In the past I’ve used fluorescent lamp guards like THIS which I cut to the length of my fly rod and used the provided caps. While not as nice as the BPL ultralight fishing ROD CASE both options are insufficient for younger (read - less careful) fly fishers (e.g. my son) or for significant bushwhacking. In my opinion their wall thickness is a bit too thin. Therefore, I’ve been searching for the right material which provides a better balance between strength and weight. I wanted to share with you my results and conclusions. I was able to acquire sample material from Home Depot (lamp guards), SMALL PARTS (clear polycarbonate tubing) and PETRO PACKAGING (clear cellulose acetate butyrate tubing). The following are some dimensions and weights for the materials I sourced. I’m leaning on using option 2 for my on trail hiking, and option 4 for my son’s rod and when I plan to go off trail or need to fly via plane to reach the hiking destination.
OD=outside dimension, ID=inside dimension, WT= wall thickness
Option 1) Fluorescent lamp guard (appears to be similar in weight and thickness to the BPL rod case)
- OD 1-23/32, ID ~1-11/16 ID, WT ~1/32
- 0.076 ounces/inch
- 2.05 ounces for a 27 inch tube
- great for on trail hiking and saves nearly 4 ounces from more durable options
Option 2) Cellulose acetate butyrate (nearly identical to above lamp guards)
- OD 1-3/4, ID ~1-23/32 ID, WT ~1/32
- 0.121 ounces/inch
- 3.28 ounces for a 27 inch tube
- slightly more durable than the lamp guard (but not by much)
Option 3) Polycarbonate
- OD 1-3/4, ID ~1-21/32 ID, WT ~3/32 (sold as 1/16 inch WT)
- 0.300 ounces/inch
- 8.10 ounces for a 27 inch tube
- The strongest of all four options but is also considerably heavier than option 4 (perhaps its more impact resistant, but I’m not playing stick ball with the tube!)
Option 4) Cellulose acetate butyrate
- OD 1-3/4, ID ~1-11/16 ID, WT ~1/16
- 0.225 ounces/inch
- 6.00 ounces for a 27 inch tube
- perfect balance of strength and weight for situations where option 2 would not provide enough protection
While polycarbonate is known for its impact resistance, I’m not all that familiar with the impact resistance of cellulose acetate butyrate. Using the samples provided, they seem capable of resisting any impact they would experience while bushwhacking.
Comments or questions are more than welcomed!