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5 Best Fishing Rod Holders including Boat, Bank, Kayak, and Ice Fishing [2020 Update]

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.

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.

Stand

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 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.

Mount

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.

Rod Size

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.

Material

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 clamp 2 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.

Value

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.

1. Best Boat Fishing Rod Holder - Canon Downrigger Rod Holder

ON SALE $4.96 OFF
Cannon 2450169-1 Three-Position Adjustable Track Mounted Rod Holder, Black Composite
  • Three-position configuration
  • Spring-loaded tension knobs for quick rod adjustment
  • 360° base can be top or side mounted

Review

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.

Pros

  • Highly adjustable position and angle
  • Mounting accessories available
  • Swivel mount

Cons

  • Quite a large holder - not suitable for smaller rods

2. Best Kayak Fishing Rod Holder - YakAttack Omega Pro Rod Holder

YakAttack Omega Rod Holder, Mounts to LockNLoad Track Mounting Base (Sold Separately)
  • GEARTRAC MOUNTING BASE and ROD ARE NOT INCLUDED
  • Works flawlessly with spinning, casting, larger conventional reels, and fly reels
  • 360-degree rotating collar offers the ability to secure your rod quickly by capturing the reel

Review

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.

Pros

  • 360 degree rotating collar
  • Folds for easy storage
  • Extensions available

Cons

  • Track mounting base not included
  • Large opening - not suitable for small rods

3. Best Bank Fishing Rod Holder - Basune Fishing Rod Holder

BASUNE Fishing Rod Holder Stainless Steel Ground Support Stand Fish Pole Folding Holder - 2 Packs
  • Rust Corrosion Resistance: made of high quality stainless steel that is Strong and abrasive resistance
  • UNIVERSAL FIT: 1.38" width, enough to adapting to general most rods like spinning, casting and spincast rod
  • Easy to use: Long spike is very easy to plug into the soil stable and not spin

Review

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.

Pros

  • Corrosion resistance stainless steel
  • Easy to stick into soft sand or mud
  • Lightweight and easy to pack

Cons

  • May need to be placed all the way into the reel height to maintain stability in soft sand

4. Best Beach Fishing Rod Holder - Beast Sand Spike Rod Holder

The Beast Sand Spike Rod Holder / 57 inches/Aluminum/Stainless Steel Hardware
  • 2 inch angle, 1/8 inch sand wedger, goes up to 25 inches into sand, 57” adjustable to 47 1/2”, reel protector is plastic.
  • IN PHOTOS SEE THE BEAST BEING PROFILED ON FLORIDA INSIDER FISHING REPORT. WATCH Season 16, Episode 13. Also watch Texas Insider Fishing Report Season 4, Episode 11
  • 100% Aluminum with stainless steel hardware

Review

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.

Pros

  • Corrosion resistance aluminum material
  • Knee installation stand
  • Extremely sturdy

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
  • Expensive shipping

5. Best Ice Fishing Rod Holder - HT PIRH-1 Screw Down Power Ice Rod Holder

HT PIRH-1 Screw Down Power Ice Rod Holder, 10-Inch
  • Power Ice Rod Holder 10-Inch Screw Down
  • Provided by HT
  • Ice Fishing Rod Holders

Review

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.

Pros

  • Extremely simple, sturdy design
  • Self tapping into the ice
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can be difficult to screw into the ice - but this is really a description of the problems with ice, no this particular product


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.

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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