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Fly Rods on Plane

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On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 2:41 PM, BNickW said:

Ouch. $75 is steep.

 That is (relatively) cheap. Many airlines charge around $200 for a third bag

Edited by crashq

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On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 5:13 AM, ifsteve said:

... I have a case that holds four - four piece rods...

Is your tube the Sage Ballistic Tube?  I have been using a standard 3-inch diameter plastic tube that is long enough to fit three piece 9 foot rods, so I can carry on three 9-foot saltwater rods. . It fits behind luggage in a standard overhead bin and , thus, does not take up any space. I recently bought a Sage Ballistic Tube that fits four - four piece rods. It is 6 inches in diameter, and probably won't fit in the same space without affecting the other luggage. Often the flight attendant will ask if I want to put the tube in the closet, but I cannot rely on that.

 

How large is your tube in diameter, and did you fit it in the overhead?

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Some of the issues with carrying rods on board (domestically) are:

1) Flight crew will not allow you to place them on the floor or against the wall if they see that. They don't want projectiles or interference with passenger footing in the event of an emergency landing. If the tube does not fit in the overhead unobtrusively, you may get bothered by the flight crew.  If you are nice they sometimes put them in the closet (by 1st Class). I probably get a little special treatment regarding that because of frequent flyer miles, airline credit card, and I often buy the premium coach seat.

 

2) Some newer  airlines have different  size overhead bins.  One of the new airbuses that I flew on had short (pull-down) overhead bins that were only two-suitcases long. My longer three-piece tube did not fit.  Usually the standard aircraft 737, A32X, 767, etc. have long enough overhead bins. but smaller jet aircraft like Embraer, Fokker have smaller bins that won't fit with any suitcases. Forget puddle jumpers.  I carried on my reels/backpack on a semi-charter. I sat on the flight for an hour with the backpack in my lap. Overhead was miniscule.  Always check what aircraft you are flying. I have flown with two-piece rod tube in the past, but it is a crap shoot.

 

3) Boarding last can be an issue (i.e. late check-in coach or the new supersaver fares).  Flights are generally full, which usually means that the bins are full when you board last. It can make it difficult to put your tubes in the overhead because you cannot put them in the empty space behind hard case bags. Shorter four piece rods can often be place on top of a couple side-by-side soft-sided bags.

 

Some of the issues with checking rods are:

A) Rod safety - Many of the factory tubes or aftermarket plastic rod tubes will not hold up to baggage machinery and tarmac equipment. I have a 4 inch diameter schedule 40 PVC tube that I use when I check (surf and fly) rods. It has always works, but it requires paying for an extra bag. A couple buddies have rod tubes crushed. On a flight to the Bahamas from Miami, we watched them load a buddies rod tube that was crushed with rods sticking out.

 

In addition, my 4-pc rod tubes barely fit diagonally into my semi-soft roller bag. I have to wedge it in there. If the bag is treated  as badly as most luggage, I expect  the rods to incur damage eventually in checked in a non-hardcase bag.

 

B) Rod Security - Our local fly shop owner had his Sage spey rod stolen out of his luggage on American Airlines on an Argentina trip.

 

C) Damage reimbursement - Most airlines havea a damage waiver that specifically excludes fishing rods, classifying them as fragile item, no matter how they are packed.  They won't reimburse you for damaged (and sometimes even stolen) rods. The fly shop owner  (see above) was not reimbursed for his stolen rod. Another buddy who reinforced his rod tube with Kevlar wraps could not get reimbursed when it fell off the luggage trolley and was run over and crushed by a tug towing a plane.

 

D)  Weight - I typically pack a single bag that ends up weighing 47-50 lbs. Adding three pounds of rods and tubes can throw me over weight, which adds about $80. or $35 each way if I want to risk checking the rods on there own in the basic rod tube.

 

For best results pack them in a hard case bag or check them in a indestructible tube. Also, do not check them in a name brand tube. Thieves look for that.

 

Domestically and to the Alaska and the Bahamas carry on four piece rod tubes

Edited by crashq

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For higher end rods (Sage, Loomis, Orvis etc...) I would say replace the original travel tube with a non-flashy but well protected tube of some kind, no logo.  Thieves who target fly rods are going to go for the top brands and a metal Sage tube says "steal me".  Just my 2 cents.

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Brian

 

We are seeing more and more multi piece rods now. I have some Salmon Logic Two Hand rods and they are designed to fit into your carry on bag.

 

It is a pain the charges to carry either another 50 lb checked bad or a rod case. Both cost from the U.K. $100 each way. My philosophy is pretty pragmatic these days. I see these charges as a simple additional cost . If I want to travel abroad to fish then I have to pay. There is some balance mind as air fares in the last couple of years have fallen a lot.

 

This year my return ticket to Boston Logan from U.K. was just £342. Two years ago it was around £ 520. Swings and roundabouts.

 

Guys flying with 4 piece 9 foot rods are fine. Rods around 10 feet are just going to cost us. Not so bad if fishing in a group and sharing a rod case.

 

oly

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Allen Cottonwood case. $65  on Amazon. Have 2 fly rods in it and a 7ft 3 piece tide master travel rod with room for more. Outer dimensions: 31.5″ x 9.5″ x 6″. 

Case.jpg

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I generally have no issues carrying fly rods on planes - however, due to my own self imposed level of apprehension, I don't carry any metal tubes with me (I have a couple of plastic tubes I can use when travelling)

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On 1/25/2019 at 5:43 AM, ifsteve said:

Unless you aren't checking any baggage I just don't see much advantage to not checking your rod tubes if they will fit into your checked bag. Not like you are saving any time or money and its a lot more convenient than having to carry them around airports.

there is one advantage to not checking it... expensive rods have been stolen from checked bags.

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On 2/5/2019 at 0:54 AM, crashq said:

Is your tube the Sage Ballistic Tube?  I have been using a standard 3-inch diameter plastic tube that is long enough to fit three piece 9 foot rods, so I can carry on three 9-foot saltwater rods. . It fits behind luggage in a standard overhead bin and , thus, does not take up any space. I recently bought a Sage Ballistic Tube that fits four - four piece rods. It is 6 inches in diameter, and probably won't fit in the same space without affecting the other luggage. Often the flight attendant will ask if I want to put the tube in the closet, but I cannot rely on that.

 

How large is your tube in diameter, and did you fit it in the overhead?

No the one I have is a Clear Creek and its about 4 inches square. I have not tried to put four larger rods in it but will be trying that today to see if it will work for my Seychelles trip. Not sure (in fact I think they won't fit) it will hold my 9, 10, and two 12s. If not then I am going to buy a piece of light plastic piping at Lowes. Cut it down to 34" length and maybe even drill holes in it to reduce weight since weight is going to be a major issue for this trip.

 

Follow up: As expected, one 9, one 10, and two 12s don't fit.

Edited by ifsteve

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Based on you cutting git to 34", I expect that you are trying to fit the rods into your checked luggage.  If you want to carry them on, I find that if you use a longer (3pc length) tube that you can fit one more 4 piece rod into the same diameter tube because this keeps the handles from overlapping larger guides or other handles. I think mine are 38-40" long versus 32-33" for a 4-pc tube. The length need to be about a foot longer than the rod sections, because the handles are about a foot long.

 

Let us know what you do and how it works.

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Thought I'd add to this thread. Flew back from San Juan today. Rods, reels no problem, but I had a box of 100 flies in my carry on. It took 4 TSA inspectors about 10 minutes to decide it was not a major threat and let me through. They removed each fly from the foam, looked at the hook size and put them back. Very polite, most were size 1s and no issue but there was a 3/0 Cockroach in there they did not like as much. If you're flying through there might be best to put flies in a checked bag.

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just returned from a trip to Guatemala.   Checked 6 rods and reels.  Our FP travel bag gave up the ghost after countless trips.  Sarah got the Patagonia 120L roller duffle from Patagonia.  Great bag but little rod protection so we found some light 4" PVC pipe and cut it 4 piece rod  lengths --each could hold 4 rods.  Worked well.  To insure there is over head space for our camera bags etc we always book comfort+ seats.  A few 100 bucks more but always have room for camera bags that way or rod case if we chose to carry on rods and more leg room 

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