Last Updated on April 8, 2022
We’ve written elsewhere about flying with a fishing rod.
But can you take fishing hooks through airport security?
Let’s find out.
TSA Fishing Hooks Rules
The Transportation Security Administration is in charge of airport security. They decide what you can and can’t take on a plane.
Fishing hooks or any sharp fishing tackle might be considered dangerous because they can pierce the skin and potentially be used as a weapon.
Here’s what the TSA says on their website about flying with fishing lures:
You can take fishing hooks on a plane in your carry-on bag if they are small and not considered to be a security threat. Large fishing hooks for deep sea fishing are not permitted in carry-on luggage.
You can pack any size of fishing hook in checked luggage. You just need to make sure that they are sheathed and securely wrapped to avoid injury to baggage inspectors.
Keep in mind that any expensive fishing equipment packed in checked luggage is at risk of being lost or even stolen. It’s better to pack expensive reels, fragile tackle, or any other high value objects in hand luggage if possible.
This raises the question…
When does a small fishing hook become a large fishing hook in the eyes of the TSA?
Unfortunately, the TSA does not offer any measurements that you can use to determine if your fishing hook is too large to go in hand luggage.
The decision is taken by the TSA officer at the security checkpoint.
I checked on Twitter to see if I could find out any more information.
This passenger asked directly if there was a size limit for fishing hooks:
The TSA didn’t give a specific answer, they just stated that small fishing hooks are allowed and large fishing hooks such as those used in deep sea fishing must be packed in checked bags.
Matt wanted to bring these pip jig fishing lures in checked luggage:
They would be allowed in checked luggage or carry-on luggage:
Another passenger showed a photo using a dollar bill as a reference:
The size of the lures is not important. It’s the hook that is considered to be potentially dangerous. There is no published maximum or minimum size.
Shannon asked the TSA about her husbands fishing lures stating that the lures are around 3 inches long.
If the lures are 3 inches the hooks must be around 1 inch and they TSA said that those fishing lures would be allowed in the plane:
Anners asked about bringing fish hook cutters in her carry-on bag:
The maximum permitted length for any hand tool is 7-inches.
Rich asked about bringing forceps:
Scissors are not permitted in hand luggage if the blades are larger than 4 inches as measured from the pivot point.
So I suspect any fishing hook larger than 4 inches will definitely not be allowed in hand luggage.
It’s impossible to give a definite answer about the size of fishing hooks that are permitted in hand luggage.
It’s not only the size that is important, how sharp the hook is and whether then metal will bend easily is also a factor, so TSA officer at the security checkpoint will make a judgement call on it’s potential to be used as a weapon.
Weapons, or anything that can be used as a makeshift weapon, are not permitted in the cabin for obvious reasons.
Small fishing hooks are allowed on planes in carry-on bags.
Larger fishing hooks are considered to be dangerous and not permitted in the cabin. You must pack large fish hooks in checked luggage. Make sure they are securely wrapped to protect the hands of TSA officer inspecting your luggage.