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Traveling with fishing rods is a challenge. Trying to fit your poles in the back of a vehicle or backpack often leads to snapped rods or damaged guides and ferrules. One effective, and inexpensive, solution is to make a hard travel case for your rods out of PVC pipe. The case is easy to construct, will protect your rods from virtually any accident, and is small enough to qualify as carry-on luggage by airlines.
Items you will need
6-inch Diameter PVC pipe
Carry strap with buckle
6-inch Diameter PVC solid end cap
6-inch Diameter PVC screw-on end cap fitting
PVC cement primer
6-inch Diameter PVC screw-on end cap
Break down all the fishing rods you wish the case to hold. Measure the single longest section of rod with a tape measure.
Cut a 6-inch diameter PVC pipe, using a hacksaw, to equal the length of the longest rod section. Clean all burrs from the cut ends of the pipe with 200-grit sandpaper.
Attach a carrying strap. Cut two 1-inch long slots crosswise across the pipe with a cutoff disk attached to a drill. Space the slots 3 inches from each end of the pipe, placing them on an even line with each other.
Thread a 1-inch wide carry strap, available where sporting goods are sold, down though the slot at one end of the pipe and up through the slot at the opposite end. Thread the buckle onto the ends of the strap and snap the buckle together.
Dry-fit a solid PVC end cap to one end of the pipe and a screw-on PVC end cap fitting to the opposite end. Draw a line around the pipe, at the base of the end caps, with a pencil. Pull the caps off the pipe.
Scuff the outside ends of the pipe, down to the pencil lines, with fine-grade steel wool; rub the inside of the solid 6-inch diameter end cap and the inside of the 6-inch diameter screw-on end cap fitting with the steel wool. Wipe all scuffed surfaces with a clean cloth.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply an even coating of PVC cement primer, then a coat of PVC cement, to all prepared surfaces, using the applicator brushes included with the cans.
Slide the end caps onto the pipe. Twist both caps one-quarter revolution to ensure the cement is spread evenly between the pipe and end caps. Allow the cement to cure per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Place the rods in the case and twist a screw-on end cap onto the screw-on end cap fitting.
- Grey PVC is best at hiding dirt and abrasions.
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