You want to get your gear from point A to point B (and back) without ruining anything. The first thing to consider, before you even pack your first lure, is what kind of fish live where you are going. You aren’t going to catch Northern pike in South Florida. Be sure to only pack the appropriate lures and gear for your destination.

After you’ve got that figured out, make a checklist. This will not only make sure you don’t leave your house without important fishing items, but it will also help you get all of your gear back home.

Here’s what we suggest you bring and how you can travel with that gear like a pro.

Roadworthy Rod Cases

You don’t want to arrive at your destination only to realize you’ve cracked your rod in two or popped a few eyelets off. This is an easy fix as there are numerous rod cases on the market suitable for travel. Get a hard case, which will offer the best protection for your rods.The American-made Plano 6508 Airline Telescoping Rod Case is especially well-suited for airline travel. The case, which can hold up to eight rods, has luggage-style wheels on the bottom to make it easier to transport from the curb to check-in.

If you are planning to fly fish, you should invest in a hard case designed for your specific gear. Look for a case that has separate compartments for reels and flies.

Traveling with Reels

Reels don’t fit in many rod cases. So, in most instances, you are going to need to find another way to pack them. While you can buy a dedicated reel case, there are better and cheaper options. Try this: wrap your reels in old T-shirts or newspaper, put them in a plastic shoebox that snaps closed, wrap a small cargo strap around the boxes and then pack the box in your suitcase. You’ll be limited to two or three reels per box. However, unless you are Roland Martin, you only need to travel with a couple of reels anyway. Note: you’ll need a slightly bigger plastic box if you are bringing offshore reels.

The DIY Tackle Box

Options seem endless when it comes to tackle boxes and lures, but the traveling fisherman should consider piecing together a few items to make one solid kit. The Eagle Claw 180-piece fishing kit is a versatile kit that comes in a travel ready container. We like to pair it with an 85-piece jig kit and a “Bass Bucket” of artificial worms. Place all three kits into a medium-sized plastic container and you’ve got yourself a great tackle box that will allow you to fish for several species.

Remember: In our post-9/11 world, you won’t be able to carry-on anything that has sharp hooks, including spinning baits and rattle traps. It would be wise to brush up on your knowledge of your airline’s policies, as well as the TSA regulations, before trying to carry any of your fishing gear on plane.