Can You Bring a Fishing Rod on a Plane?

Can You Bring a Fishing Rod on a Plane?

Can you bring a fishing rod on the plane with you? That is a very good question considering all the rules and regulations of what you can carry on or check. The answer is yes, and you can even bring fishing hooks but they cannot be in your carry-on; they have to be in your check-in luggage. The reason it cannot be part of your carry-on luggage is that it can be considered a threatening weapon. 

Why Would it be Considered Threatening?

It could be used as a weapon. You could have one of the ends of the rod sharpened so you could stab someone or even used to just hit someone. The fishing line on the rod could be used to potentially strangle someone. Yes, this sounds like someone is over thinking what danger a fishing rod could be but considering everything that is going on and the stricter regulations at the check-ins and screenings, you can see why someone might come up with these ideas. All passengers and crew on the plane need to be kept safe.

Packing a Fishing Rod for Airplane Travel

Since you have to put your fishing rod with your check-in baggage, how should you pack it so it does not get broken in flight or by the baggage handlers? Here are some tips for your fishing rod to make it safely to your destination.

  • Most fishing rods are several feet in length and there are no suitcases large enough to fit one into, even a garment bag. You also have to remember that check-in luggage has weight and size restrictions. The best type of rod to get is a telescopic rod that can be collapsed. It will take up minimal room in your luggage.
  • Some fishing rods can be broken down into multiple pieces, like 2, 3, 4, or more pieces. Take them apart and use some type of elastic band around the parts so you can keep all the parts together. Take the reel from the rod and collapse the reel handler if you have a model that does that. Wrap the reel in something soft.
  • When you are breaking down your fishing rod, do not leave the line in the guides and do not leave any bobbers, hooks, or anything attached to the line either. All of this can snag on something in your luggage and get tangled up. Take time to wind your fishing line on the spool as far you can get it and tape the end down so it does not unravel.
  • You should put your fishing rod and other fishing gear in a hard-shell case and then put it in your regular check-in luggage. Doing this will help to protect your fishing rod. If your check-in luggage is a hard shell, you can put your rod and equipment in a soft bag before putting it in your suitcase. You just want to protect your rod as much as you can.
  • When you pack your fishing rod, instead of just putting it in your baggage, you can protect them by putting them in a PVC cylinder with screw ends, electrical tubing, or PVC plumbing. Most of these can be found at stores that specialize in fishing equipment. You cannot strap your fishing pole to the outside of your luggage, whether it is carry-on or checked. 

Fishing Hooks — How to Pack Fishing Hooks

You cannot take your fishing hooks with you in your carry-on luggage. Again, these could be taken as a weapon. No matter how large or small they are, they will be perceived as a threat to the safety of everyone on board. This is especially if you have a hook large enough to hook a big fish. Make sure that they are in some type of bag where they cannot poke through and hook a finger or hand. 

General Information

If you have small lures or tackles you can have them included in your carry-on luggage as long as you have them secured in their little boxes before you pack them. Always make sure it is okay before you do so.

Reels are okay to take in your carry-on luggage but you have to make sure they are covered and packed securely in your luggage. You cannot carry them in your pocket or carry aboard with your hands.

When you are packing your rods in their case make sure that you wrap them in some type of cloth, or bubble wrap before you put them in their case. This can help protect your rod if it bounces around in the case. If the case is specially made for rods then you may not do this. If you are checking the tubes as an extra bag, always make sure it is a sturdy case and will not crush easily if the case is thrown around by the baggage handlers.


In addition to thinking it could be used as a weapon, you need to remember that there are specific size restrictions for what you can carry on the plane in your carry-on luggage. Look at the size of a fishing rod and you know it is over the size restriction, even if you have a telescopic fishing rod. Even if you are putting it in your check-in luggage, it has to be fit or you probably will not be able to take it. If you can take it even if it will not fit in your check-in luggage, it could cost you a lot to do so and it could even get broke.

Always check the website of the airline you are traveling as they generally have a list of things you can and cannot bring on the plane and size restrictions. They generally have a link to the TSA website that gives you a more detailed list. If still in doubt, call the airline. Not doing right could cost you to miss your flight or not be allowed to board.

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