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Expedition Classic Fly Fishing Rod & Reel Travel Case by SEA RUN. The Interior bottom compartments are extra deep for large arbor reels and gear. Foam padding with space to fit reel drag nobs. Plenty of space for fly leader, fly line, fly boxes, and accessories. The divider wall separates the top from the bottom to fit 4-5 fly rods plus additional storage.


Great fishing trips don’t just happen, says Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures.

By Skip Clement

It only takes a few destination fly fishing trips to realize what could go wrong with traveling with fly rods and reels and angling accouterments or experience lost or stolen. To avoid the former, stay at home, or, for a second choice, plan and think of fly rod carry-on cases and make carry-on a life struggle worth having.

Your travel goal is to arrive with all your gear and not have forgotten anything

A fly rod  case capable of holding at least three rods and several reels, flies, and other materials is a minimum raison d’etre when traveling abroad and changing planes en route. Travel cases capable of storing more than three rods, multiple reels, flies, and other angling needs are a better intention.

However, putting rods only in their socks, not the tubes, could be hazardous if the ‘case’ is soft-sided and cannot withstand other luggage being pressed against it tightly in the overhead.


Rods and reels are permitted as checked luggage and are also allowed as carry-on luggage by T.S.A. The only hold-up is that rod tubes can sometimes fail to meet size requirements set by airline carriers for carry-on items. Please make sure you check with your carrier to confirm that they will allow you to bring your rod tube. If they seem hesitant, take a quick moment to explain just how vital this piece of equipment is to your trip. Ultimately, it is the carrier’s decision whether rods can be transported in your carry-on baggage.

Reels are never an issue to pack in your carry-on, but keeping them safe is. We recommend putting them in a nice reel case. So, what about your flies?

Take a small fly box or zip-lock bag, and load enough flies for a single day of fishing (about 12-18 flies total). Create a basic assortment that will allow you to fish for a day or two if the airline delays your checked luggage. Then, pack the rest of your flies securely in your checked baggage. If all of your luggage arrives, then you can use the small selection of flies you packed in your carry-on as a little “go-to” selection to toss in your pack. — Yellow Dog

The prices for rod cases that hold multiple rods are all over the park

Be sure to talk to your outdoor travel agents about your luggage plans; someone like Yellow Dog or Frontiers Travel have staff that has been to where you are going hundreds of times.

Male coho salmon spawning colors. Illustration by award winning watercolorist Thom Glace.

Protect your rods and reels, etc., while traveling:

  • Make a call to your local fly shop for advice and touch and feel travel case products.
  • Go to one of The Fishing Shows near you this coming winter/spring of 2023. Go to any fly fishing event near you.
  • Talk to someone at Yellow Dog, Frontiers, or your favorite outdoor travel agency.

Check out the links below:

bush plane on dirt runway,landing, Botswana

Bush plane on dirt runway. Arrive with your fly rods and reels so you can leave with your fly rods and reels. Envato image.


Author Skip

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