Whether you are a regular fisherman or engage in it occasionally, you will need a rod holder. A rod holder ensures that your fishing poles do not tangle. It keeps them secure, leaving you free to perform other tasks or grab a drink. A variety of rod holders are available for you to choose from, depending on your needs. Some of them hold single rods while others accommodate multiple fishing rods. They can be installed on sidewalls, mounted on rails, and even attached to seats and coolers.
If you are in a rush we have compiled a table of a few of our favorite rod holders:
|Why We Like
|SeaSense 3-Pole Rod Holder
|Best for Storage
|Scotty Downriggers Powerlock Rod Holder
|Best Single Rod Holder
|Perko Clamp-On Fishing Rod Holder
|Best For Pontoon Rail Mount
|Taco Marine Deluxe Pontoon Rod Rack
|Best for Pontoon Storage
|Mr Crappie Pro Rod Holder System Combo
|Best Multiple Rod Holder
If you have a Yeti Cooler than the side-mounted three-rod rack is for you. It will accommodate two fishing rods in vertical position. The rod holder locks into the tie-down area of the cooler and does not require any modification for installation. It will not sacrifice your cooler’s tie-down slot. The rod holder is of aluminum and has a marine grade powder coating. The holder has vinyl inserts for protecting the rods from scratches and keeping them in place. It will fit top cutting boards of Yeti coolers. It has a price tag of $102.88.
The SeaSense 3-Pole rod holder is a versatile accessory for pontoon boat owners who frequently go for fishing trips. The rod holder will accommodate three fishing rods. It has additional storage space for holding knife, tackles, and pliers that you might carry along on your pontoon fishing trip. It is a one-piece accessory constructed out of polypropylene. UV stabilization ensures that its color won’t fade away when exposed to sunlight. It is side mounted and can be attached to a wall or vertical surface. The rod holder is also available in white color.
Tempress Rod holder is a side mountable individual rod holder and one of the most popular. Its main feature is the ability to adjust it 360 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. It has a wide opening that can accommodate most fishing rods and facilitate their placement and removal. To keep the fishing rod in place, a sliding ring that can be locked is part of the design. The rod holder package comes with side mounts for installation. Corrosion resistant material used for its construction ensures a long life of the rod holder. It is available in packs of single and multiple pieces.
Another popular rod holder is the Scotty Downriggers Power Lock. The material used for construction is fiber enforced nylon making the rod holder sturdy and well built. It can handle small and large catch equally well. The rod holder can be adjusted vertically and rotated 360 degrees. Its open design allows it to accommodate fishing rods of almost any dimensions. A lockable ring at the top end keeps the fishing rod in place even when cruising. It comes with flush deck mount for installation. It is available as a single piece and in packs of four.
Taco Marine manufactures the Stand-Off Surface Mount rod holder which is a value for money accessory. Constructed out of polyethylene, the rod holder is lightweight yet sturdy. A front access hole makes it easier to use the fishing rod. It has an inside diameter of 1-3/4 inches and will hold the majority of fishing rods. Standoff surface mount is molded into the rod holder itself making installation easier. It is UV stabilized and does not lose color over time due to sunlight exposure. Black is another option color option besides white. The rod holder is covered by a one-year limited warranty.
Mr. Crappie Pro Series Rod Holder system combo from Tempress is a stylish and functional accessory for fishing enthusiasts. A single system can accommodate four fishing rods at the same time. The rod holders used are Light Tackle from Fish-On. The rod angle is fully adjustable and can be adjusted 360 degrees horizontally and vertically. It can be set up in a short time and taken apart equally fast. There are four gang mounts for installing the rod holder to the base. The base itself is attached to the boat using a locking surface mount. The combo includes a tray for keeping required items at hand.
If your favorite fishing spot is in harsh waters, then you need the Rough Water Products Rocket Launcher. It is a uniquely named fishing rod holder mounted on a pedestal. The Rocket Launcher is 30.5 inches high, 37.5 inches wide and 15.75 inches across. It has four rod holders made out of stainless steel. For providing additional strength, 4-inch round flanges are present. The angle of the flanges is preset during manufacturing. The user can choose either 15 degrees or 30 degrees. The Rough Water Rocket Launcher includes two drink holders made of stainless steel that allows you to sip on your favorite drink while waiting for the catch. It has resilient build and can support large catches.
Need a heavy duty no fuss fishing rod holder? Look no further than the Attwood Sure Grip. The rod holder has a 5-degree angle, a four-inch stem and can hold the fishing rod horizontally. Its steel rod has a diameter of 3/8 inch and can support large catches. The rod has a coating of plastic that resists corrosion and minimizes UV damage and discoloration. It comes with a flush mount base that enables its installation on a flat surface. The flush mounting base and nut are of stainless steel. The Sure Grip rod holder is ideal for drift and pan fishing.
Attwood 2-in-1 Non-Adjustable Fishing Rod Holder is a great choice for individuals who want a small and compact fishing rod holder. The rod holder comes with a fixed angle for positioning the rod vertically. It is a great fit for small to medium sized fishing rods. It has an inner diameter of 1-3/16 inches which is adequate to accommodate the majority of standard sized rods. A locking ring is provided to hold the line in place. The maximum supported diameter of the reel handles 7/16 inches. It comes in black color and is available in single and twin packs.
The Clamp-on Fishing Rod Holder from Perko is an easy to use and elegant accessory. It will hold one fishing rod in its stainless-steel tube. The tube has a polymer liner on the inside that protects the fishing rod from scratches. Its well-polished appearance makes it quite attractive. The rod holder attaches to the railing by tightening the clamp. There are two clamp options available, one for 3/4 to 1-inch rails and other for 1-1/4 inch rails. The chrome plated clamp is of zinc alloy. It mounts on both vertical and horizontal rails. There is no need for drilling. The rod holder can be easily installed at a new spot if needed.
The Angled Flush Mount Rod Holder is another versatile accessory from Perko. It has an aluminum tube for holding the fishing rod. The aluminum is anodized to prevent it from corrosion. A soft liner is placed inside the tube to prevent the fishing rod from getting scratched. Stainless steel flange provides structural strength for holding the fishing rod. The flange and the top opening of the tube are at an angle of 65 degrees. A gasket surrounds the flange and has an integrated flip-up cap that can seal the tube shut when not in use and prevent water from entering.
The Taco Marine Deluxe Rack is a rod rack designed specifically for pontoon boats. It can store four fishing rods and a couple of accessories like a knife and a plier. 0It has enough space to fit conventional and modern spinning reel fishing rods. The holder is made of high-density polyethylene which makes it strong and durable. It is UV stabilized to prevent sun damage. The fasteners used are of stainless steel which makes them rust resistant and longlasting. It is easy to assemble and install and comes in white color. A 3-rod variant of the rack is also available.
The Rod Holder from Angler’s Pal is a unique looking fishing rod holder. Unlike regular rods that come with a metallic finish, it has an orange appearance. The materials employed for its construction are anodized aluminum and stainless steel making it suitable even for salty waters. It enables fishing while the pontoon boat is standing still and when it is trolling lightly. The Posi-LOCK technology allows setting of the vertical angle of the holder at 25 and 45 degrees. It can be rotated 360 degrees horizontally. The rod holding tube has a diameter of 1-3/4 inches and is 7-3/4 inches deep making it compatible with most fishing rods.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Rod Holders
Here are a few things that you can consider for choosing the best rod holders for your requirements.
Purpose – Rod Holders vs. Rod Racks
The first thing to consider when buying a rod holder is the purpose of your purchase. Do you want to use the rod holder to keep your fishing rod in place after casting a line? Or do you want to store your fishing rods for safekeeping before and after use?
If it is the latter, then you need a rod rack. Racks provide a place to store rods and keep them secure after use. You won’t have to lay your precious fishing rods on the deck, where they might get stepped on accidentally or tossed from one side to another with the motion of the pontoon. It will prolong the life of your fishing rod and prevent it from scratches. Rod racks can accommodate multiple fishing rods for storage, generally from two to eight. They may have additional shelves or cuttings for storing your fishing tools as well. Rod racks are installed on the deck using surface mounts and screws.
If you want to keep your fishing rod in place after casting a line, then you will need to buy a rod holder designed for the same. You won’t have to hold the fishing rod yourself. These rod holders generally accommodate only one fishing rod at a time. However, a few rod holders may support three or more rods for angling. They attach to the railing or sidewalls of the pontoon.
Adjustability – Horizontal and Vertical
Adjustability is an important factor to look for in rod holders designed for casting a line. You will need to adjust the fishing rod for ensuring that it is at the right position and angle. It may have to be moved horizontally or vertically for casting a line at the desired place. The rod holder must provide adequate flexibility for the same. Ideally, you should be able to rotate it 360° horizontally and around 90° vertically for maximum adjustability.
Some rod holders only support horizontal rotation and no vertical rotation. They have a fixed angle for vertical positioning. You will be able to adjust the position of the rod holder horizontally but not its vertical angle. It will allow you to cast the line at only one angle. The vertical angle may differ from one model to another. These rod holders will be more affordable as compared to the ones that allow both horizontal and vertical adjustment.
A few rod holders don’t allow complete vertical adjustment but do support a few angles. The angles supported generally include 25°, 30°, and 45°, depending on the model. You will be able to position the fishing rod at only these specific angles, and nothing in between. These rod holders are easier to use. If the supported angles suit your requirements, then you can purchase such rod holders over the ones that don’t support any vertical adjustment.
Some cheaper rod holders may not support either vertical or horizontal adjustment. You can use them if you find them suitable for your requirements.
Design – Open vs. Closed
You must pay attention to the design of the rod holder before purchasing one. Some of them have an open design that allows them to accommodate all fishing rods irrespective of their size or thickness. They can be loosened to fit the fishing rod and then tightened again for keeping the rod secure using their adjustment mechanism. If you own or use fishing rods of different sizes on your pontoon fishing trips, then consider a rod holder with an open design.
Rod holders that have a closed design may not be able to accommodate fishing rods with a thick pole. Also, thin rods may not fit perfectly in them as they don’t support adjustments. You will have to either match the fishing rod to the rod holder or opt for a model that can accommodate the biggest fishing rods easily. A rod holder with a closed design is suitable for people who only use fishing rods of a specific size.
Another thing to consider in the design of rod holders is if they support both spinning and casting fishing rods or not. Some rod holders may be able to accommodate both types of models, while others may not. Buy a rod holder that supports the kind of fishing rods you use.
The Number of Fishing Rods Supported
The number of fishing rods supported by a rod holder must be considered as well. Most of them are designed for a single fishing rod, while a few can hold multiple rods. An issue with rod holders designed for more than one rods is that you will only be able to place the fishing rods next to each other. They won’t allow you to use one fishing rod on the port side and the other on the starboard side. Therefore, rod holders meant for a single fishing rod are suitable for most pontoon owners.
Buyers must also pay attention to the number of fishing rods that a rod rack can store. Most models can store anywhere between two to eight fishing rods. You can consider a rod rack depending on the number of fishing rods you have onboard your pontoon. If your fishing buddies accompany you, then purchase a rod rack that can accommodate all of your fishing rods.
Mounting Mechanism – Permanent vs. Removable
The mounting mechanism of rod holders should also be factored into your buying decision. They use different installation techniques based on their design. Some of them are attached permanently. You may have to screw them on the pontoon’s sidewalls using mounts or directly. Permanently fixed rod holders will be able to support heavier fishing rods. They won’t be bogged down by the weight of the rods or the catch.
A few rod holders may have clamps, allowing you to remove and re-install them in different positions. They can be fixed on the rails, poles, or other places of pontoons. An advantage of removable rod holders is that you can change their position depending on your requirements. Rod holders that use a removable mechanism may not be as sturdy as permanent ones. They may loosen or come off completely, especially if the line baits a large and heavy catch. Although, there are a few removable rod holders that can do equally well as permanent rod holders.
Rod racks may have to be screwed into the deck as they have to hold multiple rods securely. A few shelf-type rod racks may also be available that can be simply placed on the deck.
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