Learning how to carry a fishing rod is important to protect the most expensive piece of fishing gear you own.
For many anglers, traveling to find the perfect fishing destination is an everyday occurrence.
As such, the last thing they want is for their fishing gear to get knicked or ruined along the way.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some pro tips to help you protect your rods, fragile tackle, and other pieces of fishing gear.
How To Carry a Fishing Rod
Let’s dive right into the tools and tips you should use for your next fishing trip to keep your rods safe and protected.
1. Use rod socks.
Rod socks can help you get your gear to your fishing destination with little worry.
The best part is that they are pretty inexpensive and protect not only your rod tubes when traveling but also when in storage.
Another massive benefit of using rod socks is that they help reduce tangling, which is perfect for rigged rods to help you save a lot of time.
Most rod socks are made from materials like light polyester or nylon. They are designed to fit tightly against spinning and casting rods.
Most are designed with a wrap or strap that anchors the sock to the reel, preventing it from moving and shifting around.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re carrying your rod for day fishing or storing it on the back of your bike for an arduous fishing trip; rod socks are the number one tool to use.
2. Use rod tubes and cases.
If a rod sock isn’t your protector of choice or if you’ve used one in the past but didn’t like it, a rod tube is a fantastic alternative.
Unlike a sock, rod tubes are made from high-quality rigid plastic or other molded materials.
In most cases, they protect your fishing hook, rod, and other components from fall damage, scrapes, and total destruction.
What we’ve learned about rod cases and tubes from fishing stories and personal experience is that anglers love using them when backpacking.
Many tubes are waterproof, making them great for storing rods on a fishing kayak.
Others boast exceptional damage resistance, making them a must-have part of your camp equipment.
It is important to note that choosing the right rod tubes and cases is essential to protecting your gear.
Rod tubes are generally designed to fit rods of specific sizes, so what you pick is a personal choice.
You can find cases that hold one rod while others can hold several, especially telescoping rods. Also, ensure the case or tube has the correct diameter for the size of your gear.
3. Use fishing rod wraps.
Fishing rod wraps are a great option if you don’t want to add too much weight to your camping equipment but still need to protect your rod against a security threat.
They are not as fancy as a fishing rod case, but they are a fantastic way to help reduce the likelihood of broken fishing rods.
Also, they are one of our favorite fishing rod holder options if you have to carry your equipment to your final destination.
Fishing rod wraps are typically crafted using Velcro and another lightweight material.
The material wraps around the entirety of the rod and is fastened using Velcro, perfect for protecting any item during transport.
It works similarly to a rod sock in that it helps reduce tangling if you have already rigged your gear.
4. Choose rod totes.
As an angler, you are likely transporting fragile items like your fishing tackle box regularly, especially if you like to travel for fish.
This is where rod totes come into play.
They are a fantastic solution to keep your equipment safe and secure while reducing baggage weight and making baggage transfers so much simpler.
You can usually check rod totes with an excess baggage fee. But if your rod packs down for portability, you can avoid an oversized item fee.
With a rod tote, you will have several compartments to carry up to four rods and reels at the same time.
You can then use specific mounting clips to secure each rod, ensuring they don’t shift or move in transit.
Many rod totes are made from softer, lightweight materials. Others use more heavy-duty materials, like aircraft-grade aluminum.
If you enjoy traveling for fishing, it’s always best to check the allowance for flights before choosing a rod tote. You’ll want to check for the following:
- If a hard-shell tube has additional heavy item fees
- If an item handling fee applies
- If you can bring the rod onto international flights and flight connections
- If the size of your rod incurs excess size charges
5. Use soft combo caddies.
Anglers who prefer something a little more lightweight than a hard-shelled storage tube are sure to love soft-sided combo caddies.
Like rod totes, combo caddies offer plenty of space for your must-have gear in one convenient location.
That said, they are generally sized to the length of your rod, which could incur excess size charges on an upcoming flight.
The easiest way to understand combo caddies is to imagine them as carrying cases for your leftover equipment.
You may also find similar designs for sports equipment, such as lacrosse or golf equipment.
With a combo caddy, you will have storage for a rod (if not two), your reel, and additional equipment like extra lines, lures, or even a fishing tackle box.
Soft combo caddies are an excellent choice for specific fishing trips because of their softer exterior.
They are not ideal for a fishing charter, though, as water exposure could cause damage to your gear and the bag itself.
However, it is a convenient solution if you want an easy way to carry all your gear when camping or hiking.
6. Invest in a fishing backpack.
Instead of searching for extra gear for fishing rod transportation, why not choose the most common solution for everyday anglers?
Fishing backpacks are easy and convenient to carry, especially if you bring a lot of gear to your fishing destination.
You’ll be comfortable carrying the equipment on your back while saving hundreds of dollars on extra carrying cases.
Not to mention, a backpack helps keep your hands free, making hiking or camping a breeze.
Fishing backpacks are designed to hold all your fishing essentials in one spot.
You’ll be able to keep your hooks and lures and all your angling tools, like line clippers and extra spools of line, organized.
You will also have padded storage for your reels, allowing you to customize your equipment to get the best possible catches during your trip.
As for the rod, the side pocket is sure to become your best friend.
For easy storage, always use a tip protector and slide the fishing rod into the side pocket outside your pack.
If your backpack has no exterior strap, you can still strap it to your bag using bungee cords or other ties.
As long as the rod feels sufficiently secured, it should be safe enough for you to carry.
7. Make DIY fishing rod tubes.
Are you looking for the perfect alternative to spending money at fishing stores and still be able to transport your angling gear safely?
If so, DIY fishing rod tubes are the perfect solution.
For this project, you will want as many PVC tubes with end caps as needed for the rods you want to carry.
It is also important to get your hands on a sling that can be connected to the PVC tubing, making them easy to carry.
By sizing the tubes to your rods, you will have a protective cover that prevents damage and tangling, while the end cap protects the tip of your rod.
You can also attach a sling to carry the tubes over your shoulder rather than by hand.
The Endless Number of Ways To Carry a Fishing Rod
Learning how to carry a fishing rod comes down entirely to personal preference.
With several DIY and storebought solutions, you can find the ideal way to carry your fishing rod combo and keep your gear as safe as it would be in fishing rod racks.
From rod totes to PVC pipes, you can carry all equipment on board without any hassle.