FISHING AIRPORT SECURITY

TRAVELING - WITH FISHING RODS

  • Below are some tips to get your tackle safely through security in the US and Mexico.

    TSA Fishing Tackle Guidelines - Fishing tackle falls under the "special items" category in the TSA passenger guidelines. Be aware that they are enforced differently from airport to airport, and Mexico has its own regulations.

    Pack Redundantly - The best way to pack for a fishing trip to Mexico is to not put all your eggs in one basket. Pack as if one of your bags will be lost. Pack redundantly and divide important items between your carry-on and checked luggage. Try to book direct flights, and show up to the airport early. Arriving within Mexico without your favorite tackle can ruin a trip.

    Packing Hooks - It is not a good idea to pack loose hooks in your carry on baggage. However, some people have reported no problems packing packaged un-opened hooks in their carry-on. TSA regulations say that "flies" should be packed in carry-on luggage, and this implies hooks are okay, but don't count on it. You can try packing packaged hooks in your carry-on but if they are important, you want backup hooks in your checked luggage. Always make sure hooks are securely packaged.

    Packing Rods (carry-on) - Three and four piece carry-on rods are generally the best way to go. They seem to be fully allowed as carry-on luggage and they are easily stored in overhead luggage. If you have multiple rods it may be better to pack them all in one tube. Some people have reported that airlines allower longer rod tubes in the plane cabin, but understand that both the airline and TSA could force you to check a long rod tube last minute. Rods should always be in protective tubes.

    Packing Rods (checked luggage) - Packing one-piece rods is permitted in checked baggage but these rods must be packed SECURELY. If you buy a rod tube make sure it is sturdy. Some say that the best protection is a thick piece of PVC pipe with a screw top at one end. Always make sure that your tube can be opened easily by TSA personnel. If they can't examine the contents of your tube, they may hold it from being checked on your flight. Another good idea is to make a handle for your home made tube. Make it easy for baggage handlers to grab your tube and they are less likely to damage it.

    Packing Reels - Reels can be packed as carry-on or checked baggage. Some fisherman have reported being asked to remove braided line from spools, but this isn't consistently enforced. Always pack extra line in a carry-on to be sure, and always pack reels securely.

    Packing Fishing Pliers - Fishing pliers up to 7" long are permitted in TSA regulations but make sure they pliers aren't sharp or part of a mult-piece tool like a leatherman---those will be confiscated. On your return please note that Mexico does not allow pliers in carry-on luggage.

    Packing Fishing Lures - Lures can be packed in carry-on but hooks should be removed from lures if possible. They are likely to be confiscated if hooks are exposed.