For years I never worried about packing my rods for my various adventures. Most of my rods were two-piece rigs and most of the trips were driver to – break em down, bundle them up and Bob’s your uncle! Fast forward to the first time I flew commercial to a trip Miminiska Fly In Report and that changed. At this stage most of my rods were one piece and everything I had read said that airlines are notoriously hard on your gear. Poking around a bit I realized I needed a rod tube and after some browsing I ended up choosing the Plano Guide Series Rod Tube at Sail . The Specs
The tube I chose was the 4.25-inch expandable model. It would fit my 7-foot one piece rods and hold up to 10 rods (or so the manufacturer stated, I have never tried to figure out the max capacity) Here is a quick breakdown of the features from Plano’s site:
4.25-inch diameter tube
Adjusts to hold rods up to 8.5 feet in length
Foam padding protects rod tips
Improved locking system
Convenient carry handle
Excellent: I have used the case on 5 different trips so far. The tube has held up to 7 rods as tall as 7 feet and I have had absolutely no issues. My rods have been safe and secure without any issues. My one tip would be to invest in some rod socks - I wrap my rods prior to putting them into the case to protect the eyes. These are the rods socks I purchased Cabelas Rod Sock
Great! I am going to break this into a few different chunks:
Packing– great. The tube is easy to use, expands as described and is easy to pack. Depending on the number of rods you may need to rotate them (some on tip first, some in butt first) to get optimal fit. What I really like about this unit is that when I am not using it, I can shrink it down to the smallest size and when ready to travel expand it out to hold my bigger rods (7 foot)
Strength – excellent. As mentioned, I have taken this on quite a few trips and if you have ever seen 5 guys and their gear loaded into a float plan you know how tight it can get. The tube has always been up to the task – no rods breakage, no cracks in the plastic and no issues with the locks.
Portability excellent. I struggled with what to call this category but for me one of the things I love about using the tube is how easy it makes transporting the rods around. You get a few stares in the airport but lugging my rods in the case is much easier than trying to transport a bundle of loose rods snuggled up with a rubber band (my old mode of transport)
Price: Great – I paid $80 for the tube a few years ago. Its not cheap but when I think about the combined value of the rods it protects its worth it. Factor in how much easier it is to move from point a to b I am very happy with my purchase.
Yes – I would totally recommend this tube. If you are regularly taking fishing trips and especially if you are flying to and from your destination, I would totally look at these tubes. Over the years I have invested a fair amount of $$$ into my rods and keeping the safe and easier to transport is worth the price of the tube.
PS - as always, I am not affiliated or motivated in any way with any of the brands reviewed (Open to it though lol)