I've taken some measurements, and it would appear that unless I've got the rod angled, consistently bent and the tiptop against the glass there's no way to carry an 8' or longer rod in this car.
And, despite what people say about graphite not taking a permanent bend, I don't like having it constantly angled. I also don't like letting the tiptop smack against the glass or rub the roof because I'd rather not mar it or crack the blank, so that means I just can't do it.
Unless someone's got a novel suggestion.
SporTube makes an external, top mount carrier for fully rigged rods up to 9' in length, but I've read its not the most rigid thing out there. Its also pricey at $200 for something that's a one trick pony, and they recommend a 4.5' crossbar spread, at minimum, to use. All of this leads me to think its not an answer.
There's no Yakima or Thule case that's 108" long (and if there was, I probably couldn't afford it). I've considered 2" PVC for a rod tube, but then I would need open it up somehow to hold the reel (and going to round PVC won't work, it would crack the rod). My other concern with PVC is back to smashing and marring the guides inside, but I suppose I could also construct a full length sock to sheath the rod, then insert it into the top.
Of course, this doesn't address 9' of PVC bending up and down with every bump, either.
So, whatcha got? Anything, or am I gonna have to suck it up and break 'em down every time?