I sent an e-mail days before asking on here. The e-mail I got back said fishing rods can be either checked in or a carry on.
To clarify, Fishing Rods are permitted as carry-on and checked baggage.
However, please check with your air carrier to confirm that it fits
within their size limitations for carry-on items. Ultimately, it is the
carrier's decision as to whether or not it can be transported as
For further assistance, I recommend you contact our Reservations
Department at 800-221-1212 for domestic travel, or 800-241-4141 for
international travel. Our representative will be happy to assist you.
Obviously, that didn't answer my question, but interesting to know. Using that phone number and saying I was calling about baggage put me through to an operator pretty quick.
First the operator said 62 linear inches total. Linear inches is L+W+H. That's no good. So I asked him to look it up again under fishing gear. It said that all your fishing gear can be considered as one extra baggage (rod holder, tackle box, and I forget what the third thing was). I then asked if there was a length restriction for the rod holder. He said 115 linear inches was the limit on the rod holder. So my 7.5' x 4" x 8" rod holder will be fine. They look it up according to where you are specifically flying. I had him look up Minneapolis, MN to International Falls, MN since that leg of our trip is on a smaller plane.
In space, nobody can hear you scream for ice cream.