View Full Version : International Travel with Rods/Reels
06-06-07, 06:17 PM
I know this topic has been discussed many times before, but I am looking for current information (past six moths or so).
Traveling to the Caymans in August and want to bring along the 8wt. Traveling on Delta. It seems like per the Delta website, TSA, and personal experience that 4pc rods in non-metal tubes are A-OK for carry on baggage. I'll be carrying mine on in a cordura covered 4 pc. rod tube. I think I will be ok on this one.
However, I am more concerned about the reel. The reel is more valuable than the rod, and I don't want to get burned on it. I doubt they are going to let me carry it on (strangle hazard). Anyone have any experience with traveling with reels. It seems like my only two choices are: 1) put it in my checked luggage and hope no one decided to "lift" it, or 2) Mail/FedEx/UPS it to my hotel in the Caymans. Anyone else have any good ideas or suggestions?
What would you do?
I'll just check my box with flies, leaders, etc.
06-06-07, 06:23 PM
Do not give any fresh ideas, as the 'strangling hazard' obviously has not been considered at this point. I carry my rod and reel on with no problems.
Have fun and don't forget to post some pictures!
06-06-07, 06:35 PM
I took my cordura covered 4 pc. rod tube in my hand and the reel in laptop bag to Austin TX last month and I flew on Delta. They had me open up the tube and show them the reel but nothing major.
06-06-07, 07:19 PM
It's been a while since I've flown on a regular basis, but...
My only advise is to get there EARLY (if its possible of course). It's been my experience (spent 18 months straight flying a minimum of twice a week) that your options drastically multiply when you have time on your side. The last thing you want to do is be rushing around at the terminal trying to figure out what to do while stressing out that you will miss your flight. So whatever you decide to do, give yourself time for a backup plan. No matter what the regulations are, all it takes is for some TSA security agent, that is having a bad day, to make you have one too....
I know I did't exacly answer your question - just thought I'd throw in my .02 on flying...
Within the last month I flew to/from Belize with 4 rods in 2 cases (2, 4-piece rods per case). We carried them on (me with one case, my wife with the other). I put 3 reels in my carry-on with no problem. Wife carried fourth with her due to space issues in my bag. I even carried a small assortment of reasonable-sized flies.
I agree with you on worries related to loss of expensive reels. I was also worried about lost fishing time! On trip to Mexico last fall my bag got delayed and I only had rod and reel - no tippets, flies, nippers, etc. I say carry what you can.
On the way back home I had my rods taken away as I got on plane. Taken away as "dangerous, stabby things". This was mid-trip too (in Mexico City airport). Probably a big deal there because that isn't a big flyfishing destination I guess.
If you do "lose" your stuff for some reason en route, and it gets gate-checked, leave it in the checked luggage stream on international flights. Customs/immigration staff may become ill-tempered if you try and hand carry your valuable rods once you retreve them from "limbo baggage claim" ( I say limbo because you aren't "home" in the U.S. yet - just lost in concourse E basement) so you don't subject them to potential loss or damage WITHIN the bowels of the Altanta airport once you get there. Don't ask me how I know this ;)
Even though "policy" is a crap-shoot and very fluid, I 've had 94.7% positive experiences traveling with rods and reels in US and internationally.
One idea would be to unspool your line and backing onto something, maybe the plastic bobbin that a new line comes on, and put that in your checked baggage.
I have a cousin who was planning to pass the time on a flight doing some knitting a few years ago. TSA was fine with letting her carry on her knitting needles, but they took her yarn.:huh:
06-10-07, 12:43 PM
flown a few times in the last 5 months on delta. both times, i had multiple (spooled) reels in my carry on. no problem.
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