Keep Calm and Carry On

For most of us, getting bonefishing involves flights. There is always the worry your bags might not find themselves in the same place, at the same time, as you.

So… what gets carried on and what gets packed. First, let’s see what the TSA has to say about it:

Tackle Equipment

Sharp fishing tackle that may be considered dangerous, such as large fish hooks, should be sheathed, securely wrapped, and packed in your checked luggage. Like other high-value objects, you may wish to pack expensive reels or fragile tackle that does not pose a security threat (small flies) in your carry-on baggage.


So… flies are OK. Now, I won’t carry on all my flies… that seems excessive, but you can bring a box of flies on the plane. If you can, you probably should.

The advice you hear most often is this:

I carry on rods, reels, camera gear and flies. Everything I need to get fishing.

If you have long pliers, that could be an issue as well. Tools can’t be more than seven inches long (and here, please, don’t say anything about the length of your tool).

One suggestion is to use a boat bag as your carry on. Load that bad boy up with gear, including your flies. Carry on your rods. Wear flats clothes on the plane.


  • Unique Post



  1. rods are not allowed onboard domestic indian flights

  2. I think one hat would be enough though.

    The thing with TSA is every agent is different and they often have different interpretations of their own rules. I had one agent in Frankfurt tell me I couldn’t carry on my 4 piece rods. I was in a near panic because this was an intermediate stop and my checked bag was who knew where. I went back to KLM and asked for help. The agent said “Don’t tell them I told you this but just go to a different agent.” I did and that agent never even blinked at the rods. I completely agree with trying to carry enough gear so I can fish if my checked bags go walkabout. BUT… if you do always try to get there early enough that you can go back to the check-in counter if security turns you away. Otherwise you may be donating some good gear to someone.

    The other lesson I’ve learned is you can usually carry rods, reels with lines, and other gear inside the US and when leaving the US. But coming back into the US from Mexico, Bahamas, Brazil, Venezuela, they’ve all required me to check rods. So I go with a check-in bag sufficiently large to pack rods and reels on the way home.

  3. I think the hats were for other people. I was simply the way they were getting from point A to point B.

    I think there is always the risk of catching someone when they are having a bad day. So much of this is subjective and so it will be uneven. That’s they worry we all have.

  4. Yeah, the other thing to remember is when it comes to security procedures – the last thing you want to be is predictable. When I went through SEER (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) training in the Army, one of the main things they teach is to observe and watch for predictable behavior – guards that make the same route on the same time frequency, etc. So it is understandable why TSA would want to vary their procedures. Which of course makes it difficult for terrorists as well as for travelers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *