Many fishermen will agree that having your hands-free from your fishing rod while fishing is a great advantage and convenience because you can organize your gear or set another bait. But to ensure that your fishing rod stays safe and doesn’t fall overboard you should use a top rated fishing pole holder.

You will want a fishing rod rack that is sturdy, durable, and secure to allow you to focus on other tasks at hand. It should be a reliable and easy to use accessory that you can attach to your boat or kayak. The best fishing rod holder will also be long-lasting, so that you can get years of great fishing trips out of it.

Our guide reviews seven of the best fishing rod holders that are perfect for any fishermen who wants the hands-free experience. In addition to the seven fishing rod holders, we have a buying guide that highlights the qualities you should look out for when buying a quality fishing pole rack.

How To Choose A Fishing Rod Holder – Buying Guide


The best fishing pole holder will depend on the fishing rod that you are using and what sort of vessel you plan on attaching it to. There are a lot of features to consider when choosing metal rod holders, but we’ve highlighted the most important ones, so you don’t have to waste your time.


There are advantages and disadvantages to every style of fishing pole rack, so you should be cautious about which one you choose because it will correlate to where you want to go fishing. Some styles are suitable for freshwater fisherman and others better for saltwater fisherman.


A durable fishing pole rack that can withstand the pull of a fish as it holds your rod is vital. The best fishing rod holders are made out of nylon, fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum, or brass. If you are freshwater fishing, nylon and fiberglass are plenty strong. They are an affordable option that are corrosion resistant but won’t be as durable as metal rod holders.

Metal rod holders are more durable and are necessary for saltwater fishing rods because they are anti-corrosive, which is exactly what you need when you’re fishing in the ocean. Metal rod holders will be more expensive but will also last longer than nylon or fiberglass.


All rod holders for boats should be safe to use, as long as they have been installed correctly. Trolling rod holders that have been improperly installed can easily be pulled free by a fish, which could risk your fishing rod being lost in the water below.

However, the fishing pole rack should be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of your fishing rod and reel, as well as any potential tugging from a fish on the end of your lure. Fishing rod racks are also not the same as a fishing harness. The fisherman is not directly attached to their fishing rod in any way. The fishing pole rack just holds the rod and the fisherman will have to have a fast response to pick up their rod and reel in their catch.


The idea of fishing pole racks is to make the fisherman’s experience easier and more convenient by allowing for them to multitask. By using a fishing rod holder, a fisherman can have their hands free to set other lures and baits or organize their gear.

You can also use a fishing rod rack as storage for your fishing rods both onboard and off your vessel. If you aren’t actively casting lines a fishing pole rack can still safely and conveniently hold your fishing rod until you are ready to use it.

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Mount Type

Not all trolling rod holders are the same style, but there are five common mount types that you’ll see on the market.

Clamp on: This is the best fishing rod holder for versatile fisherman who are constantly changing boats and kayaks. It can quickly be attached to a variety of places on most boats and kayaks because of the spring-loaded design.

Threaded: These trolling rod holders will have a machined end that screws into an installed piece on a boat or kayak. They more secure than a clamp-on style, but you will have to ensure that your boat or kayak has the proper receptacle.

Track or rail mount: These rod holders for boats work with existing tracks or rails onboard. The fishing pole rack attaches to those tracks and rails using an attachment piece and it cannot function without an installed track or rail.

Flush mount: A flush mount fishing rod rack is the most permanent design because it penetrates into the structure of your boat and is fastened in place by bolts.

Bank anglers: For bank anglers there are a few different fishing pole racks that stake or screw into the ground to secure your fishing rod.

Vessel You Will Be Using

A kayak fishing rod holder will not be the same as fishing rod holders for boats, so it’s important to get a design that matches the type of vessel that you wish to fish with. The good news is that there are designs for both kayakers and boaters, plus one hybrid fishing rod holder that can be used interchangeably between the two.

A rod holder for kayak fishing would be best with the clamp-on mount because it is easy to install and isn’t a permanent fixture. Some mounts even work great with kayak crates. Other mount styles are best for boats because they use existing rails or can be bolted directly into your boat.


The vast majority of fishing rod racks are designed to hold one rod at a time. This is the most convenient for fisherman who are using it as a kayak fishing rod holder because you’ll likely be traveling lite and will only have a couple rods with you. Some do come in larger sizes with the biggest capable of holding three fishing rods at one time, but this is a rarity. Most people will invest in multiple trolling rod holders and install them accordingly rather than find one that hold a larger capacity.



Q: Why are fishing rod holders important?


A fisherman must determine how important a fishing rod holder is. Not every fisherman will want to use rod holders for boats because of the installation process. But fishing rod holders make fishing easy because you can take breaks or tend to other tasks without always having to have your hand on the fishing rod. Plus, fishing pole racks can be a great place just to store your fishing rods, so they don’t get damaged or dirty because they are placed off the ground and held in a secure spot.

Q: Do all holders fit all rods?


Yes, they should. Rod holders for boats have a universal size or an adjustable size to ensure that they can fit any type of fishing rod. If you are having trouble with the fit of your fishing rod in correlation to your rod holder, check the product specifications or fishing rod holder reviews. Many buyers will happily state in their review what rod they use and how well it fits in a fishing rod rack.

Q: What are the benefits of using a rod holder?


There are a few benefits to using a fishing rod holder like having a hands-free fishing experience and having a safe place to store your fishing rod. Most fisherman love to spend their time in the water, but they can still be bored or overwhelmed with tasks. By using a fishing rod holder, they are able to free their hands so they can participate in other activities or multitask.

As well, fishing rod holders are an excellent way to safely store any fishing rods until you are ready to use them. They can be used both onboard boats and kayaks or mounted in a garage for long-term storage. Fishing rod holders are a great way to have an amazing fishing experience and protect your fishing rod from damage.

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Fishing has a lot of great health benefits and is one of the most popular outdoor sports. For fisherman who want to spend their time wisely, having their hands-free is a desired benefit that can be achieve by investing in a top rated fishing pole holder. The best fishing rod holder will be durable and reliable, so you can have the perfect fishing trip of your dreams.

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Do you own any of the fishing rod holders on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comments section below.