Travelling with a long rod [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Travelling with a long rod

05-10-2004, 09:59 AM
Airline regulations seem to change more than the wind as of late, and I'm wondering if someone who has travelled within the last few months with a long rod can give me some info. I'm headed for Sarasota end of next week to meet with my boss and spend some time out on the water. I have two options available to me for fly fishing: my 7-piece 6-wt. saltwater rod, which breaks down to 20" (total length of case), or my Atlantis, which is somewhere in the realm of 48" broken down. I would think that bringing the 6-wt. would be far easier in terms of travel, however it limits me to fishing for relatively small fare and I'm not sure if wind will be a problem along the west coast of Florida at this time of year. I'd rather bring the Atlantis and fish for the tarpon, snook, and jacks that frequent the area, as well as any cobia we happen to spot. But the question is how do I get down there by plane?

John Desjardins
05-10-2004, 10:45 AM
Since your going to have to check the bag with your flys, take the rod you want as a checked item. Oh, I haven't had a problem with a 5 piece 9' rod sans case strapped to the outside of my bag 1/2 dozen times since 9/11. A steel shank in my shoes & cheddar cheese in the bag gave me trouble but not the rod.

05-10-2004, 12:00 PM
Chris -

Send me your address and I will mail you a Yazoo Mills shipping tube that even luggage gorillas can't crush. Check it as baggage and don't worry about it in the cabin, they might prevent you from bringing even the shorty on board anyway.

What I recently did was pack the Atlantis in said shipping tube inside a rectangular long box of the same length. This box had paddles, stripping basket, raingear, boots, all kinds of stuff alongside the rod tube inside it. Not even the outer box was harmed, the inner tubes and rods were totally fine.

Hope that helps.

05-10-2004, 12:07 PM
Juro - Will do. I'm flying out next Thursday at the crack of dawn; I'd much rather have the Atlantis with me than the lighter rod. I just hope to have some viable shots at big fish. Traded my LS3.5 up for a 4 to handle the line.

05-11-2004, 06:01 AM
Chris, if you are trying to travel with only carry-on lugggage, in the continental US, you can always FedEx the rod in Juro's shipping tube.

This is especially cost-effective if you mark the tube, " Office Supplies," and bring it down to your company's shipping department.

Or, so I have heard......

05-11-2004, 06:16 AM
Thanks Jay, don't think I didn't think of that, but the office is in Atlanta and I'm in NY. I'll probably have one other piece of checked luggage as well as one carry-on. I imagine that my reel will have to travel in the checked luggage, as it will be loaded with line that might be considered dangerous. I know my flies will be checked. Just hope the airlines don't lose any of it!

Jere Eshelman
05-11-2004, 07:57 AM
Chris, I've traveled several times with the long rods as checked luggage packed into a long Bazooka rod case(injected plastic) and had no trouble getting it checked even though it's length is greater than the airlines say they will allow. The security people open the case and even take the case apart since it is telescopic but it has always gotten to my destination. I have always carried my reels in my carry on (lined) and they were allowed in Harrisburg, Chicago, BWI, seattle, Reagan, Dulles, and Vancouver. Terrace, B.C. was the only place that forced me to check my reels, and for that I've Sworn I won't go back. The TSA did confiscate my boot repair kit in Ketchekan, AK because it had a volital solvent included in the kit.

05-11-2004, 08:02 AM
Hi Jere,
I've come to find that flying out of any New York City regional airport (JFK, LGA, and Newark) is grounds for them to red-flag you with what would seem to normal people to be the most innocuous of items. It's okay, if the luggage gets lost, I'm upgrading my Litespeed to a Loop 8-Eleven!:hehe:

05-12-2004, 12:00 PM


Attached is the TSA document that addresses most of your questions. I was forced to check the bag with my reels and flies on the way to the Bahamas because I also had a pair of pliers that when combined with sharp flies could be considered a weapon. On the way back I removed the pliers and flies and had no issues with the reels. My advice would be to pack a carryon that could be checked if neccessary for your reels and flies but all other tackle should be checked. I also had no problem with a 5 piece rod and saw a few three piece rods allowed on the plane.


05-12-2004, 12:10 PM
Looks like I'll be carrying the reel on board with me and checking everything else. Thanks for the information regarding the regulations.

05-12-2004, 12:27 PM
Did you get the tube yet? You should have it, if not let me check the tracking number...

BTW, having traveled quite a bit with rods and reels I find it best just to check the gear and not be hassled by security. I wouldn't want to be them when it comes to nix'ing anglers' dreams but I also see where they are coming from... better safe than sorry.

05-12-2004, 12:29 PM
Hasn't arrived as of yet... :confused:

Pat Bahan
05-18-2004, 07:40 PM
This is why I am adding multi-piece rods to my arsenol. I used to travel with the "bazooka" full of rods as checked (pre9-11) with naturally no problems. :rolleyes: well there was this time back in the 70s, I got to Key West for a week of fishing and my tackle boxes and reels had been routed to Denver. Somehow they had it all there at O:dark thirty the next morning though. I never missed a minute of fishing. Anyway I'm leaving for Cancun on the 30th with 4 takedowns in one of Cabela's Stowaway travel cases with the built in takedown tubes. I carried my reels and flies last year and they were very accomodating but it was a hastle for me so this trip its all going checked.
Good luck with your fishing in Florida.

05-18-2004, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by flyfisha1
Hasn't arrived as of yet... :confused:

Got your PM, glad you got the tube. Looking forward to the reports.

05-18-2004, 08:17 PM
I bought a plano bazooka tube and have never had a problem checking it and so far it has always showed up. It holds a lot of rods and the airlines have always been good about checking it without extra charges . I also check my flies and reels but make sure to spread them out in different bags to increase the likelyhood if something bad happens I will not lose everything.

I have actually moved away from multi piece rods as of late cause now that you have to check them I see no need to worry about packability and I save a little cash on the rods themselves.


05-18-2004, 09:53 PM
Sean - you make a very good point regarding multi-piece rods and travelling by commercial plane to remote locations; I'll be happy when the tube comes out in the luggage carousel in Sarasota, and then again when I arrive back in Newark. I'm bringing a 7-piece 6-wt. rod along, checked in my baggage. I'M PSYCHED!!! Hopefully the fish will be cooperative... Report to come next Tuesday... Thanks to all for your help and input! Juro, I owe you one!

Pat Bahan
06-06-2004, 06:06 PM
I'm back. I have to admit I chickened out at the last minute and threw my reels in a travel bag which I carried. The rods went fine in the Cabela's Stowaway system but I just couldn't bring myself to put the reels in the luggage and take the chance on some unscrupulous handler walking off with $1200 worth of MY reels. (Not that most of them would have any idea what they had in their hands) The B------s did tear up one of the zippers on a brand new travel bag. :tsk_tsk: