Imagine the scene, you just booked the fishing trip of your dreams.
After purchasing your plane tickets, you contact your boss to confirm that you have the time off, you reserve a place to stay, and you start scoping out good fishing spots in the area. At this point, it seems like everything is ready.
A few weeks before your trip, you start to think about what tackle, rods and reels that you are going to bring.
Then the week of your trip as you start to pack your bags and this question pops into your head: Can I bring my fishing poles on the airplane? Can I bring my fishing lures on my carry on?
These questions may have never crossed your mind until moments before the trip. Now it is too late to have them shipped to your destination. What should you do?
Well, in this post, we are going to answer that question as well as other related questions you might have about travelling.
Can You Bring A Fishing Rod On An Airplane?
The answer: yes, you can! You can check your fishing rods as checked baggage. Additionally, if your fishing rod does not exceed the carry-on limits, it can be brought on the plane as well. My personal recommendation would be to carry your rods and reel with you on the plane.
How To Take Your Fishing Rod On The Plane
Now this is the tricky part. Just because you can bring it on the plane, doesn’t make it easy. Let’s talk about some tips to keep in mind, whether you decide to bring them on as hand luggage or you decide to check them.
Carry-On Luggage. If you plan on bringing your rods with you on the airplane, I would definitely recommend you carry them in a rod tube case. There are several types available, however, the most common options are either made of fabric or you can use a more durable hard case.
For me personally, I would recommend going with the more durable one. I say this because sometimes the overhead bins fill up fast or sometimes the airlines might require you to check in your luggage. The last thing you want is your expensive rods in a soft fabric tube banging around underneath the plane.
Protect your investment by carrying them on in a durable case just in case you need to check them.
Checked Luggage. It goes without saying, but if you plan on bringing a one piece fishing pole you are going to need to check it. If this is the case, it is important to check with the airline before buying a case as some airlines have limitations as to hold long your tube case can be or else you might have to pay addition fees.
Lastly, don’t forget to clearly label your rod case with your name, phone number and address in the event that it does get lost.
What Rod Case Should I Use To Bring My Fishing Rods On The Airplane
One rod tube case that I would recommend for air travel is the Plano Airliner Telescoping Rod Case.
What I like most about this case is that it is telescoping. This is the perfect case if you are traveling with several piece rods as this case telescopes up to 88 inches long and can carry 8 rods in total. The best part is that it also collapses done to 47 inches making it great for checking-in your two piece rods, storing them or carrying them on where allowed.
How Much Does It Cost To Check My Fishing Rod?
This depends much on the airline and the size of your luggage. As we mentioned earlier in most cases you won’t have troubles checking in a long tube case, however, you may have to pay additional fees.
For most airlines nowadays, it can run as low as $25 and as high as $100.
What Are The Limitations For A Fishing Rod To Be Allowed As Checked Luggage?
*Below I have provided some of the restrictions from some of the most popular airlines in the United States. However, keep in mind these may change at anytime. Before going on your flight be sure to check their official website for the most current guidelines.
Southwest Airlines: The fishing rod must be placed ina cylindrical fishing rod container that will not damage the rod. It can measure up to 3 inches in diameter and 91 inches in length. Any luggage that exceeds those dimensions will be considered oversized and charged accordingly. Click here for more information. Southwest Airlines allows for one fishing rod container and one tackle box to be counted as one checked item.
American Airlines: One rod case and one equipment bag or tackle box will be counted as one checked in item. You can travel with 2 rods, 1 reel, fishing tackle, a landing net, boots and wader. The checked in item can not exceed 126 linear inches (length +width +height) and can not weight more than 50 pounds. Items that exceed those limitations will be charged accordingly. Click here for more information.
United Airlines: One item of fishing gear is allowed per person as a checked bag. This item can include, up to 2 rods, 1 reel, 1 landing net, one pair of boots, and one tackle box. However, they must be placed in a suitable container that does not exceed 115 linear inches (length +width +height) and 50 pounds. Additionally it can not exceed 80 inches in length or else it will be refused. For more information please visit their website here.
Delta Airlines: Fishing poles up to 115 linear inches (length +width +height) are allowed as checked in baggage. If they exceed those dimensions they will be refused. Click here for more information on Delta Airlines. Additionally anything fishing equipment weighing over 50 pounds will be charged an extra fee.
JetBlue: Fishing equipments such as 2 rods, 1 reel, 1 landing net, 1 pair of boots and 1 tackle box (packed in a single container) will be counted as one checked item. Items over 99 pounds will not be accepted. To learn more click here.
Hawaii Airlines: Fishing poles up to 115 inches in length that are contained in a hardcover case are accepted. Additionally, anything over 50 pounds will be subject to overweight baggage fees. Learn more here.
Alaska Airlines: One check in item can contain, up to 2 rods, 2 reels, and one tackle box. It may exceed 62 inches but no more than 115 inches without receiving an oversize fee. Learn more here.
Spirit Airlines: Fishing rods as well as fishing equipment can be brought on the plane as checked in luggage. The items must be secured in a case or contain. The contain is subject to the standard baggage fees. Keep in mind that a limited liability release form must be signed by the customer. Learn more here.
What Are The Limitations For Bringing A Fishing Rod As A Carry On?
*Below is a quick overview of some of the most popular airlines in the United States. However, keep in mind these may change at anytime. Before going on your flight be sure to check their official website for the most current guidelines.
Southwest Airlines: Carry on luggage dimensions are limited to 10 inches x 16 inches x 24 inches. If it does not fit those dimensions, it will be checked in at the gate.
American Airlines: Carry-ons should not exceed 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches. If it exceeds those limitations it will need to be checked.
United Airlines: The maximum dimensions are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches.
Delta Airlines: Carry-on baggage dimensions are limited to 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches.
JetBlue: Carry-on baggage must not exceed 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches.
Alaska Airlines: Carry-on baggage must not exceed 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches
Can I Bring Fishing Lures On A Plane?
The answer: yes, you can bring fishing lures in checked luggage. Small flies or fishing tackle that does not pose a security threat is allowed to be carried on the plane. Large hooks (such as those used for deep sea fishing) or other items that could be dangerous should be placed in your checked luggage.
With that being said, to be on the safe side of things, I would recommend checking your fishing tackle, as you don’t want to have problems going through security.
Can I Bring Fishing Pliers Or Hook Sharpener In My Carry-on?
The answer: No, you can not bring these items on the plane with you. Tools such as fishing pliers, hook sharpeners, line cutters will need to be placed in your check in baggage.
Consider Shipping Your Fishing Equipment To Your Final Destination
If you are planning on bringing a lot of fishing gear, or you are just nervous about the whole process, the next best thing might be to just ship your equipment to your destination. In some cases this might be the cheapest option.
How To Ship My Fishing Rod And Reel
As you can see it is relatively easy and straightforward to bring your favorite fishing rods with you on the plane. However, you might be thinking at this point that you don’t want to deal with the extra hassle at the airport and would much rather like to have them shipped, but you might wonder, how do I go about having my fishing rods shipped?
Shipping your fishing pole before your trip is also pretty simple, but let’s talk about some important thing to keep in mind.
Packing. The most important thing you need to know about shipping your rod is to make sure that you pack it well. When it comes to packing your rod, there are a few essentials I would recommend everyone use, fishing rod tubes and lots of bubble wrap. If you had previously purchased your fishing pole online you can use those tubes in the future for shipping purposes. If you no longer have these turn, ask are your local bait shop. Many times you can find them there.
Next, be sure to use plenty of bubble wrap. This will help to protect your investment from any damage on the trip. Keep in mind that not only will you need plenty of bubble wrap to get to your destination, but you willl also need some for the way home. In my opinion you can never have enough bubble wrap.
Insurance. Most shipping companies will allow you to insure your package. I would definitely recommend you do this, but be sure to follow the instructions closely so that in the event something happens with you package you are covered.
Find the right price. Sure, shipping your fishing rods ahead of times can be much cheaper than taking them on the airplane with you, but be sure to shop around and find the best price. Not only will you want to look for a good price, but you will also want to find a shipping company that can ship it on time. The last thing that you want is to be at a beautiful destination without your fishing gear.
Can you bring your fishing poles on an airplane? Whether you decide carry them on in your hand luggage or to check them , you will have no problems.
That being said, just because you are able to bring them with you, doesn’t mean it is the best option for you. So, do your research plenty of time before you trip so that the last thing you will have to worry about is getting your equipment there.
Now it is your turn. How do you travel with your fishing rod and reel? Please share with us your thoughts in the comments below.