Chair or Seatbox?
After spending a year or so thinking about the best way to support my 20 stone frame whilst pole fishing I was left with a choice… Chair or Seatbox?
My usual angling companion has a Korum chair and the upright square section legs tick all the boxes for attaching accessories, like my ‘clever claw,’ but despite his approval of the chair, I was still undecided.
Would any chair prove to be stable enough for me, or which seatbox from the many out there?
I looked at dozens in tackle shops, on the Internet and various tackle show events. Budget constraints meant that I can’t afford £400 on an all-singing and dancing seatbox system, but I do care about build quality and value for money. I considered a second hand box, but those presented on Ebay looked decidedly past their sell-by dates, so my search turned to the cheaper end of the market. Most of these I dismissed on the grounds of questionable durability and stability. I need to feel rock steady on a footplate and some just don’t achieve this. I looked closely at the Preston range and almost went for an X-box, but my inherent dislike of plastic construction… if it can break it will... was in the back of my mind. It was at this stage that a local fishing show beckoned and, being a tackle tart, attendance was a no-brainer.
This probably wasn’t the first Milo Tardis box I had perched upon, but the modern gel seat was firm and very comfortable on first impression. What struck me most was the construction, which was all alloy. If anything were to break, even I with my rudimentary metal working skills could fix it.
True, the catches were plastic, but spares are readily available and a doddle to replace, being pop-riveted in place. The model on offer was fairly basic having two hinged compartments, which can be opened forwards or backwards to suit. One deep enough for reels and suchlike, the other perfect for a couple of the plastic Rapala-type boxes which contain most of my end tackle these day
In addition, there is a sliding removable box, ideal for pole rig winders and smaller items of kit. Finally, it came with a large side tray, which has an adjustable sliding clamp so it can be moved forward or backwards.
It was fairly simple to suss out that the table could be stowed between the lower storage and the slide out box for easy transportation.
The square legs, which incidentally fit Preston type fittings with the red insert, are all extendible with simple thumb screws and the whole seat storage module can be raised or lowered on the frame, which makes it an easy job to get a comfortable, level height from the ground. The legs are capped with the largest rectangular mud feet I have ever seen.
As this was a basic seatbox, there are no drawers and no footplate, though there is a rail under the slide out box for a sliding footplate to be fitted. Modular in construction, each weather sealed compartment can be completely removed, so it’s easy to clean, and additional modules are available. Being honest, these aren’t exactly cheap, but how much tackle do you need for a few hours pole fishing?
So that’s the box… how do I rate it bank side?
It's heavy, no doubt about it, but it is solid, stable and robust. Despite the comfortable well-padded carrying strap I wouldn’t like to carry it far, and in fact, on the one occasion I have tried I nearly took my kneecap off with it! Now I always use a trolley when pole fishing.
Finding a good position for accessories is no longer a problem; for ages I have struggled with screw in bank sticks on gravel pegs. The side tray falls easily to hand and is large enough to take all my bits and bobs, forceps etc… so once I am tackled up, I rarely need to stand to get at tackle.
Comfortable? Yes surprisingly so. After 5 hours in my usual chair, I am stiff and feeling all of my 52 years, but no such problems on this box, cleaning out bait boxes at the end of the day is no longer a back strain.
Would I recommend it? Definitely! This is my first seatbox and I am more than happy with it. As for the future… ? I will probably get a sliding footplate, which will enable me to fit a pole support bar.
There are a number of boxes in the Milo Tardis range. Expect to pay anything from £200 upwards for a new one, depending on the specification you require.