Carry On Bags and Fish Hooks

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by dflett68, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. dflett68 Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +189 / 0
    I have only flown once sine 9/11/2001, and never with any of my gear. I don't like to check a bag so I'm wondering if anyone can tell me whether I can get away with carrying on a rod/reel case for a 3 piece 7'6" rod, and a box of flies? Do they consider the hooks a potential weapon? Someone here must have some experience with this....Thanks for any input.
  2. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,445
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,623 / 2
    I fly a LOT, and have a few times with fishing gear. I've taken flies on carry on a few times, but I know many who have done so unsuccessfully. It's not worth it in my opinion. Just check the bag, and save yourself from either losing your flies, or having to go through security twice because you had to go back to the counter to check the bag.
  3. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,891
    Hiding in your closet
    Ratings: +68 / 0
    What Evan said...

    I've seen people carry on flies from one airport only to be forced to check them when they had to change terminals to catch a connection in another airport. The size of the hooks has a lot to do with it too. If you don't want to check them, it's easier to just mail them to your destination ahead of time.
  4. dflett68 Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +189 / 0
    Thanks guys. Any thoughts about whether a rod tube of about 30" will be allowed in the overhead?
  5. lx-88 Member

    Posts: 477
    Puget Sound.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Never had a problem.
  6. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,445
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,623 / 2
    Rods have never been a problem
  7. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,967
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +728 / 0
    worst thing that could happen with a rod is that they make you check it at the gate when you're boarding the plane. No big deal. I would definitely check the hooks in your baggage, or put them in a condom and swallow them.
  8. Bill Aubrey Active Member

    Posts: 939
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +165 / 0
    Rod tube of 30" should not be a problem. I talked with Anil at Puget Sound Fly Fishers about rods and reels a while ago. He recommended copying TSA's regulation on fishing tackle and carrying it with you to show them when you have trouble. What it basically says is that you should put rods and reels in your checked bags, BUT carry on expensive stuff.
  9. Jeff Sawyer Active Member

    Posts: 440
    Tacoma WA
    Ratings: +240 / 0
    I hand carried a Rod to St Maartin and back in Jul and was never asked a single question about it.
  10. dflett68 Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +189 / 0
    check. note to self: pinch the barbs first
  11. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,711
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,749 / 0
    When I used to travel to AK on business a lot I would ship my fishing gear to my hotel via UPS. When I made my hotel reservation I would tell them that I would have some packages show up hopefully the day I arrived. They would have them at the counter when I checked in and have the stuff taken to my room for me. When the trip was over I shipped the gear back home. Worked every time.
  12. Joe Smolt Member

    Posts: 532
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    Given horror stories I've read about gear being stolen from checked bags, I wouldn't risk taking rods and reels other than carry on. I've done it on a number of trips and only had problems with my rod in Sydney Aus. on my way to NZ. I should have put name and contact information on the tube.

    In a recent domestic flight I carried rods, reels and flies. It was stopped by TSA who wanted to look at the box of flies. They were OK with it once they saw it. The representative tried to claim they dont see much fishing gear. I find that hard to believe. I do a lot of airline travel and I never see more rods being carried around than Seatac (presumably everyone heading to AK).

    My father in-law recently came to visit and his bag was delayed. We thought his whole fishing trip to Neah Bay was bust. Reminds me that if it is a destination fishing trip, it ain't worth the risk of checking bags or mailing. You never know if it will arrived days after your trip goes bust. Carry on rods, reels and absolute essentials, Check the rest.

  13. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 890
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +215 / 0
    I fly a lot with fishing equipment and have been turned back to check in with four piece rods. I have also had my fly lines and backing stripped from my reels. My friends carried two piece rods and their fly tying equipment, including sissors and hooks, a few weeks later with no problems. I started checking everything for the last couple of years but so many folks have gotten on with four piece rods and reels that I'm ready to try it and get screwed again. It doesn't do any good to carry the TSA regs with you, the folks at the check point are the final authority. More folks seem to be getting lucky now, so how lucky do you feel? As a PS-some of the guys are getting thru TSA without any problem and getting turned back at the gates coming home. Bottom line is it is a crap shoot. Good luck!
  14. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,476
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,619 / 0
    It seems best to plan for uncertainty. TSA is schizo, and I don't count on them to do anything except try to screw up my trip. That way when they don't, I feel better. I put reels and all tackle except my rods in my checked bag. So far they haven't lost or stolen anything, although I figure they will try to sooner or later. I used to check my rod tube before the $25 checked bag fee, but now carry it on, and it hasn't been a problem. So far, thinking of TSA as the enemy has been a workable strategy. Ordinarily I maintain a positive attitude.

  15. dflett68 Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +189 / 0
    agree with that approach. thanks and thanks to all who offered advice and experience.
  16. Steve Call Active Member

    Posts: 1,560
    Wetside, WA
    Ratings: +184 / 0
    I've carried on rods and flies flying to Alaska multiple times and never had a problem.
  17. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,548
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +717 / 2
    I've done this but it still doesn't matter when it comes to their final decision. They make the rules....
  18. constructeur Active Member

    Posts: 1,515
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +410 / 0
    eh, sometimes trying to rationalize with somone that has a HS dilpoma and makes $13 an hour is enough to piss the pope off!
  19. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 599
    Ratings: +820 / 0
    No problems with rods (although a 9' 2pc probably won't make it) or reels in carry-on; after 9/11 I put my flies in checked baggage. With TSA's propensity to commit random acts of senseless incoherence, I didn't feel like taking the chance; even with a copy of their rules in your hand, if they want to make life miserable, they will and you could miss a flight. The one time I did have flies in my carry-on, it was by accident and I breezed through security no problem; my fishing partner was in the next lane and they came within an eyelash of administering a full-cavity search on him because he had a box of midges, nothing bigger than a #18.

  20. sroffe Member

    Posts: 442
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    I haven't flown alot with my fishing gear. But,... it was a problem with one air line, in one country, Ireland...??? I guess violins are safe but a fishing rod could be used as a bat, so they said... What ever. They let me squeeze through from London to Dublin, but, made me check my 5 pc winston from Dublin to London.

    It pays to check with the airline too. Especially if flying overseas.