How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder? [Guide and Ideas]

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder

Rod holders are excellent tools for making your fishing experience more comfortable.

Holding a rod in your hands for hours is both impractical and uncomfortable, especially if fishing with more than one.

Buying one can be pricey, so some anglers prefer to make them. To do that, you do not need any special tools or materials.

So, how to make a fishing rod holder? Depending on a holder type (for fishing, for boat, for rod storage, etc.) you will need different materials like PVC pipes, wooden boards, screws and nails, L brackets, or some similar materials. Necessary tools are a screwdriver, drill, and a saw. Assembly process is quite easy.

The best thing about do it yourself fishing rod holders is that you can make a completely customized item that will perfectly suit your needs. Sometimes, buying one is simply not an option.

There are various design options and hopefully you will find one that suits your needs, or at least the one that will inspire you to think of your own design.

Here I will give you some basic ideas and steps to follow, so that you can start making your own rod holder.



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What is a Fishing Rod Holder?

Fishing rod holder is a device, or better to say, an item, that is used to hold a rod. Using them has many benefits. I’m sure that all of you have seen anglers fishing, and having multiple rods in holders. When using it, you have both of your hands free to prepare baits, or whatever you want to do at that time.

Other types of holders are used for storage too. Rods are sensitive, and placing them on uneven surfaces, or buried under some other fishing equipment may damage the rod, line guides, or even bend the rod blank. Finding a suitable place without a holder can be hard, so having one will make your life much easier.

Size and mounting options are determined by the size of available space or boat, or with a rod type you are using for fishing.

What are Different Types Of Fishing Rod Holders?

Rod holders exist in many types and sizes, so before you start calculating how to make a fishing rod holder, think about which one you need.

When someone says rod holders, the first thing that comes to my mind are holders for rods while fishing from a coast. These are small, easy to make, you can improvise a lot, and get a great result. Just keep in mind that freshwater and saltwater holders require different manufacturing materials.

Another option is a boat or kayak rod holder. To make them you will have to take your boat into consideration for mounting and even choosing a proper location for it. Here, a boat will “decide”, and you have to adapt. Clamp-on version is versatile and reliable, while deck mounts are great but require drilling and are not suitable for tiny boats.

There is a third option for boats/kayaks and that is rack mounted, which can slide on the side. Unfortunately, you will need a modern kayak for that (check also ours best kayak fishing tips for beginners), and making those by yourself is not easy or worth the effort. When creating your own, you will probably decide to make the easiest one.

When anglers are not fishing, rod holders can come in handy for transport and storage. You can make holders for garages, sheds, closets, or basically any spaces you use to store the equipment. You can mount them on a wall, ceiling, or even make a mobile version that you can move from one place to another.

And lastly, holders can be used for transport to keep your rods safe and secured while driving. There are even some bicycle versions available!

How Much do Fishing Rod Holders Cost?

How much do fishing rod holders cost is not an easy question to answer.

The cheapest ones can be found for a few dollars, but those are plastic, weak, and not worth it. It also depends on a holder type. Price can go from $20 to more than $200.

Now you may think that for $20 drilling and assembling do it yourself fishing rod holders is crazy, but it is a mistake. Especially when talking about large holders for garages that are used to store multiple rods, reels, and other fishing equipment. By making one yourself, you will save a lot.

Price of your DIY rod holder is influenced by the materials and tools used. Of course, you can use stainless steel pipes instead of plastic ones, but that will increase the price a lot. Good thing about homemade versions is that you get to decide how much money will it cost!

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder? [Homemade - DIY - Ideas]

Here I will give you a few fishing rod holder ideas with basic instructions on how to assemble them.

Just be careful with a saw and a drill if you have no experience with tools.

How to Build / Make a Garage Fishing Rod Holder?

There are many fishing rod holder ideas for garage, and depending on the size of your garage and space available, you can choose the one you like.

When creating it, think about making one that will serve as a storage for fishing equipment too, like lures, reels, spare lines, and similar.

Size of it depends on a number of rods, so I will not give you an exact measure. To get a decent size holder with additional storage space you will need wooden or plywood boards, screws, drill, saw, and a bit of creativity!

The idea is to make a cabinet with shelves that holds the rods around it, while shelves are used for storage Those who are handy with tools can even make doors over the shelves, or even drawers, but that is a bit more complicated.

For a cabinet with 3 shelves, you will need 3 square or rectangular boards for shelves, one for the bottom that is about 6 inches wider than the shelves, and the same one for the top. Depending on how tall do you want it to be, you will take 3 rectangular boards to make sides and back, to leave the front side opened.

Take the top shelf, and drill narrow holes every 6 inches around 3 sides (free one will be the front). These should be positioned around 3 inches from the board edge. These holes are just a guidance (and a center) for drilling 1,5-inch holes that will hold the rod blanks or tips. To do it, you will have to go to a hardware store and get a hole saw drill bit.

When you finish, take the bottom part, and drill narrow holes in the same positions. Then take a 2-inch hole saw drill bit and make bigger holes. They will hold the rod butts. Now, if you don’t want the rod butts touching the floor, you can always take a very thin plywood board an attach it from the bottom side.

And how to insert rods?

Well, this is a tricky part. You will have to use a saw to make a “path” for a rod to enter the top board. But, for the rod to stay in, these have to be positioned at about 45-degree angle and enter the hole at a side, not a center.

To assemble all of this together use wood screws and L brackets. That process is pretty straight forward, so I don’t think I have to write this step by step. Of course, bottom and upper side will be sticking out of the main frame to be able to insert rods.

This is the basic idea, and you can make it circular, or even triangle to fit into the corner. Add doors, drawers, or even wheels to move it around to make the best of it. And that’s it, now you know how to build a fishing rod holder for garage!

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder - Garage

How to Build / Make a Ceiling Mount Fishing Rod Holder?

Making homemade fishing rod holders for garage is great if you have space, but sometimes, the only way to go is to mount them above.

Anglers can have a lot of rods, and putting them on a ceiling is the best idea. Although it sounds complicated, it is actually easy.

The easiest (although not the prettiest) way is to take two wooden studs of the same, desired, length, and every 8 inches you should attach 1,5 – 2 inches diameter J hook pipe holders that will hang down. If top sides of these holders are too long, shorten them. The first and last hooks should be single hooks positioned inwards, while those mounted inside can be one next to another, positioned in opposite directions. Use wood screws to secure them.

This way you will get space for a lot of rods. To prevent rod damage, you can add some rubber tape on the inside of the holders.

Try to be precise, so that when you mount these two boards up, the holders are parallel. How far away will you position them depends on how long your rods are.

To attach them onto the ceiling, drill holes between the first and second holder from both sides and use screws to screw it into the ceiling. If you have concrete ceiling, drill the ceiling. Long racks can be screwed in the middle too, for extra protection.

This process is quite easy, and anyone can learn how to build a ceiling mount fishing rod holder.

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder - Ceiling Mount

How to Build / Make a Wall Mount Fishing Rod Holder?

Maybe ceiling is not an option for you, and you would like to know how to build a wall mount fishing rod holder.

Well, there are many options to do so ...

The easiest way is to make exactly the same stud with holders like the one for ceiling and attach it onto the wall so that hooks are pointing away from the wall. That will hold the rod blanks or tips while butt is going to be one floor.

If you want butts off the floor, install a long and narrow board as a shelf above the floor, and to prevent rods from slipping, add a “fence” in front. Use any kind of thin and narrow wooden board and attach it to the shelf on the front side, positioned upwards.

But, some anglers like their holders to hold rods in the horizontal position. To make one, you need two wooden studs of the same length that will be vertically mounted on the wall with enough space between them to accommodate your rods. Some rods are much longer than other, so I can’t give you the exact distance, but you will know.

On one stud, every 6 inches, you should drill 2-inch-wide holes, for rod butts. On the other, drill 1,5-inch holes for tips. Do it as described in a garage version. Butts will be inserted into holes, and to insert the tip, you will have to saw in the same way as you would for a garage version. But here the entrance has to be created from the top side of the hole, at a 45 degree angle.

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder - Wall Mount

How to Build / Make a Surf Fishing Rod Holder?

When thinking about how to make surf fishing rod holder you have to consider the soil type. When surf fishing, anglers are usually on sand or tiny gravel.

You need a PVC pipe, about 2 inches wide. Take the pipe and saw off the bottom part at a 45-degree angle to get a pointed bottom to stick it into the sand or gravel.

And well, that’s it! You can adjust a desired length, just make sure it is long enough so that the rod butt doesn’t touch the sand when inserted (depending on the fishing rod length).

How to Build / Make an Ice Fishing Rod Holder?

Ice fishing rod holder ideas are also pretty simple. You will need a PVC pipe and a wooden board. Board will be used as a stand, and on top of it, there will be a holder attached. For ice fishing, PVC pipe that holds the rod has to be at an angle, about 45 degrees, but you can make it a bit more vertical or horizontal.

To get that angle, you will have to use 45-degree pipe connector. There are hundreds of models on the market, so find one that can be screwed onto the board, while upper parts slides over or in the pipe.

Board has to be large enough not to flip over under the weight of the rod.

And after that you are ready for ice fishing for walleyes or any other fish under the ice!

How to Build / Make a Carp Fishing Rod Holder?

For carp rod holders anglers have a lot of possibilities, from fancy ones, to more “natural and simple versions”. What I mean is that you can simply find a Y shaped tree branch, stick it into the ground, and lean your rod on it! It is not that different from those sold in stores. And you can adjust the height by inserting it deeper into the ground. I did this a few times!

Ok, let’s be serious now. :)

There are different options, and some of them keep rods at a certain angle, while others are almost horizontal. In addition to that, some versions keep the rod off the ground completely, while others let the butt touch the ground.

The easiest way to make a holder is to use Y-shape PVC pipe connector that will be the top of the holder and it will support the rod. Use another pipe (of a desired length – that one will determine the height) to connect the Y part with the bottom parts. For bottom, you need one longer and 2 shorter pipes. Longer one has to be connected to the vertical one, and s smaller ones are for stability. Attach those to the ends of the horizontal pipe, to get a letter T on both sides. When in use, rod should be parallel with stability pipes, so make sure that the Y is positioned like that.

There are larger and more sophisticated versions, but those are not easy to transport because you can’t collapse them.

Those who are worried about rod butt touching the ground can resolve the problem by putting something under it. By doing so, you can also adjust the angle.

And when you will have your own carp fishing rod holder you will also need some carp fishing tips. After that you are ready "to go to the water" ...

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder - Simple

How to Build / Make a Boat or Kayak Fishing Rod Holder?

And the next fishing rod holder idea is for kayaks. Those are also made with PVC pipes and pipe connectors.

To get a decent holder, you will have to drill it into the kayak ...

The easiest DIY “model” is the one for a single rod that stands on a side of the kayak. Two can be made and attached to the opposite sides to fish simultaneously with different rods.

You will need a 45-degree PVC Wye with about 2-inch diameter, a pipe that will hold it, and a use a bottom connector to attach it onto the kayak. By doing so, the holding pipe will go from the kayak upwards, and the Wye that holds the rod will be at an angle.

Some kayaks already have basic holes for rods and for fish finders, so anglers use those as anchoring points for PVC pipes which then have multiple rod holders attached above.

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder - Kayak

What Materials to Use for Homemade Fishing Rod Holders?

Materials to use for fishing rod holders are simple, and all of them were mentioned in the text before. But I will repeat it here, to have it all in one place.

Depending on a holder type, you will need the following materials:

• Wooden boards
• Wooden studs
• Plywood boards
• PVC pipes
• PVC Wye and fittings
• L brackets
• Wood screws
• Wall screws (depending on a wall type these can be for wood, drywall, concrete, brick, or similar) and plugs
• J hook pipe holders

And the tools you are going to need are the following:

• A jigsaw, or some other suitable saw
• Drill
• Thin wooden drill bits
• Concrete drill bits for installation on concrete walls
• Hole saw drill bit (1,5- and 2-inch diameter)
• Screwdriver
• Glue
• Sandpaper
• Rubber tape

And in the End: How to Install Fishing Rod Holders?

When talking about how to make a fishing rod holder I already described the process ...

Here I want to point out a few important things to consider to get a sturdy holder that will never fall off or destroy your rods.

Firstly, make sure that there are no badly cut and sharp wood edges because those could potentially scratch your rod or cut the line! A piece of fine sandpaper can fix this problem. Also, use glue for PVC pipe fittings to make them stronger.

If you are installing it on wooden walls or ceilings, wood screws will do the trick. Make sure that you use longer ones.

If you have to drill the concrete or brick walls for installation, use suitable plugs to prevent screws from falling out. If you are unable to install previously mentioned wooden studs onto the wall by drilling through them, you can always use L brackets or any other similar items to make it stronger.

If you have to drill your kayak or boat, use drill bits suitable for plastic, or avoid drilling if possible. Plastic kayaks and boats often have existing holes so use them as anchoring points.

There are numerous videos with detailed instructions online, so those who are not very handy with tools can take a look and learn a thing or two before installation.

But, not all fishing rod holders require installation. Those for carp are simply positioned on the ground. A problem with those can occur if a large one gets hooked, and you are nowhere near to grab the rod!

Have you ever wondered do fishing rods float?

The answer is not exactly, at least when the reel is attached. So, to avoid your rod being pulled into the water, make sure that the holders are positioned on a flat surface, to minimize the chance of flipping over. Otherwise, you may lose a valuable and expensive equipment.

How to Make a Fishing Rod Holder - Kayak and Boat


Designing and making your own rod fishing holder has many benefits. No matter how specific your storage space is, you will always be able to create a holder that fits perfectly.

If making fishing rod holders yourself, you will save some money, and get a customized product.

Learning how to build a fishing rod holder is not hard, and all the materials are quite cheap, while tools can be found in most households. Even if you don’t have any, I’m sure your angling buddies will lend them to you!

Bonus TIP: PVC pips are usually white, so to conceal them from cautious fish, use spray paint to paint them green or brown!

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