Best Fishing Rod Holders Reviewed & Rated
Having your hands free when fishing is really important. Keeping your rod secure while you are busy doing other things is equally important. The best fishing rod holders will not only secure your rods, but, they can also help you catch fish.
Some rod holders just keep your rod out of the way, while others can pivot and swivel. You can use some of these holders to troll at just the right angle. With the rocking of a boat or kayak and the help of a rod holder, you can even use them to jig for bottom fishing.
Our Top 3 Picks
For freshwater: rod holders made out of fiberglass or nylon are usually good enough when fishing in freshwater. They’re good for those on a budget as they are usually low cost options. They don’t corrode but also aren’t as sturdy as metal rod holders.
For saltwater: when it comes to fishing in saltwater, look for stainless steel, aluminum zinc or brass material. Stainless steel and chrome brass are ideal since they are less likely to corrode than the other metal materials that are often used in rod holders.
Clamp-on Mounts, Flush Swivel: flush mount holders are inserted into existing holders to keep the rod at a 30 degrees angle or vertical. You can also drill holes into your boat or kayak to fit the rod holders wherever you like them.
If you fish for big game fish, it is better to choose a pivoting base as these enable the rod to move and rotate, lowering the chance of a fishing line that frays or pins that shear off. Obviously, these are used just for boats and not kayaks or pontoon boats.
Clamp on rod holders are very versatile and the best if you aren’t sure where you want to mount your rod holder. You can clamp it on where you think you will like it and if it doesn’t work out then it can be moved.
For flush mounted rod holders you can drill a circle that the rod holder drops into. It’s sealed with marine silicone and then drilled into place. When done properly there should be no leaks.
Deck mounted rod holders are the easiest to mount as you only need to drill a couple of holes where you wish to put your rod holder. They are also the most popular because you get a wide range of different types of rod holders.
Not all rod holders for kayaks or boats need to be mounted. There are others that can be installed right into your chair or even on a milk crate. Those are not only economical, but easy to use.
Before you mount any rod holders it is a good idea to go out and do a trial run. Bring a rod with you and pretend to fish and paddle. That way you can see where the rod holder will be in easy reach or if it might end up in the way.
10 Best Fishing Rod Holders
1. Wise Twin Pack
Low prices don’t mean much of the quality isn’t there. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice quality to save a few dollars when you buy this pack of two rod holders.
They are made of the same durable high impact plastic that won’t corrode as many of its competitors.
Something to note is that these can only be side mounted if you use the mount provided. If you want these to mount horizontally you will need to buy a separate mounting for that.
That being said, these are ideal for canoes, jon boats and pontoon boats. You get 360 degree swivel action and a rod lock so you don’t lose your rod with a big strike. The rod angle is easily adjusted so you can get it to wherever you like your troll.
When you are on a budget, you may feel like you can’t afford to get some accessories like rod holders. There’s no need to go without when you can get this pack of two rod holders for the same price as most other brands charge for one.
You may feel like you can live without them, but why should you? In fact, why live with only two? For the price you can fill your boat with rod holders!
360 degree swivel 3 different rod tip angles Spring loaded knob Easy to lock Accommodates spinning or conventional rods High price
2. Cannon Downrigger
This is the only rod holder that I know of with a spring loaded knob. It might not sound like a big feature, but it is. Usually you have to unscrew the knob and rescrew it to tighten. With this you can open it and close it in a second. Getting your rod tip angle to any of the 3 positions is as easy as can be this way.
In addition to that feature, the rod holder can swivel up to 360 degrees and has an easy to secure lock. You can use either a conventional or spinning rod with this holder. The base can be mounted horizontally or vertically if you choose to mount it in the side of your boat. It has a hole on either side to accommodate the rod holder.
Yes, the price is a bit higher than most other items on our best fishing rod holders list. This will last you quite a long time. I do see it as a value because of that and the unique spring loaded knob.
I do a lot of kayak fishing and love the ability to react on the fly. This rod holder gives that ability and works like a charm.
360 degree swivel
3 different rod tip angles
Spring loaded knob
Easy to lock
Accommodates spinning or conventional rods
Great price Sturdy heavy duty plastic doesn’t corrode 360 degree adjustment Easy grip adjuster Easy to lock Wide clam Wide clamp can get loose
3. Eagle Claw
The size of the clamp is large enough to fit on most gunwales, or transoms. You can easily find a spot to keep your rod out of the way on your jon boat thanks to Eagle Claw. You might find that the clamp is actually too big depending on the width of your rail or gunwale. In that case, you can use a piece of wood to fill in the gaps and hold it very securely.
Stop stepping all over your rods in your canoe or jon boat. Now you have the option to secure your rod.
It’s much easier to troll when you have your hands free to do other things. The Eagle Claw rod holder will give you many angles for your rod tip to get it right where you want it in the water.
Sturdy heavy duty plastic doesn’t corrode
360 degree adjustment
Easy grip adjuster
Easy to lock
Wide clamp can get loose
Rapid release latch Fits conventional and spinning rods Variety of rod tips angles Easy grip lock nut Sturdy plastic doesn’t corrode Only works with larger reels
I love how small this rod holder is. It isn’t bulky so it is very easy to get your rod in and out. It locks in very easily with a swivel lock. Unlocking can be done even if you have your eyes focused somewhere else. There is a notch underneath that you can feel and simply slide the lock open. When you’re fishing, things happen quickly so it’s nice to be able to easily get access to your rod while you are distracted.
One size fits all
You can use this rod holder whether you use a conventional or spinning rod. Maybe you will be using both on your outing. It’s extremely convenient to be able to switch rods without needing to also switch your rod holder. Either type fits in easily and securely.
Rapid release latch
Fits conventional and spinning rods
Variety of rod tips angles
Easy grip lock nut
Sturdy plastic doesn’t corrode
Only works with larger reels
Great price Side slots for reels Easy to mount Holes for lures Slot for knife Plastic is a bit thin
With easy mounting, it’s easy to find a place for 3 more rods. I’ve seen these rod holders on everything from a milk crate on a kayak to a cooler on a boat and back of a truck.
You can’t beat the price with this set of 3 rod holders. It pays off when you have your rods and other gear safely secured and organized. If it can strapped or screwed to something, then there is space for it. You might need to be creative as to where you attach it, but you will find a spot for sure.
Side slots for reels
Easy to mount
Holes for lures
Slot for knife
Plastic is a bit thin
3 rod holders in one Great price Holds lures and knife Easy to break
6. CE Smith Tournament
There is always a way to find more room for more rods. That’s why this is such a great set of rod holders on our best fishing rod holders list. Get 3 more rods on board and have easy access. Many mounting holes mean it’s easy to attach to your boat, truck rack or even milk crate on your kayak.
A nice, unexpected feature are the holes for your lures and even a slot for a knife. Now you can have your rods locked and loaded and ready to go by keeping them in these rod holders lures and all.
Just when you think you can’t bring anymore rods out with you, you see this rod holder that fits 3 rods with lures, knife and even pliers. Now you can make some room for a few more rods without too much effort.
Great for your pontoon boat, kayak, boat or truck.
3 rod holders in one
Holds lures and knife
Easy to break
Fits trigger grips Fits on square rails Rotates 360 degrees Easy to open snap latch Easy to install For use with both conventional and spinning rods Doesn't fit in the mounter
7. Scotty 279 BK
Obviously only for Scotty rod holder users.
Fits trigger grips
Fits on square rails
Rotates 360 degrees
Easy to open snap latch
Easy to install
For use with both conventional and spinning rods
Doesn't fit in the mounter
Fits on square rails For use with both conventional and spinning rods Fits trigger grips Rotates 360 degrees Easy to open snap latch Easy to install Great for trolling Low quality rubber strap
8. Scotty 284-BK
Many pontoon boats have square rails. That makes it a bit difficult to mount a rod holder since so many of them have round rail mounts. Pontoon boat owners can now have a superior rod holder mounted on their rail. This Scotty rod holder is great for either a conventional, baitcaster or spinning rod. Even pistol grip rod holders fit perfectly in this holder. This is one of the very few one size fits all type of rod holder. No matter what type of rod you have, it will be securely mounted on your boat.
If you have a pontoon boat with square railings and want to be able to mount a rod, there is no reason to not get this Scotty rod holder.
Unless you are a fly fisherman, you are covered no matter what type of outfit you are fishing with. You might even want a few of these to place at various positions around your boat.
Fits on square rails
For use with both conventional and spinning rods
Fits trigger grips
Rotates 360 degrees
Easy to open snap latch
Easy to install
Great for trolling
Low quality rubber strap
Made with marine grade stainless steel Adjustable to 32 different position Rubber insert protects your rod Hole lets water out of rod holder Nice looking chrome plating No lock for rod Use a rubber backing for tighter fit
You won’t be spending a lot of money on this rod holder, but, that doesn’t mean that you don’t want it to last. You will get many seasons of use out of the Amarine rod holder. It’s made with marine grade chrome plating over marine grade stainless steel. All the hardware is also made with the same material.
You can mount this on any rail either horizontally or vertically. In addition, there are 32 positions to choose from to get exactly the right angle. If you want your rod to be out over the water, then that is an option. Or it can stand straight up.
Lack of space is no longer an issue
Whatever sized boat you have, sometimes space can be limited. Luckily this rod holder can mount on the rail of your boat. If you have a guest on your boat and previously didn’t have enough rod holders, this solves that problem perfectly. Of course, it might not be a guest that needs the rod holder. If you are like many of us, you are always thinking you need “Just one more rod”!
Form is not usually thought too much of when looking for a rod holder. Consider how this will complement the decor of just about any boat while still handling its duties. It looks great and also works great.
Little details that add up, like the rubber insert to prevent damage to your rod and the hole inside to let water out, really make this a great rod holder. Not much thought goes into something as little as a rod holder. Getting one that makes your life easier is a bonus.
Made with marine grade stainless steel
Adjustable to 32 different position
Rubber insert protects your rod
Hole lets water out of rod holder
Nice looking chrome plating
No lock for rod
Use a rubber backing for tighter fit
360 degree horizontal adjustment Can be used for fly, spinning or conventional rods 3 different mounts for rails, flush or deck Stainless steel hardware Easy slide lock mechanism Easy grip lock for angle angle adjustment Is a bit heavy
Versatility is key when you are fishing. That’s why I love this rod holder. It is easy to mount on a boat, kayak, pontoon and even a bridge or pier. Yes, you can mount it on the rails of a bridge or pier.
I’ve had my rod dragged across a pier and almost lost to the depths of the sea more than once. With the Fvstar rod holder, I can attach it to the pier railing and secure my rod. Mounting this to a pontoon works the same way. If you don’t have much room on deck or just like having options, then you can put this anywhere on the railing of your pontoon. You can mount this flush on your boat deck, or, in the cockpit of your kayak with just a couple of small drill holes.
The best part is that it can be removed. The mounting stays put, but, the holder itself comes out and can be remounted wherever you want.
Good for flyfishing
If you like to use spinning outfits and conventional and fly fishing, but don’t want a different rod holder for each different type of rod, then you are in luck. You don’t have to swap out your rod holder since this one can be used with any of those. And it’s easy to lock any of those types of rods in place.
You could easily pay more for a rod holder and get less than what you get with the Fvstar rod holder. Having so many options for use makes this a great tool to have. Lots of us fisherman can end up with too many tools since some of them are only good for one task. I love any product that can multi-task for me so I don’t need to spend so much on gear and have to carry too many things with me.
360 degree horizontal adjustment
Can be used for fly, spinning or conventional rods
3 different mounts for rails, flush or deck
Stainless steel hardware
Easy slide lock mechanism
Easy grip lock for angle angle adjustment
Is a bit heavy
Criteria for Evaluation
From the overwhelming vast majority of options available out in the market, it might be difficult for you to decide which would be the best option for you. To make the process much easier and convenient for you, we have compiled this list based on various important factors. The above 10 products have been thoughtfully picked by our editor based on their individual merits. Our criteria for evaluation have been discussed below.
We pay high attention to the kind of material that is used in the rod holder. First of all, the quality of the material is one of the most important things which determines the longevity of the fishing rod holders. Our rating is based on the quality of the material to a great extent. We base our recommendation based on the quality of the plastic or steel.
We believe it is necessary to test the product before recommending it to you. On your behalf, we go ahead and test the products personally so that we can provide you with the best recommendations and help you make the better and healthier choices. Various products come with various claims, however it is difficult to find out how true the products are to their claims. We thoroughly test these products to see how well they fit their descriptions and how effective they really are. For example, our product testing helped us discover that the material used in the SeaSense Single Piece 3 is too thin for regular use.
User Reviews and Ratings
Not every person gets the same experience from using a product. We believe it is important to get a mass perspective and overview of a product before coming up with any sort of recommendation. Our product researchers and testers go through hundreds of product reviews each day to analyze how each product affects different individuals, as each different individual have different situations and conditions.
Going through such masses of reviews is an extremely detail induced task, however we deem it to be important as it gives us a thorough and clear understanding of a product. Also, the reviews help us see the product from the perspective of various different kinds of individuals.
These products do not have any major drawbacks. However, there are certain areas of improvements of minor significance. For example, some of the materials used in these products are too thin. Therefore those rod holders may not be suitable for regular heavy use. Also, some rod holders are heavier than the others; carrying them over long distance may become a burden at time.
One of the most important factor kept in mind while formulating this list has been to look into the reputation of the manufacturers. Most of the product in this list are by well reputed and highly trusted manufacturers who have a good reputation of providing quality fishing rod holders in the market. Most of these manufacturers specialize in trading fishing related equipment, and thus their specialization makes them more reliable.
Safety of the Products
All these products are safe to use, and has no direct potential threat to the users. However, these products are not to be used by the children as they may not be able to determine their correct usage. Also, since some of these fishing rod holders are heavy, they may even cause injuries to children.
Q) Are fishing rod holders important while fishing?
The importance of fishing rod holders can only be determined by the fisherman. For one thing, having a fishing rod holders make the process of fishing much more easier. You can rest your rod in the holder when you want to take a break and easily pick up the rod from the holder. You surely do not want to put your valuable fishing rod in the ground and have it get scratched and disfigured from the rough surface of the ground. Also, you want to avoid getting dirt into it, as cleaning it can be difficult at time.
Q) What kind of fishing rod to use?
There are many different kinds of fishing rod. While some rods can hold up to 3 fishing rods, some are specialized to hold only one rod. The kind of rod that is best for you to use depends on the kind of fishing trips you go to. If you go to fishing trips with family or friends, you might need to buy a rod holder which can hold multiple rods at the same time.
Q) Who should use fishing rod holders?
Any person who engages in fishing should use fishing rod holders. Also, even if you do not engage in fishing yourself but have a house by a lake, it might be a good idea to have a fishing rod holder stacked in your store room. You never know when you might need it!
Q) Where can I buy one?
You can easily buy fishing rod holders online or physically. You can look for the products in our published review guide and easily find them online. It is better to place an order in well reputed websites, as there will be greater assurance of quality.
Q) Can I use the fishing rod holder on a boat?
You can easily place your fishing rod holder on a multiple number of places and surfaces. Be it on the ground, boat or a chair, you can place the holder on any place that is suitable for you. However, for that you will have to be mindful about the design of the holder that you are purchasing. While some holders will remain more stable on shaking surfaces such as that of a boat, others might not.
I honestly can’t imagine fishing without an adjustable rod holder now. Fishing out of a kayak without one is really not an option. Besides the fact that you can lose your rod overboard without one, you want to maximize the space you have. Otherwise a trip out fishing can be an exercise in frustration. Fishing from a pier with a rod holder is also something that make your fishing experience much more enjoyable. Having rod holders opens up so many possibilities that it doesn’t make sense to be out on the water without them.