Will's Rod Blaster XXL-9000

How to secure your rod in an ultra-cheap tube for less

These days you can burn upwards of $200 on a space-age rod tube, or you can just toss your stick in a sack and hope for the best. I’ve been on the road and in the air quite a bit this summer. The people, places, and species vary but my one traveling companion that remains the same and that does not falter—my invincible rod tube.

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Over the course of those trips I’ve heard many comments from anglers and civilians alike:

“Dude, that looks like the biggest dirtbag rod tube I’ve ever seen.”

“What is that thing?”

“Is that some kind of rocket launcher?” (five year old kid on a Southwest flight, who looked real skeptical when I answered “no”)

“Nice... where you going fishing?” (TSA agent)

“Hey man, do you want another sticker for that thing?” (Master Brewer)

“That rod tube is sweet, how’d you make it?”

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Here is the skinny. Six years ago I was headed for Belize. I had grand fishing aspirations. I also had a stack of rods I wanted to bring but no way to transport them—and there was no way I was going to check them in my luggage. Without a blueprint and with only a vague idea of what I wanted, I made my way down to my local True Value Hardware store. The test tube I built was not pretty, but it worked. It can hold a 6-, 8-, 9-, and 11-weight rod (9’, 4-piece) snugly. It also fits an an overhead bin without any airline attendant altercations.  

Total cost in 2012 dollars: $33.37

Required materials:

One 4” PVC/ABS tube cut to 30” in length

One 4” PVC/ABS hard cap (once this end goes on, it doesn’t really ever come off again)

One 4” PVC soft/Qwik cap (rod ingress/egress point)

Two 1/4”X3/4” X 1-/12” U bolts (8X nuts - 4 per U bolt)

One 3’ piece of rope/cord/nylon webbing

One power drill and a 1/4” drill bit

Step 1 - Clean tube as best you can

Step 2- Drill out the holes for the U bolts - make sure to allow for enough room so the caps can be fully attached - 4” from end of each side of tube (four holes total)

Step 3 - Tighten in the U bolts - 4 nuts each bolt.  It doesn’t hurt to add some type of adhesive like liquid nails or epoxy at this point (not necessary but you don’t want these coming out - your call)

Step 4 - Loop rope through one end of the U bolt.  Tie Knot.

Step 5 - Loop second end of rope through U bolt. Tie knot.

Step 6 - Affix hard cap to one end of tube.

Step 7 - Add in four piece rods

Step 8 - Affix soft cap

Step 9 - Apply for passport, purchase plane tickets, maybe apply a sticker or two

Step 10 - Get after it

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