Some people trace the birth of kayak fishing to the first kayak with rod holders. Even before boat manufacturers caught up with the trend, anglers were rigging kayaks with PVC pipe and flush mount rod holders. In fact, you could say the development of fishing kayaks coincides with the advancements in rod holders. We’ve rounded up some of the best new rod holders to help advance your kayak fishing.
4 Best New Rod Holders for Kayak Fishing
Today, anglers have a wide choice of vertical, elevated and flush mount rod holders designed for small watercraft. The rigors of fishing from a little plastic boat encourages designers to create tougher, more adjustable and secure rod holders. After all, a rod holder holds your fishing rod when you are not using it, the best defense against losing expensive gear.
The biggest advancements have come in adjustability and security. There are more options for quickly attaching rod holders to kayaks. Gear tracks, permanent mounts and removable rod holders provide even more possibilities to customize your kayaks.
A rod holder’s primary duty is holding the fishing rod. This year, we see more rod holders with integrated security latches to keep fishing rods onboard. Also, there is a greater variety of size and shape to perfectly match any fishing rod.
Kayak fishing has pushed rod holder technology to its limits so anglers can push the sport to its limit.
DoubleHeader Track Mount
$20 | yakattack.us
Leave it to YakAttack to take rod holders to the next level. This year, YakAttack offers anglers the freedom to add more rod holders and accessories to their small boats. The new DoubleHeader base attaches to any gear track with three mounting points for rod holders, cup holders, paddle holders or even electronics.
The DoubleHeader looks like a plastic V with the base of the V attaching to the gear track and the arms of the V extended over the side. YakAttack includes attachment points at the base and arms accepting all of their base mounts including the quick release LockNLoad.
The DoubleHeader is perfect for adding two RotoGrip paddle holders. Or, attach a rod holder to each arm of the V and use the DoubleHeader for angled or vertical rod storage. With anglers adding more rods and gear to their little plastic boats, the DoubleHeader doubles rod storage without sacrificing security.
QR1-X Rod Holder
$54 | stealthrodholders.com
The most important job for a rod holder is to hold the rod. Stealth takes this responsibility seriously with their QR1, quick release system. The QR is an elevated rod holder with a cam to pinch the rod in place. When the angler lifts the rod, the cam releases and the rod is free. However, if the boat tips over the rod stays in place.
The QR1-X, and larger QR2-X, combines the Stealth elevated rod holder with a three-inch extension. The extension allows the QR to work as a horizontal, adjustable or vertical rod holder. The extension also makes the rod holder easier to reach. I mounted a QR1-X rod holder on a gear track beside my tankwell. The rod stays out of the way but is ready the instant I spot a fish.
A rod holder with extension is also great for standup fishing. I mount the rod holder in the center of my cockpit and I don’t have to reach down to grab the rod. An elevated rod holder with a three-inch extension is one of the most versatile rod holders. Stealth’s QR1-X adds security to the versatility.
$37 | railblaza.com
Vertical rod holders are the unsung heroes of kayak rigging. Despite advances in vertical rod storage, many anglers still rely on PVC pipe cable tied to their gear crate. Not only is a simple plastic tube not as secure or sturdy as a special rod tube, but PVC tubing is really ugly.
Railblaza’s RodStow Double vertical rod holders will change the mind of the most dedicated shade tree engineers. The vertical plastic tubes are connected with a brace doubling as a gear caddy. Mount the rod tubes on a gear crate and the caddy holds lures, leader or fishing tools. A removable gimble bolt allows the rod holder to secure larger reels or remove the pin to hold a rod with a long handle.
To totally customize vertical rod holders, the RodStow system is modular so I can add more caddies and tubes to expand storage. Railblaza’s RodStow comes with all the hardware to install with self-tapping screws or bolts and lock nuts. I use five vertical rod holders on my storage crate. Three tubes in the back hold my rods while I’m paddling to the fishing grounds. Then, I stage two rods in the front holders for standup fishing.
No. 290 R-5 Rod Holder
$29 | scotty.com
When kayak fishing started gaining momentum, Scotty was one of the first mainstream companies to jump onboard. Many of their rod holders designed for small boats were already perfect for kayaks. As early kayak anglers embraced the famous Side-Mount base and elevated rod holder, Scotty continued to design products focused on kayak fishing.
The latest improvement is the No. 290 R-5 Rod Holder with security latch. Here’s how it works. Scotty started with their famous elevated rod holder. Then, they added a corrosion-proof stainless steel bar to lock the rod in place. Insert the rod butt in the rod holder and the bar automatically engages to secure. To remove the fishing rod, lift up and the bar turns and opens. With one hand, the user can engage and release the bar.
This article was first published in Kayak Angler Issue 46. Subscribe to Kayak Angler and get the magazine delivered to your front door. Download the Kayak Angler Magazine+ app to seamlessly glide between the digital archives, the latest articles and videos.
The new generation of rod holders simply hold your fishing rods the best. | Feature photo: Roberto Westbrook