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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone who has traveled since 9/11/01 with long fly rod tubes tell me how much of a hassle the airlines are at this point.
Can you get on the plane with a carry-on tube of ~ 4 feet?

Some of the rods I can get in a luggage duffle but the spey tubes just don't allow it

Thanks
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Jay -

Good topic, I've been dealing with this lately too. The three incumbent rod tubes seem to be:

KIS Australia - who is out of stock and has no clue when they will have more according to a large retailer who called them recently. It's square in profile, has wheels, handle, telescopes, and the large case is 7x7xlgt so you could put tubes in it if desired but it was MIS (pun intended).

SKB Rod Pod - who makes a nifty case that does not telescope - so it's always at 72" in length. Other than that minor flaw :rolleyes: it's triangular and well built. This case will not fit tubes within it, it's for rods in socks with added padding. If it telescoped it would be the ticket hands down in the absence of KIS.

Plano Bazuka - round in profile, not necessarily the roughtest of the lot (mine did not survive baggage handling recently) but overall probably the most feasible solution if you need telescoping ability to adjust to rod length. This case will not fit tubes within it, it's for rods in socks with added padding.

If weight is not an issue, then you can make a bomb-proof case out of PVC pipe. Choose your diameter, cut your length and put a screw plug on one end. It will definitely get security's attention, so check it as baggage.

You could lash the tubes together, I've done this often. The dents in the tube tell the tale of their rough journey though.

You might consider sending them UPS.
 

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JCC,

I went to Boston and New York last summer and I took a 14' 4 piece rod as carry-on. It was not a hassle. I suggest you phone your airline and ask well ahead. I do believe their general policy is - if it will fit in the overhead - it is fine.

What however, is not okay as carry-on is reels. The line apparently makes a number of good garrotes! So be forewarned on that.
 
J

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Most of the major travel booking agents (Frontiers, Angler Adventures, etc.) are advising not trying to carry on any fishing gear at all. The issue isn't always the airlines, it is the TSA security checks. Unlike the old days the security people are not reflecting the desires and procedures of the airlines. I've had buddies who missed their flights because a TSA agent would not allow them through with rods. In this case we are talking four and five piece single handers. By the time you get back to the ticketing counter, wait in line again at the security check there, and then head back up to the gate...

The problem is that probably 80% of the time you'll be fine, but what a nightmare it will be when your number comes up to find an agent who won't let you through. I get on roughly forty planes a year for fishing trips, and I now make it a habit to carry on my cameras, film, and prescriptions and check everthing else. Be sure your insurance will cover lost or stolen luggage or get yourself a separate rider.

Perhaps some day the TSA will make a list of exactly what can and cannot be carried on board, but that hasn't happened yet and isn't likely any time soon. By the way, security checks in other countries on your return can be even tougher. I just returned from Guatemala a little over amonth ago and their security checks are very thorough and rods are simply not allowed on board as carry-on. Not that you'll be taking a spey rod to Guatemala, but the point is that other countries' policies also have to be considered. Even going thorugh security in Montreal when returning from the Restigouche tends to be more thorough than many of the checks in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Spey rods and other fly gear

Jr Spey,

So how do you pack your longer fly rods for transport? The single handers can fit in an expedition bag but the Spey rods are pretty big. What have you found that works for the checking in vs carry-on routine?
 
J

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I use two different products made by Harding & Sons. One is called the Travel Rod Only Case and the other is the Soft Traveler Case. The former is sewer pipe covered with cordura. It's similar to other such cases except that Mike Harding will custom make one any length you desire. He'll make them from 2" to 5" in diameter and with one, two or three separate tubes. He charges by the inch and the price varies from $.55 an inch up to $2.00 an inch for the triple tube three inch version. Add $8.00 for a shoulder strap and you're ready for a lot of rods in their socks, but completely protected. Mine has been on well over one hundred flights with no problems. The Soft Traveler is designed to hold your rods in their tubes. It featured a lot of outside pockets that can hold clothing, flyboxes and the like. Depending upon the length and how many rods it is designed to carry they range from $70.00 to $95.00. He'll also special order any length you desire at about the same price. Mine will hold at least six spey rods in their original tubes. In fact, I'm bringing it along for the Sandy River Clave next month. If I pack several aluminum tubes in it I usually wrap them in plastic bags before putting in the case to minimize how much scratching goes on from tube to tube during transport. I've used this on trips to the Resitgouche, Gaspe, Miramichi and again never had a problem. Probably close to fifty flights. Mike's products are well made without any unnecessary frills like leather trimming. His stitching is absolutely top notch.
 

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make one yourself

As Juro mentioned above, it is easy to make a tube out of 3 or 4 inch PVC or outside sewer pipe, which is a bit lighter. The greatest difficulty is in attaching a strap so it doeesn't slide up and down the tube. Also, anything you check now is supposed to be presented unlocked, or at least easily opened. Also checked baggage is subjected to powerful x-rays which ruins film, and God knows what else.

On a recent trip to Mexico, the guys I was traveling with got their rods past the security people as carry-ons but were told by the staff baoding us that they had to check them. They ignored the staff and were able to carrry them on. I don't recommend this!
 
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