Types of Fly Rod Cases
For most fly fishermen, the fly rod is the most important and expensive piece of equipment purchased. It makes sense, then, to invest in some type of protective case to help your fly rod from being damaged while in storage or transport. Below are the different types of cases available for fly fishermen. Each one has its advantages, and each one is really geared towards a different purpose.
Fly rod socks are the most basic type of protective case you can get for your fly rod. In fact ,a fly rod sock is not really a case at all. Rather, it is just a protective sheath used to cover your fly rod and protect it from dirt and other debris. If you don't have a very expensive fly rod, and you don't plan on doing much travelling, a fly rod sock might be a good choice. Just make sure your fly rod is stored in a safe place, because the sock will not really protect it from being bent or broken. Many anglers use a sock to keep their rod dirt and scratch free, but they will store the sock in some other type of protective case like the ones below.
Tubes are another basic type of case, but they are far more protective than the socks. Basically a tube is, well, a tube-it holds all the pieces of your fly rod in a cylinder-type case, usually made of some type of PVC or metal composite material. These are great if you plan on doing some traveling and you have to pass your stuff through airplane checks, as the hard tube will protect your rod from bending or snapping. If you plan on purchasing a tube, just make sure you find one that has some type of foam or other material inside to help prevent the pieces from banging around inside. You will also want to find one with some type of adjustable shoulder strap for transport. Overall, these are great if you want something for long-term storage and protection.
Rod/reel combo cases are best if you often cover more than one river or stream in a day, as they allow a fly fisherman to store both the rod and reel in one place without having to remove the reel. These are very convenient and can be stored in places with minimal space. If you plan on purchasing one of these, make sure it has plenty of compartments to store your fly boxes and other tackle and equipment. Some other features you might want to look for are "D rings" that allow you attach your case to a backpack if you plan on doing some hiking/fishing trips. At the very least, make sure it has an adjustable shoulder strap.
Remember, you likely paid quite a bit for your fly rod, so investing in some type of protection is not a bad idea if you want to keep your equipment damage-free.