A quality kayak rod holder is a must for paddle fishing.
More anglers than ever are discovering the benefits of making their primary fishing boat a kayak. The shallow draft and small size allow you to paddle into incredibly shallow waters larger boats cannot reach. While most kayak anglers already have a high quality fishing kayak, there's also nothing wrong with a little DIY retrofitting a non-fishing model to suit your purposes. In fact, using a kayak not meant for that purpose is a good way to save some money by adding your own fish finders, rod holders, and other fishing kayak accessories.
Today we're focusing on the most important aspect of any fishing kayak, and that's a mounting system to hold your favorite baitcaster, spinning, or fly rod.
A quality system will keep it secure and out of the way while you're paddling to your next spot. They will also make it easy to grab or switch rods when you are ready to start fishing. If you're going to do some serious saltwater angling, you might also want something designed with trolling in mind.
There are a lot of different kayak fishing rod holders on the market today. We've done the work of wading through the many options to find some of the better ones that'll work for anglers. The one's we are recommending are some of the most versatile and adjustable you will find. At the same time, they require little in the way of modifications to your already existing craft.
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Pelican Swivel Fishing Rod Holder
This rod holder accommodates both baitcaster and spinning rod setups. It's made specifically for a sit-in style of kayak and can be installed with only a minor amount of modification to your craft. This mount allows vertical and full 360-degree horizontal adjustments to put your rig at a perfect angle while paddling. At only around $23, it's also highly affordable for the kayak angler on a budget.
Hobie H-Rail Rod Holder
This one is a great option for saltwater and fly fishing enthusiasts who own a Hobie kayak, and is built well for anglers who like to go trolling. You need to mount the rail in place and then you can attach the rod holder from there without any additional tools needed. This holder is one of the more highly rated options on Amazon for its durability and ease of installation.
AresKo Rod Holder
This holder is a good option for anglers who don't want to make a lot of permanent holes in their kayak. Instead of a mounting system that requires power tools and some extra drilling, it uses a clamp base system to attach to the hull. The other nice thing is that you get two of them in the package.
Sea Dog Three Pole Side Mount Holder
This molded rod system is good for anglers who a milk crate type of setup to hold all their fishing gear behind them. The holder comes already installed. Simply attach it to your kayak crate and get to fishing. As a bonus, it has places to hold some lures and your pliers and knife too.
RAILBLAZA Rod Holder R
RAILBLAZA have some of the most highly rated rod mounts on the Internet, mostly because of their sturdiness and durability. This rod holder mount uses stainless steel hardware to stand up to the elements no matter where your fishing takes you. The mount base attaches securely to the hull with four screws. The company uses a rigid polymer that's reinforced with fiberglass to add extra strength.
YakAttack Omega Rod Holder
One thing we like about this holder is that it gives anglers the ability to stow a spinning rod with the reel in a downward position. No more awkward jostling of the rod when a fish strikes. This company only makes kayak gear, and it shows in the quality. This mount can rotate up to 360 degrees. YakAttack products are also made in the U.S.A., so you can feel good about buying American.
Scotty Baitcaster/Spinning Rod Holder
Scotty rod holders is another company with a great reputation for rugged gear that's sure to last for many seasons. This holder is perfect for freshwater fishing enthusiasts and can even fit pistol grip style rod butts. At around $22, it's also highly affordable. It's sometimes on sale for much less than that.
Brocraft Power Lock
Simple and to the point, these twin rod holders from Brocraft are only $34, giving additional functionality for a bargain price. They're also well built from fiberglass-injected nylon. Simply mount them using the included hardware and you're ready to head out fishing.
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READ MORE: EXPERT ADVICE: HOW TO RIG A WATERFOWL HUNTING KAYAK OR CANOE FOR OPTIMAL SUCCESS