Shipping Rods The Easy Non-Pain-In-The-Ass Way

wtrbrdm

1143 Miles From The Landing
Apr 5, 2016
347
727
Colorado Springs, CO
Name
Ben
Boat
Excel
Bored at work this morning...not even sure if it belongs here....but meh....

I've noticed that many people on here are hesitant to ship rods to sellers that aren't able to meet up locally. Quite honestly, it's not that big a pain in the ass and quite reasonable to do if you want to sell and ship that rod to someone. I've shipped 7 in the past few months. All have arrived in one piece and in the same condition I packed them. I figured I'd write up how I ship them, as there are a ton of convoluted write ups on other boards. With the great prices on some rods here, I'm willing to bet some buyers will eagerly add a few bucks for supplies and shipping...or just add it to the price of the rod.

This works for rods up to 8' shipped via USPS. I've checked other carriers and have used USPS exclusively due to cost. The rods I've shipped have been from 7'6” to 8”. It's important to know your measurements and what USPS will accept, as I'm told EVERY time I walk in, that the tube is too long. After a quick re-education, all have been accepted and shipped, although they WILL measure to verify.

USPS will ship tubes with an overall measurement of 108”. For a tube this is the length + the girth at the fattest part. This means that if you do use end caps, they will measure the girth of the cap, not the tube. I do NOT use caps for the 8' rods, as I like a bit of wiggle room with the numbers. I do use caps for shipping the 7'6” rods, as the tube is shorter.

Tube: I use 3” x 10' corrugtaed drain pipe, found at Home Depot....runs about $10. It has a big connector flare at one end...this is what you'll cut off anyway. A hacksaw or naked hacksaw blade makes quick work of this.

Caps: 3” pipe caps found at Home Depot, if you're going to use them....run about $1.50.

Tape: Regular clear packing tape, which most of us have laying around.

Bubble wrap: It doesn't take much, so you may have some at the house. In a pinch, I had an inbound rod that my buddy used a bunch of the plastic grocery store bags, which worked fine.

Step 1: Cap shut the 3” end opposite the flared connector. Tape the cap to the tube using 3 long pieces of tape centered across the cap and down onto each the side of the tube. Go ahead and repeat that again on top of the first layer of tape. Make sure they contact the tube sides at least 4” on each side going down. If you don't want to use a cap, cut a small circle out of cardboard (from the Amazon boxes you get daily) and use that as a flush sitting cap. The bonus of this is that the girth (if shipping a longer rod) will be 3” no matter where they measure....vs the 3.25” when they use the cap for girth measurement. Once you have either cap method taped, run a razor blade around the circumference of the tube and trim the tape legs to 3 or 4 inches. Now run the packing tape around the circumference under the cap a few times...over the trimmed tape legs...and move down a few inches as you turn the tube. The first cross sections of the tape are holding the cap against the tube end and the tape around the tube is now holding everything in place...as a secondary safeguard.

Step 2: Now that the one end is closed....lay your rod next to the tube...butt-end at the end you just capped off. Mark the tube about 1” past the rod tip. Make a nice straight cut at that mark.

Step 3: Take your rod and put one layer of bubble wrap around each guide and around the reel seat. This is for a rail rod, as it will fit snug in the tube and you only need to protect the guides from any scratching while in contact with the tube interior wall. If shipping skinnier rods, you can make a few wraps so that it will fit snuggly in the tube. It doesn't take much, which you'll realize when you slide the rod into the tube.

Step 4: Slide the rod into the tube ass end first. Again, if it goes in loose, put a little bubble wrap around the rod as you slide it in. You don't need any at the butt cap end as the gimbal cover will sit against the cap/cardboard. The goal is that it doesn't bounce around in the tube. Keep sliding until it's all the way in the tube. The rod tip should be an inch or so deep into the tube now. Take some bubble wrap and cover the tip, as well as stuff some around the tip. There should be no movement laterally. You should have that inch of open space at the end now filled with bubble wrap as well...nice and snug.

Step 5: Cap this end the same way....cardboard or actual cap....tape across the end and secured by wrapped around the tube.

Step 6: Measure the length and girth at the fattest part (tube if you capped with cardboard or the cap if you capped with a cap). Get a free USPS click and Ship account...enter the info.....address....weight....length...gith....and presto....a label. I tape the label on, as well as writing the addresses on the tube in case that falls off. I've never shipped one that wasn't pre-labelled. I use a small scale and email the labels to my buddy to print out for me.

Step 7: Go to USPS with confidence and ship it. If they measure it...no biggie...as you know your measurements are equal to or less than 108"

Sidenotes;
* You can fit 2 rail rods in a 3” tube...just lay them back to back and secure them together to keep them from rubbing against each other.
* Of the rods I've shipped, the most I paid was $35. That was 2 rail rods in a tube and $700 insurance from CO to CA.
* If you use end caps, the girth will be around 11”, so plan on the tube being no longer than 97”
* If you use cardboard “end caps”, the girth will be right under 10”, so we'll go with that, so plan on the tube being no longer than 98”
* Have your measurements down...USPS WILL MEASURE. I was over by .25” on one and they did not take it until I went home and trimmed the tube.

Hope this helps someone. Once you have all of the items, it should only take you about 15 minutes to pack one up. Below is a pic of the tube I use.....you can see the flared end that gets chopped off.

oJRPsm.png
 
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2tuna

Almost A Member
Feb 21, 2011
101
291
Salinas/CA/USA
Name
Craig H
Boat
le barge
As a very pleased recipient of one of your rods, Ben, I can attest to the quality of packing, protection and efficiency of your method. First Class!
 
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mike mitchell

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jul 25, 2017
3,301
2,287
61
San Diego
Name
Michael Mitchell
Boat
20 Bertram
If you sold a rod and shipped it and it was mishandled and broken what were you prepared to do ?
 
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Soulakala

Almost A Member
Oct 23, 2019
127
414
72
Ocean Park, Wa
Name
Chuck
Boat
Weldcraft 24' Ocean King
I've used PVC down drain pipe which comes both in square and round and is around $4 for a 10'. Put a piece of foam in each end then two options for sealing the ends; if the rod is short you can simply heat the PVC with even your wife's hair drier and bend the sides together or you can tape the ends with the foam inside. I like to press the foam into the rod as it reduces movement. If you want to go further on the ends cut some wood to fit inside the PVC against the foam then staple, nail or screw through the PVC into the wood.
 
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wtrbrdm

1143 Miles From The Landing
Apr 5, 2016
347
727
Colorado Springs, CO
Name
Ben
Boat
Excel
I always insure them. USPS Caims is more ammendable to deal with vs UPS or FedEx. I've heard people have issues with claims when packing items themselves vs using UPS stores or FedEx office to do "professional packing". Id do what I could to keep a good seller reputation and be a decent human being. Lost rod....I'd refund the money and work the claim. Broken rod, I'd do the same. If a guide broke, I'd defer to the buyer to have it replaced and I'd cover the cost.

Anything can get damaged during shipping...or lost....just a chance you take.

I had a buddy get robbed meeting a guy to buy a mountain bike... Shit happens.... But I have faith in human beings.
 
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swami 805

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Mar 9, 2016
3,936
5,378
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Name
Bill
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sunk it
Square rain gutter pipe so it can't roll around. 2 rods is a plus if they're wrapped up tip to butt. I've shipped rods too, it's not hard and 25-$30 ain't bad
 
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bigreddog

Get off of my lawn
Jul 18, 2005
413
308
On a river
Name
Cliff
Boat
Long Range
Very useful information, well presented. Thank you.
 
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Chad D.

Newbie
Oct 8, 2017
50
43
Leaburg, OR
Name
Chad
Boat
Willie 1654 Guide
Jake “Cowman” ships me all my rods up to 8ft rods in PVC pipes wrapped in bubble wrap. Never had an issue yet. Done right shipping isn’t a problem

Lucky! Jake made me come get my new rod from him!!!

Just kidding. I live fairly close and had a project to look at not far from his place. Saved on freight and was nice to meet Jake when I picked it up.
 
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2tuna

Almost A Member
Feb 21, 2011
101
291
Salinas/CA/USA
Name
Craig H
Boat
le barge
Bringing this to the top, as I just bought a OSP 1x3 from a guy here on BD and Fedex charged him $95 for the privilege of shipping from SoCAL to NorCal. No wonder nobody wants to ship rods...
 
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