If you are shipping into Canada don't use UPS. They charge brokerage fees that really ups the costs for the receiver. I ship lots of musical instruments and have never had a problem with the post office in Canada or the US.
I've shipped some rods recently by just buying the appropriate diameter of PVC pipe and cutting to the right length for a rod tube. You can buy the end caps with the pipe and just glue or tape them in place. Be sure to put the rod in a rod sock. I just tape the label on the tube; I've shipped via both USPS and UPS this way and haven't had a problem yet; just make sure you pay the extra for insurance if necessary because the one time you don't is the time something will happen.
if it's in it's own sturdy tube you can just put it in a cardboard tube or triangle. the ups store will charge you at least $5 for one. the post office usually has (depending on the location) tubes for priority mail which are free. you may need to tape two end to end together. you may be able to mooch one from your local shop as well.if the rod doesnt have it's own tube go to the hardware store and get some thin walled pvc pipe and the caps which can be packing taped on. use the thin walled stuff to keep the weight down. the post office is usually a lot cheaper and rarely loses anything. ups started charging us for length and we quit going to them. yes i have shipped a few rods.
I agree with Black Francis. Any rods shipped in the USA go Priority mail. If time is of any value they will completely blow away Fed-X or the brown truck. I have gotten many spey rods shipped from Groton, MA to Peck, ID in 3 days including day of shipping and day of delivery. Brown is 7 to 9 days.
Yes, I know the USPS doesn't have tracking. Get a "delcon" for $0.45. That will tell you it was delivered.
The trick with the triangle tube is to assemble one and cut the two tabs off the open end. Place the rod tube in the tube. Assemble the other triangle tube and get rid of the tabs. Figure it so it is the right length plus a foot. At the foot mark cut toward the open end with a sharp knife. Make two cuts on each corner starting at nothing to about 1/2" and remove the long skinny wedge. With the corners relieved you can slide the tube right into the bottom section. A couple turns of tape and it is ready for the label. I can now do this in about 5 minutes. It is clean, looks good, and is free. If this is not clear send me an e-mail and I'll send a drawing.
Rods going to Canada are best shipped USPS but you can't ship Priority mail. The warning about the heavy brokerage fees with UPS is valid.
Any rods going to any other countries besides the above go Fed-X. They have proven to be the best.
I believe for USPS mail to Canada the maximum package length is 42 inches, some rates are max. 36 inches. Airmail Parcel Post is the exception with maximum lenght of 60 inches and length and girth combined of 108 inches.
Recently I shipped from USA to Calgary a 15ft 3pc rod and with PVC tube and caps the length was 66 inches and only 3 inches diameter, it required the brown truck.
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