I’ve been an angler boy and man for over 39 years now and have learned that if you use the best equipment you can afford to buy the whole angling experience become far more enjoyable. I’m also a strong believer in the rule ‘if you look after your gear it will last you a lifetime’ and after spending your hard earned cash on top quality tackle then surely your luggage used to transport it should be produced to a similar standard.
Admittedly when it comes to spending money on tackle, luggage will never be at the top of many anglers list. However, for those serious anglers out there who demand reliable protection for there tackle when it in transit, there is one name in the world of angling that has built a very well deserved reputation for top end build quality and all round reliability and that name is Cotswold Aquarius.
UKMA had a recently had a chat with the midlands based companies MD Jamie Kemp as we went in search of the perfect bag to cover the requirements of the day or overnight session angler, and after some careful consideration he finally decided to send the Midi Pathfinder over for the UKMA team to have a play with and after eight weeks of abuse here’s how it performed out on the bank.
Dimensions 17” x 8” x 13” (432mm x 204mm x 330mm)
The Midi Pathfinder carry all is made from the standard hard wearing waterproof green material that is standard in all Cotswold Aquarius product. The bags top cover incorporates a zipped flat pocket on the outer face suitable for licences, documents and permits. The lid also features a retaining hook on top flap for prompt opening and can be fastened to the front via a plastic triangle to securely close the bag.
When you release the two large plastic locking clips on the front and fold back the top cover. This reveals the Gladstone easy access opening system which is fully zipped opening system that has a thin fold out metal frame that is more commonly found on old style physician’s bags and top opening brief cases. This is a totally unique feature that I have never seen used on angling luggage and I really like it.
Once the zip has been fully opened, the folded down rectangular frame can then be pulled up to create easy access to all your bits and pieces inside the bags main internal compartment. Inside the 400 x 200 x 280mm (LWD) compartment you will find several internal pouches and elastics loops to make the storage of all your small, loose tackle and accessory items a nice and tidy affair.
To assist the cavernous main compartment you also have a large zipped front pocket that is padded and lined and will comfortably house the largest of tackle boxes on the market including the Nash Boxlogic large capacity tackle box which measures 334mm x 230mm x 55mm (LWD). On the front of this pocket you have two further front pockets with Velcro flaps for smaller items.
At either end of the Midi Pathfinder you have two fully padded and lined pockets with full zips that are the perfect size for storage of standard sized reels in a hard case or your cooker and a gas canister. At the rear of the bag is a zipped rear pocket, this is home to an Innovative and versatile fold down padded, wipe clean mat with pegging points that can be used to sit the bag on or can be used as an unhooking mat.
The Midi Pathfinder also incorporates a further flat Velcro fastened sizable rear flat pocket that is suitable for splash mats and other flat items. To finish off this Tardis of a bag off, you have a tough reinforced wipe clean base, the well padded carry handle and fully adjustable and detachable cushioned shoulder strap, making transportation of the Midi Pathfinder easy both on and off of a barrow.
Over the past eight weeks I have used the Midi Pathfinder on several occasions, loading it up to bursting capacity and it coped perfectly with all stitching, zips and fixtures performing perfectly, as you would expect from a piece of Cotswold Aquarius luggage. Even when carrying a lead bag loaded with over 15kg of big leads and all my overnight equipment not a sign of any stress or weakness.
What you get when you buy the Midi Pathfinder is a very piratical carry all that incorporates numerous clever features that other manufacturers simply miss. The inclusion of a fixed in padded mat is a totally brilliant idea as it can serve numerous purposes. All in all this is one hell of a fine piece of luggage and worth every penny of the £124.99 price its all round performance and build quality deserves.