These are rods that even on fishing trips with the boys don't lend themselves to being rigged through the car where they can injure you or be easily damaged by doors or careless passengers. If you're on a family trip, then trust me when I say the non-fishing members of your family may be less gung ho and careful with long rods strewn about the interior of the vehicle. They can sometimes be downright unenthusiastic.
Howa-Eav-ior, as my junior high school science teacher used to say, I'm forever looking for rod carrying solutions that accomodate my family and their space in our mid-sized SUV. They are very understanding of my fishing passions, and in the various vehicles we have owned over the years I've sought to not infringe on their luggage carrying abilities on various trips and vacations.
Nearly every locale we visit has SOME fishing opportunity. I didn't take any fishing gear on my recent trip to N. Carolina because I knew I would be doing home fix up projects for family and wouldn't have the time to venture out onto any area waters to fish, although despite all of my less favorable impressions about my recent N.C. soujourns, it is undeniable that it is a fisherman's paradise with a vast array of fishing opportunities in the State.
Unfortunately, as I understand it, the trout fishing is several hours away at best and the sea fishing is at least five hours away from the unremarkable "Piedmont Triad" area where we visit. Nonetheless, knowing that my inlaws reside in a golf course subdivision on the course, which said golf course having been there 20 or more years, I knew that more than likely fishing opportunities would be available. I had not seen any lakes on the course near their house, but knowing golf courses and their mandatory lakes and ponds, it would have some pond or lake hazards that would be holding some kinds of fish. I didn't take a travel rod, and regretted it as I had a few hours on several days where I could have found a place to fished after the golfers went home or the course was closed.Years ago, before a fishing trip to the Bahamas, I bought a long hard plastic travel case for long rods from Academy. It has an access hatch at one end and telescopes up to 8 or 9 feet or so. It's sturdy and flight checked baggage approved case that will withstand rough handling when packed correctly, using some bubble wrap to keep the rods from banging around in it. I've lost a few guides on one rod because I had too many rods packed inside of it and it was handled roughly. They don't call the people who load bags "bag throwers" for nothing, not to mention items falling on in the the conveyor belt morass that gets bags to and from the planes.
This case can easily be attached via large flex ties to my SUV roof rack for fishing travels. A few extra flex ties and some wire cutters allow quick removal and reinstallment when traveling.
But I'm about to buy a cargo basket for the rack on my suv, and I'm going to make some custom rod cases out of schedule 40 thickness PVC to bolt on to the cargo carrier in a semi-permanant installation. The idea is to take one or two larger diameter PVC pipes the desired length, attach some screw-able caps on either end (with foam pieces in the caps to protect rod tips, and then use some U bolts and small steel plates to secure the affair to the cargo basket.
Longer rods can then be loaded sans reels in one or more of the pipes, and carried with some degree of ease to your fishing location.
I also thought about making a rack using smaller diameter PVC tubing attached to some sort of stackable rack, that wouldn't take up the whole capacity of the cargo basket but instead stacked three across and three high, to hold rods WITH the reels attached.
A small cutout of 3 inches or so to accomodate the reel footing would allow the rod and reel to "seat" into the rod holder, not unlike the slots contained in rod holder on boats or for the beach. Some sort of short rubber leash to wrap around the back of the reel, attaching to both sides of the PVC tube, would keep the rod from slipping out.
By placing the smaller 2-3" PVC tubes in some sort of rack with a handle on top, you could bungee the affair to your cargo basket or roof rack and unbungee when you reach your fishing destination, rods threaded and ready to rock. If you're fishing at a shore side location where you're going to be with your vehicle at all times, you could leave the rack on top, but if you were going to walk a ways from your vehicle, you could unhook it and put it in the vehicle for locking.
Just a few ideas on transporting big fishing rods, and I'd like to hear of any ideas I have not thought of.