Walleye Trolling Rod Holders

Lake Erie Fishing Report
Lake Erie Fishing Report

If you’re a serious walleye angler, you know that having the right gear can make all the difference in your success on the water. One essential piece of equipment that often gets overlooked is the walleye trolling rod holder. These nifty devices not only keep your rods secure and organized but also allow you to cover more water and increase your chances of landing that trophy catch. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of walleye trolling rod holders, exploring their types, features, and benefits.

Types of Walleye Trolling Rod Holders

When it comes to walleye trolling rod holders, there are several types to choose from, each designed to suit different fishing styles and boat configurations. Let’s take a look at the most common options:

1. Flush-mount Rod Holders

Flush-mount rod holders are installed directly into the gunwale or deck of your boat, offering a low-profile and streamlined design. These holders are particularly popular among anglers who fish from smaller vessels or those who prefer a minimalist setup. Some boat manufacturers install flush-mount rod holders as a factory option. Or they can be added by the dealer when purchasing a new boat. If you have an older boat and want to add this type of walleye rod holder, just make sure there is ample room below where you are mounting them. Also, there are different angles of flush-mount rod holders available, be sure to select the correct one for your application.

2. Pedestal Rod Holders

Pedestal rod holders are freestanding units that can be mounted on various surfaces, such as the deck or gunnel. They typically feature adjustable angles and heights, allowing you to position your rods for optimal trolling and ease of access. For securing purposes, these types of walleye rod holders should be thru-bolted and preferably with a back plate. This way there is little chance of it coming loose. Use nylon lock nuts when securing.

3. Clamp-On Rod Holders

Clamp-on rod holders are a versatile option that can be attached to virtually any flat surface on your boat. These holders are ideal for anglers who frequently switch between different vessels or those who prefer a temporary setup. These types of rod holders are particularly common on small aluminum boats that may not have a wide gunnel. They are just as effective as other rod holders when secured properly.

4. Tube Rod Holders

Tube rod holders are a compact and space-saving option that allows you to store multiple rods in a vertical position. These holders are particularly useful for anglers who fish from smaller boats or those who need to maximize their deck space. These rod holders allow you to insert the butt of each rod into the tube, securely holding it in place while running or trolling for walleye.

5. Rod Holder Trees

Rod holder trees for walleye fishing will give you the cleanest presentation while running planer boards. Each rod will be separated evenly and allow the planer boards to run straight. This type of rod holder also allows the rods to be stored while running down the lake to the next spot. Overall this is a top pick for walleye trolling on Lake Erie.

Rod Holder Features to Consider

When selecting a walleye trolling rod holder, there are several features to consider to ensure you get the most out of your investment:

1. Material

Walleye trolling rod holders are typically constructed from various materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability, corrosion resistance, and weight. Aluminum is by far the most used on the Great Lakes for walleye trolling. They will not rust and provide a clean look to the boat.

2. Adjustability

Look for rod holders that offer adjustable angles, heights, and positions. This flexibility will allow you to optimize your rod placement for different trolling techniques and water conditions. Different manufacturers offer adjustability to suit your needs. Pick one that is right for you and your boat.

3. Rod Security

Ensure that the rod holder you choose provides a secure and stable grip on your rods, preventing them from slipping or falling overboard during rough conditions. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on mounting. If you are mounting directly to a deck or the gunnel, it is recommended to use a backing plate. Nylon nuts are a good choice as well, these will not back out.

4. Ease of Use

Consider the ease of installation, adjustability, and accessibility of the rod holder. A well-designed holder should be user-friendly and allow for quick and efficient rod deployment and retrieval. A rod holder tree or rod holder tube are the easiest to use. Rods slide in and out of the rod holders with ease.

5. Capacity

Depending on the size of your boat and the number of rods you typically use, you may want to consider a rod holder that can accommodate multiple rods simultaneously. A rod holder tree is a way to do this. There are also rod holder launchers that will accommodate multiple rods.

Benefits of Using Walleye Trolling Rod Holders

Investing in a quality walleye trolling rod holder can offer several benefits to serious anglers.

Increased EfficiencyWith your rods securely in place, you can focus on other tasks like monitoring your lines, adjusting your lures, or simply enjoying the scenery.
Better OrganizationRod holders help keep your boat organized and clutter-free, ensuring that your rods are neatly stored and easily accessible when you need them.
SafetyProperly secured rods with rod holders reduce the risk of them falling overboard or causing injury to you or your fellow anglers.
Improved Trolling TechniqueWith adjustable angles and heights, rod holders enable you to optimize your rod placement for different trolling techniques.

Choosing the Right Walleye Trolling Rod Holder

When selecting a walleye trolling rod holder, consider the following factors:

1. Boat Size and Layout

The size and layout of your boat will dictate the type of rod holder that best suits your needs. For example, tube or clamp-on rod holders may be ideal for smaller boats. Flush-mount and tree rod holders are better suited for larger vessels with ample deck space.

2. Fishing Technique

Different fishing techniques may require specific rod holder features. For instance, if you primarily use downriggers, you’ll want to look for rod holders specifically designed for that purpose. Some downriggers actually mount in the flush-mount rod holder. Rod holder trees are used while trolling small or big boards to keep the lines organized.

3. Number of Rods

Consider how many rods you typically use when trolling for walleye. Some rod holders can accommodate multiple rods, while others are designed for single-rod use. Smaller boats are sometimes difficult to add rod holders to, look at areas of the boat where there is unused space. Larger boats are easy to add rod holders to, you just have to decide how many and the spacing required.

4. Budget

Walleye trolling rod holders can range in price from budget-friendly options to high-end, premium models. Determine your budget and prioritize the features that are most important to you. Plastic rod holders are the best bet if you are on a budget. They have good stability for a small price compared to aluminum. Aluminum or galvanized rod holders are the most stable, but they are on the higher priced side. The usually run about $100 per rod holder depending on the type.

5. Durability and Maintenance

Look for rod holders made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh marine environment. Additionally, consider the ease of maintenance and repair for any moving parts or locking mechanisms. The rod holder you choose should not be effected by weather. The good thing is most are made that way from the factory.

Installation and Use of Walleye Trolling Rod Holders

Once you’ve selected the right walleye trolling rod holder for your needs, proper installation and use are essential for optimal performance and safety:

1. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions

Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and using your rod holder. Proper installation is crucial for ensuring a secure and stable fit. This is especially important when mounting the rod holder. You want to make sure the rod holder is secured to your boat properly.

2. Choose the Right Mounting Location

Consider the placement of your rod holder carefully. It should be easily accessible and positioned in a way that allows for comfortable rod deployment and retrieval. Follow the manufacturer’s recomendations on where to mount the rod holder you choose. The suggested locations will be best.

3. Secure Your Rods

Always ensure that your rods are securely locked in place before trolling. Double-check the locking mechanisms or grips to prevent any accidental slippage or loss. Many rod holders come with a sliding lock for your rods, with the exception of tube rod holders. They are long enough to secure your rods without them.

4. Adjust for Optimal Positioning

Take advantage of the adjustable features of your rod holder to position your rods at the ideal angle and height for your trolling technique and water conditions. Many rod holder manufacturer’s offer adjustable rod holders. This is key for trolling correctly. It allows you to position the rod so the planer boards are running straight.

5. Maintenance and Care

Regularly inspect your rod holder for any signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. Clean and lubricate moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure smooth operation and longevity. Make sure you use all stainless hardware when mounting the rod holder. Anything esle will rust out causiing a falure.


Investing in a quality walleye trolling rod holder is a smart decision for any serious angler. These versatile and convenient devices not only keep your rods organized and secure but also enhance your overall fishing experience. By considering the types, features, and benefits outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect rod holder for your needs. Remember, proper installation and use are key to maximizing the performance and safety of your walleye trolling rod holder. With the right gear and techniques, you’ll be one step closer to landing that trophy walleye you’ve been dreaming about.