon frame, legs, mud-feet, and footplate combine to make it 25% lighter than a standard seatbox of a comparable size. That’s quite a weight saving, especially if you’re often faced with long walks. The 36mm carbon legs with their cleverly designed carbon mud-feet provide it with a seriously sturdy stature, even if you’ve been on the pies! In tests the carbon frame has been subjected to weights in excess of 20 stone. 

2. IT'S A TACKLE TART'S DREAM
Not only will the carbon curves and lines leave you drooling for more, the legs and mud-feet provide it with superb low-profile look. It also comes with tarty fluoro colour-coded clips that can fit onto the front and back of all draws and cassettes. Add to that a carbon fibre ‘after care kit’ for polishing it with, plus a custom designed seatbox cover, and you have the stand-out seatbox of the past decade.  

3. IT'S HIGHLY FUNCTIONAL
Yes it looks good, but it’s also very functional. Preston has fitted the box with its latest Mag Lok magnetic clips- they’re easy to use and will also withstand serious amounts of wear and tear without falling to bits. Underneath, the deluxe padded seat is an integrated side drawer unit, a 40mm concealed front draw unit and a fully compartmented side draw unit. To that you can add 13cm, 18cm and 26cm full winder trays, a Shuttle Adaptor, and fully removable footplate which is handy when using a platform in deep water. 

4. IT'S PACKED WITH INNOVATION
The footplate boasts spring loaded clips that are easily and quickly located into two secure locking positions so different lengths of footplate can be used. TPS systems on the leg blocks not only prevent the precious carbon legs from being scratched, they also negate any chance of leg slippage or over-tightening. And as the box is hand assembled here in the UK, you can be assured that it has undergone strident quality control before being allowed to leave the factory.

5. IT'S ALL YOURS AND YOU'RE IN THE CLUB!
Every Absolute Carbon comes with its own unique code number, so you’ll always know it’s yours. There will also be an exclusive owners club, although I can’t imagine the Christmas party will be remembered for much except sitting around together... on carbon! But joking aside, it’s a nice touch from Preston who clearly value their after-sales customer care. Thumbs up from us...             

Kodex terminal carp tackle

Top specimen carp brand Kodex has added several new items of terminal tackle to its range. 

Everything from ready-rigs to surface controllers has been well thought out, with clever design tweaks that will stack the odds in your favour when targeting pressured and wary carp.


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Multi-Rigs  

The Multi is a rig like no other. Its anti-glare size 8 swivel fits all popular lead-clips, and can be switched to a size 11 Flexi/Heli swivel (included) for heli rigs. You get two hook sizes with every rig – choose from sizes
3 & 5, or 5 & 7. 

Hooks are super strong GenomicMGP Chods with micro-ground sharp points and a matt anti-glare finish. 

They’re tied to the latest Micro-Strip 15lb coated hooklink material, which automatically sinks and pins down the rig, leaving you only needing to apply a small amount of Graviton putty on the knot near the hook. 

Also included with each rig is bait floss and a micro rig swivel.

Price: £3.49


Micro-Strip

This semi-stiff coated hooklink can be stripped to reveal a flexible dyno-core. The pliable outer coating doesn’t crack when knotted. It sinks quickly and pins itself to the lakebed, excellent for bottom or pop-up set-ups. 

This is the same material as used for Kodex’s ready-tied skin-coated stiff rigs and multi-rigs. In 15lb and 25lb options, on 20m spools.
Price: £6.99


Air Zig-Toppers

These buoyant mini hair stops are shaped like a piece of corn and are designed to attract more takes. Available in fluorescent red and yellow colours, they provide added visual attraction to your hookbait, giving carp a target to home in on.

Each pack contains 20 pieces.

Price: £1.99


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Meltz PVA Bags

Extensively tested by Kodex’s expert consultants, Meltz solid PVA bags are strong and securely sealed, but melt down at a quick rate for perfect presentation, leaving virtually zero residue.

They are available in three sizes, each in a plain or perforated version. 

Each packet contains 20 bags.

Price: £2.49


New Guru Mini range plus connectors and pots

Match brand Guru is famed for its cutting edge commercial fishery accessories, including QM1 hooks, Impact Bombs, X-Soft pole pots, superb pellet wagglers and pre-tied hooks. 

To these are now added mini versions of the hugely popular Hybrid Pellet and Method feeders, which will prove to be game-changers for match anglers fishing cooler water when less feed is needed.  

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Guru has also introduced some completely original items, including the brilliant new Rapid Release Pole Pots. Their clever vented design twist eliminates feed spill during shipping out. 

Find out about these tempting releases, and other ‘must have’ Guru accessories, in this exclusive preview…

MINI METHOD FEEDERS
Two new mini editions to the Method Feeder range come in 20g and 30g weights. Ideal for small commercials and winter fishing, they have a weight-forward design for optimum casting distance and accuracy. 
Price: £2.49

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MINI METHOD MOULD
For use with the new mini feeders, this non-stick mould is easy to load, and allows you to build up layers on the feeder so you can control the size of the payload. It’s equally effective with groundbait and pellets.
Price: £2.99

Feeder mould.jpg

MINI X-SAFE INLINE LEAD
Smaller/lighter 10g X-Safe leads cause minimal disturbance on landing. They will accept X-Safe stems and a size 11 swivel for a bolt effect. In packs of two.
Price: £2.99

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MINI X-SAFE STEMS
THE new shorter X-Safe stem complements the Guru Mini range of feeders and bombs. Pre-loaded with a lighter white elastic, ideal for smaller hooks and lighter lines. In packs of two. 
Price: £2.99

X-Safe Stems.jpg

MINI HYBRID FEEDER
This lighter 18g mini version of Guru’s Hybrid feeder is perfect for all short-range tactics. It lighter weight make it ideals for fishing over soft, silty lake beds, especially when a more delicate approach is called for.
Price: £2.75

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XL POLE POT
The XL Pole Pot follows the original Guru design, with holes to prevent feed from sticking inside but a larger 90ml capacity. It comes with a non-spill lid, and its soft-safe fitting prevents damage to top kits. 
Price: £3.99

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POLE ELASTIC CONNECTORS
In small, medium and large, together these will accommodate all sizes of elastic. The subtly coloured bead is just large enough to neatly cover a knot, while a super-stiff braid reduces tangles around the pole tip. A bespoke holder makes transfer on to the elastic easy. 
Price: £4.99

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RAPID RELEASE POLE POTS
Perfect for scooping through groundbait and potting down the edge. Non-stick, three per pack, 100ml, 200ml and 300ml. 
Price: £9.99 

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LONG TERM TEST: Preston Innovations Competition Pro Super XL Pole Fishing Roller

This isn't a single session test of Preston's Competition Pro Super XL Roller as I've been throwing my poles over a pair of them for at least eighteen months, as you may be able to tell from the one in the picture! Here's my verdict... 

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First, the 'XL' gives away the fact this is a big pole roller. Straight out of the bag it's 88.5cm wide and 67cm high, in my book a large roller gives a bigger target to aim for and speeds up your fishing.  

As standard it's the perfect height to ship a pole back on to. Too low and you'll be bending down and putting unnecessary strain on your sides and back. Adjust the telescopic legs however and you've got a roller which extends to a height of 114.5cm, which is great for high banks or going over obstacles. The base clips to lock the height in place are excellent and don't slip at all.   

The rollers themselves are extremely free moving, allowing for quick shipping. Infact the first time I put a 14.5m pole on two of them it actually rolled off and into the lake within a couple of seconds! So always secure your pole at your end with a pole grip or sock with these. 
 
A small design point, but one which means a lot to me, is the inclusion of a secure ring with a caribiner-type clip fitted in the middle of the frame, underneath the roller. Don't get me wrong, this is about as stable as rollers come, but for a bit of extra security in windy conditions I'll clip a bucket of water into the caribiner to weigh it right down. 

On the bank a few anglers have commented on the upright rollers which keep the pole in place on the main roller itself, more specifically the short length. Surely the pole could blow over them and off the roller? Well I've not had a pole come off one yet and the upright rollers are slightly tapered inwards in the middle for the section to rest in, so there is no risk of it lifting up and over.  

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THE VERDICT
This is an extremely well-built and well-thought out roller for the serious match angler. If it's a little too big for you, there are two smaller versions in the range too. The Super XL doesn't come cheap but you get what you pay for and these are made to last. One of the best out there? Definitely.  

Ben Fisk

PAY AROUND
£94.99

every rig bit you need in ‘outline’ range from avid

AVID Carp’s new Outline terminal tackle range is the result of two years of product development. 

With its semi-transparent colour pigment and dark camo fleck finish, Outline blends in with any substrate. The fast-sinking material stays pinned to the bottom, so no need to carry an array of different coloured or tungsten-based components. 

The prices of the full collection of Outline accessories range from £2.99 to £4.99.

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1) LEAD CLIP KIT

Click-fit lead clip, matching tail rubber and size 8 swivel. Compatible with Avid anti-tangle sleeves.

2) RINGED LEAD CLIPS

For a hinged rig presentation tie your mainline or leader to the rear and tie rigs on to the reinforced ring section. Compatible with all Avid tail rubbers.

3) QC LEAD CLIPS

Quick-change rigs and set-ups are easy with this double-ended QC lead clip system. Tie your mainline or leader to the rear and hook rigs on to the QC section at the front. Compatible with all Avid tail rubbers and anti-tangle sleeves.

4) LEAD CLIP TAIL RUBBERS

Compatible with all Avid lead clips, these streamline your end tackle and are super-soft for maximum safety.

5) NAKED TAIL RUBBERS

Compatible with all Avid lead clips, these provide streamlined end tackle when fishing without a leader. 

6) X GRIP TAIL RUBBERS

These ensure large leads won’t eject on impact, but allow them to do so in snags. Compatible with Avid QC and ringed lead clips.

7) INLINE TAIL RUBBERS

For use with all Avid inline leads, these can also be used with Avid lead clips for a slower-releasing set-up or in colder conditions.

8) ANTI-TANGLE SLEEVES

Shorter anti-tangle sleeves kick your rig away from the lead perfectly. Compatible with Avid QC lead clips and QC drop off stems. It comes in two versions, standard-size and extra-large. 

9) QC Drop off Stems

The first-ever drop-off stems for fishing with inline leads, with the addition of a QC link. Compatible with Avid anti-tangle sleeves and all Avid inline leads.

10) SOLID BAG STEMS

Pre-formed, so you can attach your mainline directly to the top of the stem. Great for quickly changing between pre-tied solid PVA bag set-ups. A ring swivel completes the process.

11) PVA LINKS

Attach a PVA link to your lead and then slide a PVA bag into the groove. A great, hassle-free way to avoid tangles when fishing with PVA bags.

12) SPEED LINKS

Change rigs or leads quickly with a speed link. Compatible with Avid chod and heli buffers, and can be used with the ringed lead clip system.

13) RING SWIVELS

Create safe rigs with extra movement with these high-performance size 8 ring swivels – ideal for helicopter presentations.

14) MEDIUM and XL LINE ALIGNERS

Neat, streamlined alignment over hooks sizes 8-12 or 6-2, respectively.

15) HOOK BEADS

These small, grippy beads work effectively on hooks size 10-4.

16) HOOKBAIT SWIVELS

Big eye hookbait swivels are neat, convenient and far less obtrusive than many others of their type.

17) BOILIE SCREWS

These camouflaged hard plastic Boilie Screws will grip almost any bait. Create the perfect quick change pop-up presentation.

18) MIXED GROOVE BOILIE STOPS

Streamlined, tapered camouflage boilie stops. 

19) Shrink TUBE (two sizes)

Camouflaged shrink tubing. Use on hook sizes 8-4 or 4-1

20) MEDIUM and XL DROPPERS

Slot your line into the dropper and twist until you get the right level of grip. 

21) MEDIUM and XL RIG DROPS

Tungsten rig drops, a modern alternative to rig putty. Pre-formed on thicker wires.

22) Braided hooklink 20lb

Fine leader material keeps the rig pinned to the river or lakebed.

23) Unleaded leader 50lb

Ideal for use on waters where braid is not permitted.


Shakespeare Seatbox

AFTER nearly 30 years away, the classic all-plastic Shakespeare seatbox is back, slightly tweaked for the modern era. Push-in front-locking buttons are replaced by hinged catch locks. Lid width is increased, spreading seated weight better.mThe carry strap is now placed centrally, rather than towards one side. 

Price: £49.99


CHOICE OF TWO COLOURS

The new Shakespeare seatbox comes in either blue or black. 


SEATBOX CLIP

The box has re-designed catch clips that appear to be hard wearing and easy to use.


SEATBOX SIDE TRAY

The supplied side tray can be clipped to the front, or either side, of the seatbox.


IDEAL FOR SEA ANGLERS TOO!

The seatbox swallows everything from bait boxes to float tubes, catties, reels, even a flask and sandwich box. 


CHECK OUT THE VIDEO!


Preston Innovations Absolute 36 White Edition fishing seatbox

Building on the success of its Absolute Station seatboxes, Preston Innovations has added some superb new features to make its next-generation ‘butt rests’ better than ever with this 36 White Edition.

The new design is based around a 36mm profile six-leg system which offers unrivalled stability and looks the part too. Low-profile mudfeet take a couple of inches off the height of the seat, so you can set it up with a very low skyline presence when the need arises.

The weight of the boxes has been trimmed down, and it doesn’t stop there. The footplate is secured in place (two positions to choose from) by spring-loaded quick-release pins which can be precisely locked open or closed, resulting in rock-solid stability. 

For convenience, the winder tray cassette uses the same quick-release locking pins, and the clever design of the frame allows the cassette to slide out from the front or rear. A spirit level on the frame means you can easily check that your set-up is not on the wonk.

Mention should also be made of Preston’s new Mag Lok locking clips. These can be colour-coded to match your pole winders, and their positive magnetic catch opens and closes securely without risk of the wear and tear associated with most other plastic catches. 

Rather handily, the new Mag Lok units are fully compatible with all original Preston Absolute Station units and seatboxes.

The latest deluxe padded seat now includes a shallow side drawer, which basically makes much better use of the space beneath. It’s perfect for storing winders, general accessories and hooklength boxes.

PAY AROUND
£749.99

AVID Retro Leads

These leads recreate popular shapes of yesteryear, but add a durable Outline Camo coating. 

A double barrel flexi-ring swivel is moulded directly into the lead instead of being mounted on a brass loop, to amplify the bolt effect and reduce line twist and tangles. The leads perfectly complement Avid’s upcoming Outline Terminal Tackle range. Available from 1.5oz to 4oz, in half-ounce increments.

Price: £1.40 - £1.60


Distance Pear

The ultimate streamlined design for extreme distance work, a favourite that has stood the test of time.  


Distance Bottle

widely used by big-fish anglers in the 1990s. Ideal for use on sloping banks and the sides of gravel bars.  


Flat Gripper

The raised tooth design grips the bottom to hold your river rig firmly in position. Great for steep marginal shelves too. 


Drop Off In-Line

Perfect weight distribution makes this classic shape with its Outline Camo inline tail rubber the ideal choice for PVA bags. 


Guru Waggler Adaptors

There's arguably no better way to attach a float to your mainline. These adaptors incorporate a micro-swivel, enabling them to be used with the smallest of line stops.

Intended for use with Guru’s new 10mm and 13mm Foam or Balsa Pellet Wagglers, their large rounded clasp ensures free movement of the float, which will always sit at the correct angle for straight, accurate casting and fold flat on the strike. The clasp opens easily, enabling quick float changes to be made. In packs of 10.

Price: £2.49 


Avid Reflo Outline Mono Reel Line

This clever two-tone reel line incorporates an algae-coloured tint, said to offer a degree of invisibility to rival that cloak of Harry Potter’s. The line is also slightly absorbent, which helps it to sink faster, while its smooth texture promotes long, effortless casts. Add to that good knot strength and high abrasion-resistance and you have the perfect reel line for serious carpers. On 1000m spools in 12lb (0.32mm), 15lb (0.35mm) and 18lb (0.37mm) breaking strains.

Price: £18.29


Coleman Fyrestorm PCS

This high-performance stove can quickly boil water or heat food even in windy conditions thanks to its clever WindBlock system which provides 360 degrees wind protection.

The stove features a 1.3-litre pot that sits over the burner while chrome-plated pan supports and feet are rust resistant. The pot has a neoprene cover with a handle that is easy to hold and a secure lid, complete with drinking hole. The stove and gas cartridge can be stored inside the cooking pot for storage and transportation.

RRP: £64.99


Gardner Multi Rake

The Multi Rake is the ideal tool for quickly clearing weed, twigs and leaves from your spot.

Its design enables the rake to be attached to a rope and thrown by hand, or attached to a landing net handle or pole with the integral 3/8 BSF thread.

The versatility of having both attachment points means that this unique product can be used for weed clearance, creating small spots, clearing channels and quickly removing marginal weed to enable you to safely land any fish that you hook on weedy waters.

Multi Rakes are perfect for specialist anglers that like to rake a swim to kick up sediment and invertebrates, stimulating species such as tench into feeding.

RRP: £19.99


Free Spirit Net Handle

THIS 4m CTX Match Power Carp Combi landing net handle from Free Spirit uses the same unique carbon weave as found in the company’s best-selling CTX rods. 

The take–apart handle has standard screw fittings on two sections, offering a choice of 2.6m, 2.9m or 4m lengths. Unique rivet and pin-less net ends are super-strong and should provide years of trouble-free service. Contact walkersoftrowell.com

VERDICT: Having used this handle for the past couple of months, I cannot speak highly enough about its superb build quality and unbelievable strength and rigidity at any length.Truly you get what you pay for!

Price: £115.99

Guru Pellet Wagglers for carp

THESE long-awaited pellet wagglers from Guru are now in shops everywhere.

There are two main designs. The 10g, 12g and 14gbalsa-built Big Water floats promise superb casting accuracy. 

The 6g, 8g and 10g foam pellet wagglers in Guru’s latest surface camo colour are intended for very shallow work. Shot them conventionally or with Guru’s new waggler conversion weights.

BUY NOW from £5.99 for two on Amazon.co.uk

Daiwa Double Rock 'N' Roller Pole Fishing Roller

DAIWA’S Double Rock ‘n’ Roller pole roller tilts back and forth to give the perfect angle of travel as you ship the pole in or out.  

A unique horizontal double flat layout is said to provide extra section protection, as it spreads the weight of the pole over a wider area.

Rotating uprights, extending legs and a fold-flat lightweight construction all add up to make this one of the best and safest pole rollers on the market.

BUY NOW from £89.99 at Amazon.co.uk