Taking the long haul trip to a new fishing destination brings excitement, but also fresh challenges from picking a guide to getting your rods and tackle safely through checkout. This month’s guest blogger Jon Clark, from No See Um Lodge, Alaska, is your guide to making the most from your next fishing adventure.
How to Travel with Fishing Rods – The Dos and Don’ts“There’s not much to packing a rod, but there’s a little more to landing in
Alaska with your favorite fly fishing gear intact and ready to go. As long as you stay organized, get along with security and don’t lose any luggage, how hard can it be?
Keep It Simple
It’s always best to stick to trusted, simple tackle when travelling. Limit yourself to one or two at most if you can and do protect them. Your rod’s best traveling buddy doesn’t have to be expensive. High-end cases ring all the bells with very cool features, and they practically whistle while you pack. Reel dividers and spill proof pockets are always handy if you can afford luggage.
That said, we’re still good with tubes. They’re easy to handle, bundle well and usually fit in the overheads.
Fishing Rod Tube Tips and Tricks
We like tubes because they give you grab-and-go access when you hit the lodge. They almost always get your fly fishing rods to your destination in the appropriate number of pieces too. With a little modification, they become pretty smart traveling accessories. With a few good tips, they re easier to haul around:-Wading socks in the top and bottom of your spey tubes help cushion the trip
for big rods.
-Tubes sporting waterproof fabric coverings often have an easier time through check points.
-A compact rolling duffel packs plenty of tubes with minimum weight.-Snowboard bags offer padded protection for rods as well as fragile gear like
fly boxes and reels.-Just let your rods wear their socks for the flight, but bind them together
for collective strength.
Multi-section travel rods are a great shout for the travelling angler- but do be prepared to pay a little more to get good quality. (Image: Fishtec)
Really Bad Ideas
Dealing with customs and airport staff depends a lot on common sense and being prepared and polite. We find big differences in how airport staff deal with things like rod tubes and fishing equipment. By packing well and stowing any sharp or specialised items in your hold luggage, you will give them less to be wary about. But it should also go without saying that being courteous and helpful goes a long way. Here are some things not to do:
-Never intentionally aggravate security folks, who are just trying to do a thankless job.
-Pack forceps, pliers, knives, nippers and corkscrews in carry-ons, jackets or pant pockets (keep these in your main luggage!)-Ignore the idea that a gel flotant anywhere besides checked luggage will
probably cause trouble.-Cram tons of stuff into a carry-on so that it explodes when unzipped for
-Try jamming a Spey rod tube into the overhead while ignoring the fact that it fits in plane cabin’s closet.-Assume that all rod tubes deserve special attention from overworkedattendants.
How much fishing gear should I take?
This is always a difficult question. The first thing is to consider the type or types of fishing you will be doing. It also depends on your destination: will it have tackle shops and other supplies? Dropping a line to the fishing lodge or guide is a great idea. Often guides can help with tackle and flies, so you can bring a little less gear. The chances are a good guide will have exactly the right gear.
The two-rod rule is also a sensible one. Stick to one or two methods if you can and life gets a lot easier. You may however need accessories such as waders, a net and other gear that will get wet. Do make sure you’re covered for a reasonable weight of hold luggage- and include large, waterproof bags and outers for gear that is heavy or could get wet.
Flies, lures and accessories are always another crucial point. What do you take and what do you leave behind? The best rule is always to have all the fundamentals (flies, leaders, forceps etc) but not bring the kitchen sink.
Fly choices can be a particular headache, but two to three fly boxes containing hundreds of patterns take up very little space. Double-sided boxes are also well worth a look, as are cost-effective fly collections. The Turrall Flypod provides double the space of a regular fly box, along with a with a whole selection of proven fly patterns, whether you are after a holiday’s worth of Scottish Loch style flies, or fly patterns for salmon or Grayling.
Really Good IdeasWe’d love to take credit for this next list, but honesty prevails up here at
No See Um. We learn a heck of a lot from our guests, who come from all over the world. Here are some the best tips and ideas for any fishing journey:
-Never be afraid to enlist in the services of a guide. They’ll know exactly where to get going and what to bring. Even if you’re an experienced angler, there’s no substitute for the local knowledge of a guide.-Always make a checklist before you start packing rods and gear, and yes,double-check it.-Airport security systems favor plastic tubes over metal and fiberglass, but
mileage can vary.-If you re traveling with a buddy, split up rods and gear between you in case
something gets lost.-Print and carry any documents outlining allowed gear so that you canpolitely argue with security if necessary.-Call the different airlines that you ll be flying, and check their specs
just to be sure.-If you have cameras or technology, take great care. Plain old bubble wrap is great for packing cameras and other delicate equipment, and stops small and fragile parts getting shaken or damaged.
Saving You a Place on the Kvichak RiverWhether you navigate the skies with an upscale, double-layered waterproof rodcase or wing it with a homemade PCV tube, we welcome all anglers at the No See UM Alaska Fly Fising Lodge. We have some of the best fishing action and most spectacular scenery on the planet, with fantastic sport for many kinds of salmon, trout, grayling, pike and much more! If you’ve spent time with us here at No See Um, you know what we re talking about. Either way, we re saving you a place here on the banks of the Kvichak River.”