The Best Rod Holders | Top 5

best rod holders
best rod holders

At a glance, a fishing rod holder might seem like a simple tool and thought of as just a device to cradle the fishing rod. However, these are essential for any fisherman on a boat. A good fishing rod holder can make or break your fishing trip. Having trust in the rod holder you choose is key. With many options available, picking the appropriate best rod holders can be the difference between a good or bad fishing trip.

Best Rod Holders for Boats

The type of rod holder you choose depends on the type of fishing you plan to do. Each fishing situation calls for a different type of rod holder. For example, there are different rod holders made for drifting and trolling. A drifting rod holder is built to handle the takedown of the fish, not the lure. A trolling rod holder is made to withstand not only a fish hitting but the rod and lure weight while moving.

Flush Mount Rod Holder

For those on a boat, a flush mount rod holder emerges as the preferred choice. A flush mount rod holder will protect a fishing rod the best. Secure flush mount rod holders tightly to the gunnel of the boat, typically with a low failure rate. This makes them particularly fitting for trolling sizable fish on the ocean. With the rod holder mounted flush in the gunnel, it adds extra strength to secure the rod during trolling and a fish strike. Flush mount rod holders come in different angles and can be used for other accessories, just not fishing rods. Downriggers and tables can be mounted in them also.

Fishing Rod Trees

Anglers use fishing rod trees for trolling on the Great Lakes and inland lakes. They use trolling trees to fish multiple rods per side while utilizing planer boards or divers. You can mount trees directly to the gunnel or attach them with a track system. These types of rod holders have tubes attached to a center rod. Most are adjustable and can come with any number of tubes on each. Rod trolling trees are a great way to save space on a small boat and keep the lines tangle-free.

Lake Erie Fishing Report

Fishing rod trees make great tools for utilizing outriggers. They can help evenly space rods attached to outriggers while trolling in the ocean. They are also good for spacing out rods evenly while using “big boards” on the Great Lakes. A big board is like an outrigger and each rod is attached to the line from the large planer board.

Adjustable Rod Holders

Trolling inland lakes or the Great Lakes, a fisherman may opt for an adjustable rod holder. Adjustable rod holders are directly fixed to the gunnel or used on a track system. Fishermen on inland lakes typically troll slower with less drag on the rod. Some anglers fishing for walleye or striper will use planer boards. Adjustable rod holders will allow multiple rods to be deployed on each side of the boat. Adjustable holders come in two forms, a tube or cradle rod holder. Which style depends on the species of fish being targeted. In the realm of kayaks, canoes, and small boats, an elevated rod holder takes the spotlight. This type keeps the reel away from potentially damaging spray. The best-elevated rod holders are easy to attach and offer effortless adjustments. While they lack the robustness of flush mount holders, elevating them is a space-efficient alternative for smaller watercraft.

Best Rod Holders for Trolling

Rod holders are essential to trolling. Trolling refers to moving the boat at a set speed while pulling bait or lures. This involves having multiple rods on either side of the boat trolling at the same time. For inland lakes and the great lakes, adjustable holders work the best. On these types of lakes, trolling often occurs at 3 mph or less. Mount these rod holders on the gunnel, which come in a tube or cradle style. Tube style works best for trolling with planer boards. Cradle-style holders work best for perch fishing or trolling with divers. Both styles of rod holders come in aluminum, galvanized steel, and plastic. These rod holders are good for Striped Bass.

Boat Rod Holders

In the ocean, flush mounting will work best. With the size of the rods and fish, a surface-mounted rod holder will not perform the best. Flush-mounted rod holders should be mounted on the boat gunnel and secured. The gunnel provides extra strength to protect against the loss of fishing gear. Insert the rod into the holder while trolling or bottom fishing. Flush mounts come in different angles. Pick the angle that best suits your boat style and fishing style.

Rod Holder Placement

Choosing where to put rod holders on your boat is dependent on the use. Place downriggers mounted in a rod holder at the transom of the boat. If you are using fishing rods out the side, they should be placed behind the console on both sides of the gunnel. This way it’s easy access from the back of the boat. Some people opt for rod holders mounted toward the bow of the boat for bottom fishing. Mounting utility accessories can affect the placement as well. Place these types of rod holders where you want the accessory to be.

Fishing Rod Storage Rack

Storage for fishing rods is always a challenge. Somehow they always end up piled in a corner of the garage. There are two different types of fishing rod racks, vertical and horizontal. Vertical rod racks are space savers for your garage or home. If there is no space on the wall, use a horizontal mount on the ceiling. Both are space savers and it comes down to personal preference.

There are often DIY options to build a fishing rod rack. DIY options are typically cheap and take just a few hours to complete. Using PVC or fabricated aluminum is a great way to build DIY rod racks. They can be made to look good but if you want a cleaner look, buying retail may be the best option.

Truck Bed Fishing Rod Holders

Pier and shore fishermen use truck bed fishing rod holders the most. This rod holder saves space and does not damage gear while driving to a fishing spot. This type comes in different sizes that fit a specific truck. Ensure you know the size of your truck bed before building one or placing an order. Mount this type of rod holder close to the cab of the truck in the bed, or sometimes off the hitch. This keeps the rods out of the way. Typically, manufacturers make the rod holders from aluminum or PVC to prevent rust. They offer these rod holders from various angles. Choosing the right angle is critical so your gear is not too high.

Before ordering a pre-built truck bed rod holder, explore DIY options. Plans and ideas are floating around that are affordable to build. Typically DIY options only take a few hours to complete.