After many problems sourcing couriers to transport fishing rods over 1.5 - 2 metres long at reasonable cost , I discovered this Courier http://www.pharosparcel.com/Home/ they pick-up & deliver very quickly for a reasonable price (some want up to £60 !!). I have had success with the Royal Mail after a little persuasion !! but some sellers have not been able to persuade their local Post Office to take longer parcels, so it's a bit hit & miss. Another option is http://www.shiply.com/ you post your requirements on their website & Transport companies already making similar trips bid for your business, another is http://www.stuff2send.com haven't had to used them but seems a good idea.
Another point to keep in mind, a lot of couriers don't cover Fishing Rods in their compensation arrangements so check their terms of carriage & exclusions very carefully. You might find the extra you paid for insurance is worthless.
Though it's seems obvious pack carefully preferably in a strong tube of cardboard or plastic. I've even received a rod in a length of sewer pipe (unused of course !!) a length of gutter downpipe if you have some laying around would work as well. Most tackle shops will have tubes available left over from their own deliveries that you can obtain free or for a small charge, carpet shops also have the tubes from inside rolls of carpet though a little heavy they are very strong.
Make sure to protect the rod eyes & pack rolled up balls of newspaper or bubble wrap around the rod to stop it banging against the sides of the tube feed it in as you push the rod in or loosely tape it round the rod. Don't forget to put padding at each end for the same reason. if the rod is not being sent in a rod bag it's a good idea to keep the sections apart with bubble wrap or tape on balls of newspaper then tape them together, try not to get tape stuck to the blank (rod) as it might pull some varnish off the rod when unpacked.
How often have you been frustrated as a bidder not to be able to bid on a fishing rod you really want because the seller thinks they are unable to post it, or a seller disappointed by the bids you receive or rather lack of decent bids, because you are unable to find a courier willing to transport your rod, hopefully the information above will help you both.............. Tight Lines !!