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.

Absolute Carbon Sketch 7.jpg


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...