When to Use a Rod Holder

Do I need a rod holder if I’m still fishing or can I keep the rod in my hand?

Having an using a rod holder is mainly an issue of preference with the individual fisherman (fisherwomen too, don’t want to exclude the ladies!). I personally recommend using a rod holder because at some point you are going to want to use your hands for something else while leaving your line in the water. I have seen anglers set the pole down or wedge it against some thing and have a keeper fish pull the whole rig into the water. Talk about "the one that got away!"

You will find different kinds of rod holders out there. There are the ones that are built into the boat from the factory and those you can attach after the fact in the area where they are the most convenient for you.

Another kind is specialized for fly rods; it has to be different to accommodate the size, shape, and configuration of the fly rod and the fly reel. These are very handy to have if you are fishing from any kind of boat that requires paddling. For example, when I take my kayak out into the bay, the way I see it is that I might as well troll as I paddle from one hot spot to the next.

 Then there is the simplest rod holder of them all  for those fishermen who are handy. This is what I like to call the old PVC special. To make the most basic of these all you need is a length of PVC and a hack saw. The two really great things about these is that their portability and versatility. Fishing from a pier? All you need to get set up is a pair of pliers and some tie wire. You don’t really want to hold that pole all night, do you?

Another application I have seen for the PVC special is surf fishing. Down along the gulf there is a particular breed of fisherman who fishes the surf with about eight lines cast out at a time. Each one sits in its own length of PVC that has been hammered down into the sand. Then all he has to do is sit back and listen to the reels sing out.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

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