Airlines and Fly Rods


Active Member
All - I am headed to Anchorage next week and will be taking my rods. I have a 9ft, 5wt pack rod for trout and dollies, grayling, etc., that will fit in my duffle, but my 9ft, 8wt is a two-piece. The Alaska Airlines web site says up to two rods can be checked as baggage, but I'm always fearful of, a) damage, and b) losing it. I do have a hardshell rod case for the 8wt, however. It makes me nervous not to have all of my gear "with me" or in one duffle. In the past I've seen guys waiting for Alaska flights at SeaTac with their two-piece rods in their hands, but I seriously doubt the airlines wll allow carry-on rods these days, especially a really long rod case designed for a two-piece rod. Or am I wrong? Any advice?

I just got back from Kodiak (through Anchorage) a few days ago, after the most recent security upgrade, and three of us carried our rods on Continental and ERA without someone even questioning us. Cases weren't not opened or even inspected. Mine are four piece but my brothers were two piece. Can't say what AK air will do but there were about 100 people in the airport all carrying rod cases so I have to think it is common enough that it won't be a problem. On the way there I didn't get my luggage, but at least I had my rods and reels! Have fun.
A few years ago I took two piece rods to Wyoming. I put all the rods together in one, hard, travel rod tube. The tube has an adjustable shoulder strap and a hand strap so its easy to carry. There were several tubes at the baggage claim turnstile; we weren't the only guys on the flight with rods. No one was allowed to bring rods on the plane though the guy in front of us at baggage check in insisted that he had done it in the past. The world has changed. If you have to check them in, it's not that big of a deal, if you can carry them on, all the better.
Just dont try to carry on any bottled water or toothpaste. These are the kinds of potentially deadly items the highly trained security agents are trying to keep off the plane! But hey, waiting an extra hour going through security is well worth the feeling of safety I get from knowing nobody has any finger nail clippers!

Sarcasm rating: 9+/10
Cliff, just my experience, but I've checked my rods and gear scores of times over the years, with many different airlines, and have never lost anything. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I don't think twice about checking my gear.

And like Bill, I can safely board the plane without fear of being smothered to death with someone's toothpaste.

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
You guys, it's not funny, my sister's arm was blown off in a lipstick accident. Actually, I don't have a sister... It was me with the lipstick.


Active Member
Guys, thanks very much for your suggestions. I was finally able to get a live person on the phone from AA and the guy told me it would be "just fine" for me to carry the larger rod on as carry-on. Kind of surprised me, but then again it IS Alaska with lots of fishermen heading thataway. So I guess I'm good to go. By the way, if you DO check it as baggage it doesn't count as such.

I certainly appreciate all of the tips!

I returned from a fishing trip to Alaska last weekend, if you check your rods, check the oversized baggage pick up area as they may not be reated as normal luggage. I saw regular rod tubes and the oversized shipping type in that area.



Pool Spooker
Just traveled to MT from MD yesterday. Rods in cases are no problem as carry on. Saw 2, two piece rod cases. They stored them with car seats and thigs like that, no problem. I carried on a 5 piece and a 4 piece.


Well-Known Member
I check my multi-rod tube, and Alaska and Continental don't count it as one of the two pieces of checked baggage, altho sometimes you have to remind them of that. Twice I've had my rod tube, and once my duffle bag, show up on the next flight after I arrived in Dillingham, but not so late as to interfere with my travel and fishing plans. However, I'm thinking about not taking the bamboo to Alaska anymore; the anxiety bothered me. I'm leaning to just taking 4-piece rods that can travel with my carry on luggage, so long as I remember to empty my water bottle.
I've flown from Hawaii and back with 2 piece rod cases and I just got back from the Big Horn in MT a month ago on Horizon and carried on board 3 ea 2 piece rod cases. No questions asked ever. Just pretend like you know they'll accept them on board and you won't give them a chance to tell you no. Try and board as soon as you can and stick them in the overhead compartment and you're good to go. :thumb:

At least that's been by experience. Good luck. :D
Well I'm sitting in sea-tac right now and in boston they took my toothpaste, sunscreen, chapstick, and nikwax yet allowed me to carry on my 34" metal club of a rod case. I think one would do much better with the club than various tubes of gunk. Oh yeah, they also took my precious vermont maple syrup. bastards
Even the same airline company may have different policies depending on what city you're moving through.

Until last fall I've had no trouble with my 3-piece 8wt sticking out of my carryon back pack in most places across the U.S. and Bahamas for years; coming back through Atlanta, they made me check it; said new policy in effect. No matches allowed either.

I replaced the 3-piece 8 wt with a 4-piece 8 wt and a 10 wt., packed them diagonally into my suitcase, fit perfectly, no more problem, as long as they don't loose the luggage for long. Reels all went into the carry-on, along with fly box, leader, swim trunks, toiletries. My hemostat is blunt nosed, so they let me keep it even though x-rayed in looked like a weapon of mass destruction (scissors). :)
Never had any problems bringing rods on the plane and have done it many places around the world. Last time I went to Hawaii I did check my 2 piece rods and finaly got them from the Ailines the day I had to leave:mad: . Won't check my rods again! Just flew back from California and saw a number of people with rods get through security. They took my water and would not even let me drink it though! I guess I could have detonated myself!



Active Member
i must be safer now: ''me that water and take off yur'shoes...' yes sir're while that unscreened airparcel stuff is just stuffed in the luggage compartment. lockerbie anyone??? must be closin'in on the elections.