Rodholders for Fishing Kayaks

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kayak fishing rod holders

Trollers will have very specific requirements, when it comes to rodholders on a kayak.

One imperative add-on most kayak anglers will want is rodholders. Yes, many serious fishing yaks have a couple of rodholders built in, but few have all you’ll want or need. This means adding holders via surface mounts of track mounting. Whichever you choose, remember these five important factors when rigging up your fishing yak.

kayak fishing rod holders

Trollers will have very specific requirements, when it comes to rodholders on a kayak. Photo courtesy of Eric Packard

  1. Before mounting anything anywhere, sit in your kayak on dry land and try different positions to make 100-percent sure you’ll be able to reach them easily. It’s all too easy to mount rodholders a few inches too far forward or too far back, where reaching them becomes a stretch.
  2. Rail mounts are a great option with much more flexibility than surface mounts (you can add other accessories and/or make small adjustments to the holder’s positions). However, in some cases robholder bases tighten down by spinning like a thumb-screw. This type can come loose on one side of the boat or the other if the pressure of a strike is enough to turn the screw-mount (IE: if turning counter-clockwise loosens it up, mounts placed on the right side of the kayak will tighten under pressure on the rod but those on the left side will loosen). Especially for saltwater anglers who may encounter very large fish, if you don’t address this issue by adding a locking mechanism to the base the result can be a lost rod.
  3. Make sure to add vertical holders as well as angled holders. You’ll want them for stowing extra rods where they don’t interfere, when they aren’t in use.
  4. Virtually all the add-on kayak rodholders are plastic. Many are still quite beefy but some others simply aren’t up to saltwater use. For this reason, it’s usually best to avoid online shopping and better to actually handle the gear up close and in person before buying it.
  5. If you go with surface mounts, be sure to put them in locations where you can access the underside of the deck and mount with bolts and backing as opposed to just screwing them down – especially if you want them to hold up to large saltwater species.

BONUS TIP: Spend a day at a popular kayak launch, and just hang out and watch people launch and retrieve their rigs. You’ll be able to put eyeballs on loads of different options and have the opportunity to ask lots of folks how their rodholder choices have worked out.


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