I have certainly been guilty in the past of looking for fashion over function when selecting a seatbox. Indeed, I probably made the ultimate sacrifice for doing so too – when my old ‘pretty’ box gave way, causing me to fall into the lake. I was also guilty of being very cynical when I first set eyes on a Nordik Octbox. My initial thought was that it looked like an oversized Meccano set, and I genuinely didn’t see a future for the brand. However, over time I came to realise that the Octbox has one key characteristic that a lot of other seatboxes don’t seem to have – every feature on it works brilliantly. The drawers open without sticking (and without the need for a pin), the screw mechanisms don’t slip or seize up, and the side table can hold as much bait as you can throw at it without bowing or requiring a supporting leg. From the moment that I made the switch to the Octbox, I was so impressed by these basic levels of performance that seemed so lacking in the competition. And that was before I fully understood just how well the box’s other features, add-ons and accessories integrated with the system.
The Meccano Effect
The Octbox system is far from simple. Indeed, it was only after several of its features were explained to me that I was able to properly understand how they work. All screws are high-quality, easy-grip, and Tom has never had one fail on him.
Take the outrigger for example. This concept totally eradicates the need for a platform by allowing one (or more) stabilising bars to be attached to the legs of the box. Longer legs can then be attached on to these bars, which means that, in theory, they can be lowered down to depths in excess of five feet. Plus, due to the construction of the legs and the sockets, there is no lateral movement, giving a feeling of supreme stability. So basically, if you own a D36 Octbox with an outrigger system, there is no need for a platform.
The feet are designed for use on commercial platforms and soft, natural banks.
You don’t need a seperate barrow either. The Octbox barrow system is by far the most versatile and stable that I have ever used, and works by allowing a large (one or two-wheel) housing to screw into two secure fittings on the base of the footplate. Handles slot straight into the back of the box unit and are secured by two locking nuts. I use the one-wheel option, which I believe to be the best for coping with rough terrain and uneven banks.
The Footplate Extension
One feature that I was deeply cynical about when I first set eyes on it was the front footplate extension. If you haven’t seen this yet, it is basically a metal extension that comes out around two feet from the front of the footplate. This has two 36mm sockets on the end of it, which can house either two accessory posts (which I often use to mount keepnets) or a bump bar. When I put aside my initial cynicism about this aspect of the system, I was actually really happy with how it worked – it definitely gives an advantage in certain situations. When fishing on your bump bar in a strong wind, for example, you are able to hold your pole much stiller than you can with a standard bump bar. This is because the bump bar is much further away from where you are holding the pole than it is with a standard model that attaches at the bottom of your footplate. Another advantage to this is that when the box is transformed into a trolley, your rod bag can be rested across the full length of your box system for increased stability. So my point is that the Octbox D36 is not only the best seatbox system that I have ever used but it transforms into a very usable barrow, doesn’t require a platform and boasts the best pole support system that I have ever put my hands on.
The only thing I would say about this system is that if you are an angler who only fishes venues with clean, flat banks, where you fish off platforms, or where you can park behind your peg, you are probably wasting your money buying it. There are plenty of other seatboxes on the market (including the Octbox D25) that offer great functionality at a fraction of the cost –and frankly the D36 offers features that you don’t actually need if this is the only kind of fishing that you do. Also, it is very bulky. For sure, it is nowhere near as bulky as transporting a standard seatbox, platform and pole support, but obviously the box with all its relevant attachments takes up quite a bit of space. But overall, as an angler who fishes rivers, canals and lakes, who often has to sit in the water, and generally needs to walk over rough terrain to get to his peg, I cannot speak highly enough about this system.
Nordik Octbox D36 System
More info: www.nordiktackle.net/
RRP: £666.25 (box only)
RRP: £935 (including accessory package with bump bar, wheel kit and side table)
Want to see the box in action?
Nordik has commissioned a 40-minute video with Tom using the system at Ferry Meadows near Peterborough
– visit the ‘55MADX’ YouTube channel to see it in action!