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Most anglers arrange an extensive fly fishing trip to escape their busy day-to-day life, relax and unwind, and hook a few fish while at it. These trips are organized for a good time, hoping very little, if anything, goes wrong. But without proper attention paid to critical details that come with planning a successful outing into the wild, a minor oversight can take a fly fishing trip from one of the best days of your life to one of the most upsetting very quickly. What’s one of the anglers’ biggest mistakes before and during their fly fishing excursion? The mistake is often not pulling out all the stops to protect their fly fishing gear properly during travel. Nothing puts a damper on a fly fishing trip faster than damaged, unusable gear. With enough thought into getting your gear to and from your destination, you can minimize potential disaster and enjoy yourself out on the water with your equipment in perfect condition.


Most major airline carriers make it easier on anglers by classifying fly fishing gear as checked luggage. In fact, almost every major airline sees fly fishing gear daily, so coming across yours shouldn’t come as any surprise. That being said, and especially if you are traveling with a smaller airline carrier, it would be wise to contact an agent who can assure you of what the airline deems permissible and what they do not. You want to avoid leaving precious gear behind or discovering at the gate that they don’t allow what you’ve got in your pack. Wild Water combos are ideal when flying or traveling in compact spaces because your gear is together secured in a safe tube.

It’s also essential to consider what items go in your checked luggage vs. what is stored in your carry-on. To make it easy, think of it this way; TSA only cares about what is inside your carry-on, whereas your airline carrier only cares about the weight and size of your checked luggage. If you even have to ask yourself whether or not a TSA agent might find an item dangerous, it should go in your checked bag. Items that come to mind which should be packed in your checked luggage are fishing line, pliers, knives, hooks, flies, etc. As for items easily deemed safe and permissible as carry-on, think of fly rods, reels, maps, fly vest, etc. These items are perfectly acceptable to join you on the plane as carry-on items. An obvious way to protect these items is to carry them in a Wild Water fly rod tube sporting storage pockets; not only are these typically designed within airlines’ weight and dimensions parameters, but they are also highly shock absorbent and can withstand any turbulence your flight may endure.


More often than not, you’ll be driving to your fly fishing spot rather than flying, which makes things easier since TSA is not monitoring your vehicle, but it deserves just as much consideration to protect your gear. Although fishermen back in the day would just set their fully rigged gear in the back of their pickup truck and head for their favorite tributary, over time, they’ve realized how much damage their rod and reel might take during the trip if stowed that way. 

So many companies have come on the scene to give your rig a smoother, protected ride. If you are not renting a vehicle or often take your car out to fly fish, a fishing rod carrier such as a Riversmith River Quiver is hands down the best-looking form of protection for your fly rod and reel. Lightweight, easy to install, and engineered to be aerodynamic and compatible with any vehicle, they are also the most durable on the market and more able to withstand any shock, wind, or impact your car may have. 

If you’ve already got your rooftop outfitted with another rack, you’re renting a vehicle, or you’re still deciding whether to commit to a fly rod roof rack, a rod case will do the trick. Many anglers favor the fishing kits coming out of Wild Water, which includes a rod case, reel pouch, and side storage pouch for all the small accessories you may want to haul. Wild Water fishing kits also make exceptional gifts for those starting in fly fishing and needing all the gear at once.


At the very least, if you don’t have a fly rod roof rack or a rod case, disassemble your rig after use and before you drive off into the sunset. Most anglers know how to disassemble their fly rods, but a brief brush-up doesn’t hurt. Start with the obvious and break down the rod into the number of pieces it is manufactured to be. Then make sure you have a few velcro straps handy or some sections of rope so you can tie the rod pieces together. Doing this ensures they will not shift, rub, or slide around as easily as they would if they were apart. Once properly tied together, place the butt of the rod on the ground and elevate the tip, so it’s not taking any damage during the drive. Take it one step further and place a sock or microfiber towel around the tip to prevent potential damage. It’s also an excellent idea to velcro or tie the entire disassembled rig to the vehicle itself; not only will this further protect your rig, but it will protect your vehicle from inflicting any damage an unsecured rig may do during transportation.


These methods and suggestions may seem minor, but it’s amazing how often such simple measures are overlooked. Nothing gives an avid angler the shivers like seeing a comrade neglect their gear. Protecting your equipment should be at the forefront of your mind, whether flying or driving. Don’t act like a greenhorn; protect your gear at all costs.

Plenty of equipment on the market was designed and manufactured to protect your gear; invest in your equipment wisely, and it will provide you with the experience you’re hoping to catch!

For more information regarding Wild Water Fly Fishing and their products, please contact Dena Vick,

About Wild Water Fly Fishing

Wild Water Fly Fishing represents a dedication to bringing friends and family together by providing everything you’ll need to gear up for a trip to the lake. If you’re a parent or grandparent wanting to nurture a kid’s interest in fly fishing, Wild Water provides the best tools to make your fly fishing trip an unforgettable experience. Wild Water Fly Fishing is the only company to focus exclusively on affordable, easy-to-use fly fishing starter packages for all species of fish.

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