Whether you are out on the kayak, paddling away on the kayak, or sitting by the river bank, one thing that all fisherman need is a good fishing rod holder. Plenty of fisherman like to have multiple rods in use at one time with the theory – more hooks in the water equals more fish.
Fishing kayaks in particular need solid rod holders as you always need to have easy access to your rods while paddling around your target location. The worst thing you can do is have your paddle in one hand and your rod in another hand. It is always better to invest in one or two quality rod holders.
I have put together a list of the top rod holders available on the market and my reviews on which are the best for the most common scenarios including boat, kayak, and bank holders.
Rod holders are just one of many pieces of equipment that are essential gear for any angler.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Summary – Best Rod Holders
- 2 Fishing Rod Holder Buyer’s Guide
- 3 10 Best Fishing Rod Holders
- 3.1 1. Canon Downrigger Rod Holder – Best Boat Fishing Rod Holder
- 3.2 2. YakAttack Omega Pro Rod Holder – Best Kayak Fishing Rod Holder
- 3.3 3. Basune Fishing Rod Holder – Best Bank Fishing Rod Holder
- 3.4 4. Beast Sand Spike Rod Holder – Best Beach Fishing Rod Holder
- 3.5 5. HT PIRH-1 Screw Down Power Ice Rod Holder – Best Ice Fishing Rod Holder
- 3.6 6. Scotty Power Lock Rod Holder
- 3.7 7. Stealth Quick Release Rod Holder
- 4 8. Scotty Rocket Launder Rod Holder
- 5 9. Brocraft Adjustable Rod Holder
- 6 10. Woodlander Cannon Outdoors Rod Holder
- 7 Conclusion
Quick Summary – Best Rod Holders
- Best for Boat: Canon Downrigger
- Best for Kayak: YakAttack Omego Pro
- Best for Bank: Basune
- Best for Beach: Beast Sand Spike
- Best for Ice: HT PIHR-1 Screw Down
Fishing Rod Holder Buyer’s Guide
We have also put together a brief guide to help you make your selection and some of the key factors that need to be considered. There are also some great guides on the internet to give you some more detailed information.
The height of the stand is important. For a beach rod holder you have to put 1-2 feet or more into the soft stand to be stable enough so your surf rod doesn’t get pulled into the waves wen that big fish strikes. Keep in mind the height that you want the reel to be located.
This is important for a boat or kayak as well – high quality rod holders often have extension accessories available so that you can get your reel position into exactly the right spot. Don’t settle on second best.
The mounting bracket needs to suit your boat, kayak, dock, tree branch, or whatever. Some rod holders have multiple mounting brackets available so that you can get it installed first time.
Don’t get the cheapest option if it will involve multiple trips to the hardware store to force it to fit.
There are a number of common mounting designs that you should become familiar with:
- Clamp On – this is a versatile design with a spring loaded style so you can move your rod holder from boat to kayak or even from one side of your boat to the other.
- Threaded – this design is more secure than a clamp and is better suited for game fishing but is less versatile.
- Rail Mounted – this is a combination of the two above, where the rod holder can be easily moved along its rail, but it cannot be used anywhere a rail is not present.
- Flush Mount – hit is a permanently installed design that sits flush with your boat and is secured with bolts or welded.
- Bank Fishing – generally bank fishing either sits on the ground under its own balance or penetrates into the ground itself.
Each of these designs has their own strengths and weaknesses and you should pick depending on your own personal requirements. You can also get rod holders attached to a fishing cart.
Most rod holders are designed to hold a wide range of fishing rods, which means that they can be much, much too large if you use smaller rods. Boat rods in particular are often designed for big game fishing rods. Check the diameter of your rods and the opening of the rod holders and make sure your rod won’t fall out when a fish strikes.
On the other side, check that your big game fishing rod will fit into a small rod holder. If you have a wide range of rod sizes then you might have to install several different rod holders.
Number of Rods
Most rod holders fit a single rod, and if you want to keep additional rods then you need to purchase additional rod holders. However there are some styles (either bank fishing or game fishing) that will put a series of rocket launder designs in a row so you can put multiple rods out at a time.
The material of construction plays a big role in the durability, corrosion resistance, and weight of the holder. The last thing you want to do for a lightweight kayak is to clamp two big heavy steel rod holders to the size.
For corrosion resistance materials, aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic are by far the best options available. Of course the aluminum and stainless steel are much heavier than plastic but they will last a lot longer. The plastic rod holders are at risk of breaking if you apply too much pressure.
You really want to be spending your budget on rods and reels. Accessories like a rod holder shouldn’t blow the bank. Keep an eye on the price range. Of course once you have outfitted your kayak or boat you don’t want to be replacing cheap rod holders regularly.
10 Best Fishing Rod Holders
1. Canon Downrigger Rod Holder – Best Boat Fishing Rod Holder
The Cannon downriggers are heavy duty for big fish.
There are a number of different accessories to make sure this suits your requirements and fits your boat. The spring-loaded tension knob allows for quick and easy rod adjustment.
The rod holder can also be rotated 360 degrees so that you can point it in the direction that you need.
If you are after smaller fish with a thinner rod then you might want to get out the measuring tape and make sure your fishing rod will fit snugly.
- Highly adjustable position and angle
- Mounting accessories available
- Swivel mount
- Quite a large holder – not suitable for smaller rods
2. YakAttack Omega Pro Rod Holder – Best Kayak Fishing Rod Holder
The YakAttack Kayak Rod holders is the definition of versatile. There are so many extensions, mounting brackets, and accessories it can fit any vessel that you can think of.
It is made of a durable black plastic, and is very lightweight.
It is also very adjustable and can be rotated in 360 degrees so that you can manipulate it into any position that you could ever require.
The rod holder is designed for larger conventional fishing rods – if you use a smaller rod then you may want to confirm that it will suit your purposes.
- 360 degree rotating collar
- Folds for easy storage
- Extensions available
- Track mounting base not included
- Large opening – not suitable for small rods
3. Basune Fishing Rod Holder – Best Bank Fishing Rod Holder
These stainless steel rod holders are very versatile for fishing on a river bank. The stainless steel is very corrosion resistant and will last a lifetime even in saltwater.
The rod holder design will also fit almost every size and style of fishing rod you can think of.
The long spike can penetrate mud, sand, soil, and dirt. In really soft sand it might not be long enough to be really stable, but for a river bank it is ideal.
It is also very lightweight, and portable and is very easy to store and cart around between fishing locations.
- Corrosion resistance stainless steel
- Easy to stick into soft sand or mud
- Lightweight and easy to pack
- May need to be placed all the way into the reel height to maintain stability in soft sand
4. Beast Sand Spike Rod Holder – Best Beach Fishing Rod Holder
The first time I saw ‘the Beast’ rod holder I thought, that thing is massive, and it is heavy. But it really is a brilliant bit of gear.
This rod holder is long enough that it can be inserted into soft stand and create an extremely sturdy platform.
It also has the knee stand so that you can put your entire body weight onto the spike and get it deep into the sand or mud.
This really is the best fishing rod stand available for beach fishing. The aluminum design will last a lifetime, even in a saltwater environment.
- Corrosion resistance aluminum material
- Knee installation stand
- Extremely sturdy
- Heavy to carry
- Expensive shipping
5. HT PIRH-1 Screw Down Power Ice Rod Holder – Best Ice Fishing Rod Holder
Ice fishing is a different environment and requires highly specialized tools. There are a lot of high tech rod holders available, even automatic bobbing mechanisms that keep your bait moving without you.
Our preference is the extremely simple HT 10 inch screw ice fishing rod holder. It can’t break in the middle of your trip and will last a lifetime. It is also very reasonably priced.
- Extremely simple, sturdy design
- Self tapping into the ice
- Can be difficult to screw into the ice – but this is really a description of the problems with ice, no this particular product
6. Scotty Power Lock Rod Holder
This is made from fiber-reinforced nylon and promises strength and reliability. It is easy to mount to your boat.
The holder is suitable for any kind of rod and reel combo. It has a front locking ring so your rod will not rotate and keeps it secure while traveling. It can be rotated in a 360 degree range and is available in black, white, or gray.
- Fiber-reinforced nylon
- 360 degree rotation
- Front end locking ring
- More expensive than alternatives
7. Stealth Quick Release Rod Holder
This open-style rod holder has a unique design that allows you to remove your rod in a single action. This means there is a low likelihood that you will lose your fish will trying to get your rod out of the holder.
It is made from a heavy duty nylon so it is corrosion resistant and lightweight. It is also UV resistant so will not degrade over time. The metal components are stainless steel.
It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Can easily hook a fish with quick release system
- Heavy-duty nylon
8. Scotty Rocket Launder Rod Holder
This 9 inch rocket launcher style rod holder is made from a nylon composite which makes it corrosion resistant. It is suitable for conventional rods. One of the disadvantages is that your rod can rotate freely within the holder.
- Suitable for all rod styles and sizes
- Fully adjustable
- Can be folded up or down during transport
- Can put your rod a fair way outside the side of the boat and is more difficult to access
9. Brocraft Adjustable Rod Holder
This adjustable rocket launder style rod holder is similar to the previous model. It can be either deck mounted or side mounted. The mounting fixings are made from stainless steel so it is suitable for saltwater.
The rod can be adjusted to position in a 360 degree arc. It can be moved vertically in 12 different positions.
There is also a locking pin that fits to a gimbal rod.
- 360 degree rotation
- Fiber-glass injected nylon construction
- Side or tock deck mounting system
- Locking mechanism may not be able to handle big gamefish
10. Woodlander Cannon Outdoors Rod Holder
This black Woodlander Outdoors rod holder consists of side rail mounting brackets that are made from aluminum – this makes them light and durable. These rod holders are made in USA.
This is a very sturdy design and is finished with a ceramic paint.
- Made in the USA
- Aluminum Mounting Brackets
- Sturdy construction
- Expensive side
This has been a brief guide into how to select the best fishing rod holders and an overview into the top options for a few different scenarios.
I would love to hear what you have picked and how it worked out – please leave a comment below with your story.
Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API