CHAIRS are becoming increasingly popular with feeder anglers, but the seatbox remains the ultimate choice for the pole angler, especially when fishing at longer lengths.
It 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. Keepnets and pole rests can be attached too – the perfect fishing station!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
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.
Check out these superb options...
DAIWA 90 D36
A COMPACT and lightweight box, with the adaptability and versatility to cope with a wide range of venues. The 36mm legs are individually adjustable and telescopic. Ridge and recess compression-sealed trays provide superb weatherproofing.
Additional trays are affordable and the box has superb weatherproofing. Even as D36 legs go, these are very strong and rigid. The only downside is the additional weight for its size.
+ Very compact
+ Unrivalled weatherproofing for the price
+ Strong telescopic system on legs
- Deep drawer option not available
- A little heavy for its size due to the build quality
Weight: 16.7kg, Leg diameter: 36mm, Storage: 20mm shallow trays, 2 x shallow side drawers, 140mm base
Price: £399, www.daiwasports.co.uk
MAP H30 LITE
WITH all the high-end features of the flagship Z30 seatbox, this lightweight and compact version is ideal for the angler facing longer walks and limited space in the car.
The sliding footplate has dual locking pins, while the legs have large-diameter mudfeet. All trays and drawers feature rubber seals and can be added to from the extensive range available from MAP.
One of the most compact boxes on the market, it’s a shame MAP hasn’t released a weight for it, as we reckon it would knock spots off some of the others!
+ As light and as compact as they come
+ Good weatherproofing
+ Very affordable
- A small footprint might make it feel a bit small to the bigger angler
- Standard box lacks storage
- Additional trays and drawers are a little pricey
Weight: N/A, Leg diameter: 30mm, Storage: 1x shallow drawer, 1 x deep drawer
Price: £325, www.mapfishing.co.uk
DECATHALON CSB ADJUST STILL FISHING STATION
A SUPER budget option at an unbeatable price, rated to 110kg/17 stone. If weight and ease of transport are paramount, 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
+ Low priced
- Perfect on flat ground, but lacks stability on difficult pegs
Weight: 9kg, Leg diameter: 25mm, Storage: 1x side drawer, 1 x deep tray
Price: £149.99, www.decathalon.co.uk
MATRIX XR36 COMP
THE strength and stability of the XR36 Pro is mirrored in the lighter, more compact Comp version.
A single-handed footplate release mechanism, textured non-slip footplate with built-in spirit level, hard-wearing PU-coated cushion cover and stylish H frame make for a lightweight yet premium seatbox.
The build quality is second to none, with a superb levelling system. The footplate can be opened, secured or removed completely with just one click! We particularly like the wide footprint of this box and larger cushion.
+ Strong and spacious trays
+ Available in Shadow and Lime colour schemes
+ Larger footprint and superb stability – perfect for the larger or taller angler
Weight: 16.64kg, Leg diameter: 36mm, Storage: Deep side drawer, deep base inside frame
Price: £580, www.fishmatrix.co.uk
A HARDWEARING 54cm x 37cm x 44cm injection-moulded seatbox with a carry strap.
As basic as it gets, with no trays or adjustable legs. A side tray is available separately.
+ Super cheap
+ Classic design is ideal for beginners
- Lacks features
- No side tray
Storage: Huge main compartment
Price: £38.69, www.anglingdirect.co.uk
DECATHALON CAPERLAN CSB D36
WITH plenty of storage as standard, and two winder trays, this is a complete seatbox system at an unbeatable price, now with D36 legs!
Accessories include add-on trays, drawers, side trays and wheel kits. Includes multiple spirit levels, threaded caps in the legs for accessories, a keepnet attachment in the footplate and oversized 36mm legs for extra stability. It’s rated to take up to 140kg/22 stone!
+ Mega value
+ Extra-long 65cm legs
- Basic looks
Weight: N/A, Leg diameter: 36mm, Storage: 2 x front drawers, 1 x side drawer, 2x winder trays
Price: £349, www.decathalon.co.uk
Maver Signature D36
A sleek and sexy box that really looks the part. The rotating knuckle system on the legs is not only space-saving and convenient, but also grips the legs exceptionally well.
Both side drawers come with customisable dividers, the stack can be removed from the front or back and, of the six telescopic legs, two have threaded caps for accessories while a further two have spirit levels. A low-level storage tray pulls out the back.
This box is often available for a fair bit less than its RRP!
+ Ingenious, practical and good-looking design
+ Sliding low-level back storage tray built in
+ A low fitting stack and thin frame ensure loads of room for additional trays
+ Large mudfeet
- No additional weatherproofing on the trays and drawers
- Lacks a deep side drawer
Weight: N/A, Leg diameter: 36mm, Storage: 2 x side drawers, 40mm tray, 2 x winder trays
Price: £599, www.maver.co.uk
PRESTON INNOVATIONS INCEPTION STATION
THE standard box has a reasonable amount of storage, which is well thought out to take lots of different Preston products, such as its hooklength boxes. Building on the success of the previous Inception seatboxes, features such as Mag-Lok clips, locking footplate plungers and soft-touch handwheels have been retained. Comes with a redesigned double side drawer unit with customisable dividers and spirit level.
+ Looks magnificent!
+ The slimline frame is available in white or graphite
+ Magnetic catches on trays and drawers
+ Superb all-round box for the price
- Rubber seals on the drawers would make a great addition
Weight: 16.22kg, Leg diameter: 30mm, Storage: 2x Deep drawers, 2 winder trays
Price: £449.99, www.prestoninnovations.com
DAIWA 500 D36
Probably the best compromise in terms of weight, stability, practicality and cost. Strong telescopic D36 legs are coupled with a tough, non-slip 180-degree locking handwheel. Waterproof seals on drawers and trays ensure all your valuable gear stays dry. Aluminium and steel construction points to many years of reliable service. For extra colour, flare and function, look at the pricier Tournament 800.
+ Weatherproof compression seal trays and rubber-topped drawers
+ Compact 20mm winder trays save space
+ Stability rivals that of some more expensive models
+ Affordable additional trays
- Lacks deep side drawer option
Weight: N/A, Leg diameter: 36mm, Storage: 2 x shallow side drawers, 3 winder trays
Price: £550, www.daiwasports.co.uk
PRESTON INNOVATIONS INCEPTION
BASED on the older Inception SL30, this version is lighter, with better telescopic legs, upgraded handwheels and an improved footplate sliding mechanism. It retains the popular drawer and base configuration. Also available is the 360 version with seat and backrest and the larger-based 3D model.
Magnetic catches make accessing your gear quick and easy. A pleasant and very usable seatbox that ticks all the boxes with no major flaws.
+ Magnetic drawers and catches are hassle-free and a joy to use
+ Incredibly lightweight
+ Huge arrange of accessories available
- Additional trays and drawers are a reasonable price
- Could do with better weather sealing
Weight: 11.25kg, Leg diameter: 30mm, Storage: Deep side drawer, 100mm base unit
Price: £359.99, www.prestoninnovations.com
ALSO WORTH A LOOK…
A BRITISH company specialising in seatboxes designed around function rather than looks. They might look like a Meccano set, but Octbox owners are some of the most loyal around and absolutely swear by the ingenuity and functionality of their boxes.
Price: From £225, www.octbox.co.uk
GURU RIVE RSW
THE most advanced seatbox on the planet! Completely watertight, ultra-stable and offering glorious comfort and looks, but with a price tag to match!
Price: £1,499, www.tackleguru.com
TRADITIONAL-style wood and fibreglass seatboxes from a well-established manufacturer. Want a compact, traditional box with loads of storage? Look them up!
Price: From £199, www.matchboxtackle.com