Travel fishing tackle: 5 tips to get your gear there safely

Travel fishing tackle: 5 tips to get your gear there safely

Traveling to new destinations is exciting, especially when it comes to fishing. But it can be nerve-wracking to get there at times, especially if you are traveling with fishing gear and gear. Anglers invest in high quality travel equipment, and if lost or damaged in flight, the trip can start off with quite a headache. To ensure your travel process goes smoothly, here are some tips for traveling with fishing tackle so you can avoid undue delays with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

1. Small fishing lures

Small fishing lures can be checked or packed in hand luggage. Put a protective cover over the hooks to avoid damaging anything else in your pocket. It’s always a good idea to wrap any bait to protect it from scratches or damage.

2. One-piece rods

One-piece fishing rods need to be checked. Place the rods in a protective tube specially designed for fishing rods. You can purchase these tubes from your local fishing and equipment store. Make sure you confirm what length of pipe is allowed with the airline you are traveling with.

3. Fishing reels

Fishing reels can be checked or packed in hand luggage. The fishing line can be classified as dangerous and can cause TSA to ask for your travel fishing tackle if you’d rather stow your fishing line in a checked bag. Wrap each roll to protect it from scratches or damage, and always check your airline’s carry-on bag weight restrictions, especially if you’re carrying offshore rolls.

4. Small hooks and flies

Small inshore and freshwater fishing tackle such as small hooks and flies can be checked or packed in hand luggage. If you are carrying large offshore hooks and flies, it is best to keep them in your checked bag. Make sure you wrap these little hooks and flies in a stiff suitcase to avoid getting them lost among your other belongings.

5. Fishing tools

Tools such as pliers, line cutters, unhookers, etc. less than 8 inches in length can be checked or packed in hand luggage, if in doubt, check with your airline. If larger than seven inches, must be packed in checked bag. Always wrap sharp ends to avoid damaging your tools and other items in your bag.

While these tips are helpful, according to the TSA website, the final decision rests with the TSA officer as to whether an item will be allowed through the checkpoint. Flying fishing tackle overseas may have more stringent restrictions. Therefore, find out about the customs laws and regulations of the country you are traveling to.

Learn about the different types of fishing tackle and gear, fishing tips, and more.

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Alycia Downs

Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid athlete who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and the outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is an active contributor to nonprofit conservation and fishing organizations. Visit her personal blog at or on Instagram @tideandtale.