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.