Recommendations Wanted - Rolling Drop-Bottom Duffel Bag Longer Than 30"

WNCtroutstalker

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I have an upcoming international trip where I'll need to check my rods and from prior experience with the particular airline if I use a rod case (like a Fishpond Dakota or Orvis Safe Passage Carry-all) or a rod tube (like the Simms Rod Cannon or the similar one made by Fishpond) I'll likely be charged a hefty sporting equipment fee regardless of the case dimensions.

So my preference would be to get a duffel bag that has a separate bottom compartment (for boots, waders and other wet stuff) and put my rods there. I actually have one, but it's only 30" long (and because that measurement is outside wall to outside wall the inner storage space is just under 30") and so whether I keep the rods in the manufacturer's tubes or put them in a larger tube I've made out of PVC they have to be laid diagonally which makes it tougher to get the boots, waders and other larger items in. I could probably make it work, but am interested to know what other options might be out there at a reasonable price.

From the online research I've done, 30" is a pretty standard length and so most of the available bags would pose the same issue as my current one. I have come across some bags that are in the 32-36" range, but most exceed 62 total linear inches and thus if packed full would potentially be subject to an oversized bag fee.

So far I've come across only two that fit the desired parameters (longer than 30" such that rod tubes can be laid lengthwise, not more than 62" total, drop bottom) but both have negatives.

Fishpond makes one, but it's $400 and weighs almost 12 pounds empty (so almost 25% of the weight limit would be exhausted by the bag alone). And one of the few real life user reviews I came across was pretty negative as to the durability (or lack thereof).

Eagle Creek makes one that's 32" long, but it got several negative reviews because it will not stand up on its end. That may be something I'm willing to overlook, but am interested to know what other/better options might be out there.

Any suggestions/recommendations would be much appreciated.
 

brownbass

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I belong to a Fly Fishing Fellowship and the 36" High Sierra Ultimate Access Drop-Bottom Wheeled Duffel has become the official luggage of the group. The best part is that High Sierra is a Samsonite product and they have stood behind the few claims that have been made. They have been used on flights to the western states with little problem. Most problems seem to have been handler (baggage) related. I have one I use all the time to carry gear, changes of clothing spare of almost everything imaginable on the local trips.

Bill
 

WNCtroutstalker

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Much appreciated.

I don't think I'd go with the Alpinetrek bag because of the price. I'm not sure if the bag would be needed beyond this trip and since I already have a separate rod case I may be better off just paying the extra baggage fee.

The High Sierra bag looks good and the price is great. However, the total dimensions are 68" and so unless I left the top few inches empty (which I could do and perhaps use straps to make the height clear) I could get hit with an oversized bag fee, and so again I'd be no better off than just using my rod case. A lot of the times the baggage desk clerks seems to only care about the weight, but I've seen some with tape measures and being real sticklers.

I do appreciate the suggestions so far. Please keep them coming.
 

bill_s

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Check Costco

I hope I am not sending you on a "wild goose chase" because I believe items vary by location and I saw this about a month ago. They had a decent wheeled duffel, with a hard bottom section, which I noticed was 32" in length. I though at the time it would be a good travel case for rods. I believe price was about $39.

*Removing that lurker stain one post at a time! :)
 

brownbass

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Much appreciated.

I don't think I'd go with the Alpinetrek bag because of the price. I'm not sure if the bag would be needed beyond this trip and since I already have a separate rod case I may be better off just paying the extra baggage fee.

The High Sierra bag looks good and the price is great. However, the total dimensions are 68" and so unless I left the top few inches empty (which I could do and perhaps use straps to make the height clear) I could get hit with an oversized bag fee, and so again I'd be no better off than just using my rod case. A lot of the times the baggage desk clerks seems to only care about the weight, but I've seen some with tape measures and being real sticklers.

I do appreciate the suggestions so far. Please keep them coming.
I should have mentioned that the High Sierra bag comes in a 34" version.

I use this bag myself.

Good luck,
Bill
 

camelbrass

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Ed,

I currently use a Yeti Panga 100 but it’s not rigid or have wheels though, will only hold a max of 20kg of gear and is difficult to get stuff in and out of. It’s very nice made though and totally waterproof. Actually it’s so waterproof it’s also airtight.

A great wheeled bag that I used for quite a few years is the Guidline Roller Duffell. Holds lots, isn’t too heavy and has a rigid bottom. Nicely made and not too bad on the pocket.

Regards,


Trevor
 

WNCtroutstalker

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I should have mentioned that the High Sierra bag comes in a 34" version
Thanks, though I see that it's also oversized at 67" total. In researching bags, I'm really shocked at how many are between 62 1/2" and 65" given that I think all airlines consider anything over 62" to be oversized. I get that not all bags are used for air travel and that they certainly don't need to be filled to capacity, but I just don't see the point of making a bag that is barely oversized. I understand that some people need a huge bag and are willing to pay a surcharge, but i just can't see risking an excess baggage fee just to squeeze in an extra shirt or two. It's also shocking how heavy some bags are. I get that wheels and a sturdy frame are going to add weight, but I've come across many bags that are between 13 and 15 pounds. With a 50 pound limit, that's a lot to spend on the bag itself.
 

Curmudgeon

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I've been looking for the same kind of bag with very little success. I travel internationally a lot and have seen enough airlines enforce a 62" limit that I'd like to stay under it.

After some thought, I am inclined to replace my rod tubes rather than my luggage. I just measured the rod tube for one of my 9 foot rods. It is 31.25" long, but each section of the rod is only 28.5 inches. It looks like there's more length and padding on the ends than is really necessary. I think I could make a rod tube out of PVC that wouldn't have to be much over 29" and if I used a larger diameter tube, I could probably save some space and weight over multiple tubes, too. It won't be pretty, but I would only use it for international trips, and I can live with the "Beverly Hillbillies" look. With some of my bags, I think it might make just enough difference to let me pack them straight.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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FWIW, I ended up buying the Eagle Creek Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel 32". It measures 62 linear inches and I was able to lay a 30" tube lengthwise. Most of the bags I researched were either oversized (if fully packed, and the designs of some wouldn't allow you to shrink the bag by not packing it full) or required my 30" tube to be laid at an angle, thus diminishing the effective packing space.

One thing about a PVC tube. On a recent trip I packed a homemade tube made from PVC in the bag mentioned above. I flew one airline within the US and then a different, foreign airline to my ultimate destination. When I arrived at my destination and unpacked my bag, I discovered that not only had my PVC tube been opened, but only 2 of the 3 rods I had put in it were put back inside and the end "cap" (a piece of cardboard) had not been taped back on; the third rod, in its sock, was just repacked in the bag without protection. I'm truly shocked it didn't get broken in transit. I have no idea whether this was done by TSA or by the foreign airline/security service. When I retrieved my bag in my final US city and was re-checking it with the foreign airline, I could tell that my bag had been opened before one of my US flights but I did not open and inspect the bag (I also did not get one of those notes that the TSA typically puts in when they open and inspect a bag). That said, I also suspect that the bag was opened by the foreign airline/security service before my domestic flight to my ultimate destination. But I have no idea who actually opened the PVC tube. I also had another rod in my bag inside a manufacturer's tube and it was unopened. My PVC tube was not opened on any of my return flights, nor has it been opened on prior trips. So though a small sample size, my personal experience suggests this heightened inspection was a one-time thing, but thought it was worth mentioning.
 

Curmudgeon

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Thanks for the heads up on the pvc tube. One trip is a small sample, but it is still something to think about. I doubt that the uncoated pvc looks much different from a factory tube through the x-ray scanner, so I wonder if opening the pvc tube was a function of size. If so, something like a Simms Rod Cannon would get inspected more, too. If the issue really is the bare pvc, I suppose I could make a cordura cover...

Are you happy with the Eagle Creek bag so far? Does it seem like it will hold up well?
 

WNCtroutstalker

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Are you happy with the Eagle Creek bag so far? Does it seem like it will hold up well?
Sort of mixed feelings. It did its job (none of my fly fishing gear was damaged), but the bag was damaged by the airlines on my trip. That said, the company repaired it promptly free of charge and paid shipping both ways--one of the reasons I opted for the bag was because of EC's warranty. So on the one hand surprised and disappointed the bag needed repairs after only one use (damage occurred on the way to my destination), but at the same time recognize that no bag is indestructible and some baggage crews may opt to heave rather than lift and place bags. I recognize that "stuff sometimes happens" and what really matters to me is how the company responds, and in that regard I couldn't have asked for more from EC. But still surprised it didn't hold up better and of course the best customer service is that which you never need.
 
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Butkusrules

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Recommendations Wanted - Rolling Drop-Bottom Duffel Bag Longer Than 30"

Ive been on a similar search. Have you seen the Ortlieb rolling duffles? If i had to buy today i would go with the Ortlieb RS version( nontelescoping handle) they also have the telescoping handle version too. Some ebay store is selling the 30” versions with no telescoping for 250 or 275.

Duffle RS


Duffle RG



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