hairyfishhead

Travel Rod Troubles

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17 posts in this topic

I wanted to share a recent experience I had while traveling with multi piece rods as this seems to be a hot topic as of late. 


I usually travel with a rod that breaks down into 65cm sections for international trips where fishing is a bonus, not main purpose so it fits inside my checked bag. International travel with a 3-4ft rod tube on the side of a backpack + rolling carry on can be touchy (been there done that). This time my checked bag was pretty full on my return flight so I carried on my rod tube with a duffel bag.
 

However, at the international security check in at airport, I was told my rod tube was “too long” and needed to be 60cm. Still digging into the “why” of this policy but with a language barrier and limited time, I called a friend who could fortunately come get my rod to ship to me. The airline had no issue with rod tube size, but the country’s airport security policy specified this despite allowing others with long instrument cases and strollers to pass by…

 

I travel a lot and with rods so this was unusual to me, but it is worth being aware of that something like this can happen. Call your airline first, then check countries baggage size policy and have a back up plan just in case. Haven’t dealt with this before and hopefully won’t again but I’m very thankful a friend could help or else I would have been screwed.

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My general experience with airlines is to never expect any decision to be rooted in any kind of logic or reason. I've had bags well below the size limits be gate checked while I watched dozens of oversized bags cruise past me, as well as visa versa. It's pushed me to travel lighter, which in the end has been a real blessing. I also trust UPS / FedEx a lot more than any airline in terms of not losing my baggage.

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Posted (edited)

Always double check with specific airline rules. 

 

Dont use a hard tube. Use those soft bags rods often come with. Sometimes they are more slack seeing a soft cloth bag than a hard 3-4 diameter tube.

 

Always try your best to keep the rod bag under 26", because international carryon size is generally 21~x15x8-9 inch.  The diagonal is about 26". You can always try to fight that dimension in mind. 

 

Expensive reels in carry bag with clothes. Can carry a few lures or jigs, no hooks. No leader rolls, spare line, tools.  Buy those cheap at destination. Expendable.

 

The few times ive gone overseas i have not had issues. When im unsure or the airline, need longer rods or 1pc sticks, i just pay like $60-150 to ship everything express a few days ahead of time.

 

I tend not to even bring a checked bag. I pack light, if i need an extra shirt or pants. Again, buy it at destination for cheap.

 

But all this is moot depending if you got a mr or mrs stick up the butt, working at the counter. So just cross your fingers. Lol

 

Edited by EricL

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Posted (edited)

It's not always clear what will and what will not be allowed.  I was not allowed to board a flight from Panama back to the US with my reel body (no spools) or my travel rods (30" sections) on my person because they deemed them to be weapons.  They forced me get out of line, check them, and wait in line again which almost caused me to miss a flight.  Meanwhile they let a person with tennis rackets and a family with kids riding on metal razor scooters past security.

 

When I tried to read and understand the rules I found it is just at the discretion of whoever is checking your bag as to whether or not something could be considered a weapon; there was no rule prohibiting fishing rods or reels.

Edited by sbcbmx112

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Yes these are all great points and part of a discussion I hoped would happen to help inform others who are traveling with multi piece rods. It’s usually not difficult to travel with fishing gear, but issues can come up and it is good to be aware of what are red flags. I’ve had hooks, reels, line and other related gear all cause headaches when brought in carry on internationally. Never a short 4pc rod.

 

I make 10-15+ trips a year with fishing gear so am not new to the many loopholes and odd rules that can be selectively applied. For fishing destination trips, I check a well secured carry on case with my gear. This time I was caught off guard as I have flown in/out of this same country several times and never experienced any issues like this.

 

Not trying to deter anyone from traveling with a rod these days, just think ahead. I always enjoy having my fishing gear with me wherever I go.

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I travel with rods and spear fishing gear a lot 

 

only time i carry rods on a plane as carry on is when it is straight up fly fishing and a 9 foot fly rod breaks down nicely. Than I will carry a TFO 3 piece spinner because it carries in the same tube.

 

if  I am fishing with conventional gear I use up to 8 foot tubes and check the rods or a sport tube for spear guns and fins 

 

 

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i've never had issues with my rods but i've had my all my hooks confiscated before - was a nightmare removing all the trebles off everything before being allowed to proceed

 

this wasn't even carry on

 

think the person just had a bad day though

 

this was flying out of Krabi in Thailand

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Posted (edited)

Which country makes a difference,never assume things will go your way.

Edited by ozifish

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Thanks for this info.

 

I'll be traveling to Mexico in a few months with my gear.

 

Everything will be checked in luggage while my rod will be with my carry on...  Hopefully no issues.

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5 hours ago, DEM Parking Lot said:

Thanks for this info.

 

I'll be traveling to Mexico in a few months with my gear.

 

Everything will be checked in luggage while my rod will be with my carry on...  Hopefully no issues.

Always,always check your fishing equipment. Always.

Even if it scares you, overall it's the way to go.

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12 hours ago, snapper1 said:

Always,always check your fishing equipment. Always.

Even if it scares you, overall it's the way to go.

So in other words, no rod on the carry-on with me huh?  Guess i'll need a bigger suitcase.

 

Regarding hooks, braid etc, theoretically should be good-to-go if all is checked in luggage?

 

Thanks for the info.

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On 7/25/2022 at 10:07 PM, Joe Paranee said:

Than I will carry a TFO 3 piece spinner because it carries in the same tube.

The clear TFO travel spinner cases are great for packing rods into checked luggage. These are the clear tubes with black end caps that rods come with at retail. This is not the black cordura-covered cases with a snap clip flap cover. 

 

The clear tubes are much lighter than a dedicated hard, opaque tube but offer enough rigidity to keep the rod sections from flexing if your luggage was at the bottom of a stack. I carried two of those tubes throughout Europe (2 TFO travel rods) and never had an issue, albeit that was 10+ years ago. 

 

I used one of those clear TFO tubes traveling out to Montana a month ago. While it was not an issue traveling with rods, the oval shape allowed me to store two backup fly rods in the single tube. Place at the bottom of my checked bag, cushioned by underwear, it was perfect. I did carry on my two main rods in one of the black TFO oval cases and that was lashed to my carry-on backpack. 

 

If you are interested in the clear tube concept and don't have access to TFO tubes, you can look on Amazon shipping tubes. 

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14 mins ago, DEM Parking Lot said:

So in other words, no rod on the carry-on with me huh?  Guess i'll need a bigger suitcase.

 

Regarding hooks, braid etc, theoretically should be good-to-go if all is checked in luggage?

 

Thanks for the info.

Hooks to a point. I am not sure I would want to try to carry on a 8", 4oz plug with very large 4x strong trebles. If you are headed to a place with large plugs, consider buying a good split ring pliers, remove the hooks from the plugs and put the hooks in your checked bag. Hookless plugs are not an issue but might be hard to replace if they did not get to some exotic remote location. 

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1 hour ago, DEM Parking Lot said:

So in other words, no rod on the carry-on with me huh?  Guess i'll need a bigger suitcase.

 

Regarding hooks, braid etc, theoretically should be good-to-go if all is checked in luggage?

 

Thanks for the info.

I haven’t had issues in Central America with shorter 3-4ft rod tubes as a carry on for flights. You’ll probably see lots of other anglers with them too actually. I would hate to jinx you by saying that, so just call airline to double check policy. And your other tackle should be fine in checked bags.

 

Hope you have a great trip and hook up, Mexico has awesome angling options galore! Bring some extra heavy leaders, lotta toothy fish you’d hate to have steal the few lures  you’ll bring.

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Posted (edited)

The clear tube that went into checked bag and the black case that I carried on. The length of the black case allowed me to put my new 10’ fly rod in there, which I would not do with a standard 9’ rod tube. 
 

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Edited by flyangler

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