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Fishing rod holders are a handy accessory for all kinds of anglers. Some are intended as a storage option to keep your rod out of harm’s way at home, in your truck or on the boat. Others are actively employed while fishing; especially if you’re trolling or handling heavy surf rods at the beach. Factors to look out for depend on which application you’ll be using your rod holder for, but range from cost to mount type and adjustability. In this article, we look at some of best fishing rod holders on the market now.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Scotty Power Lock Rod Holder
The Power Lock Rod Holder is the most popular value-priced, open-style option from leading brand Scotty. Made from fiber-reinforced engineering-grade nylon, it promises strength and reliability and can be fitted to most kinds of watercraft. The rod holder is also easy to remove and re-attach, making it possible to use it on more than one vessel.
The universal cradle is designed to be compatible with almost any rod and reel set-up. The front-locking ring keeps your rod secure while traveling and also ensures that it doesn’t end up overboard when the big one strikes. The rod holder is fully adjustable up and down and offers 360-degree horizontal rotation, allowing you to create the perfect angle for your chosen fishing technique. Choose yours in black, white or gray and use the included combination mount to fit the holder to the top or side of your gunwale.
Best Design: STEALTH Quick Release Fishing Rod Holder
The STEALTH Quick Release Fishing Rod Holder is an open-style rod holder with a unique design. Its patented CAM release technology holds the rod secure without the need for a conventional locking collar. This means that when a fish strikes, you can sink the hook and release your rod from the holder in a single action — reducing the likelihood of losing your fish while struggling to get the rod free.
Made from heavy-duty nylon reinforced with engineering-grade elastomers, the STEALTH rod holder is built to last. The material is UV and weather resistant and offers a great strength-to-weight ratio. All metal components are made of stainless steel. Best of all, the holder comes with a lifetime warranty. There are a variety of different mounts available; alternatively, the rod holder is compatible with any Scotty or Cabela’s base you may already have installed on your boat.
Best Clamp-On: PLUSINNO Fishing Boat Rod Holder
With solid construction and versatility, the PLUSINNO Rod Holder features a screw clamp that attaches either vertically or horizontally to your gunwale, bump rail or transom. There are two sizes to choose from: one with a maximum opening of 1.97 inches, and one that opens up to 4.75 inches. Benefits of a clamp-on rod holder include not having to drill holes in your boat, and being able to transfer the holder easily from one vessel to another.
The clamp shaft is made from stainless steel, making this holder a good fit for saltwater fishing. The open-style body is crafted from corrosion and impact resistant ABS plastic. There’s a secure locking ring on the front, while the universal fit is suitable for all kinds of spinning, casting and spincast rods. You can adjust the rod holder a full 360 degrees to achieve the perfect angle and then lock it securely into position.
Best Rail-Mount: Brocraft Adjustable Rail Mount Rod Holder
The Brocraft Adjustable Rail Mount Rod Holder features a closed tube made from sleekly polished anodized aluminum. As well as looking good, the aluminum effectively resists corrosion. Reinforced engineering-grade nylon fittings and screws made of stainless steel add to the rod holder’s overall durability. The mount is designed to fit 7/8-inch or 1-inch rail tubes and 1.25-inch square tubes.
With 360-degree rotation and 12 resting positions, it is also easy to set your rod to the right angle. A slot in the front allows spinning reels to be held securely in position, while the open bottom accommodates trigger grip rods. Lastly, it is quick to install and easy to detach — a definite plus for those that use a fitted boat cover and need to remove the holder after every fishing trip.
Best Sand Spike: Fish-N-Mate Sand Spike
Used by surf anglers to anchor their rods on the beach, sand spikes come in handy when you’re operating multiple rods at once or need a break from holding a heavy rod. The Fish-N-Mate Sand Spike is made of non-corrosive anodized aluminum. It’s capable of withstanding exposure to saltwater and is surprisingly lightweight despite its 50-inch length.
The rod’s length allows it to anchor firmly in the sand and stand up to the pulling power of big fish and heavy wave action. It also helps you to get your line out above the surf. Furthermore, a nylon cap secures your reel and reduces wear and tear, while the exterior features a built-in measuring tape.
Best for Storage: Brocraft Tackle Rack Fishing Rod Holder
Intended as a space-saving storage device rather than for use while fishing, the Brocraft Tackle Rack Fishing Rod Holder includes room for one, two, three, four or five rods depending on which model you choose. The rack mounts directly onto any vertical surface. If you’re fishing from a boat or deck, use it to keep multiple rods within easy reach so that you can switch set-ups at a moment’s notice.
The rod holders are made from tough, corrosion-free molded polypropylene. They have a minimum diameter of 1.5-inches and can accommodate a wide range of rod types. As an added bonus, the rack includes integrated slots for your pliers, knives and lures.
Best Budget (Mounted): Brocraft Power Lock Fully Adjustable Rod Holder
Comparable in quality to top-brand models, the Brocraft Power Lock Fully Adjustable Rod Holder is made of fiber-injected nylon, boasts 360-degree rotation and can be adjusted to several different vertical and horizontal positions. A front locking ring keeps your rod secure. The manufacturer states that the holder is compatible with all rod types, although some customers report that it’s a less-than-perfect fit for spinning rods and reels. Your purchase includes a top or side deck mounting system.
Best Budget (Stand Alone): Berkley Spiral Fishing Rod Holder
Made from powder-coated steel, the Berkley Spiral Fishing Rod Holder is an incredibly affordable option designed to anchor in the sand or dirt. It’s the ideal solution for shore anglers on a budget, helping to keep your reel out of the sand while you bait up or take a break. The corkscrew design fits most rod types but is only suitable for grip diameters of up to 1-inch. In addition, the holder is light, making it convenient to throw in a tackle bag ready for your next outing.