Box choice is perhaps the thing that I struggle with the most! I seem to fancy something new every other month and never really ‘settle’ on anything for too long. My last box, a SiWi Quad Box, was absolutely superb. Stable, strong and versatile, there was a lot to love about it. However, it got to the point where I became fed up setting up a big fishing station and all that goes along with it. Most of my fishing is done on commercials that have lovingly prepared platforms and I just kind of saw the station-type box as a bit of overkill. I fancied something smaller and less… faffy. After much consideration I went with the Preston Innovations Absolute Compact Blue Edition. I had seen Andy Findlay’s super-simple setup and thought that was for me! I decided to order one. The box itself comes supplied with a deep base unit, a shallow winder tray, a 40mm deep side drawer and the removable footplate.
First job for me was to whip the footplate off. I have had so many questions on why I have done this. Firstly it means that I get set up even quicker and don’t have the faff of setting up a footplate. But what about keepnets? I simply use long Off Box Pro Keepnet arms with the Snaplok system. No footplate also means I can sit nice and low to the ground, which I find very comfortable. To increase the capacity of the box I have actually added two shallow 26mm side drawers and lined them with winders. This means I can access loads of rigs without even getting off my backside!
Quite simply, the storage available is unbelievable for such a small seatbox. Alex Bones also uses one of these seatboxes and let me tell you his is a work of art. Small float tubes and accessory trays make for a super-tidy box. Mine… well let’s say it’s not quite at that level. But even with my amount of chaos, there is a huge amount of space available. Even though it harks back to bygone days, the deep storage tray at the base of the box is a beautiful thing! Imagine being able to store items like a catapult or a 250ml pole pot in your seatbox… yes it might seem like a pipe dream to others, but it’s a reality with the Compact. I got sick of carrying these kinds of items in separate EVA bags in my carryall while my seatbox did a great job of filling my car up single-handedly, carrying just a handful of pole rigs and a few plummets. But what do I do on natural waters when I don’t have the luxury of those lovely commercial platforms? I decided to invest in a Penrose Barrow/Platform, which the Compact sits on nicely and gives me the perfect platform to fish from. I find it ideal and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it works well for me. I really can’t fault the Absolute Compact. The box itself is excellent and better still the whole range is truly superb. The range of available extras and accessories is huge and if you do like the station-type boxes then there are several options also available, which I know, are incredibly popular (our very own Jake Fowles has just got himself a White Edition, which is very nice!). There is something for everyone and, knowing how hard the guys at Preston work, there are sure to be some more exciting developments on the way to further bolster the excellent range. These are must-see boxes if you are in the market for something new, and judging by the number of them I have seen on the bank, many anglers agree.