Boat fishing rod holder selection/mounting guide - What The Fish Fishing Gear

What type of boat fishing rod holder is right for you and your boat?

Welcome to our guide on selecting and mounting boat fishing rod holders. This guide will help you make informed decisions when choosing and installing the perfect rod holder for your boat.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Boat Fishing Rod Holder

1. Functionality - What are your wants, needs, and expectations?

Here are some of the functional characteristics of the boat rod holders that we offer for consideration:

  • Fixed rod holder - This rod holder features both a fixed, non-adjustable rod holding angle and a fixed, non-adjustable surface mount. This is a simple, no frills rod holder. Depending on the type of fishing that you're doing and your boat, this is a great choice for an effective and efficient rod holder. It is often a perfect choice for: kayaks, canoes, jon boats, plastic molded boats, and smaller fiberglass boats. 
  • Pivoting rod holder with fixed mounting - This rod holder features an indexable pivot joint that allows the angle of the rod holder to be adjusted. The rod holder base is a fixed, surface mount design. This is a great choice for a permanently mounted rod holder. The pivot allows for good rod positioning flexibility and also allows the rod holder to be positioned vertically and out of the way for boat docking.
  • Pivoting rod holder with swivel mount - This rod holder offers maximum adjustability. It features an indexable pivot joint that allows the angle of the rod holder to be adjusted and an indexable horizontal swivel base. The swivel mount base is a fixed, surface mount design. This is also a great choice for a permanently mounted rod holder.
  • Track mount with pedestal - Both our pivoting rod holder with fixed mounting and our pivoting rod holder with swivel mount can be track mounted using our accessory pedestal mount. With this setup you get all of inherent features of the rod holder along with linear positioning adjustability and ability to completely remove the rod holder. 

2. Fit - Where will the rod holder be installed on your boat? How will it be installed on your boat?

Here are some footprint considerations for our boat rod holders:

  • Fixed rod holder - Base is 3" X 2" with a 2" X 1.25" rectangular bolt pattern. (4) mounting holes, clearance for 1/4" fasteners.
  • Pivoting rod holder with fixed mounting - Base is 4" square with a 2.5"  square bolt pattern. (4) mounting holes, clearance for 1/4" fasteners.
  • Pivoting rod holder with swivel mount - Base is 5" square with a 4" square bolt pattern. (4) mounting holes, clearance for 1/4" fasteners.
  • Track mount with pedestal - Track base is ~ 3.5" wide. Tracks are available in various lengths. Our pedestal accessory is ~4.75" tall. It features a locking handle for positioning. We do not sell the boat tracks, but we are happy to recommend a source.

3. Mounting - Once you pick a product that meets functional and fitment requirements, consider how the rod holder system will be mounted on your boat.

  • If possible, it's almost always best to mount the rod holder system using backup plates and/or fender washers along with lock washers and nuts.
  • If underside access is not possible, consider using drop through toggle nuts (Garelick has a good product). Well nuts can also be a good drop in solution depending on the application.
  • in some applications lags and epoxy may be a workable mounting solution.

What if there are conflicting constraints? 

One scenario: You've decided on a pivoting rod holder with swivel mount for your boat. You would like to mount it on the gunnel, but your gunnel is not wide enough to accommodate the 5" swivel base footprint. There are a couple of workable options for this scenario. You could:

  1. Use our pedestal accessory as a fixed mount to the boat gunnel and mount the pivoting rod holder with swivel mount atop the pedestal. The pedestal mount reduces the footprint size from 5" square to a 3" wide footprint.
  2. Install a track system on your gunnel and use our pedestal mount accessory. The track system reduces the footprint size from 5" square to a 3.5" wide footprint.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into selecting and mounting boat fishing rod holders. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thank you for choosing What the Fish Fishing Gear. Happy fishing!