How do you choose the right kayak rod holder for your fishing needs?

Picture yourself gliding silently through the water, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of nature.

In one hand, you hold a fishing rod, ready to reel in your biggest catch yet.

But wait, where do you put that rod when you’re not casting?

That’s where the kayak rod holder comes in.

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of rod holders, uncovering the secrets to finding the perfect one for your fishing adventures.

So, if you’re ready to maximize your fishing experience and never lose a rod again, keep reading to discover all the tips and tricks you need to know.

1. Types Of Kayak Rod Holders

When it comes to kayak fishing, having the right rod holder is essential for a successful and enjoyable outing on the water. There are two main types of kayak rod holders to consider:

  1. Flush-mounted rod holders: These are designed to be installed directly into the kayak’s hull, creating a seamless and streamlined look. They are typically made of durable materials such as plastic or composite materials. Flush-mounted rod holders are fixed in place and cannot be adjusted or rotated, which makes them ideal for anglers who prefer a stable and secure fishing setup.

  2. Swivel-mounted rod holders: These offer more versatility and adjustability. They are attached to a swivel base that allows for 360-degree rotation and tilt adjustments. This feature is particularly useful when trolling or fishing in different water conditions. Swivel-mounted rod holders often have a locking mechanism to secure the rod in place when needed.


  • Flush-mounted rod holders provide a stable and secure fishing setup.
  • Swivel-mounted rod holders offer more versatility and adjustability.
  • Both types of rod holders have their advantages and can enhance the experience of kayak fishing.

2. Factors To Consider When Choosing Rod Holders

When choosing a rod holder for your kayak fishing, it is important to consider a few factors. Start by evaluating the design and layout of your kayak. Look for kayaks that have built-in rod holders, as they are specifically designed for fishing and are conveniently placed for easy access while on the water. Additionally, reading reviews of the best fishing kayaks can provide insights into models that already have rod holders installed.

Next, consider the type of fishing you typically engage in. If you prefer fly fishing or use longer fishing rods, it is recommended to choose rod holders with larger tube dimensions to accommodate the length and width of your rods. Swivel capabilities are also important, especially if you engage in trolling or need to quickly adjust the angle of your rod while fighting a fish.

Finally, take into account the number of rod holders you require. Think about the number of rods you typically fish with and whether you prefer to have multiple rods at your disposal. This consideration will help you determine the appropriate number of rod holders to install on your kayak.

3. Mounting Options For Rod Holders

When it comes to mounting rod holders on your kayak, there are a few options to consider. If your kayak is equipped with gear tracks or side rails, you’re in luck. These features make it easier to find compatible rod holders that can be easily attached and adjusted.

However, if your kayak does not have gear tracks or side rails, you may need to drill into the kayak to install rod holders. This can be a more challenging task, so it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper guidelines. Additionally, drilling into the kayak can potentially affect its buoyancy, so be mindful of any potential consequences.

Alternatively, if you prefer a less permanent solution, you can mount rod holders on a milk crate or kayak cooler in the rear storage compartment. This allows for easy removal if not needed and provides a convenient and versatile setup for your fishing rods.

  • Consider using gear tracks or side rails if available
  • Exercise caution when drilling into the kayak
  • Mount rod holders on a milk crate or kayak cooler for a non-permanent solution.

    “When it comes to mounting rod holders on your kayak, there are a few options to consider.”

4. Recommended Kayak Rod Holders

To help you in your search for the perfect kayak rod holder, here is a list of ten recommended options:

  1. Omega rod holder with a Lock N’ Load mounting base: This rod holder is recommended for kayaks with gear tracks. It offers durability and a secure hold for your fishing rods.

  2. YAKATTACK rod holder: Compatible with GT175 Generation II GearTrac mount tracks, this rod holder comes with different mounting track lengths. It works with various types of fishing rods and has a rotating collar for securing reels.

  3. RAILBLAZA Rod Holder II: Similar to the YAKATTACK rod holder, this option works with spinning reels, baitcasters, and fly fishing reels. It rotates 360 degrees and comes with two different combo mounts for installation.

  4. #282-BK rod holder: Swivel-mounted and designed for kayaks with gear tracks, this rod holder can accommodate baitcasting reels or spinning reels. It has a cushioned cradle for baitcasters and an open front slot for spinners. It also comes with Scotty’s Gearhead Track Adapter for easy position changes.

  5. BigTron fishing rod holder bracket: This rod holder can be installed on a kayak tackle crate or a milk crate. It holds three fishing rods and has horizontal slats with openings for securing fishing tackle. It can also be installed in a truck or on a garage wall.

  6. RAILBLAZA fishing rod holder: With a track mounting base for compatible kayaks, this rod holder accommodates various types of fishing rods. It is also compatible with certain bass fishing boats and other RAILBLAZA StarPort accessories.

  7. PLUSINNO rod holders: These rod holders clamp onto the bottom of the kayak and are suitable for clear kayaks or canoes. They offer options with smaller or larger clamps and can rotate 360 degrees for easy adjustment.

  8. YAKATTACK AR tube rod holder: This rod holder is compatible with a GearTrac mounting system but does not come with a mounting solution. It is made from marine-grade polymers for strength and durability.

  9. SeaSense rod holder rack: Designed to secure to a kayak fishing crate or a DIY milk crate, this rod holder rack is made of polypropylene material. It has a single-piece construction and comes with mounting hardware.

  10. Old Town Sportsman Twin Pack rod holders: These rod holders are designed to fit the Old Town Sportsman line of kayaks. They are compatible with the universal track system and offer a secure and stable hold for your fishing rods.

5. Considerations For Choosing The Right Rod Holder

When choosing a kayak rod holder for your fishing needs, there are several key factors to consider.

Firstly, decide on the type of rod holder that best suits your fishing style and preferences. You can choose from a flush mount, deck mount, or adjustable rod holder.

Next, consider the compatibility of the rod holder with your kayak. Look for specific rod holders designed to fit your kayak model or ones that can be easily adjusted to securely attach to your kayak’s hull.

The material of the rod holder is also an important consideration. Plastic rod holders are lightweight and durable, making them an excellent choice for most anglers. However, if you prefer a more rugged option, consider metal or composite rod holders for added strength and longevity.

Think about the number of rod holders you need. Some anglers prefer having multiple rod holders to accommodate different fishing techniques and preferences, while others may prefer to keep it simple with just one or two rod holders. Decide based on your fishing style and needs.

Additionally, consider the positioning of the rod holders on your kayak. Take into account the layout of your kayak and ensure that the rod holders are easily accessible while fishing. It’s essential to have them placed in a way that won’t interfere with your casting or other kayak activities.

Lastly, think about any additional features or accessories that may be required. For example, if you use baitcasters, look for rod holders with cushioned cradles to protect your reels. If you enjoy fly fishing, opt for rod holders with wider tubes to accommodate fly rods.

In conclusion, choosing the right kayak rod holder is crucial for a successful and enjoyable fishing season. Consider the type of rod holder, factors such as kayak compatibility and material, and the number of rod holders required. The positioning of the rod holders and any additional features should also be taken into account. By considering these factors, you can find the perfect rod holder for your kayak fishing adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to put rod holders in a kayak?

To maximize convenience and stability, the best location for flush mount rod holders on a kayak is behind the seat and ahead of the cockpit. By positioning them in this space, they can be easily accessible while providing a secure and sturdy hold for your fishing rods. Before installation, it is crucial to measure the space below the deck to ensure that it can accommodate the rod holder, guaranteeing a proper fit and functionality. Ensuring these factors are taken into consideration will help create an optimal fishing experience on a kayak.

What kind of rod to use for kayak fishing?

When it comes to kayak fishing, it is crucial to select the right rod for optimal performance. Considering the recommendation to choose a rod that is one weight higher and one speed slower than your usual preference, it is advisable to opt for a medium light to medium power rod with a moderate action. This adjustment allows for better control and maneuverability in a kayak, as well as increased sensitivity while still maintaining sufficient power to handle different fish species and conditions. By modifying the rod specifications accordingly, you can adapt your fishing experience to the unique challenges and dynamics of kayaking.

In addition to the suggested specifications, consider the length of the rod to ensure it is appropriate for the size of your kayak. A shorter rod, ranging from 6 to 7 feet, is often preferred for kayak fishing as it provides greater maneuverability and minimizes the risk of tangling lines with the surrounding environment. With the right rod in hand, kayaking enthusiasts can enhance their angling experience by harnessing the ideal balance between sensitivity, power, and adaptability tailored specifically to the kayak fishing environment.

What is a rod holder on a kayak?

A rod holder on a kayak is a practical accessory designed to securely hold fishing rods while paddling. Beyond its primary use, rod holders offer versatility in kayak fishing. They can also serve as convenient storage for additional fishing rod setups, allowing anglers to switch between different rods effortlessly. Furthermore, rod holders on a kayak can be utilized for alternative purposes, such as holding other equipment like nets or even acting as a support for a camera mount, enhancing the overall fishing experience.

Where is the best place to mount rod holders on a boat?

The optimal placement for rod holders on a boat is crucial for convenient and hassle-free fishing. One ideal location to mount them is at a 90-degree angle from the boat’s centerline. By doing so, you can easily access your fishing rods while simultaneously steering the vessel. To ensure unobstructed access, it is vital to choose a spot that is clear of any potential obstructions or cables beneath the gunwale.

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