Rigger Plus Platform Barrow System Test

Seatbox platforms can transform your fishing. There are dozens of platform and barrow/trolley systems on the market but which one do you go for?

Dave Harrell using a Rigger Plus Platform on the RIver Wye.

Dave Harrell using a Rigger Plus Platform on the RIver Wye.

If you regularly fish natural venues like rivers or big reservoirs then youll know all about fishing on spots where you don’t get the luxury of a gravel path to help you get to your peg or a wooden platform to put your box on. You may also be faced with the issue of having to cast across yards of shallow fishless water just to get your tackle out to the area where the fish are found.

Normally in this instance you will either avoid the venue or if you're on a river you are forced to fish the feeder or a large waggler when everyone else is bagging up on the stick.

A platform is what is needed in these instances and one of the strongest and reliable on the market are the ever popular, Rigger barrow platforms. The British firm have no less than three different platform systems in their range used by some of the sport’s biggest names including the likes of Angling Times columnist and river maestro Dave Harrell.

The Rigger Plus Platform is strong, sturdy and big enough for any seatbox.

The Rigger Plus Platform is strong, sturdy and big enough for any seatbox.

Each of the platforms six legs have mudfeet

Each of the platforms six legs have mudfeet

Their newest and largest of the range is the Rigger Plus. Measuring 950mm long by 750mm wide this platform is more than capable of supporting the largest of modern seatboxes and with two 900mm long legs, two 670mm legs in the middle and two 470mm at the end, its capable of positioning yourself further out in the water than many other systems on the market, making for a comfortable days fishing.

Rigger Plus Platforms have 17 attachment options and large hand wheels for tightening.

Rigger Plus Platforms have 17 attachment options and large hand wheels for tightening.


The platform which RRP’s at £279.99 on its own or £284.99 with the wheel kit, also has a staggering 17 location sockets for attaching things like keepnets and bait trays while youre out in the water.


To test out its capabilities Angling Times took it out for a live test on the River Trent.

We took the platform to the banks of the Midlands waterway on Worksop DAA's stretch at Holme Marsh.


This is the ideal location to test the platform with yards of shallow water on the nearside and the deep channel to cast to on the far bank.

Arriving at the venue we were unable to park right at the back of the peg so the barrow system which you can buy with the platform for a small fee was put to good use. Two handles and a super tough wheel make it easy to convert to a barrow for when your carrying your gear to and from the car. The solid hand wheels made it easy for cold hands to tighten the legs

The Rigger Plus Platform system comes with a barrow facility for carrying your gear.

The Rigger Plus Platform system comes with a barrow facility for carrying your gear.

We tried the platform with the large Preston Absolute seatboxes around 20 yards out in the water to fish the feeder into the far channel. It held everything nice and level including the angler and was super sturdy throughtout the test.

If you fish rivers a lot and want a product you can rely on. The Rigger systems really are worth a look at. Take a look on their website for more details.

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.  


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... 

•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

•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”




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.



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

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. 

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.  

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. 

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.

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...             

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


The new Shakespeare seatbox comes in either blue or black. 


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


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


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


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.


Matrix S36 Orange SuperBox

A real eye-popper from Matrix is this limited-edition orange Superbox 36.

Around its lightweight aluminium frame it boasts a host of features including super-stable 36mm legs – all with threaded accessory points – large diameter swivelling mudfeet and 25mm telescopic inserts. 

The padded seat has its own spirit level, while an integral anti-warp sliding footplate its tidily away underneath the main frame when not in use. A stylish new backplate is bound to appeal to a cult following.

The box comes with a choice of two configurations – one deep drawer with a 90mm storage unit, or two single tray units, both with lids.

Price: £529.99  

Superbox Two-wheel Transporter

A new transporter from Matrix is designed specifically to fit the Superbox. Quick and straightforward to use, the double wheel system can be used with both 36mm and 25mm Superboxes. 

It comes supplied with solid puncture-resistant wheels, features a quick-release system for removing the wheels at your peg, and packs away neatly into the supplied carry-bag.

Price: £94.99  


Frenzee Match Seatbox

RRP: £649.99(standard package)

This stunning new seatbox is everything a match angler could wish for. The strong, lightweight aluminium frame provides a low centre of gravity and features an easy height-adjust system.
You can also customise the drawer and tray unit configuration to suit your own style. There is even more lockable storage space for additional tray units situated between the footplate and upper frame if required.
A raft of other key features include 36mm legs with threaded end caps, a padded carbon-friendly pole seat, snag-free fittings throughout, two spirit levels and a fail-safe integral footplate incorporating two unique 36mm moulded accessory blocks, which are ideally placed for keepnets.
A padded rear bar stops the box digging into your back while being carried by the shoulder strap.
You can choose from black, white or orange livery and a huge range of additional box accessories are available.

Maver Signature seatboxes

With retail prices starting at a very modest £299.99 for the introductory 200 model, Maver’s stylish Signature seatboxes really do cater for every angler’s pocket.

All four in the range are packed with practical features such as sturdy 30mm round telescopic legs, anti-memory seat cushion with pole safety strap, and a huge range of modular units compatible with the top-selling Mxi range.

Maver’s patented and trusted lock and slide hinge system is used on all drawers and box units, and the Signature 800 and 1000 versions have wheel kits as part of the package.

As you may well have come to expect from Maver, the graphics and cosmetics of the new seatboxes are stylishly impressive, but it is their practicality and flexibility that really sets them apart.

There are many things about this new series that I like, but if asked to highlight just a couple I would have to say the 30mm legs – which provide such brilliant stability – and the fact the seat height can be easily adjusted to suit all heights. These two alone set it apart from many on the market.

Thus is a truly multi-discipline seatbox well able to cope with any type of venue.

Price: £499.99 (Signature 1000)


Sure to prove hugely popular with the commercial fishery match angler, the new Signatures’ 30mm legs provide superb stability on any terrain.

Mark Sawyer