Packing Tips for Globetrotters. You can pack everything in your car while traveling in Europe, but as a kayak angler who wants to fly to another continent you are usually standing pretty helpless in front of your empty suitcase. What do I have to take with me and do I stay below the maximum weight of my luggage? Here are a few of my very personal tips that I learned during my recent trips to Panama, the US and Canada!
– Because I prepare myself quite carefully for air travel, I create a packing list months before I travel. You can use and edit the packing list over and over again and it also helps to ensure that you do not forget important things.
– I start packing long before the trip and regularly check the weight. So I can act in time, if it is foreseeable that the suitcase is too heavy. Tackle boxes with jigheads can become very heavy very quickly and sometimes it makes more sense to take only the bare essentials and stock up on the destination. Hard- and softbaits are for example in the US much cheaper than ours in Europe.
– I use travel rods, which can be transported in the suitcase. Depending on the airline, transporting a rod tube as sports baggage costs between 100 and 150 euros, and in 2 out of 3 trips, the rod tube did not arrive at the destination airport and was delivered one or two days later. Very annoying, because you want to start kayak fishing right away the next day. In some cases, rods or rod rings were destroyed in the rod tube during transport.
So either invest in travel rods and pack this very carefully in the suitcase (wrapped in clothes) or buy locally a few cheap rods and give them away after the trip to a few local kids who are very happy about it.
My travel rods: Gamakatsu Akilas, Westin W3 Boat, Spro Salty Beast Jig Spin and for the really big fish the Sportex Magnus Travel Boat 50lbs.
If you want to take a rod tube with you, you can think twice about taking your own paddle. I bought a 2 meters long paddle bag and stowed two paddles and the rod tube in this bag. Can easily be taken as sports baggage. Attention: in most cases the rod tube will be opened and the staff at the airport will pull out the rods. So do not put too many rods in the tube, so that the staff can not damage them during packaging.
– Reels must be packed in the suitcase and not in your carry-on luggage. It may happen that reels in carry-on luggage are rejected during the safety check. I always turn the cranks off the reels and pack everything in smaller bags.
– I always try to take my own life jacket and water shoes with me. These need a lot of space in the suitcase, but small parts can be stowed very well in the pockets of the life jacket.
– For small parts such as hooks, snaps and swivels, there are numerous small boxes in the fishing shop. Transport pliers, knives and scissors in your suitcase and not in carry-on luggage. I always prepped my leaders at home before I travel and pack them in a leader pocket.
– I always carry my SLR camera and the GoPros with accessories in my carry-on luggage. Transport batteries in your carry-on luggage, not in a suitcase! And always remember to bring enough SD memory cards.
– Instead of a notebook, I take a tablet. A notebook usually weighs almost 3 kg, which is very much with a carry-on luggage weight limit of 8 kg. There are several variants of USB adapters for a tablet, so that you can easily connect a card reader to view photos from the SLR or GoPro.
What else is in the suitcase or carry-on luggage?
Reasonable clothes to protect against the sun or to protect from the cold. Polarized glasses in a glasses case, GoPro camera mounts, power adapters, chargers and cables. Very important: mosquito spray, sunscreen and a small first aid bag with plaster and enough tablets against seasickness.
And always remember that you often have more luggage on your return flight than on your outbound flight. A little shopping tour in the Bass Pro Shop and you are already above the weight limit of your luggage. I do not know how often I had to repack things or pay for excess baggage at the airport.
The biggest problem, of course, is to stuff a fishing kayak into the plane. Not possible or even necessary, there are many lodges today, such as the Fishermen’s Paradise in Florida or Los Buzos in Panama, which specialize in kayak fishing and have fully equipped kayaks on site!
If you are looking for a great kayak fishing location, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org