If you have just booked your dream fishing vacation you may be wondering if you can take your fishing gear as carry on or will it need to be checked into the hold?
Forward planning is key to a good trip, make sure there are no surprise gotcha's.
With proper planning you should be able to enjoy your time out on the water. Nothing makes traveling more stressful than packing at the last minute or even worse showing up at the airport only to find out that your luggage is not suitable for how you had booked it.
The following do's and don'ts should help to make your dream vacation run a little smoother.
The single best piece of advise is to always check with the airline ahead of schedule
Do Check With the Airline
Unfortunately different airlines have different rules about what they will allow in the cabin and what should be checked as baggage.
For example spinning reels and rods can be counted as one item by many different airlines.
However you may be asked to remove the spool from the reel as many airlines will not allow fishing line in the cabin. Simply remove the spool and pack it in your baggage.
It is worth spending the extra few minutes reading through the airlines terms and conditions with respect to their luggage policy.
Be careful if you ring the airline, as you may find that what an agent tells you over the phone may be some what different to what you are told as you try to check-in at the airport.
Do Plan Ahead
As we mentioned above always try to plan your trip well ahead in advance.
Knowing your exact itinerary ahead of schedule will help to make sure that things will run as smooth as possible.
Make sure that you have done a lot of research on where exactly you will be fishing and with whom.
If you are booking a charter boat try to do as many background checks on them as possible. For example if they have a Facebook page or Google reviews of their charter services then try to contact some of the previous people that used them.
If you are staying in a hotel then try and ring the reception ahead of time and see do they have any recommended partners that they trust.
If you are planning on using a local guide then again make sure to do some background checks and make sure that they deliver the service as advertised.
Do Check the Weather
If you are traveling to some exotic corner of the world where you have never been always make sure that you are traveling there at the right time of year.
Nothing spoils a trip like constant bad weather. If your destination is in a tropical climate that experiences a wet and dry season then you need to be aware of this before you book the trip.
Don't Bring Anything Sharp in the Cabin
Any piece of fishing equipment that could be considered as a potential weapon or dangerous object should be stowed securely in your checked luggage.
It is best to use common sense here. Most airlines will have a list of prohibited items that cannot be brought into the cabin.
But that list will not be exhaustive, what might seem like a harmless piece of tackle to you may be seen as a security risk by an airline employee.
Don't Try to Force Your Gear Into Your Baggage
Never try to cram in as much fishing gear as possible into you baggage. Forcing in too much into a small piece of luggage can mean that your expensive tackle could get damaged.
When packing a reel for example try to place soft clothing around to help reduce and impacts it may encounter during transit.
Rods that are to be checked into the hold need to be properly protected by a strong rod tube that is capable of taking a beating whilst being handled by baggage handlers.
Always have a sticker with your name, address and telephone number on the rod tube in case it gets lost in transit.