What can you bring in carry on? - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:16 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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What can you bring in carry on?

So what can be put in your carry on bag? I read an article where even Aquaseal is not allowed . Flies cannot be taken and I worry about the reel. Some have suggested that you can carry the reel frame and check the spare spool.
Anyone care to post a guideline as to what is allowed ? Thanks FishHawk.
PS. For general travel in the Bahamas.
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Old 11-06-2006, 05:53 AM
josko josko is offline
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I wanted to take a couple reels as carry-ons, so before checking in, I showed them to the TSA desk (in Providence) and asked if they would be OK as carryons. The guy looked at them and said, sure, no problem. I checked the rest of my gear, but a different TSA guy said no, can't take these aboard 'because they could be used as bludgeons.' I told him I'd just shown those very reels to the guy about 30' away, who said they would be OK as carryons. They conferred and said no, they can't be carried aboard, but I could choose not to travel.
Fortunately the airline found me a box,some bubblewrap and tape and allowed me to check the reels through. 'Happens all the time, they said.'

I also lost a box of San Juan river flies (size 20-26) at Albuquerque airport because: 'TSA has determined that fish hooks are weapons.' and I didn't have time to go back and check them.

You just never know with these folks.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:39 AM
wrke wrke is offline
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I've never had a problem carrying on reels.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:15 AM
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Vince Vince is offline
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I've never had a problem with reels either. I always check my flies, though I have heard they are now allowed in your carry on. Tried it with a small box last spring and there was no problem.
Don't bring it to the attention of anyone, and if they ask, it's just a fishing reel.
I guess you should pack a small box with bubble wrap just in case you're denied.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:44 AM
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http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1188.shtm

This is the latest from their website.

This piece is particularly relevant.

Expensive reels or fragile tackle such as fly's should be packed in your carry-on baggage.

You can also carry metal scissors with pointed tips as long as they are less than four inches in length.

I have also travelled with reels in my carry on (March last year transatlantic). But the regulations seem to change all the time. There also seems to be a certain amount of TSA discretion.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:16 PM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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Your final statement is the critical one. Guys have even carried copies of the TSA regulations with them and have been told that it didn't matter. The only way to be sure is to check everything. It bothered me at first, but now I do it without even thinking about it, and I take 10-12 fishing trips a year. I could burn out this server with stories of guys who thought they'd have no problems taking reels, travel rods, flies, and fly tying gear on board as carry-ons. The truth is you'll get by more often than not. It's those times when you don't that creates a problem. That's especially true if you cut it close as to when you get to the airport and end up without enough time to go back to check-in, stand in line again, and then stand in line to go through security screening again. I do not anticipate living long enough to see this security screening becoming predictable again. I think there is every intent on the part of TSA to make it unpredictable, and it's not to drive us fishermen and other legitimate travelers nuts. I think they hope it is an effective deterrent to terroists.
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Old 11-12-2006, 05:25 AM
figen figen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
The only way to be sure is to check everything. It bothered me at first, but now I do it without even thinking about it, and I take 10-12 fishing trips a year. I could burn out this server with stories of guys who thought they'd have no problems taking reels, travel rods, flies, and fly tying gear on board as carry-ons. The truth is you'll get by more often than not. It's those times when you don't that creates a problem.
I agree with your description but not your conclusion. I've never been denied any gear when flying from or to the US, with most of my bonefish travel going through ORD,FLL and MIA. Worst case scenerio is that you have to trek back and check some stuff (after attempting multiple security checkpoints of course on larger airports) which really isn't a big deal with a little planning. I keep a small backpack in my small suitcase, which gives me a container for checking the specifics that rubbed the TSA the wrong way. As you point out the gear is allowed more often than not, my guess would be 90% ++. Since final decision is up to the local TSA, there will always be horror stories about senseless enforcement. However, considering there is a good plan B (check in if denied), I wouldn't recommend biting the bullet and checking in without a fight. Only if there was not enough time to do so (and having heard specific bad reports about that airport), checking iit makes sense. I've never lost luggage, but have had fishing gear delayed 7 times. I also have a slight suspision someone might have stolen some reels from my checked luggage on my last flight, I was a couple reels short but might have left them elsewhere. Delays and theft are not a problem as carry-on.

Also, the airlines can restrict carry-on size and content. Never had a problem with AA. The recent restrictions are on liquids and creams. It's worth while not having any visible (on xray) bottles or tubes, if you carry risk items put them easily accessible to prevent the TSA from searching through your entire luggage and getting bright ideas about fishing gear that would normally go through undetected or without intervention. So buy your toothpaste, sunscreen and other Axis Of Evil Products(tm) when you land in Bahamas or after passing through security for your last flight.
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:42 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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I think our conclusions reflect our circumstances. Heading back to check-in and going through security again is relatively easy in some airports and a real nightmare in others. Standing in line at check-in can suck up a lot of time. Being charged for the additional piece of luggage, usually about $75.00, is annoying, and then having to stand in line at security again---well you choose your poison. Some airports, like Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Boston, LaGuardia, and O'Hare in my experience, can have 30 minute waits or longer at security. That's stress I just don't care to deal with. I mentioned earlier that I had numerous stories of friends of mine who missed flights, etc. due to all these hassles. Trying a different security lane can get you in big trouble. I had an English friend of mine try that one at LaGuardia, I believe, and security delayed him long enough that he missed his flight to Nassau. Another friend tried to create a little too much of an issue regarding his reels at check-in and was also placed in a room to see a supervisor. Only they also delayed him long enough to miss his flight. You can "fight" (your words) if you want. I just don't think it's worth the hassle.

Another point. Getting through security with all your stuff at O'Hare, for example, doesn't necessarily solve your problem. Just as one example, if you fly through Boston to get where you're going, and have to change terminals to catch your connecting flight, guess what? You'll have to go through security again and there's no check-in to run back to as you checked in at O'Hare. There are several airports in the US and elsewhere that has security at each terminal. What might be allowed through in one city might not pass muster in another. Obviously, you can do as you wish as we all have different abilities to deal with that kind of stress. I just find all the hassles of flying to be enough stress without putting myself in a position of creating more. Perhaps I'll feel differently if I have a major loss of gear someday. I have had fishing gear delayed in the past and it isn't fun. However, today that seems to be happening far less frequently as security wants everyone's luggage on the same plane as the passenger. If you check your baggage claim stubs before leaving the check-in line you'll rarely lose luggage or have it sent to the wrong airport. That leaves theft and damage as pretty much the sole potential problems, and I'm sure that the % of that happening is well below 1% and probably below 0.1%
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:54 AM
gunner gunner is offline
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It seems to me that the economies of enough states depends on fishing and hunting to a large degree, that if all sportsmen wrote/emailed the governors of your home state and the states you visit, telling them of this pain in the A$$ treatment, might get things a little more consistent. Telling a governor that losing several hundred dollars in flies or lines or reels or rods, etc is an inducement not to visit his state again might cause them to talk to the US senators and congressmen and maybe the President and get some consistent rules out of TSA.
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:57 PM
figen figen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
I just don't think it's worth the hassle.
All good points, in the end I think the odds are so good it's worth trying to carry on, your post outline all the gotchas (heh heh) one should be aware of. Familiarity with airports helps a lot, ORD used to be my home airport and I can use the frequent flier check-in and security lines, so an extra trek wouldn't take me more than 10 minutes max, and as long as I'm within the 45 minute cut-off for luggage, I'm in good shape. Just for the heck of it, I've carried a flybox in my regular laptop case since 2003, I've passed through ORD well over 50 times with no issues. ORD is the best airport I've frequently used as it relates to TSA, btw, it's a perfect airport for trying a different security checkpoint, LGA is not!

As a colleague of mine used to say, if you don't miss at least 2 flights a year, you're spending too much time in the airport! I admit to sometimes making a game out of how late one can get to the airport, to have some good warstories to trumph colleagues etc.. But when going fishing it's a different matter, then I want some padding to minimize the risk of trouble and also protect non-ref tickets. Your gameplan is a good one for the minimizing stress especially for an infrequent flyer, but I still think I have better odds of making it with all my gear on time to my destination than you, but I'm closer to a serious screwup should I run into exceptionally bad luck or be sloppy with the plan B (time, packaging, TSA etc), but I'm confident I know the system well enough to navigate such a situation should it occur.

Ideally, one could also consider fed-exing a barebone set in advance (one rod, one reel, handful of flies) just to mitigate risk. My last trip had my rods come 5(!) days late, that could have been disasterous if I wasn't merely returning home.

I've got a new "home airport" now, I will find out in two weeks what they think of carry-on!
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:30 AM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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I carried on my flies, reels, sunblock, clothes, rods, nippers, and pliers last Feb. to the Bahamas with no issues until I wanted to come back and the Nassau Secuirty guy said that TSA regs didn't apply to them. I pleaded hangover and he let me go.

I just returned from Harker's Island and carried four reels, three spools and four rods, as well as vhf and gps on and some flies with no hassle. They did take my toothpaste though.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:01 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunner
It seems to me that the economies of enough states depends on fishing and hunting to a large degree, that if all sportsmen wrote/emailed the governors of your home state and the states you visit, telling them of this pain in the A$$ treatment, might get things a little more consistent. Telling a governor that losing several hundred dollars in flies or lines or reels or rods, etc is an inducement not to visit his state again might cause them to talk to the US senators and congressmen and maybe the President and get some consistent rules out of TSA.
I hope this post was tongue-in-cheek. The chances of a few fishing lodge owners in second and third world countries, or even other states in the USA, having any bearing on our security procedures are nil. I said it in an earlier post, the TSA doesn't want its procedures to be consistent. There are a whole lot of reasons for it, but one of them surely is intended to make things a lot more difficult for terrorists. Even if nothing happens on the terroist front in the next ten years (which I feel is dreaming) I don't think the rules will be any more predictable than they are now. I also think if you sit down and think the whole thing through you'll realize that in the long run it's probably best that way. It's an inconvenience, for sure, but so is making things too easy for those with horrible intentions.

Titleguy,
It's been pointed out numerous times that more often than not you'll get through security with those items. The problem is that about 20% of the time you won't. Having been successful one time doesn't mean you can count on it every time. The TSA rules printed on their website specifically say that one can carry-on both fishing reels and your hand-tied flys (sic.) However, it also says on that site that final discretion rests with the TSA officials on duty at the time. The inference is that if you don't want to be hassled about not being able to bring something on board then check it in. Americans always seem to want to find to a way to fight, and then beat, the system. Part of it is the resistance on many about being told what they can and cannot do by a federal government employee. Believe me when I tell you, this is a case where you're not likely to win. Every fly fishing travel service, like Frontier's and Angler Adventures, are quite frank about advising its clients to check through all fishing tackle in order to avoid a hassle. Few of us have as much experience with the "system" as they do.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:13 AM
titleguy titleguy is offline
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I agree with you points Adrian. I have never had any trouble with any TSA employee while carrying on my gear. In fact, I have travelled more with tackel since 9/11 than before and find the folk I have dealt with to be much more understanding than before. Obviously, final discretion rests with the particular screener, but I have yet to have to ask someone to get a supervisor for me. But they still took my toothpaste while letting me carry on a spey rod in a tube.

Just as you commented earlier, americans are always looking for a way to get around or beat the system ( some might call the lawyer's full employment act) Americans also want to reduce the issue to the most black and white example ( exalting form over function) The reality is that if someone wants to do something again; they will.


BTW- Not one albies to the boat in 5 1/2 days. Did have one good offshore day.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:38 AM
gunner gunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
I hope this post was tongue-in-cheek...
Actually, it was not. A very large portion of Maine's economy depends on tourists, and a large portion of that is fishermen. Florida derives a large portion of its ecomony from fishermen. The same applies to many other states. Those states have every right to request that Federal rules and regulations be enforced in a consistent manner, with variations from that procedure in cases with an articulated reason for the variation -- i.e., guy didn't really look, act or talk like a fishermen -- didn't know his gear, fish, or some such and the probability existed for other reason for bringing "fishing" gear onboard -- so the guy gets jerked from the line and undergoes a more thorough examination.

American have a tendency to go along with rules if they make sense. Its when they are "enforced" by jerks who like to exercise their power just because they can that Americans get P O'd at the treatment and question the need for the rule. The rule shouldn't be: "Assume that the TSA agent will be a jerk, rather than a professional." Especially since the news just announced that lost luggage complaints are up 90% since the latest TSA regs went into effect. Totally unacceptable IMHO and a very good reason NOT to put valuables in checked luggage.

Last edited by gunner; 11-13-2006 at 01:51 PM. Reason: added info and spelling correction
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:37 PM
figen figen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
you'll get through security with those items. The problem is that about 20% of the time you won't.
I think the percentage is significantly lower, and with 1st hand and recent reports from the airports one will pass through, the probability of success should be in the area of 95% to 98%. Well, at least we agree on that there is a risk, of potentially great magnitude if there is no feasible Plan B.

I would think, well really guessing, that the chances of luggage being delayed is about 2-3% on average domestically, probably somewhat higher internationally. With infrequent flight schedules and a couple of wacky connections, the delay could easily add up and seriously interfer with the fishing. Of course, with 2 or more traveling together, it's less likely both sets are delayed, and I guess we all bring a handful of spare rods, right? Either way, the check-in method is not 100% either.
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