Airplane: Carrying on Flys instead of checking in your baggage.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Brennen Busse, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Brennen Busse

    Brennen Busse Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    I've done quite a bit of research on whether or not you can carry fly fishing flies on an airplane. According to the link below, TSA says fragile items such as reels and flies can be carried on. Has anyone had any luck carrying fly fishing flies onto an airplane? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    TSA's link to hunting and fishing items.
    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/hunting-and-fishing-equipment
     
  2. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    Pugetropolis
    It depends, not so much on TSA rules but the individual screener's interpretation of them.
    I've been forced to check even my reels before (line could strangle someone?) when at the gate, but this was coming back home from the Bahamas.
    Flying domestically and to/from Canada it's not been a problem for me.
    Some airlines (ie; Alaska) are probably more informed (and lenient) than others. Also, some destinations that regularly have fisherman will be more "in the know" and not as apt to misinterpret.
    On the other hand, the newest rules allow hockey sticks onboard now!
    Where you going? Have fun wherever it is.
     
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  3. Bonefish Jack

    Bonefish Jack Strictly FF

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Kent WA
    I have carried on my tackle, including rods, many times, both domestically and internationally. No problems whatsoever. Some of the flies I have in my boxes have been as large as a #2 hook, and no problem.

    Last time I went to the Bahamas, I was glad I had carried on, because my checked back showed up a day late. I was able to fish the first day because I had carried on.

    I also print and carry with me the page you linked, just in case ;)
     
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  4. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
    I fly almost exclusively on Alaska Airlines. I always carry on all my fishing equipment and I've never had a problem. Though my rod/reel case for my 2pc 9ft rod has drawn a number inquiries over the years from fellow passengers as it kind of looks like it could be a gun case to the unknowing. :confused:
     
  5. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    843
    Location:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Never had an issue with anything other than fly lines, had to unspool all of my line in Costa Rica and once headed to Brazil. Flies have never been an issue, but as others alluded, it's entirely at the discretion of the actual TSA screener, which is inconsistent at best... But I fly with rods all of the time. I used to print out the TSA page regarding gear, but honestly can't see it making a difference if you get the wrong screener...

    Dan
     
    Duane J likes this.
  6. Steve Unwin

    Steve Unwin Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    No experience with carrying tackle aboard, but generally I agree with Greg's assessment Even if you know what the rules are, they are not consistently enforce by TSA or airline staff. And just because they let you take it outbound doesn't mean you will have the same experience on the way back.

    Carrying the rules with you may give you a leg up, but TSA personnel are likely to be pretty stubborn. I imagine they are given their own discretion.
     
  7. Brennen Busse

    Brennen Busse Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Seattle Area
    Thanks for the helpful replies. I am heading out to S.C. for some fly fishing in N.C. and then some bass fishing in S.C. I am going to give it a go and save some baggage fees.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Brennen
     
  8. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    Pugetropolis

    Don't get "that guy" in Nassau I had to deal with - rules in my hand as well and they were not going to change his mind!
    I had to check my reels and almost missed the flight home.
    Fellow flyfishing travellers beware...
     
  9. Jake Dixon

    Jake Dixon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've flown often with reel, rod, flies, etc. Never an issue.
     
  10. chief

    chief Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    251
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    As others have said, it depends, but I think with trout and bass sized flies within the USA you should be fine. My experience is that big saltwater hooks can sometimes be a problem, and also the destination makes a difference. Most USA screeners won't question fly gear and flies, but as others have said, foreign screeners may operate under different rules. Typically you are OK on the way down to Mexico, Bahamas, or Costa Rica, but on the way home different rules may apply. Often you don't find out until you are at the security check point or even at the gate, and then your options can be limited because of lack of time or a checkable bag to put stuff in. And it is harder to argue when you don't speak the language...... I usually take my fishing gear as carry-on on the way to the destination and check it on the way home. It is not a big deal if something gets delayed on the way home.
     
  11. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,387
    Likes Received:
    667
    Location:
    Kalama, WA
    I won't check reels anymore, had them stolen too many times. Flies shouldn't be an issue, I've had friends take their flies, materials and tying tools on the plane and tie mid-flight :)
     
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,731
    Likes Received:
    3,118
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    I've heard and read enough horror stories about TSA to bother carrying tackle as carry on. I check everything except my rod case on some flights to Alaska. Some TSA wonks consider fly line or any fishing line and hooks, including flies, as weapons. The way I'd go about talking them out of it would get me arrested, and that, for sure, would mess up my fishing trip.
     
  13. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    out of state now
    Home Page:
    Carried flys and reels, and rods on as carry on baggage without problem on two trips to Belize.
     
  14. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    5,869
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Location:
    Edgewood, WA
    I've been carrying on rods, reels and my fanny pack stuffed with fly boxes and not had any issue.
     
  15. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    24,662
    Likes Received:
    3,499
    Location:
    Dillon, Mt
    Shit you can make a weapon out of just about anything. I believe those TSA dudes are nuts.

    When I went to the Court House in Everett, I had to check in my fingernail clippers. When I went for Jury duty here in Montana I carried my knife in my pocket. What a difference 600 miles makes. They don't make you empty your pockets here.
     
    flyfool and Randru like this.