The finer points of rod shipping containers

Dexter Outdoors

effigy

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Which one? Too many....
Until I am retired (like you lucky bastards....Steve K) and can drive the 1000 miles to San Diego without concern for time, I am stuck with my routine of flying down & back. My SKB rod case has been OK so far. However, the problem with it is (1) it only holds 5 - 6 rods (2) 7 ft max and (3) the carrying handle becomes a max dimension for Fed Ex.
It's a great tube when taking it on the airline. But I've converted to shipping it down & back; just easier than carrying through airport and not worrying about what TSA will do to it.
I'd like to switch to a round tube, long enough for 7.5' rods. My options are (1) build a tube from 6" dia. PVC or ABS, or buy one of the common brands (bazooka, etc.)
So...the question, for others who also like to pre-ship rods tubes, what has worked the best? I am definitely paranoid about tube breakage. The SKB is really stout. I am thinking that a home-made PVC is probably stronger than the commercial brands. I ship via Fed Ex ground.
Thanks for any thoughts, Mark (stuck in Oregon)
 
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JohnTFT

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Nothing but bad luck with PVC tubes. UPS, FedEx break them constantly. If you go to anything heavier than Schedule 40 it gets expensive just to ship the tube. Once you go to 8' it really gets expensive. Bazooka tubes suck. The bottoms break, the pins get loose in their positioning holes.

I am in NY. I have West Coast gear I keep in Cali. Its easier to team up with a buddy who rents storage space or use a service that can keep your rods there.

Rosie Flowers just started a company that will pick your gear up. Clean it, store it and deliver it to the boat when needed. Not sure of the cost.
 
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RichG

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First, I don't ship rods since I drive down. Would a travel case for Downhill ski's work? I have one and it's adjustable for length. I would think you would have to pad the rods and figure a way to protect the guides (you could use a swimming pool noodle).

Just a though and I'd like to know, if I every find myself moving.


Sorry, I just looked it up and they only go to 83 inches (7 feet is 84 inches).
 
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Steve K

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OK, first, don't hate ;) Consider Rosie's new service. She has a storage spot, and I guess will bring whatever you leave with her to the landing and deliver it to you on the morning of your departure as well as gather it all up and hold onto it until your next trip. I spoke with her in January and she was very enthusiastic about it. I'm sure she's also expanded the service to include arranging any rod repairs or reel service you require. I'll see if I can figure out how to get in touch with her for you. You might just try calling Lori in the American Angler office to get Rosie's contact info, or look her up on Facebook.
 
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dwaynesda

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Plano makes a jumbo rod case with wheels. It hold lots of rods and the wheels are great . I have shipped my rods from Alaska to Brazil with this case with no issues so far but I have learned to pack my rods from previous issues with TSA. If a rod tip is broke, the airlines say they have no responsibility and to take the matter up with TSA.
The problem is,When they open the rod tube to inspect and remove the rods, they have no clue on how to get them back in and just jam them in. The trick is to put half one way and half the other way with the rod butts of one bundle sticking beyond the tips of the other bundle by about an inch (thus protecting the tips) , securing the rod bundle with cord or zip ties to make it one unit. Then, even the inexperienced TSA agent can insert the bundle back in to the tube.
The airlines will be charging by the length of the tube. Don't be shocked as each airline has its own rules on sporting equipment. Due your homework.
Also, the only rod tubes that I have seen broken as they come down the conveyor belt are the ones made of PVC or ABS. Go figure that one out.
 
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FishRock

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PVC is quite brittle. ABS is a bit more forgiving and HDPE is bullet proof but heavy and flexible.

Mark,

I am in the same boat with the need to ship rods so I will be curious to hear how it works out for you.
 
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Storyteller

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Mar 17, 2012
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I started with an SKB rod case and had to graduate to a larger Plano case for the same reason. I ship my rods from the Seattle area, via Fed Ex ground, to San Diego, at least twice a year. It is important to bundle the rods together with straps and to put bubble wrap or a small towel around the tips for extra protection, before placing in the rod tube. I reverse half the rods in the bundle and put bubble wrap around each end and hold it in place with blue painters tape. (The same tape I use for the AC vents in the freezing staterooms!) Have not had a problem in the past 3 years.
 
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effigy

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Which one? Too many....
Thanks guys. I am well versed in how to pack them, and I have firsthand experience with what TSA does to rods. The SKB case is fantasic in terms of strength; it is not likely to break or bend, that's why SKB has a great warranty. Yet I am still looking at a bent guide on a favorite rod because someone else re-packed my rods in that SKB case.
Again, my preferred method is to ship via Fed Ex ground. I have done many calculations on cost vs dimensions & weight of the case / tube. A 6 inch diameter tube, long enough for 7 ft 6 in rods (with an extra 2 inches for padding) is less than $40. for me. I am fine with that cost. When you increase the length from there, or increase one of the other dimensions, the cost goes up rapidly.

So my key question is really "can you give me a review of any commercially avaible rod tubes, or your home-made tube" because I will continue to ship them most of the time. The HDPE suggestion is intriguing.

Eddy, thanks for the comment re Plano case. I'll have to look at these. And...hah...I do the same thing with blue masking tape and bubble wrap. You can always spot us guys by the mess we make unpacking the rod tube!
BTW when you ship an SKB case via Fed Ex, you want to be there when they take the measurement because some agents will use the handle dimension as one of the dimensions, which jacks the price up. Sweet talk the agent into using only the body of the case, and then get a pre-printed & paid return label to ensure the lowest cost both ways. Or, cut off the handle (which Ihave thought of doing!).

p.s. Steve, not hating....just envious. 3 - 4 more years, and I'll be stopping at your house to spend the night :-)
 
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screamingreel

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High Density Poly Ethylene is really good tubing for rod shipping. Been using it for years. Super durable, flexible and inert. I use the 4" diameter tube, but there is a 6" diameter too. HDPE 4710 — ASTM D3035 are the numbers on the tubing.

- Jeff Burroughs
 
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$norkle

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Mark, I hear you about time constraints, but the 1000 mile drive to SD from where you are isn't a big deal----well, at least for me. I leave Corvallis about 5:30 or so in the AM and pretty much cruise along at the speed limit----for the simple reason that if I don't drive fast there's no tension and I just don't get tired. I also sip on Dr. Pepper the whole way which has enough caffeine to keep me awake. I get to the south end of the valley (Grapevine/Laval) and take a nap 'til about 11PM, and then drive over the hill so I don't get to LA until about midnight----that makes the rest of the drive through SoCal pretty easy compared to daytime driving and I get in to SD about 2-3AM-----and there's almost always spaces in the Fisherman's Landing lot at that time.

Considering how much shit I bring on a trip, there's no way in hell I'd ever consider trying to fly; there's no way in hell I'd trust any airline with all my gear. Coming home is pretty easy as well. 5-Star is really good about getting my fish done early and I just load it into coolers and start driving. I usually make it to a Pilot truck stop in Medford and then stop and sleep until dawn----then just drive home. Even when temps are 100 degrees all through the CA valleys, my fish are still packed in ice and in perfect shape when I get home.

If you have to design your own shipping tube for your rods, the best advice I can offer is go to one of the farm irrigation suppliers here in the valley and have them give you all the options. They've got stuff that's a cut above whatever you'll find at Home Depot.
 
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Montaukmaniac

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Plano makes a jumbo rod case with wheels. It hold lots of rods and the wheels are great . I have shipped my rods from Alaska to Brazil with this case with no issues so far but I have learned to pack my rods from previous issues with TSA. If a rod tip is broke, the airlines say they have no responsibility and to take the matter up with TSA.
The problem is,When they open the rod tube to inspect and remove the rods, they have no clue on how to get them back in and just jam them in. The trick is to put half one way and half the other way with the rod butts of one bundle sticking beyond the tips of the other bundle by about an inch (thus protecting the tips) , securing the rod bundle with cord or zip ties to make it one unit. Then, even the inexperienced TSA agent can insert the bundle back in to the tube.
The airlines will be charging by the length of the tube. Don't be shocked as each airline has its own rules on sporting equipment. Due your homework.
Also, the only rod tubes that I have seen broken as they come down the conveyor belt are the ones made of PVC or ABS. Go figure that one out.

IMHO:

Hi Mark,

Unfortunately I'm not retired just yet!!!

I strongly agree with the above quoted post. The Plano Rod Tube works quite well. I have shipped from the Northeast to the San Diego 7 X via UPS, (that's 14 legs). I don't favor any particular shipping outfit, but the guy who picks up and drops off at my house does a great job for me. The Rod tube comes with foam inserts at both ends and will expand to accommodate 8 Ft rods. (a tip here when you gather your rods extend the butt ends just a .25 or .50 inch, more than tips & can you protect that tip guide very well) I have fit 13 rods, tips to tails! I would declined to use zip ties or cord and favor Velcro straps, the kind you could get at EMS / REI or some other sports store.) I protect the he rods with bubble wrap (.25 sized between them and then bubble-wrap the entire bundle, with special attention to the ends of the bundles (overlap the bubble-wrap twice to create cushioning). I then create a cardboard sleeve which extends the full eight-foot length around the bundle and the entire circumference of the bundle exterior. (when packing be sure to watch your guide placement so that all guides face the interior of the bundle) The cardboard sleeve also helps to slide the large pack of Velcro gathered /bubble-wrapped rods into & out of the tube.The wheels are also helpful in that you can get it around very easily. The handle on the tube is nice and sturdy.

With 14 shipping events between San Diego to Westchester, New York I have only had one problem with 2 guide inserts having cracked. (I would imagine someone (clueless) had taken the tube and tossed it, that time. (The company did made it right.) The bubble wrap and sleeving technique works quite well and I have never been at a loss for equipment, despite the travel distance.

If you have any questions or I can be helpful to another member the long-range brotherhood. Send me an IM and I'll be glad to give further input.

Tight lines and screaming reels!



 
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cecritz

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Best luck I've had is with Hancore pipe (crush Pipe) its a thin ridgid but flexible P.E. white pipe used for storm drain I use 6"size. I drilled sets of 2 holes around out side to put tie wraps through to attach rods inside of blue protective pipe sleeve (plumbers use for copper pipe coming through slabs) need to get the 3" or 4" size. I have a slotted drain (P.E. material so it wont break) that fits inside pipe that has been attached with tie wraps through drilled holes also and a solid cap on other end also attached by tie wraps. with the drain grate on one side it allows for security to look through and drug dogs have access to sniff inside with out opening it up once its tie wrapped closed. I always have extra tie wraps inside if they make me open it. so far no problem.
I use a baggage strap from a duffle bag with spring type clips that go it to more holes drilled in to pipe that I remove and put strap in carry on when it gets checked in. You can stand or jump on pipe with out it cracking and with poles attached to inside wall with tie wraps they wont shift, until I did that I would end up with a broken tip once and a while. I've seen them throw the case out of the baggage compartment onto concrete slab below plane with no damage to rods. The pipe comes in 10 ft lengths cut it to fit.
good luck PM me if you want more info on case
 
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offshore6

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Like posters above, I use the Plano Jumbo Airline case and ship it ahead via UPS or Fed Ex. Never had a problem with the rods being damaged but one of the tubes had the wheels ripped off. I can easily get 10 rods in the case. Shipping from Florida to San Diego.
 
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Squid Sammich

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To be determined
I use the Plano case. I strap rods tip to butt with slight butt overlap. Strap them firmly. I use short sections of foam water pipe insulation from Lowe's or Home Depot to protect guides (especially the larger ones) and to prevent rods from rattling against each other. I thoroughly wrap the the bundle in bubblewrap (especially the ends) while sliding it into the tube. Tie a cord around one rod butt and tape it the case where you can use it to help pull the bundle back out when unpacking if need be - all of the bubblewrap jammed in there will make it hard to extract your treasure but will also preserve them from damage.

I have never had a rod damaged in shipment but have had a couple damaged on one of the popular boats from mistreatment by the crew while cleaning the boat on the trip home. I learned some valuable lessons there as well.
 
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Steve K

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p.s. Steve, not hating....just envious. 3 - 4 more years, and I'll be stopping at your house to spend the night :-)

Sure thing, might be a little out of your way... An acquaintance who used to live in Reno used to stop in Bishop for at least dinner and then grab a room further south to set himself up for the second leg of his drive to Sandy Eggo. We had dinner at Whiskey Creek and he got on his way. Bill, now in Arizona or New Mexico.
 
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UtahTuna

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One thing no one has mentioned. Don't use bubble wrap, use your fishing shirts as protection for the rods.
Tape 2 rods together with them pointing in opposite directions. Tape them so that the total length (butt to butt) is perfect to fit your tube. Now do the same for 2 more rods, etc.
Finally lay 4 shirts on floor and start rolling up your sets of taped rods. Add more shirts as needed and then more rods until the bundle is a tight fit in the tube.
Works great.
So far no shirts have been damaged.
UtahTuna
 
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sealskinner

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    Don't ship in a antenna cardboard tube. Got a Truline 2 weeks ago in one. Had a right turn in it when I went to the Post office I was sure it was broken. Opened it up. Was perfect. Good thing it was a whip. Still wouldn't use an antenna tube tube.
     
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    effigy

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    Which one? Too many....
    Mark, I hear you about time constraints, but the 1000 mile drive to SD from where you are isn't a big deal----well, at least for me. .

    Yah Bruce, I get it.....my problem still comes down to.....time. Who was it...Peter Drucker who said "time is the most precious resource?"
    My time off situation is such that.....just saving one to 1.5 days of travel time makes a trip "feasible." Unless I can find a 6 day Lupe that departs the same day as your loooong trip, then maybe I can stow-away in your truck :-)
     
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    effigy

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    Which one? Too many....
    Sure thing, might be a little out of your way... An acquaintance who used to live in Reno used to stop in Bishop for at least dinner and then grab a room further south to set himself up for the second leg of his drive to Sandy Eggo. We had dinner at Whiskey Creek and he got on his way. Bill, now in Arizona or New Mexico.

    Yea, I know it's a detour. Part of this "retirement" fantasy I have includes....taking lots of detours to visit various places along the way. To make up for the last 40 years of "being on a schedule."
     
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    FishRock

    Still trying to figure it all out
    Mar 27, 2013
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    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    Best luck I've had is with Hancore pipe (crush Pipe) its a thin ridgid but flexible P.E. white pipe used for storm drain I use 6"size. I drilled sets of 2 holes around out side to put tie wraps through to attach rods inside of blue protective pipe sleeve (plumbers use for copper pipe coming through slabs) need to get the 3" or 4" size. I have a slotted drain (P.E. material so it wont break) that fits inside pipe that has been attached with tie wraps through drilled holes also and a solid cap on other end also attached by tie wraps. with the drain grate on one side it allows for security to look through and drug dogs have access to sniff inside with out opening it up once its tie wrapped closed. I always have extra tie wraps inside if they make me open it. so far no problem.
    I use a baggage strap from a duffle bag with spring type clips that go it to more holes drilled in to pipe that I remove and put strap in carry on when it gets checked in. You can stand or jump on pipe with out it cracking and with poles attached to inside wall with tie wraps they wont shift, until I did that I would end up with a broken tip once and a while. I've seen them throw the case out of the baggage compartment onto concrete slab below plane with no damage to rods. The pipe comes in 10 ft lengths cut it to fit.
    good luck PM me if you want more info on case

    Charlie,

    A picture would be quite helpful.
     
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    finishright

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    most of the shipping damage is not from the angler packing they take better care than the shipping company what happens is fedex or ups will check the contents in them they open and look inside to check the contents shove them back in the tube = bent guides broken tips and that is it when you ship buy a lock pack well and lock it up I've been shipping and receiving gear for 3 years now no damage as yet shit does happen most of those posting know or have asked about my business if you questions just ask . the insurance value on a shipment is the number one reason they look inside over 300 dollars they want to check
     
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