How many hundreds of thousands of blue plastic hook boxes – the original Hooklength Retaining System – must Preston Innovations have sold over the years since they were introduced to the angling world?
Previously, ready-tied hooklengths had been stored in flimsy paper packets, which were themselves filed in nylon or plastic hook wallets. The packets blew away, they got wet and the hooks rusted, and they were fiddly. Blowing in like a breath of fresh air, the Preston boxes were (fairly) watertight, convenient, easy to use and enabled hooklengths to be tied and stored at precise lengths, a necessity when changing a hook on a carefully plumbed pole rig. This was a clever and efficient system that anglers took to in droves. Simple and efficient, how could they possibly be improved?
Well, they have been, and in several key areas.
Starting from the outside, the boxes are now made in a different type of plastic that is extremely tough and impact resistant (they’re still the same blue though, what other colour could they be?). Two sturdy stainless steel pin hinges have replaced the full-length soft-plastic hinge and the boxes remain firmly shut until you want to access them via an easy-open catch. They also close securely with a reassuring ‘clunk’ and stay closed, thanks to a set of corner magnets, and an inner rim locates in a groove all around the inside of the boxes to prevent water ingress – you don’t want all of your carefully tied hooks to go rusty!
Two more thoughtful little touches so typical of Preston Innovations’ tackle developments are a simple tab you press on to raise the box out of its storage tray in your seatbox for easy access – although you don’t have to store them like this, of course – and a transparent window where you can display a sticker (supplied) to show you what hooks lay within. No more scrawling on the outside of the box with Tipp-Ex or marker pens – perfect for when you carry two, three or (like some do) multiple boxes of hooklengths.
Talking of which, these new boxes have doubled in capacity and now enable you to store 3, 4, 5 and 6in hooklengths in the short box and 6, 8, 10 and 12in versions in the long version, in up to 10 different hook pattern/line diameter combinations.
The storage system itself is pretty much the same as before, and the pegs have a little lip at the top to prevent hooks or loops from accidentally pinging off the pegs. There’s also an extra-long peg to enable you to tie rigs to the correct length – after tying your hook on to the nylon, latch it on to the peg at the chosen length and double the nylon round the extra-long peg to tie the loop. Simple.
A great product, improved.
RRP: Long £9.99 Short £7.99
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