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Posted by: David Maney (---.cust.exede.net)
Date: January 07, 2022 04:37PM

First let me say this is an awesome group with an unlimited knowledge base. I think I have read every post for the last two years.
I have not been building rods very long but have already had request from old friends back home for a rod.
With that being said, what is the best and easiest packaging and shipping method?
TIA for any replies and I can’t wait to see where this takes me.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: January 07, 2022 04:46PM

Easiest and cheapest is a PVC pipe from local hardware store with end caps and bubble wrapping around rod. ADDED- USPS I believe may be cheapest shipper.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2022 04:50PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Aaron Petersen (12.144.64.---)
Date: January 07, 2022 04:50PM

Make sure you have the bubble wrap out past the the tip so the tip doesn't hit the end cap of the tube. I learned the hard way on a rod I shipped to myself for a trip.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: January 07, 2022 05:06PM

I set up an account with Fed Ex. Since 99% of my builds come with an Aluminum tube, I wrap them in bubble wrap, then in a Square sided box. It actually costs more with Fed Ex to ship a round tube. No issues with them, it arrives on the day they say it will and no damage.

If your going to ship a rod without a tube, best to ship it in PVC then a cardboard box. Same goes for blanks. The past 2 years of receiving blanks from USPS or UPS, they have delivered damaged goods more than not, each time the folks who I bought blanks from just dumped them into a cardboard box without a PVC tube to protect them, stuff gets crushed if not in PVC.

I very rarely ship “long” items, over 60”, most of my stuff shipped is 40” or less. I feel sorry for you folks that ship long once piece finished rods.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 07, 2022 05:19PM

As Kent mentioned, PVC is hard to beat for shipping delicate fishing rods / blanks; it is quite durable, fairly inexpensive, moisture resistant and reusable albeit can be rather heavy depending on the schedule. We are already paying premium shipping prices for such long packages so the lighter = the better, within reason of course. For whatever reason, I can only get sch-40 here in CA which is ~1/8in thick = quite stout but heavy. Other areas of the country offer sch-26 (and others) which is ~1/16in with OK stoutness and much lighter weight. To protect the guides, especially the taller butt / strippers, build-up bubble wrap between (and taller than) the guides. Also good is foam hot water pipe insulation.

Mark Talmo

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: January 07, 2022 07:49PM

I only build fly rods, and for the past 6 or 8 years, they have all been, 4 piece so my finished rod shipments are usually approx. 40 inches. Most of the blanks I use come to me in stout PVC tubes, which I us for reshipping to my customers. I use USPS almost exclusively and have never had a damaged rod. My suppliers use a mixture of USPS, UPS and FEDEX. I have only had 1 damaged blank shipment.

I am very careful to pack my rods in bubble wrap to fit snugly in the tube.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Mark Hahn (---.155.18.98.static.ip.windstream.net)
Date: January 08, 2022 09:33AM


I've shipped in stout cardboard and found it to be a 50/50. Too much hard work goes into a rod and then have a low percentage of them arrive without significant damage. I have since gone to PVC. It is more costly but I have only had one incident where the rod was damaged. USPS has been my most frequent shipping partner, only because I am pretty rural and it is a long trip into town to get to UPS or Fed Ex. Regardless of what method you choose, make sure you insure the rod for the proper amount. And make sure you have pictures as well as a good description of all the parts going into the build. USPS has fought pretty hard when I claimed a fishing rod was $350. My photos and list helped me but in one case I had to get a statement from another rod builder in the area willing to attest to the value of the "fishing pole".


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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Fred Zimmermann (---.raintreegraphics.com)
Date: January 10, 2022 08:33AM

If you are shipping just one or two every now and then, I'd use PCV. One alternative that I did quite a few times last year is the 10' vinyl downspouts form the big box home improvement stores. It's about (or was) $12.00 last time I used it and you just cut it down to size. It's some very light, tough stuff. I cut wood blocks and screwed them in for the end caps and then taped them.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2022 09:39AM by Fred Zimmermann.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 10, 2022 11:43PM

Fred's method of Vinyl down spouts work.
U-Line sells triangle shaped cardboard tubes that work well.

I have generally settled on 3 inch DW or Drain PVC pipe which is thinwall.
The 3 inch size takes care of the larger guides found on spinning reels, but will still work just fine for casting rods.

In addition, after a rod is finished, cleaned up and ready to ship, I insert the rod into a plastic sleeve that I use a heat sealing machine.
Then, if doing a batch of rods, I can just lay the packaged rod on a long shelf to be ready for shipping without ever having to worry about dust or finger prints getting on the rod.

I pick up a roll of plastic sleeving from U line and it lasts a long time.

I picked up a used thermo pulse sealer for a few $$ that does a perfect job of sealing the ends of the plastic sleeve.
Normally, there is air in the plastic sleeve, so that effectively the rod is sealed in a cushion of air.

I will use a crushed paper or bubble wrap at each end and in the middle of the rod, to insure that the rod does not bounce around inside the DW tube.

The DW pvc tubing is 1/16th inch thick and really very light.

I DO NOT use a slip over cap on the end of the DW tubing.
Rather I take a piece of cardboard and draw a circle on the cardboard, that is the same diameter of the end of the DW tube and do it twice for each end of the tube. Then, after putting a label inside the plastic sleeve for the name and address of the customer, I will use clear packing tape to tape each cardboard end onto the end of the DW tubing Plenty strong and there are no protruding ends that might get caught on a conveyor.

Simply put, any of the standard methods of packing will easily protect a rod during shipping, just as long as the package does not get stuck in a conveyor. However, if any long package gets stuck in nearly any of the packing companies conveyors, the conveyor wins every time and the package and its contents lose every time

All of the packing companies will have a problem once every few years for most folks. Some folks go their entire service life of using the service with never a damaged package. Or, as I did one year, I lost one package one year to each of the big three companies.
USPS< UPS< and Fedex.

IN all cases the companies paid the full amount for which the package was insured. Except for that one year, I have never had any other fishing rod blank or completed rod damaged by any of the shipping companies.

Around here - LOWES carries the 3 inch DW pvc thin wall Drain pipe. I think that the current cost is $7 per 1-10 foot piece of the pipe.

I have a bulk account with FedEx and that is my exclusive carrier. They, are quick, reliable, and convenient for me. The Fed EX office is only a few blocks away.

I also sometimes ship overseas and the Fed Ex method makes the shipping and customs work go quickly.;

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2022 11:46PM by roger wilson.

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Re: Shipping?
Posted by: Fred Zimmermann (---.raintreegraphics.com)
Date: January 11, 2022 09:42AM

roger wilson Wrote:
> I have generally settled on 3 inch DW or Drain PVC
> pipe which is thinwall.
> The 3 inch size takes care of the larger guides
> found on spinning reels, but will still work just
> fine for casting rods.
That is a good way to ship. Cheaper too. Thanks Roger.

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