Airline baggage handling is a gamble at best these days. The horror stories of lost and never-to-be-seen-again luggage are legion. If the luggage is lost, most apparel can be replaced easily enough. If the rods and reels in your fishing luggage don’t make it, that is a much more difficult, not to mention expensive, and often heart-breaking event. Besides, who wants to fish the trip of their dreams with borrowed equipment?
There is an easy way to avoid this. You are allowed two carry-ons. One should be your essentials bag (fishing backpacks are great for this) with cameras, medicines, and anything that absolutely cannot be replaced, that can fit under your seat. The other should be your rods and reels, and there is fishing luggage designed to do just that: long enough to carry four-piece rods, room for reels, pliers and other accessories, leaders and tippet material, and will easily fit in the overhead. NOTE: No knives. They’ll find them and you’ll lose them.