Flys in carry-on? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flys in carry-on?

04-07-2012, 09:02 AM
Heading to the Bahamas later this month. With most of my "stuff" already there, I can easily get by with just a carry-on bag and avoid the hassle of checking a bag, retrieving it in Nassau, etc. I've been busy at the vise and have flys I want to take. In the past I've heard the TSA on occasion won't let flys go thru in carry-ons and I can check a bag if necessary but would rather not. Would like to hear from anyone with current status on flys and airport security. I realize my flys don't look all that good, but how threatening can they be in the eyes of a TSA agent? - John Pool

04-07-2012, 10:01 AM
You shouldn't have any problem. I always carry mine on. One or two trips a year all thru Nassau and as recently as December.

04-07-2012, 10:59 AM
I always try to carry on enough to fish even if my main bag is lost. I've been lucky 100% of the time but they don't have to let me do it, I am sure if they wanted to bust 'em. I split out essential flies into a separate small foam box.

US usually allows you to get to Nassau, but it's airline by airline on small carriers to the out islands.

I pack everything in the big suitcase on the way back.

04-08-2012, 11:11 AM
I was in the Bahamas in early March and had the same concerns . I had no problems with the flies I packed in my carry on , but to be on the safe side I had a box of flies in my luggage also .

04-08-2012, 03:57 PM
In the last 7 trips over the last 3 years I've only had one issue and that was from Nassau back to Boston. I had to check my carry-on because of the flies. Cleary it's who's on duty and how they "feel" that day.


04-11-2012, 02:43 PM
I have spoken several times to TSA inspectors and supervisors in the last two years regarding carry-on flies. At least in Portland, Oregon and Hawaii the TSA folks said as long as the hooks were not giant off-shore big game hooks, there should be no trouble. I showed them my fly box for a coho salmon trip to Alaska and for a trip to Christmas Island. The bonefish flies (up to #2) and salmon flies (up to 1/0), as well as the 2/0 and 4/0 Trevally flies were no problem. If I had any concern about the size of the flies in my carry-on luggage, one inspector suggested splitting up larger flies (e.g. 4/0 flies) between carry-on and checked luggage, in case some individual TSA person had any concerns.

04-11-2012, 09:31 PM
I always carry a copy of the TSA regulations, which state you shoud carry your flies on. That way I can show them to an agent if they don't want to permit me to carry the flies on.

Fishing Rods / Poles - Fishing Rods are permitted as carry-on and checked baggage. However, please check with your air carrier to confirm that it fits within their size limitations for carry-on items. Ultimately, it is the carrier's decision as to whether or not it can be transported as carry-on baggage.

Tackle Equipment - Fishing equipment should be placed in your checked baggage. Some tackle equipment can be considered sharp and dangerous. Expensive reels or fragile tackle such as fly's should be packed in your carry-on baggage.

04-12-2012, 01:15 PM
I carry that on, too, but don't count on it necessarily working. I've had friends who've tried to carry on things those rules say should be OK, only to be denied anyway. If an agent is new and may not know those particular rules, it might work. Otherwise, it's likely to get you in hot water if you don't keep your cool. There are a few places on that website that clearly states that the agents on duty have the final say. So the rules are more guidelines than hard and fast rules. And those rules have no impact at all in airports outside of the US. Things are way better today than they were several years ago regarding carrying on fishing equipment, but you have to realize that doing so even today may mean being inconvenienced when an agent on duty decides he/she isn't going to cooperate. Allow enough time to be able to get back to check-in and the be able able to get through security again.

04-12-2012, 01:40 PM
Agreed Jr Spey.
But it can't hurt to take them with you, and of course, always keep your cool.

Casting at Shadows
04-13-2012, 02:03 PM
Interesting subject. I had always considered them to be dangerous items in the eyes of airport security but it's interesting what the rules say. I'll be taking them in hand luggage next time :)

04-13-2012, 02:55 PM
The earlier comment about non-US air travel is something to consider. About 3 years ago, one member of our regular fishing group was flying from Honduras to meet up with the rest of us to fish in Belize. The airline flying out of Honduras would not allow him to carry on his large Abel and Ross fly reels - there appeared to be some security concern about the fly lines on the reels. After some discussions, the security officials gave the reels to the co-pilot for safekeeping in the cockpit. The fly reels were returned to our colleague as he departed the plane in Belize. You can't assume anything when flying outside the US.

08-04-2012, 05:25 PM
As Mr. Jones has said, TSA actually recommends carrying on "expensive flies". I carry a copy in case a TSA agent has had a bad morning. However, that's the US agents. Other countries are weird about this stuff. For example, you can carry your rods on flying into British Overseas Territories, but not out of them. No one knows why. Reels are fine. Hooks of any kind are not.

But, what I say is, when I'm flying home who cares what they do with my flies. As for the rods, 2 words: Trip Insurance.