How To Ship A Fishing Rod

Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. And welcome to yet another post that has been inspired by events in my life as I discuss how to ship a fishing rod. Now for something that is usually strong enough to pull in quite large and heavy catches, they can be surprisingly brittle when we when attempt to ship them from one place to another.

And sadly this is something I discovered as I tried to post one to a friend of mine recently and it turned up with the tip snapped off. So in order to ensure that I don’t make that mistake again, let’s check out the right way to do things below.

What are the risks?

It actually surprises me how often I see in fishing rod reviews and feedback etc. online outlining how their new purchase has turned up with either the tip snapped off, ferrules (guides) bent or broken or rings fallen out. Now some of this can be put down to poor manufacture however in most cases, it is how it is packaged and shipped that causes the problem.

In my case, I simply put mine inside a plastic tube and sealed on both ends – I didn’t add any packaging which was the problem as the rod bounced around up and down until the tip snapped in transit. And if we refer back to our reviews and feedback again, in most cases it is the fact that the rod is not placed in enough padding that turns out to be the downfall.

How to pack your rod

As it turns out, the easiest way to protect your prized rod when shipping is to simply ensure that they are properly wrapped up in some form of padding. Bubble wrap is great for this purpose because it is both light weight and very effective at absorbing shock damage from hitting other object inside a box.

You should use more than one layer of bubble wrap on any particular section on your rods that have exposed ferrules, especially if they have ceramic inserts. Other padding options include filling any non padded section of the carrying container with packing peanuts or foam to reduce the chances of movement in transit even further.

The next recommendation here is to avoid using a plain cardboard box if you can as well. Plastic containers are best obviously with many resorting to plumber’s conduit or long plastic boxes to pack the rods in. Because the rods inside will take up almost all available space in whatever container you choose, it’s very important to pad the ends too to keep the rod as still as possible.

how to ship a fishing rod - man with soft carry bag

Made for purpose options

Of course there are some made for purpose options available as well which can be of assistance to those who travel regularly with their fishing gear. These include:

Rod wraps or straps

Rod wraps are designed for use inside a transportation case and as an alternative to the bubble wraps etc. we have discussed above. There are typically two options here – the ones that have the mesh cloth over high-density foam and those that use a criss-crossed fleece fabric with elastic at the ends.

Either one will work very well for this purpose provided they are tight enough to not let your equipment slide back and forth inside during transportation.

Soft carry bags

Should your transportation needs mean that you are moving around with your rods, then a soft carry bag can be a good option. These are fit for purpose bags that hold one or two rods in a padded soft bag with a carry handle. They usually contain space for reels as well as zipper pockets for tackle and other bits too.

Do not use these for shipping via a commercial means as they will not protect the rod and reel from the rigours of loading onto trucks and planes etc. however for general day to day movement, they will certainly do the trick.

Heavy duty framed bag

This next option keeps the soft cover side of things in place however includes a frame for extra support and protection. These can be used if you are shipping your gear as part of your check in luggage (i.e. in the hold under the place) or you need to send by smaller courier service.

Rods, reels and other equipment is kept within padded sections which as above, is all protected by a hard internal frame. They also work well for long car or camping trips where your rods can often get damaged as they are packed in the car or back tray of the truck.

Hard plastic rod case

This last option is the perfect fit for those of you who ship your rods regularly as they are nestled nicely into a hard plastic case for complete protection. Usually used in conjunction with a rod wrap or bubble wrap, they are perfect for shipping rods via any means.

They usually comprise extra thick walls for extra protection and the wider options will accommodate a reel and some tackle as well.


As there is it, hopefully a clear explanation of the processes behind shipping your fishing rods safely and as always, please let me know of your experiences below.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.