TRIED & TESTED
DOES THE CLASSIC RUTLAND BOAT SEAT STILL PASS MUSTER?
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.