20 years ago I traveled to Los Roques crossing the international airport in Caracas. Some of my friends told me to really take care of my luggage when leaving the inner part of the international airport in order to walk over to the national airport near by. So I was listening to them and took care about my one hand luggage in which all my important fishing tackle was. Of course it was a perfect bag - produced by Abel - I was using. It took 5 minutes after I left in the inner part of the airport and my one important bag was stolen. Now the good thing was that I ended up fighting a 50 pound Tarpon on a 5wt. fly rod, because it was the only rod I had left. Seriously it was a desaster and I thought a lot about how to avoid this to happen again ever since!
Within the next 20 years I was travelling a lot as did many of my friends. Lots of stories about stolen fishing tackle included.
Now here are some things I recommend to do in order to make it a bit harder for those bastards to steal our tackle:
- Don't use a bag, which comes with a typical fly fishing label printed on it! Too obviously that there must be expensive fly reels and a lot of easy to sell stuff in it. Instead use a no name suitcase or one that does not point at your fly fishing tackle.
- Make your suitcase look old.
- Use a lock which cannot just be cut off! It's better to use a suitcase coming with a lock, that doesn't leave your suitcase easy closable when having destroyed the lock to open the case. Why is this good? These people just want to cut off your lock and than open your bag and shut it again in no time. Everything here has to go fast for them. They don't need a suitcase not being closable again!
- Taking your most important stuff into your hand luggage? Well, that works fine as long as you will be allowed to. In some destinations like Caracas make then sure to not carry the hand luggage in a way that everyone can see that this is your most important piece of luggage. A huge mistake I did back in Caracas! They will find a way to steal it directly while you are carrying it. They are professionals!
- Wear old clothes and not fly fishing labeled ones. Believe me these people look out to identify us in exactly these ways.
And then in the end I like a hard case in order to safe my fishing tackle best possible. Samsonite makes some excellent ones for example. You may check the pictures below.
Oh and please make sure you have an extra travel insurance for your high expensive fly fishing tackle! It's not too expensive but pays for all your stolen tackle. Of course your trip will still be fucked, if it was stolen before you arrived in your fishing destination...
Hopefully I could many of you rething your travelling strategies a slight bit. Too many of us made such bad experiences, I think!?
If you have further ideas PLEASE share - NOW!
Back into fishing right now... ;)
Safe week to all of you!
All my best
P.s.: Now that Paul participated in the Fly Casting World Championships I am in a leading position in the number of fishing days this year! Thanks Paul! ;)