TRIED & TESTED

DOES THE CLAS­SIC RUT­LAND BOAT SEAT STILL PASS MUSTER?

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Tackle -

Width: 21 cm. Length: 118 cm (ex­tend­ing to 188 cm). Con­tact: Glas­gow An­gling Cen­tre. Tel: 0141 212 8880. Web: fish­ing­mega­s­tore.com

A GOOD boat seat can make a big dif­fer­ence to your com­fort dur­ing long days on the water. Pro­vid­ing more than just cush­ion­ing, it should sup­port your back and be a strong, stable plat­form from which to cast, ei­ther while drift­ing or at an­chor. Of­fer­ing some im­prove­ments on the orig­i­nal Bob Church de­sign, the Still­wa­ter Rut­land Boat Seat will look fa­mil­iar to many vet­eran reser­voir an­glers and car­ries the le­gacy into the mod­ern era. It has a padded fold-down back­rest and padded seat – both are cov­ered with easy-to-clean vinyl. The seat sits on a strong frame that is made with two rails that slide apart and ex­tend over the sides (gun­whales) of the boat. Rub­ber stop­pers en­sure a se­cure fit. Trans­port­ing the seat is made eas­ier by the supplied cor­dura bag, which has plenty of room in which to hold ad­di­tional items such as an all-im­por­tant life jacket and a drogue. The bag has a car­ry­ing strap that is broad and com­fort­able. The frame is made from box-sec­tion alu­minium with stain­less riv­ets so it is light and easy to carry. It has wooden re­in­force­ments to pre­vent bend­ing and the whole thing has a lowflash an­odised fin­ish. In front of the seat is a long tray on which to keep your fly­boxes, tip­pet spools, for­ceps, priest and any­thing else you might need to have close at hand. I have used the seat dur­ing long days afloat on Dray­cote, Eye­brook, Rut­land and Grafham and I think it’s ex­cel­lent. On dry land the light­weight frame and carry bag make it easy to load on the boat no mat­ter how far the dock is from the car park. I’ve felt a lit­tle guilty while watch­ing my boat part­ner strug­gle un­der the weight of his much heav­ier seat. Be­ing able to fit other big items, such as rod tubes and drogues, in the bag makes it dou­bly use­ful. On the water, it is very com­fort­able – lean­ing against the back­rest re­ally takes off some of the strain and means I don’t end up look­ing like Quasi­modo. The tray is well po­si­tioned, but it’s worth keep­ing an eye on your ac­ces­sories when mo­tor­ing to a new drift as the vi­bra­tion from the en­gine can move them back­wards so that they drop on to the bot­tom of the boat through the gap be­tween tray and seat. There were no is­sues for me when man­ning the en­gine while sit­ting side on, but oth­ers may pre­fer to sit fac­ing for­ward at righ­tan­gles to the back-rest. The seat doesn’t lock in the ex­tended po­si­tion but it doesn’t slip un­der the weight of the an­gler and it ex­tends far enough to fit the vast ma­jor­ity of boats. The seat doesn’t swivel like some non-frame boat seats so cov­er­ing fish be­hind the boat is dif­fi­cult should you wish to do so. How­ever, it is not de­pen­dent on a sep­a­rate thwart board. If you pre­fer a seat that swivels it might be worth look­ing at the Air­flo Com­fort Zone Ro­tary (RRP £249.99) seat as an al­ter­na­tive while the Air­flo Com­fort Zone Deluxe is an­other fixed op­tion (RRP £199.99). The seat folds quickly and eas­ily with­out the need to un­screw or un­bolt any­thing. You can have ev­ery­thing stowed away in a mat­ter of min­utes. I think it’s a worth­while in­vest­ment for the reg­u­lar reser­voir, loch or lough an­gler and should last a life­time. It’s per­fectly suited to loch-style fish­ing, from a drift­ing boat.

“I've felt guilty watch­ing my boat part­ner strug­gle un­der the weight of his much heav­ier seat”

Deep pad­ding pro­vides com­fort and the broad back rest gives good sup­port.

The tray has am­ple space for fly-boxes and tools – but mind the gap in front of the seat.

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