How To Build A Rod Rack For A Catfish Boat?

How To Build A Rod Rack For A Catfish Boat?

Build A Rod Rack For A Catfish Boat – In recent years, rod racks have been more common on catfish boats. These racks are located around the back of the boat, from starboard to port, and are used to store fishing rod holders.

You should place your rod holder at a 90 degree angle to the centerline in order to make fishing easier.

Let’s begin with the question How to Build a Rod Rack for a Catfish Boat.

First, you need to determine how big your rack will be based on your boat. This rack will also require all the tools necessary. You will need to determine how many rods you want to keep there, and then make the positions. Finally, before you put it in your boat, test it on the ground to ensure that it is in good condition.

You may find it very simple, but this is just the beginning.

We will detail each step to help you understand these steps.

If you wish to make the process easy, then read on!

DIY Catfish Boat Rod Rack

Rarely do I review a fishing boat that I don’t complain about the lack of rod storage. It amazes me, as a passionate fisherman, that an industry that can build such amazing boats fails to recognize the fact that fishermen use expensive equipment, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollar’s worth. We need somewhere to store it safely. It is simply asking for costly breakages if you leave it in a pile.

It is easy to build a fishing rod rack that will keep your rods safe and secure during fishing trips. This is a simple project that requires only basic DIY skills. If necessary, you can borrow a few tools.


This is a list of the tools you will need to make a rod rack to attach to a boat.

  • A hand saw, preferably a Tenon saw.
  • Use two hole saws to drill holes of approximately 25 and 50mm in diameter.
  • Drills of 10mm and 6mm
  • Use a ruler or tape measure to determine the square.
  • Fine point permanent marker.
  • A wood file, one with a rasp and the other with a file is ideal.
  • Sandpaper 80 and 240 grit for finishing edges
  • Router fitted with the appropriate-sized bit

You will need a saw horse, work bench or similar, as well as a vice or clamp to keep the material in place while shaping your rack.

1. Determine where you want to place your DIY rod rack

Our rod rack is made from plastic sheet that measures 15-19mm in thickness. Marine sheeting, also known as “Starboard”, is the best choice for rod racks. It’s used in many different applications by boatbuilders. You’ll find white plastic sheeting on large boats. It can be used for doors and hatches as well as shelves. For example, the rack that holds a gaff or boat hook in the Cruise Craft is shaped from Starboard. This design is as good as a rod rack.

If you buy a complete sheet from a marine wholesaler, Starboard can be quite expensive. You might find smaller pieces at some big chandleries, so it is worth calling around.

Plastic cutting boards are a low-cost alternative. They are very affordable, whether you find one in your kitchen or purchase one to make your rod rack. A board that is at least 15mm thick, or thicker if possible, is recommended. This is because rod butts are less likely to be marked by a rack that is thicker.

If you are using a second-hand cuttingboard that has been darkened by mould or is marked with knife cuts, first wash it with bleach. Then, sand the surface with an orbital sander until it forms a consistent pattern.

The most difficult part is now: where and how many rods the rack will store, and how it will be fixed in place. You will also need to decide where the rods should be placed (so that they don’t damage one another) and how the rack is attached to the boat’s interior. Large reels require more clearance between them, while smaller estuary or freshwater ones require less.

An aluminum boat can be easily mounted to a rack with ribs on each side. It can either be bolted to the ribs or pop-riveted. A rack might need to be attached to the side of your boat, to the deck, or under the sidedeck using brackets. This part is complex and you will need to figure it out yourself. You can do it!

2: Mark the board

Once you have the dimensions and fastenings in place, it is time to mark the rack on the board with a fine point permanent marker.

Marker ink can be easily erased with methylated spirit if you make a mistake.

3. Use a hole saw for cutting slots in the butts

You will need a drill with a hole saw that can cut holes for the butts and create slots to hold the rods in place. You may need vertical (90deg), flush deck rodholders to hold your rack in place if it penetrates a bulkhead. These rodholders can be any type of plastic, or high-quality stainless steel depending on your budget. A hole of 50mm is ideal if your rack cannot penetrate a bulkhead. The slots at the other end hold rods in place due to their angle, and a bungee rope that is stretched across the rack (see the below).

4. Make holes at the other end.

To mark out the slots, use a 25mm hole saw. The smaller hole (10mm in diameter), shown to the right of the image, will eventually become a smaller slot for bungee cord stretching across the rack. The two holes to the right will hold either the end or ends of the bungee. They are fed from opposite sides and tied with an overhand knot.

The length of the cord must be adjusted to ensure it is long enough to hold the rods in place. To ensure that they are securely in place, the bungee must be run straight ahead of the rods.

5. Cut the angled slots

Both types of plastic sheeting are compatible with woodworking tools. A tenon saw is my preferred choice for cutting, as it leaves a cleaner finish and has straight edges. Although a jigsaw is quicker, it doesn’t allow for straight cuts as well.

Use the saw to create slots that almost become the tip of your rod rack. While you’re at this, create a smaller slot for the bungee to be held at the rack’s bottom. Now is the time to make sure your rack fits neatly against a curve in the hull.

Finish the edges, slots, and holes with router. Round any sharp corners using the wood file before you finish. If needed, remove any scarf.

6. Get the router out

You should fit the router with a bit that is sized to the edges of each sheet of sheeting. With a little effort, it’s possible to create a professional-looking rack. To make it easier to attach the sheeting, you may want to finish as much router and finishing work as possible. Once everything is done, separate the rod rack pieces.

While it is easier to fix the rack in place in tinnies (with side-ribs), it can be difficult in other boats. Duralac is a jointing compound that can insulate bolts, washers and washers. This is necessary because stainless steel fixings can electrolyze with the aluminum.

It is possible to store rods in boats facing forward or aft, with the tip ends of the rods in the slots at the centre. To prevent rods and reels from rubbing against the hull due to the curve of your bow, glue marine carpet to the problem spot.

7. Attach the bungee line

Here is the rod rack with the bungee cable attached. The cord should be long enough to hold the rods, as we have already mentioned.

8. Attach your DIY rod racks and fenders to your boat

Here is the rack, or rather, half of it that I made for my boat. Another portside holds three more rods. You will notice that I tapered my rack to keep it from the ground and used durable, but expensive stainless rodholders for the bulkheads where the butt ends penetrate.

My rack’s rodholders reached the dry storage space. I sealed the ends to prevent water from entering. These “bearing buddy” caps were a quick fix.

9. Admire your work

This is a quick and easy way to protect your fishing gear. What are you waiting? Grab your fishing rod and get out there!


Question: How can you store a fishing pole in a garage?

Answer: Fishing rods must be kept off the deck. Fishing rods that are stored off the ground are less likely to rust or mold and can be easily destroyed.

Question: Should you keep your fishing rods horizontally?

Answer: Older fiberglass rods can collect if they are left untreated. This can also be caused by improperly supporting a rod horizontally stored.

Question: Can fishing rods be left outside?

Answer: Fishing poles are best kept in the garage when they are dry and out of direct sunlight. They should also be protected from extreme cold and humidity.

Final Words

These are the steps you will need to follow in order to build a fishing rod rack to fit your boat. You can use metal or wood for this purpose. This is a classic way to organize your items. However, wooden boards work well. A metal rack will last longer depending on how often you use it.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.