How to Pack Fishing Rods for Moving (8 Quick Steps)

How to Pack Fishing Rods for Moving

There’s no doubt that buying good-quality fishing rods can improve your fishing experience tenfold. It’s the process of moving these rods that can be pretty stressful.

Moving fishing rods from one location to another might be difficult for three reasons: they are super long, delicate, and sometimes rather expensive. Ultimately, you want to preserve and protect them during the move.

If you want to learn how to pack fishing rods for moving, this article takes you step by step through the process of packing fishing rods safely for moving.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Choose Your Fishing Rods

Close up of Fishing Rods

The process of moving should allow you to check the condition of your fishing rods.

The ones that are still in good shape should be among the things that you’re packing. Any fishing rods that are in poor condition or damaged beyond repair should be discarded.

Choosing which fishing rods to dispose of can lessen your load and spare you the trouble of packing and transporting those items.

In addition, this should give you the excuse to get the brand new ones you’ve been eyeing.

Step 2: Get the Right Packing Material

Because fishing rods can be rather delicate and costly, they should be packed in a way that ensures they don’t receive any damage during the moving process.

One way to do that is to use fishing rod cases. These are tube-like containers that are designed to protect fishing roads. They’re ideal for storing and transporting said items.

If you already have a fishing rod caseOpens in a new tab., then you’re in luck. However, if you don’t own one, then don’t worry. You can build your own equally effective fishing rod case. This DIY route can ensure that your fishing rods go through the moving process unscathed.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Packaging Paper
  • Heavy-duty cardboard tubes or PVC pipes
  • Pipe caps for the tubes/pipes
  • A hacksaw, in case you need to adjust the tubes/pipes’ length
  • Cardboard box

While a couple of these items are unique, if you’ve utilized our Complete Packing Supplies Guide then you’ll already have most of these items handy.

Once you’ve gathered your material, follow the steps to pack up your rods securely.

Step 3: Prepare the Fishing Rod Case

The first thing that you should do is take the measurements of your fishing rods. Measure from top to bottom, then add a couple of inches on both ends. As a rule of thumb, measure the longest fishing rod if you plan to pack multiple rods in one tube.

These should give you an estimate of the length and diameter of the heavy-duty cardboard tube or PVC pipe. Ideally, you can purchase one tube per about three fishing rods—just make sure that the rods won’t be packed too tightly.

In case you can’t find a tube or pipe that’s the exact length of the fishing rods, you can buy a longer size. Using the measuring tape and a pen, draw a line where you need to cut the tube for the exact length.

Then, take the hacksaw and cut where the line is.

Step 4: Remove the Spinning Reels

Close up of Fishing Reels

Generally, spinning reels—or fishing reels—can’t fit into the cardboard tube or PVC pipe. That’s why they should be detached from the fishing rod.

While some reels can be different from one another, there’s a common way to remove the spinning reels from fishing rods.

First, hold the fishing rod so that the spinning reel’s footOpens in a new tab. is face up. You’ll find two large screws on top of the fishing rod; turn them counterclockwise until the foot loosens its hold on the rod.

Once the foot of the spinning reel is loose enough, pull it up and off the fishing rod.

Then, wrap the spinning reel carefully in bubble wrap. Next, place it in a cardboard box and label it.

Step 5: Wrap Fishing Rods

Take each fishing rod and wrap it with two layers of bubble wrap. The entire length of the fishing rod should be covered, paying close attention to the tip because it’s the most fragile part of the fishing rod.

Then, secure the bubble wrap around the fishing rod using the scotch tape. As an added precaution, wrap the already wrapped fishing rods in packaging paper and secure them with tape.

Step 6: Arrange Fishing Rods by Length

Fishing Poles Arranged by Length

If you’re packing multiple fishing rods, it might be best to group the ones similar in length. This makes it easier to fit more than one in the same tube.

Take each group of similar-in-length fishing rods and bundle them together using scotch tape. This should prevent them from bumping into each other inside the tube.

Step 7: Slide the Fishing Rods Inside the Tube

Place the heavy-duty cardboard tube or PVC pipe horizontally. Then, if there’s enough diameter, you can line the tube’s walls with leftover packaging paper. This prevents the fishing rods from moving too much inside.

Carefully slide the wrapped fishing rods into the tube.

After the rods have been inserted, you should be left with roughly two inches of free space on either end.

Step 8: Place the Pipe Caps

Once everything is settled inside the tube, place the pipe caps—or end caps—on each end of the tube.

Using the scotch tape, seal the caps to ensure that they don’t pop out of place during the moving process.

If you don’t have pipe caps, you can cut two circular pieces from thick cardboard and tape them to the ends of the tube. Make sure you use enough tape to seal the cardboard tightly.

Step 8.1: Do a Shake Test

Before you seal the pipe caps with tape, shake the rod-filled tubes back and forth. There shouldn’t be any sound or movement present.

If, however, there’s some movement or noise, you can add some packaging paper or bubble wrap on top of the rods. These can act as a cushion to prevent the rods from shifting inside.

In Conclusion

Depending on the method of transportation, you should take all necessary precautions to prevent the fishing rod tubes from bumping and moving around too much. For example, you can use a cord to secure them in place.

Taking the time to pack your fishing rods can save you from any accidental mishaps. By following the above steps on how to pack fishing rods for moving, you should be able to transport your fishing rods from one place to another without worries.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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