Sorry Fred. I've had too many friends and acquaintances told they can't bring the reels on the plane. You know, you might storm the cabin with an intermediate line, or gosh forbid a lead core head!
I'm not so much worried about not having it at the destination. That would be terrible, but not the end of the world. Having to replace the stuff after disappearing forever is the fear. One of the reels would be very hard to replace (solid spool Billy Pate Tarpon), financially it would be a HUGE blow, and emotionally... well, these things have been around with me, you know?
Current plan is rod tube and reel bag in a large duffel along with clothes and such.
I'll check the insurance front you listed.
"I'm not fat, I just have a sweet hockey body!" Eric Cartman