What a buggar! I’ve done that exact same thing. I left the tip section of an expensive 13′ salmon rod at the mouth of the Waimakariri River once. When I got home and started unloading the Hilux I realised I only had half the rod. I live in Christchurch so I thought someone would have taken it for sure as there were a lot of people there that day. I finally decided to drive all the way back to Pines Beach in the forlorn hope it would still be there. It was a $600 rod. When I got back to the beach it was still right where I left it on the sand! The sense of relief was incredible.
This is also a valuable lesson that we should get into the habit of putting our gear straight back in the vehicle as we use it; and not put in down on the ground.
To this day before I drive off after fishing somewhere I always walk all the way around my vehicle to make sure I haven’t left anything on the ground.
I remember when the kids were young and we would stay in motels from time to time on business. The last thing we always did when leaving the motel was check in every draw and cupboard just in case one of the kids had stuck their teddy bear or something somewhere.
I would check with the police. You never know someone might have handed your rod and reel in. If nobody claims it after a certain length of time the police give it back to the person who handed it in.
Here’s hoping you get it back!