View Full Version : Update me on carry on tackle

01-31-2010, 09:42 AM
Heading to Aruba at the end of February and have gotten conflicting information about taking tackle on planes, in my web searches.

I'll be flying on Delta. Has anyone recently traveled with fly tackle and what is your experience taking rods. reels and flies on board? I haven't traveled on planes since before 9/11.


Living Waters
01-31-2010, 10:43 AM
I've always kept my travel rods (fly and spin) in my suitcase and checked them in, never had a problem with theft or damage. I carry on my reels with me and have never had a problem with security. I think you can carry on a 3' fly rod tube but check with the airline first. This year I'm going to bring some 7' spinning rods and will check them in a rod carrier and pay the extra fee they charge for oversized items, golf clubs, surf boards etc. I'm just flying to direct to Ft. Lauderdale though. If I had connecting flights or were going overseas, I would reconsider my strategy. You can also preship to a trusted person at your destination if that is possible. Best of luck

01-31-2010, 01:37 PM
I have traveled with a 3 piece rod only, in a case, inside of my checked luggage. Once checked there is no problem.

Just some advice, don't bring anything of extreme value or that would otherwise be irreplacable. Aruba is one of your better islands-but things have a way of disappearing or not showing up at the hotel or compound.

01-31-2010, 03:41 PM
I was there in december and put my rods and gear in my suitcase. In the past when I have brought 2 piece rods I put them in a plano bazooka tube which they opened and inspected the green lighted. If you go with a tube make sure the rod pieces are fastened together so nothing happens during the inspection. Also there is one fly guide on the island, Laurenz Van Mook I went out with him twice. Good guy and works hard but the fishing there is not great. He did put me on my first tarpon and snook on the fly though. Still no bones. http://www.flyfishingaruba.com/

01-31-2010, 04:58 PM
Thanks Shane,

I have a custom build bone fish rod (2 peice with tube about 58" long), I haven't used it in years, that I would like to take along. I used to put it in the stewards coat closet, is that still allowed? What about flies an expensive reels; suit case or carry on?

I've booked a morning with Laurenz, sounds like a good guy. I'll be wandering around Egale Beach area, any reccommendations on a likely spot?

01-31-2010, 06:24 PM
I always carry on my rods and reels. I dont want to have them lost in transit or worse. I can always wash my clothes every night if I have to. I can't always find gear to borrow!

I have not carried on flies although I know guys do. Just seems like big saltwater hooks might raise some issues?

02-01-2010, 10:10 AM
You might be able to put them in the First Class jacket area...but don't count on it. The flight crews have not done that one for me in a looong time. Not even my fiance's (at the time) wedding dress was allowed in there...of course this was alomst 4 years ago. it's worth a shot.

I started to carry on some 7foot- two piece spinners without any protection, maybe just some socks and rubber bands. Sure, it's not super secure, but it works, and nobody even looks twice. Carry on all expensive gear (reels, etc). Small hooks are fine.

Eagle beach is mostly sand, and take some cuda flies.
Up the road to the NW there are some flats (where the kite surfing is done i think), and some rocky coves which held some bait and jacks when I was there 2 years ago.

Good luck.
Moomba Beach Bar (free parking on the street next to it)...good food and drinks...


02-01-2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks for all the input. Looks like it's a spur of the moment decision at the gate.

I think what I'll do is pack my four peice in the suit case along with the reel spools with line and my flies. The reel frames I'll bring on carryon, with me. I wanted to take my bone fish rod, but don't want to take the chance of looseing it.

I have a flight change in JFK, same airline, don't want the hassel. Used to fly with no problems--124-3 How things have changed!

02-01-2010, 10:53 AM
I traveled to Cabo San Lucas with three 2-piece rods inside a 5 foot long 3" diameter schedule 40 pvc pipe that I bought at Home Depot along with a glue on cap and a screw in plug (clean out) fitting. I cut the pipe to length and wrapped the rods with towels and rags for padding during transit. You can attach all manner of handles on this tube (I used a 12" long piece of nylon cord attached with duct tape) but you need to remember to drill at least one vent hole in the tube to equalize the pressure in the tube with the changing pressure in the luggage compartment (the cap can pop off if the tube is sealed).

02-01-2010, 11:26 AM

There have been many airport security changes just since the first of the year. If I were you I would want the word of the airline I would be traveling on and airport I'm traveling from/to. It should be easy enough to get their numbers and make a few calls. Could save a lot of grief later on.

02-01-2010, 12:21 PM
I traveled to Mexico last April & Florida last December.

To Mexico I carried on five 4 piece rods with multiple reels. Three rods in tubes & reels in a Fishpond carry on bag. The other two rods (one was a 4 piece 12 foot rod) were in separate tubes lashed to the Fishpond bag. They hung that set up in the coat closet. I also carried a separate bag with my inflatable fly fishing vest, all my tools, and flies which fit under the seat. Only problem I had there is they took my CO2 cartridge for my inflatable vest.

To Florida I only took two 4 piece fly rods in their tubes, with all my reels which I packed in my Fishpond carry on bag & it fit in the overhead compartment. I also took my inflatable vest again with tools & flies which fit under the seat. This time I packed the CO2 cartridge with my clothes and checked that luggage.

I'd never, ever check my rods and reels. Why take the chance to ruin your trip if your luggage gets lost? Spend the short money & buy something like I have from Fishpond which meets all carry on , overhead storage regulations.

02-01-2010, 01:39 PM
Rods no problem, more than one and duct tape the tubes together so its one carry one. Reels no issue.

Flies.. check em. once in the last 3 years I got through with a couple ice fishing jigs from MN. Every other flight I have been on (I don't leave for a work trip without gear) I've been stopped for somethign I forgot was in carry on or my PC bag. Flies, random lure samples, nail clippers etc. All gets tossed.

Although I have heard plenty of others that have no issues. I must look sketchy from the get go.

02-01-2010, 03:21 PM
Just an FYI from my experience. I spent a week in British Columbia this past summer. I was able to fly into Canada with my flies in my carry on bag. On the way back to the US I had to check my flies, barb crusher, and hook file. Since I had already checked 2 bags, the second checked bag would have cost an arm and a leg so I had to have it sent to NC with my father as he only checked one bag. So I guess the moral of the story is, every country is going to have different standards and on top of that a lot will depend on who is doing the screening. I've never had any issues flying with flies in my carry on up until that point. I will be checking all flies going forward.

02-01-2010, 04:10 PM
I usually travel with my rod(s) in tube as a carry on and put my reels in my carry on bag. I also print out a copy of the TSA regs that state you can carry on your rod as long as it fits in the airline's compartments. TSA regs do say you are supposed to pack your flies in your checked baggage.

02-01-2010, 07:13 PM
I always carry my 3 and 4 pcs, rods on board, as well as reels, never had a problem. Last trip was to Baja in April 09. I have taken bonefish flies on board as well, but larger tarpon and streamer flies seem to be a problem. Flies are easier to replace than rods and reels. Have a great trip.

02-01-2010, 07:33 PM
TSA's website has all the rules and regs on fishing and hunting gear.


A lot of people have been saying it depends on the airline carrier and the person working that day. I folled the guidelines and had no problem about a month age.

Let us know how you made out.

02-01-2010, 09:10 PM
One last point should be made, this little tip is pretty common knowledge when golfing out of the country. The same would hold true to a nice fancy rod case.

Always cover up your 3-500 dollar driver with a faded 6 year old head cover and that also goes for your scotty cameron putter. Use an old sock if you have to.

Good luck have a great trip

02-03-2010, 07:39 PM
Went to the Delta baggage information website, as suggested by some here. I read the carry on bag can not total longer that 45 inches, lenght width and height. Then it said must fit into an area about 22 inches by 14 by 12 inches. OK, the four piece rods are 32 inches long. I guess that means They have to go in checked baggage. I hope they fit in my checked bag?

The new policy is 23 dollars for the first bag and 30 for the second. No way I'm paying 30 bucks to send a rod.

02-04-2010, 08:15 AM
Scruffy. Not sure where you're getting the info but I have a Fishpond Voyager carry on rod bag that stores three four piece rods in their tubes plus 4 - 6 reels along with space for other stuff and it meets all airline carry on regs. It fits perfectly in overhead compartments. I've traveled from Boston to Mexico, Georgia, and Florida all in the last year and never had a problem. Here's the link to the Fishpond page. http://fishpondusa.com/voyager.cfm (I have the 33" long bag) If you're going to travel with your rods it's the best $79 bucks you'll ever spend. If you don't want to spend the $79 then just carry on your rods in a tube, or lash multiple tubes together & put them in the overhead bin and you'll be all set. Like I wrote earlier I'd never, ever, ever check my rods and reels! It's not so much I'm concerned about having them permanently lost if I check them (although this can happen) but that they'll be delayed in arriving when I do (I've had this happen twice w/ checked luggage in the last three years). Why ruin a trip worrying about what's going to happen to expensive gear when you can easily carry it on the plane with you?

02-04-2010, 10:17 AM
The new policy is 23 dollars for the first bag and 30 for the second. No way I'm paying 30 bucks to send a rod.

Thats 30 bucks EACH way, why not shipped to the hotel or home vias fedex UPS = cheaper, faster and trackable

02-04-2010, 11:32 AM
I went to the Fishpond tackle site and they have a great looking bag called the Dakota. Expensive but, I think it will work. Looks more like a suit case more than a tube. I think tubes for some reason send up a red flag for carry ons, from what I'm seeing. I'm going to justify the case since I'm also planning a Montana trip in June. I'm still putting my flies in checked baggage just to be safe.

I've been out of work since last June and just decided to retire, not getting any younger. I haven't traveled for many years, the time off work has let me enjoy some long over do vacations. This retierment thing is looking better all the time.

02-05-2010, 09:05 AM
If you're considering the Fishpond Dakota, the Orvis Safe Passage Carry-it-All is nearly identical with a lower price. Especially if you wait for one of their periodic $25-off coupon promotions. I got one a few months ago and love it.

02-05-2010, 10:26 AM
Thanks for the tip. Searched for comments on the case and it had good ratings, only one reply said it might be a traget because it has Orvis on the outside.

I'm not so sure, but Orvis is known internationally, Fishpond maybe not. Found an internet deal that has free shipping and what looked like a quality fly box. Could aways use another fly box.:)