Buyer’s Guide to The Best Fishing Seatboxes

Buyer's Guide to The Best Fishing Seatboxes

by Dan Webb |
Updated on

Whilst feeder fishing chairs are becoming increasingly popular with anglers, the seatbox remains the ultimate choice for the pole fishing, especially when fishing at longer lengths. But with a whole host of options available, what is the best fishing seatbox on the market?

A good seatbox enables the user to fish out in the water on natural venues that lack platforms, and a variety of drawers and trays will hold all the equipment necessary for a full session - including an essential fishing tackle box that all anglers need. Keepnets and pole rests can be attached too – creating the perfect fishing station!

The best fishing seatboxes at a glance:

Best Compact Seatbox: Daiwa 90 - View offer on Fishing Tackle and Bait

Best Budget Seatbox: Shakespeare Superteam - View offer on Ebay

Best Seatbox For Accessories: Preston Innovations Inception Station - View offer on Go Outdoors

Best Weight Seatbox: Map Elite Z36 MK2 - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle

Seatboxes vary in price depending on a whole host of factors, including weight, storage and the number of seatbox attachments or accessories available for the product. Anglers, therefore, have a lot to consider when it comes to making a seatbox purchase. Fortunately, a box doesn't have to be a regular buy, as modern models are sturdy and hard-wearing, especially if you pick one of our options listed below...

Best seatbox (2023 National Angling Awards Winner)

This year a new seatbox replaced Matrix’s best-selling S36. The new Matrix XR36 Pro sports not only eye-catching aesthetics, but many innovative design improvements. The main frame now has non-marking leg clamps, and utilises a unique one-piece super-strong tubular hydro-formed frame. The footplate has a textured top and non-slip plastic slides with a single hand release mechanism.

The box comes with one shallow tray, a deep drawer unit and a transport lid. The 36mm non-slip extending legs are fully anodised, and include screw threads for off-box attachments. The seatbox height is fully adjustable via easy-to use large rubber handwheels, while a built-in spirit level will help to take out the guesswork of setting it up level on any terrain. It comes in a choice of two arresting colour schemes – Lime or Shadow.


  • Very sturdy seatbox, with built in spirit level.
  • Lovely design.


  • The box is quite heavy.

Best Compact Seatbox

If you're the kind of angler who doesn't take the kitchen sink on to the bank, a box with a wealth of storage isn't necessarily going to be your cup of tea – and Daiwa has recognised this by adding the Daiwa 90 model box to its new Tournament range.
Although the box can have extra trays and units added to it, as it comes, the 90 features a single 20mm perforated winder tray, two shallow side drawers with adjustable dividers and a removable 140mm deep base unit. That's ample for those who fish venues where a range of different tactics aren't needed.
As with all Tournament boxes, these trays and units are totally interchangeable with the 'ridge/recess' compression seal feature and, of course, the brand-new SYSTEM 36 rotating handwheels on each 36mm telescopic leg.
Supplied with a pole seat and shoulder strap, stability is ensured with a combination of steel and aluminium in the frame.


  • Outstanding weatherproofing on trays and drawers.
  • Shallow trays will hold loads of rigs while taking up little space.


  • The popular deep-side drawer isn't included but can be purchased separately.

Best Budget Seatbox

Weighing just 11kg, the Shakespeare Superteam Seatbox box has a fully padded pole-style seat, a full-width cross drawer, two front drawers, plus spacious under-seat storage, and easy-grip catches.
A 'slide-under' footplate makes this a compact seatbox to both store and transport gear. Easy-to-use handwheels secure the extendable legs in place, while the wide mudfeet help in soft conditions. The screw-threaded tops in the front legs will accommodate pole socks and tulip rests.
This super-lightweight seatbox will find many fans among match and pleasure anglers on a tight budget. Functional and compact, but with plenty of storage room, its design makes it ideal for those with smaller hatchback cars.


  • Lightweight and adjustable, with plenty of storage space.
  • Easily used with or without footplate.


  • Spring-loaded telescopic legs can slip slightly with sudden heavy movements.

Best Seatbox For Pole Fishing Features

The Garbolino Competition 36-31 is a new addition to the D36mm leg range, featuring a 'Monobloc' black arched lightweight frame which reduces the weight of the box while retaining full strength.
You get fixed back legs, four Pinlock extending legs, carrying strap, cushion seat, a 30mm side drawer and a 30mm AIRVENT winder tray. The space-saving 'Spider' leg design brings the legs and attachments closer to the angler. Stability is assured with the Pinlock and Screwlock adjustable leg systems.
The 36mm legs are longer than the norm at 560mm unextended, and the handwheels feature 8mm internal threads to create more torque and minimal slippage. A robust non-slip footplate is oversized for big feet, and built-in spirit levels ensure easy set-up. Drawers and stacker trays have Garbolino's unique locking mechanism.
All latches slide inwards, reducing the chance of damage. Stacker trays fit anywhere on the box, below the frame as a stacker, or below the drawer to raise the box to the required height and provide more storage.


  • The Pinlock legs prevent slippage.
  • Airvent trays are a superb addition which avoids condensation or mould build-up.


  • A choice of colours would be welcome on a high-end box.

Best Seatbox For Accesories

Featuring Mag-Lok clips, footplate locking plungers and soft-touch handwheels, the Preston Innovations Inception Station box is available in either white or graphite.
The deep compartmented side drawer unit is perfect for accessories, while the deep side drawer with removable dividers can be used for hook-length boxes, pole winders or any larger accessories.
An empty, shallow tray between the drawers and the pole seat is again perfect for storing pole rigs.
The cassette under the frame includes a 26mm tray and lid. The box comes with six telescopic legs for fine adjustments.


  • Reliable box from a company with a great seatbox pedigree.
  • Designed to accommodate popular Preston accessories.


  • Comes with minimal pole rig storage as standard.

Best Waterproof Seatbox

Guru RSW Seatbox
Price: £1,499.99

All the trays and drawers on this top-end Guru RSW Seatbox are 100 per cent waterproof, fully protecting the tackle and rigs within. The new tray, drawer and accessory systems feature built-in catches, meaning lines, rigs and hooks won't get caught up in and around them.
The drawers are made from light, impact-proof plastic and feature a new press-lock system with no handles and catches to break, snap off or get in the way.
The carousel under the box features a storage tray under the stacker, which clicks in securely with a magnetic system and can be removed from the sides of the seatbox rather than the front. This makes inserting the stacker quicker, easier and more versatile – you can access it while sat on the box, through the sides when in vehicles, or on a loaded trolley.
For those anglers that already have a lot of original Rive winder trays, there is also a conversion system, allowing them to use the original trays with the new concept.


  • Trays are so waterproof they can even withstand immersion underwater!
  • Unrivalled additional tray and winder storage options.


  • Capacity of drawer units is quite small.

Best Starter Seatbox

The Decathlon CSB Adjust Still Fishing Station is a budget-priced compact fishing box rated to 17 stone, yet one that weighs just 9kg.
It comes supplied with four fixed and two adjustable 25mm legs to take most market-leading accessories and side trays, as well as the included balling arms and keepnet attachment.
Fitted as standard is a full-width side drawer and a deep tray, and the top of one of the legs has a removable bung to take an umbrella pole. The comfy seat includes a pole hook.
If weight and ease of transport are most important, you won't go wrong with this box. Stability and build quality might not be the best, but just look at that price!


  • Ideal children's seatbox.
  • Extremely lightweight.


  • Perfect on flat ground but lacks stability on difficult pegs.

Best Weight Seatbox

The recently revamped MAP Elite MK2 Z36 features a stunning new blue aluminium frame to reduce weight.
A new stacking system allows deep or shallow tray units to be stored beneath the box in any order without the need for a runner on the bottom tray.
MAP has added a fully PU moulded waterproof pole seat with an aluminium base frame, preventing pressure being added to the drawer units below. The footplate now features two removable threads that enable the footplate to be fully detached. The stacker lid has an aluminium skeleton within the mould, which will take as many extra units as you can carry.


  • Lightweight for a box of its build quality.
  • D36 leg stability from a compact frame.


  • Larger or taller anglers might find the seat and footplate a bit small.

Best Compact Box For Storage

Maver Reality
Price: £188.99

Boasting a compact size yet with a surprising amount of storage, the great-value Maver Reality seatbox is ideal for beginners, those on a tight budget or anglers who want a simple, easy-to-use and functional box.
The 25mm legs mean accessories and side trays from most major manufacturers will fit, as well as the specially designed Reality footplate, which can be purchased separately if required for around £80.
All four legs have a height marker stud above the large swivel mudfeet, making lowering the box to its minimum height for transport or storage dead easy.
Key features include a padded seat cushion, single cross drawer, two front drawers, deep base unit, storage beneath the seat, easy-grip handwheels and a padded shoulder strap.


  • Features a now rare traditional base unit for larger items like reels.
  • Ideal canal or long walk river box.


  • Lack of a side drawer could be a deal breaker for some.

What to look for in a fishing seatbox

There are two key factors when it comes to selecting a seatbox - comfort and storage. On the comfort front, boxes with adjustable legs will ensure you are sitting level. Those with 36mm legs give you the most rigid and secure base on which to sit. However, a box is only as stable as the clamps and mechanisms that secure those legs, so take a close look at these.

Boxes with legs allow you to add on accessories such as side trays, feeder arms and keepnet arms to make your fishing easier too.

In terms of storage, modern boxes have less overall capacity than traditional seatboxes, so you have to keep the smaller items that you need close to hand in your seatbox and bulkier items such as reels and feeders in separate bags and boxes in your carryall.

Most boxes are sold as a basic system, with extra trays and drawers available separately. Some boxes also have under-frame 'stacks' that can be removed for wading, lifting into vehicles or up banks. The trays in these stacks can be swapped around depending on where the angler is fishing.

For ultimate comfort and to reduce the risk of backache, set your box level. With your feet flat on the footplate and knees at 90 degrees, your thighs should be level and parallel to the ground.

To achieve this, the distance between the footplate and the cushion should be right. On some boxes, this is adjustable. On others, you will need to add or remove trays and units to achieve this.

Glossary of seatbox terminology

Footplate: An area where you place your feet when sitting, ensuring they are level and at the correct height – which is especially important when fishing a pole.

Rig/winder tray: A shallow unit designed for storing ready-made pole rigs on winders of various sizes.

Side tray: A table-like device that fits onto your seatbox legs, allowing you to keep bait and other items within easy reach while fishing.

Accessories: Devices or gadgets that attach to your seatbox legs and serve a particular function.

Keepnet arm: An accessory designed to secure a keepnet to your box Feeder arm: A way of attaching your rod rest to your seatbox and providing a place to position your rod when float or feeder fishing.

Tool bar: A multi-purpose accessory that normally fits across the front two legs of a seatbox, primarily designed for holding multiple keepnets, but might also take pole socks, tulips, or rod rests.

Spray bar/pole support/gentlemen's rest: An elongated foam-covered bar that goes across the front of a seatbox and is used to help take the weight of a pole, keep it still in wind or hold a pole float steady in flowing water.

D36/D25: An abbreviation of seatbox leg diameters in millimetres. A D36 leg box will have round profile legs of 36mm diameter, while a D25 will have 25mm diameter round legs.

Stacker: Many framed seatboxes have a removable stacker that fits under the frame, designed to carry pole rigs. Consisting of the same trays that fit above the frame and under the seat, the lidded storage can be removed from the box.

Wheel kit: A set of wheels or handles that attach to your seatbox to turn it into a trolley.

Seatbox FAQs

Do I need legs on my seatbox?

If the venues you are planning on fishing have uneven banks, buying a seatbox with adjustable legs is essential. Old fashioned boxes never used to have legs as standard, but anglers were soon purchasing attachments to add them. Even on fairly even ground, they make the whole experience a lot more comfortable.

Will I need a footplate with my seatbox?

Most boxes on the market these days are supplied with a footplate. For pole fishing, this allows the angler to sit in the correct position for speed and comfort. Most footplates can be locked in or removed entirely if you prefer not to use them.

What tackle can you store in a seatbox?

This question entirely depends on what product you buy, but most seatboxes will have storage drawers and compartments for all your end tackle items. Some will include deeper storage areas that can hold reels, baits and other products too. However, most anglers keep these larger items in a separate holdall.

How much should you spend on a seatbox?

Seatboxes vary massively in price, so how much you spend really depends on what extras you are looking for. Expensive boxes will allow you to make all kinds of moderations via attachments, so you end up with the ultimate fishing station with everything to hand. If you just want something to store tackle and sit on when you go fishing, however, you really don't need to spend a fortune and a budget fishing seatbox will meet your needs.

Can you get seatboxes with chairs or back support?

Yes. There are several brands on the market that have made chair seatboxes. These are primarily aimed at feeder anglers which may spend a long time in a different position to pole and float anglers watching the rod tip.

Author Dan Webb first became involved in angling journalism in 2015 and has worked as Tackle Tester at Angling Times since April 2021. He is a fanatical all-round match angler and former England Youth International.

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