Patagonia Luggage Gear Review 
Black Hole® Cubes (3L, 6L, & 14L)
Patagonia Travel Rod Roll
Black Hole® Wheeled Duffel

On my most recent trip to the Colombian jungle in search of peacock bass, I had a chance to try out the new Black Hole® Cubes in conjunction with my usual travel set up of the Black Hole® Wheeled 100L Duffel and Patagonia Travel Rod Roll.

This is a gear review as well as my thoughts on the best way to get your rods, reels, clothing and gear to the majority of our remote angling destinations that we represent all over the world.

I have done quite a bit of traveling over the years and there is no one perfect way to pack and travel for a big trip. Each location is a little different and even for me it has changed over the years depending on where I am going and lately on airport security policies. One of the major decisions in the past was either carrying on or checking my rods, reels and lines. The idea being if you carry these items on and for some reason your checked bag was lost, you could still fish until your bag showed up and the trip wasn’t lost.

On this particular trip we were pretty restricted on weight (33lb for checked bags and 11 pounds for carry-on). Typically this would be easy for me, but since I was the host I was bringing some extra stuff, just in case, so I was trying to keep everything pretty lightweight to allow for extras. The Cubes are super lightweight, but also plenty durable, 300-denier 100% post consumer recycled polyester ripstop. All three weighed in at a little over a pound, empty (20.8 oz).  I really wasn’t adding any weight, just a way to keep all my things separate in the big open space of the duffel.

Packing for a fly fishing trip

I have used zip locks before to separate my things, and it works, but the Cubes made it a little classier, more functional and definitely more durable. I used the 3L Cube for my toiletries. I have a toiletry bag at home but it is pretty clunky and with a hard bottom, it is relatively heavy for what it is. Switching over to the cube was nice. I put all my shower/bathroom things I needed in there and it was all together in one place, in my duffel, easy to find. For the 6L cube, I put my fishing terminal tackle/gear in that one. All of my tippet, leaders, extra lines, pliers, wire bite, nippers, tape, leatherman, etc. Same thing, it was all together, so once we got to the river, I could just pull it out, carry it to a table and I was ready to rig up my rods. For the last 14L cube, I put all my socks, underwear, buffs, etc in that one. For the most part I usually just throw these things in my bag, so I realized on this trip, it was nice separating them, so I could find them easily and they weren’t all spread out on the bottom of the duffel bag. These Cubes were a great way to keep my bags light while making it easy to separate my gear into more manageable units. Many duffel bags have pockets and dividers, but the Cubes allowed me to pull out this stuff and move it or take it with me. Depending on what you use them for, they could be taken with you on the river/lake/water.

Patagonia Travel Rod Roll

Also as I mentioned above, the Black Hole® Wheeled Duffel along with the Patagonia Travel Rod Roll are my go-to ways to travel these days. With these I will carry-on the plane a waterproof backpack with all my necessities for travel that doubles as a boat bag/fishing pack once at my destination. The Black Hole® Duffel allows me to get around the airport pretty easily with the wheels and the telescoping handle. It is pretty water resistant and durable, so besides float trips, it can handle boat rides getting sprayed or being out in the rain/weather and is tough enough to handle the beating on the conveyor belt and the airport guys tossing it around. I can fill it up and it is never over 50 pounds (typical airline limit) plus the Rod Roll fits perfectly in there keeping them protected at the bottom of the bag.

Patagonia Black Hole® Cubes (3L, 6L, & 14L)

Lately, many international airports are starting to get a little more strict on carrying on rods, reels, and lines. You can typically get through security in the States and get to your destination, but coming back, they are making you check them. So, nowadays you have to be ready for this. Of course you can simply put your aluminum tubes, or a rod-filled custom made PVC tube in your checked bag. However, the Rod Roll/Black Hole® Duffel, in my opinion, is the best way to do this. The Travel Rod Roll is lightweight (about the same as all 3 Cubes), I can get 5 rods (it is only supposed to hold 4) in there, and put it at the bottom of the Black Hole® Duffel, throw my clothes, reels, plus Cubes on top and my rods are secure and protected. No problems to this day. My last two trips, I had to check my fly rods/reels in both Colombia and through Istanbul getting to Tanzania. Argentina has had this policy in place for a while now and Mexico is following along. I’m not sure what is so dangerous about a fly rod, reel or line, but it is pretty hard to explain common sense in an airport security line, to a guy that knows nothing about fishing, when they have your carry-on apart and rods all over the place. And it isn’t fun having to go back through check-in and security especially when you have long lines. As stressful as it is to worry about your luggage getting lost and you showing up at your destination with no rods, reels and the ability to fish, it seems to be the way most airport security is going. Even if you can carry the Rod Roll on the plane going to your destination and check it on the way home. You want to be set up and ready for this option.

Patagonia Black Hole® Wheeled Duffel Bag

I love the carry-on rod cases (Orvis and Fishpond) for taking rods/reels on the plane and the sense of security knowing that my necessary gear will be there when I get to the lodge. And at certain destinations (Alaska, Bahamas), this is the way I travel, but with changing airline security at different airports around the world, the Patagonia set up is the way to go for the majority of International destinations. It is best to book flights with the least amount of connections, check your Black Hole® Duffel, put an Air tag in there (if you have one) and hope that everyone does their job getting your bag to where it needs to be. Unless I am floating, I will be using the Black Hole® Duffel, Travel Rod Roll and Black Hole® Cubes as my go-to set up.

In Colombia, a travel buddy was lugging around his heavy waterproof duffel (no wheels) with his rods in aluminum tubes in the bottom of his bag wearing out his shoulders. When he got home, he got on our website and updated his travel gear. Give it a try, I think you will like it.

If you would like to hear more about any of these products or my hosted trip to Colombia please don’t hesitate to contact me at 800-669-3474 or via email at

Erik Argotti
Destination Specialist
The Fly Shop, Inc.
4140 Churn Creek Road
Redding, CA 96002

Patagonia travel luggage in the room in Colombia