I am planning a trip from Hong Kong to New Zealand towards the end of this year and I want to bring my fly fishing rod. I am planning to purchase a tube to put my 4-piece rod inside and the tube has the following measures: 27 inch or 68cm.

My question is: Can I take the tube as carry-on rather than check it as checked luggage? I have checked Qantas, China Airlines, and Virgin Australia websites and I am informed about their travel policies (some do actually not state any information about my specific case). Hence I wonder what are the experience other travellers had most recently. I am asking about experience dating back only to 2013-2015 because obviously travel policies change.

I read that when stating that the content is "delicate,fragile, and valuable" that most airlines treat rods in such tube like music instruments and allow travellers to carry-on. My tube as stated has dimensions that should fit into every over-head compartment.

What can I do to make my case? I just feel very unsafe and uncomfortable to check in a 1000+ USD rod where the tube has to remain unlocked due to potential inspection.

I think that despite asking for experiences and knowing this is not the perfect fit for StackExchange the question still stands because ground security services and airlines most often handle issues like this on an ad-hoc basis rather than going by policy (as evidenced by the lack of information on the airline websites).



A Quick googling tells us that you should be able to carry your fishing rod with you AS LONG AS it is properly packed (at least a pvc tube with screw caps, or better a proper fishing rod case ).

AND be ready to check-in your fishing gear if for some reasons they do not accept it, so mark it as fragile and "handle with care" with some visible "fragile" stickers.


Qantas has a fishing section:

"To be accepted for carriage, they must be protected in a PVC cylinder with screw ends, which can be obtained from a local fishing store, or in PVC plumbing or electrical tubing. Fishing rods must not be strapped to suitcases and the length can not exceed 277cm (109in) on Qantas operated services.

If the fishing equipment and your checked baggage exceed your checked baggage allowance, airport excess baggage rates apply. For example, if your baggage allowance is one piece and you are travelling with a bag and a fishing rod, this will amount to two pieces and you will need to pay for the additional piece"


  • ...plus it completely misses my question. I asked about carry-on, not check-in. I am of course aware that as long as one pays, takes the risk of loss or delayed delivery any item can be checked in. My question focuses on carry-on. – Matthias Wolf Aug 4 '15 at 2:25
  • There is no clear answer that we can give you. Most airlines seems to accept fishing rods in a PVC pipe (or proper carrying case) that fits the dimension requirements of carry-on; In all my travels, I never (knock on wood) had problems with check-in in stuff and that have been delayed or being lost in transit. – Max Aug 4 '15 at 10:56

I have encountered travelers flying from Japan to the USA, to go fishing in Alaska, that were bringing their rod cases onto the plane as a carry on. So yes it is possible to do so on international flights (hundreds of folks fly with rod cases as carry on within the USA and Canada).

But I think the final decision, in your situation, will be Hong Kong airport security. If they allow it and your case does not radically exceed carry on baggage size, you should be good to go.

  • @pnuts - My experience is that the airlines and cabin crews allow it on board as carry on baggage, so yes "will they allow it" is affirmative from the airline point of view. But I have no first hand experience with HKG (the airport website does not list fishing poles as a restricted item - cad.gov.hk/english/for_travellers.html#security). – user13044 Aug 3 '15 at 19:33

Be very careful what you carry on. I had 8 compact double sided fly boxes (with flies I tied) confiscated at the Incheon Airport in South Korea two years ago. They were returned to me 8 months later, to my surprise, as I insisted that a note detailing situation and address be included in the bag they used and sealed. Years earlier I had 5 rods in a PVC tube with screw on end caps. The ground crew dropped it out of the cargo hold on the deck in Aukland NZ. two of the rods were destroyed with no apology or compensation for this recommendation they make. Pack rods (3 to 4 piece) in their own individual hard tubes and make sure all tubes are modified to fit cross ways in a large pullman. Make sure you measure rod piece lengths to see that they fit. Wrap in bubble wrap a couple of times and pack your boots and clothing around them. Check it in and hope for the best. I carried on my reels, lines and leaders. I hope I have better luck this year with carry on. I packed my flies in my checked bag.

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