How To Protect Your Fishing Rods During Transport

What is the best way to transport your fishing rods without damaging or breaking them?

Aren’t they durable enough to withstand a few bumps here and there?

Fishing rods are an angler’s best tool and just a small fracture in the rod is all it takes for you to have to fix it or replace it.

Check out more below!!

How To Protect Your Fishing Rods During Transport [VIDEO]

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One of the biggest reasons fishing rods break or are damaged is operator error and negligence.

Rods are not meant to be impacted or bumped into anything.

A small collision with an outside object can cause a slight fracture in the rod that creates a weak point.

Moreover, the guides along the rod are very fragile and are not meant to come into contact with anything.

Rod Sleeve

You will benefit from getting a rod sleeve to help protect your valuable fishing rods.

The rod sleeve helps protect the guides during transport.

You most likely have line running through the guides or a couple of rods stacked next to each other when you are traveling to fish.

If you happen to get snagged on the line or it bumps into something, the line can damage or even break the guides by pulling them the wrong way.

A rod sleeve simply slides over your rod from top to bottom like a sock.

It helps protect the guides of your rod and supports against other impacts on the rod.

You should not have rod sleeves on your rods when you are out on a boat.

The sleeve acts as a sail and if the wind catches enough of the sleeve, it will send the rod flying.

If you do choose to still put a sleeve on your rods on a boat, be sure to secure your rods down with a bungee cord or anything to keep them in the rod holders.

The sleeve is excellent for transporting rods in your car particularly well.

It will prevent them from bumping into each other and the lines of multiple rods won’t get tangled up.

Jighead On Hook Keeper During Transport

Another way your rod can be damaged is if you have a jighead or a weighted hook on the hook keeper of the rod.

The jighead will constantly hit against the blank of your rod as you drive down the road or cruise around in your boat.

There is a chance of creating small impact fractures on the blank where the jighead hits against the rod.

An option for you is to wrap some electrical tape just above the hook keeper so the jighead hits against the tape and reduces the impact on the rod.

An alternative to the previous method is to use masking tape or painter’s tape and wrap that around the jighead and rod together.

This way there isn’t any damage to your rods and no sticky residue is left behind.

It is very important to only use this trick during transport and to not leave the tape on your rod for several days.


freshwater vs saltwater fishing rods

An angler’s fishing rod is their best tool to fight and handle fish, but all it takes is one slight fracture or damage to severely impact a rod.

Most damage to rods occurs during transport and it is of great importance to take caution when traveling with your fishing rods.

Be sure to take preventative measures to ensure the safety of your fishing rods and gear!

If you have any different or better ways to prevent damage during rod transport, please let me know down below!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about fishing rod protection, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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James David Roach
2 years ago

Tony, all good advice. Thanks. Instead of the tape holding the lure secure, I use a rubber band wrapped around itself and the lure. It holds the lure nicely and no worries about anything sticking to the rod or lure.

Curtis Weaver
2 years ago

Good video. Also, I slip the point of the hook in the small gap on the front reel seat where the reel slips in that way the jig or lure rest against the handle section in front of the reel.

Richard Fiorentino
2 years ago

when I think of it, I use the twist ties like on bread bags.

2 years ago

I bought a roll of Velcro I use to secure my gigs. It holds great, comes off fast, can be left on a long time and can be reused. I just cut it to fit as needed

Timothy Dodge
2 years ago

Thanks, Tony! After watching this, and learning about the rod sleeves, it got me wondering if flexible EPDM rubber pipe insulation slipped over the rod, underneath the sleeve, might provide additional impact protection. Have you ever tried anything like that?

Thomas Moran
2 years ago

I’ve stopped transporting my rods in the boat rod holders (vertical plastic tubes on either side of the center console) because they were causing cracks in the tubes themselves. I have an SUV (Honda Pilot) and I installed a “Vehicle Rod Saver” that consists of 2 straps that hold up to 7 rods up near the ceiling, out of the way from each other and cargo. I am able to attach them to existing handles so no screws or other hardware needed. It takes a couple of minutes to put all the rods up at the end of a trip but it’s really nice to have them up off the bed where all the gear is. Bass Pro, Amazon carry products like this, very inexpensive.

Ahmad Aghar
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Moran

I like that idea. just found them on eBay for around $10

Lyle Crafton
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Moran

I concur, I take mine out of the rod holders for transport. The wind puts a lot of strain on the rod, I’ve had hooks pop loose and had braid unspooled, and had a bird hit one and break a pole once. Sleeves work great if you don’t have a way of securing them.

Guy Grundy
2 years ago

But Shakespeare assures me I can simply throw my beloved Ugly into the back of my ( dirty ) truck…just like in the TV commercial 🙂

2 years ago

At 76 and having fished since I was 3 or 4 I have a total of only 6 rods broken…and no losses so far. i have open fishing rigs here and in Florida, and one enclosed cabin Lake Michigan boat. Here us my solution to protecting all rods regardless of length or size of guides: Golf Tubes large or small slid over the tip of the rod and compressed to fit tightly over the last guide. for larger rods like ocean or lake rods I troll with, I found Fluorescent Light Bulb Protectors tubes work well and can be cut from 8 foot tubes very easily. AND they are a cheap way to protect your valuable rods, even if you raise the tip into a ceiling fan! They are a great pee tube as well for males!
Thanks for your hook eye tips as well…keep your lines tight and you tip up.
Wisconsin Bob

Malcolm Hayward
2 years ago


Polypropylene mesh slips are my choice.
Don’t catch the wind.
Rinse slips, rods and reels off after marine trips.
Take a cloth slip on a marine trip. Washing machine afterwards.
Leave lines and leaders run through if you must. Wind on leaders are better.
Avoid sticky tape. Lively boat, a major time waster.
Biggest risk is falling on part of your rod.
Probably inevitable.
Don’t buy, learn how to build and repair.
Again, the butts of boat rods will be fallen and trodden on, quite frequently.
Metal reinforced gunwales are a particular hazard.
Personally, I internally reinforce all my butt sections with beech dowel, old school. Treat guides as ephemeral.
Learn how to replace them properly.
Quite satisfying in its own way.
Also facilitates experiments with acid guides.
Remember, 16″ of real Hypalon with 3m cold shrink pulled out on top works wonders. Think rail rods.


Ronald H Mattson
2 years ago

Thank You so much for the valuable tips for rod protection. Have to add the #1 no/no in my opinion for transporting rods is leaving them exposed on the outside of the vehicle. If debris can crack the glass windshield it can easily score your rod blank. I personally never use lure holders on the rod blank as they are usually placed exactly where one picks up rods.


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