How to Install Fishing Rod Holders on The Boat?

One day there comes such moment is required a lot more rod holders for your boat. As the saying goes the appetite comes with eating. We have already talked about how to install fishing rod holders. But how many people so many opinions. And each of us in his own way makes the different things. We have decided to continue talking about installing fishing rod holders on the boat.

At first glance this might seem like a simple job, but generally fishing rod holders mounted on the vertical and horizontal angles, where there may be wiring or other structural elements. But with careful planning, you can achieve great results.

Rods trolled from outriggers might be angled out more, whereas lines trolled directly from rod tips, say for high-speed wahoo fishing, might be angled less. If the aft-most line is typically a flat line, set it parallel to the keel (zero degrees), or angled out slightly, say five degrees. Try to place the aft rod holders far enough forward that you can reach the rod tip to grab the line.

Before making any cuts, carefully check that there is nothing beneath the deck to cause problems. Bulkheads, cabinets and engine room vents may get in the way, and wires or equipment might have to be moved before drilling. Because they are angled out more, the forward-most rod holders tend to hit the inside edge of the cockpit coaming or protrude into the cockpit, which can be overcome by mounting the rod holder closer to the outboard edge of the gunwale. Rod holders planned for the transom have the same problem, which can often only be resolved with a 15-degree vertical-angle rod holder, rather than the traditional 30-degree rod holder.

Watch for obstructions above the deck, too, and remember that this might be different from port to starboard, or with spinning versus conventional reels, because of the reel handles.

One last consideration is how the rod holders drain. Stainless steel rod holders are open at the bottom, which isn’t a problem on sportfishing boats with open cockpit coamings, but might not be ideal in other installations. Rupp’s chrome-plated brass rod holders (and a few others) are closed, with a threaded drain hole, so water can be plumbed to a through-hull fitting. The closed bottoms are also easier on knees and thighs when locking your knees under the gunwale to handle a big fish.

Tools your will need

Hole saw, drill/driver, drills, sealant, masking tape, marker/protractor (bevel gauge), tape measure, mineral spirits.

With a plan in place, cover the gunwales with tape (we used wide protective sheeting made by 3M). Measure the center point for each hole, which might require working from the rod holder flange, and then calculating the center. In this case, the new rod holder is also centered between the two existing ones.

The more precise the angle of the hole, the less handwork there will be later. The quickest way to get the hole right is to make a long mark on the masking tape as a reference for the horizontal angle, and then hold the rod holder upside down on deck as a guide for drilling the vertical angles.

Use a rasp to fine-tune each hole, and check the angles with fishing rods in place. You’ll probably have to insert the rod holder and remove it several times, using the rasp in between, to get the angle you want.

The exact angles themselves aren’t important, but uniformity from port to starboard is. For the mathematically challenged (like me), set the angles by eye, and then use a bevel gauge to transfer the angle from one side of the boat to the other. (A bevel gauge looks like a square, but with an adjustable blade.)

Mark the screw holes, but don’t drill them until everything is quadruple-checked on both sides of the boat, both with rods in place and using the bevel gauge. Drill the screw holes at a slight angle away from the center of the rod holder to ensure enough room for large fender washers and nuts, or use backing plates. Seal plywood- or balsa-cored decks with epoxy, and bed rod holders in polyurethane or silicone sealant.

Use a jig

Some boats Come with wimpy little rod holders, but installing large ones is tricky since hole saws require a center point. To make a small hole larger, cut a hole in a piece of three quarter-inch plywood at just the right angle for the rod-holder, then use this plywood jig to guide the hole saw.

Not all gunwale rod holders are created equal and understanding the differences will make it easier to purchase the ones best suited to your needs.

Flush mount rod holders are available in a choice of materials, angles and types. For decades, chrome on brass was the material of choice, but more recently, polished stainless steel has surpassed them. As the cost of brass keeps rising stainless becomes a more attractive option. It’s equally strong and durable. Flush-mounts come in three tube angles-vertical (0-degree offset), 15-degree and 30-degree.

Another piece of advice: if the holders are being used to hold actively fishing rods, go with a 30 whenever you can. For cockpit applications, specifically the holders that will be used for trolling rods in the port and starboard gunwales, 30?s are a given, but when adding rod holders across the transom or up the sides of the boat to use when drift, bottom or live-bait fishing, chances are a 30 will angle out from under the gunwale and be a hazard to passing knees. That’s where 15- or 0-degrees holders come into play. Most rocket launchers employ 15-degree holders and the verticals are popular for use in applications where they are being used strictly for rod storage alongside consoles or in transoms.