QUICK GUIDE TO BUYING A ROD HOLDER FOR YOUR KAYAK
Fishing with a single rod requires patience and precision. I know my limitations as a kayak fisho, and I know these are two things I am lacking. That is why on my kayak I opt for a “shotgun style”. I have three rod holders, so I am usually fishing with three lures in the water at any one time. This might sound excessive (and it probably is) but I know with three rods, I will have heaps more fun.
With my three rod holders, when I am coming, people know this is no recreational kayak flowing “gently down the stream”. This looks the part. If you want to transform your kayak into a real fisho kayak, you are going to need a rod holder or two.
You have several options when it comes to mounting a rod holder. The most common design is a flush mount base. These bases usually mount through the top deck. Flush mount bases require a hole to be drilled into the base of the kayak. The rod holder then attaches with rivets, and when it is removed the bracket leaves a nice flush surface.
However, some people are not comfortable with drilling into their pride and joy, and I totally understand that. There are rod holder options which don’t require a flush mount. You can use a deck mount. These are drilled into place, but only with four small holes and bolts. But unlike the flush mounts, deck mounts will leave a bracket sticking up off the kayak a couple of inches even when you are not using it.
If neither of these appeal to you, you can also find rigid kayak seats with Velcro pockets in the back specifically designed for holding your rod. I must confess that I have never used one of these. I don’t particularly like the idea that the only thing separating my rod from being wrenched out into the drink is a small piece of Velcro.
Most kayak fishos, myself included, like to fix two rods directly behind the seat. I also have another holder on the gunwale. Some fishos don’t like this position as they claim it gets in the way of paddling. Personally, I would never leave a rod in there while paddling, because it is impossible, but it still gets a lot of use. I usually fish with two rods behind my seat and one in my hands. I use the gunwale holder to hold the rod while I am re-rigging, untangling, or landing a fish from any of my back rods.
Some fishos like a mount at the end of the footwell. These look practical, but I am not a tall guy and the end of the footwell is just too far out of my reach. Reaching for it felt like I was doing that stretch exercise in PE where you have to touch your toes. I am far too old and fat to get anywhere near my toes now, so it just wasn’t practical.
I have also seen some setups where there are two rod holders at the front. It really depends on your style and application and what works for you.
Is there anything I have missed? Let us know if you think there is anything else you need to consider when buying a rod holder for your kayak.