No frills with this offering, as this is a simple sleeve without any padding. It was difficult to get a 12 ft two-piece into without a struggle; this may well be an issue for setting up quickly. Plus points are the Velcro patches for connecting multiple sleeves together for easy carrying. A wipe clean outer finish will stay looking good. The handle, despite being only simple webbing, is well balanced with a rod and reel inside. It is well attached to spread the load and should stand up to plenty of use.
SCORE: 22/30


This is one beast of a holdall, but possibly bigger than it needs to be. The adjustable shoulder strap is well placed and very comfortable. A carry-handle balances well but is not so well padded. Internally, it will accommodate a 12 ft two-piece with any size reel. Access is through a full length, high quality zip. Tough plastic base for protection, but again, no drainage, so you could end up with a smelly case very quickly. The fabric above the base will wipe clean after standing in mud for unpacking.
SCORE: 24/30


One of the original hard shell designs and still an excellent performer. Well padded, with a well placed strap that makes carrying a doddle, but a handle would finish the job. Will take a two-piece 12’ rod with good access via a strong zip. Not the slimmest model on offer, but not too bulky. The solid plastic base should take the knocks, but will not allow wet rods to drain. A reinforced area above the base adds extra security where it is needed. Double rod option is available, as is a shorter one for 11 ft rods.
SCORE: 26/30


Nice slimline design with ample padding and a sturdy base, easily swallows a two-piece 12 ft rod. Neoprene handle balances well for carrying and feels comfortable, but a shoulder strap would have helped. Extra padding at the rod tip is good. The zip looks sturdy, with good solid metal pullers having a soft touch rubber label for extra grip. An internal spool pocket allows the rod to be carried without a reel, nice touch. The reinforced base is a tight fit for a regular rod butt, but holds everything securely.
SCORE: 27/30


For such a cheap sleeve, the Dragon is very well appointed. The internal padding is reassuring, if not the best, and the handle and strap padding is very good. The internal finish will wipe clean. A 12 ft two-piece rod fits easily with the biggest of reels also slotting in. Ties to hold the rod safe are stitched inside, and an external clip can hang the sleeve up to dry. All webbing to attach the strap and zip looks to be very heavy duty. Overall, a bargain only let down by the level of padding for the rod.
SCORE: 27/30



A good price point and very heavy-duty fabric help the Nash sleeve to stand out. All fittings feel very tough, from the zip and pullers to the hoop for hanging the sleeve up and the pocket for an identifying label. No shoulder strap, which is a shame, but a very soft handle with perfect balance for carrying one handed. Swallows a 12 ft rod and big reel very easily and could also take a landing net handle to make an all-in-one short session solution. A worthy winner in a tight field.
SCORE: 28/30

NOTE: All products tested March 2012. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.