Finally, a solution to traveling with spey and switch rods.
We’ve carted our share of two handers around airports, and one thing we know is that traveling with spey and switch rods can be a pain. We’ve tried ski/snowboard bags, taping tubes together, and big bazooka style multi rod tubes. All have worked out to get our long sticks to our destination, but typically have cost us a carry on or ‘personal item’ that could have housed reels, sunglasses, cameras or other valubale gear you might want to keep on you while traveling.
We recently got our hands on the Fishpond 45″ Dakota Rod and Reel Case, we think it just might be the the best solution for traveling spey fisherman we’ve seen, and today we’ll tell you why.
- It’s long enough for most spey/switch rods. Plain and simple, at 45 inches long, the Dakota 45 can house four-piece two-handers up to 13’6″ long. Unfortunately, that won’t help those still chucking rods in the 14-15 foot range. However, with the growing trend of shorter spey/switch rods, we think that will accomodate most spey anglers, especially in the Pacific Northwest.
- No tubes needed. Rod tubes are a drag to travel with, and while they protect a rod well, we’d go out on a limb to say just as many rods are broken in transit by being shoved back into rod tubes as they are by bouncing around in a bag. The Dakota Rod and Reel Case is structured so that rods can be transported only in their socks, without the risk of being crushed in transit. Webbing straps also hold rods tightly in place as well to keep shorter rods from sliding around.
- It can be carried on. When traveling with rods and reels, we always recommend keeping them with you whenever possible. We’ve yet to see any resistance when carrying on the Dakota 45 on major flights. In fact, the bag often nestles nicely into the back taper of most overhead compartments allowing others to put bags infront of it as well – so you’re not ‘that guy’ taking up all the space.
- It holds a lot of gear in a small package. We’ve traveled for years with rods in large ‘bazoka’ style tubes. It works, but that leaves other expensive gear like reels, cameras, sunglasses, laptops, and the like to all be stuffed into another bag that’s supposed to be able to fit under the seat (hey, we’re trying to play by the rules here). That’s why we really like how much gear we can fit in the Dakota 45″. It can easily fit four spey/switch rods (more if you rearrange the dividers), a whole bunch of reels, a DSLR camera, a couple pairs of sunglasses, and still with plenty of room to spare.
- Customizable. One of our favorite things abut the Dakota 45 is how easy it is to customize the orientiation of dividers. Dividers are connected by velcro and can be easily removed or rearranged to accomdate the gear specific to your trip. See photo below for a basic layout.
If you’re looking for a better way to transport your gear, whether in the truck or on the plane, we don’t think you can go wrong with the Dakota 45 Rod and Reel Case. It’s a sure bet for the spey geek on your holiday shopping list this season, and is available at your local fly shop for $219.95. For more details and information on where to buy in your area, check it out on Fishpond’s website by clicking right here.