9 Best Fishing Rod Holders Reviewed (Hands-on Guide)

boat with rod holders

Some fish are best pursued with a “shotgun” strategy which requires you to put more than one lure in the water at a time. Other fish are typically caught while using only a single rod but you need a boatload of patience while you wait for them to find your bait.

In both cases, you’ll have a lot more success (not to mention fun) if you have a few high-quality rod holders for support when you want to do other things while waiting.

There are different ways to mount them and materials used so you need to spend some time deciding which ones are suited for your needs.

9 Top Fishing Pole Holders of 2021: Outdoor Empire Reviews

3 Awesome Kayak Rod Holders

A good rod holder for your fishing kayak must be rugged, lightweight, and flexible enough to hold a variety of rod types. Most are made from fiber-reinforced nylon, while some are plastic to keep their weight low.

1. SCOTTY Powerlock Rod Holder 230

The SCOTTY Powerlock Rod Holder 230 is excellent for kayaking anglers. Made from fiber-reinforced nylon, it is durable and flexible. It must be bolted on your kayak but it can also be mounted in various orientations to suit your purposes.

2. Cannon Downrigger Rod Holder

Cannon downrigger rod holder 

This rod holder is solid, well designed and will accommodate both spinning or bait casting rods of various lengths. The easy-to-mount locking bar will securely attach the unit to the mounting bracket, yet it is strong enough to handle anything that swims your way.

Plus, it can be mounted in either a vertical or horizontal position, and the spring-loaded tension bar will hold it in any direction.

3. Railblaza Rod Holder II

Railblaza rod holder ii

The Railblaza Rod Holder II is a full-feature plastic built to perform like serious anglers demand. It features a fully rotating collar to enable the rod to spin all the way around if needed.

Additionally, this is one of the few rod holders made in both black and white models.

3 Awesome Boat Trolling Rod Holders

If you are interested in mounting a rod holder on your boat, you want to make sure you stick to the best products which are sure to last as long as your boat does.

Accordingly, you may find it necessary to spend a little more money on them than on those used on the bank or in a kayak.

4. Blacktip Stainless Steel Clamp-On

Blacktip stainless steel clamp-on

The Blacktip clamp-on rod holder is made from stainless steel to ensure a long life. It features an internal plastic coating to help protect your rod handles.

The clamp-on design means you’ll spend less time installing your rod holders and more time fishing with them.

5. Attwood Stainless Steel Flush Mount

Attwood stainless steel flush mount

If your boat accepts 2-inch, flush-mounted holders, it is hard to go wrong with Attwood’s version of the product. Made from steel and coated with UV-resistant polymers, Attwood flush mount rod holders are built to last.

It is available in three different models — 0, 15, and 30 degrees, and it comes with caps to keep the holders clean when not in use.

6. SCOTTY Powerlock

Scotty powerlock

Made from fiber-reinforced nylon, SCOTTY Powerlock rod holders are designed to be bolted onto your boat. It includes a locking ring to prevent it from slipping free while trolling. It is also adjustable to make it easy to fish from different angles.

3 Awesome Rod Holders for Bank Anglers

Bank-fishing pole holders are usually made solely to help you avoid any unnecessary problems. Most are very affordable, which means that you can purchase and carry several so you can keep multiple lines in the water at the same time.

7. Rite-Hite Fishing Rod Holder 

The Rite-Hite fishing rod holder is a no-frills, stake-style rod support for bank anglers.

It features soft-cushioned cradles to protect your rod and a powder-coated finish to help it last a lifetime. It also allows you to support three different rods at a time, making it ideal for those pursuing catfish or carp.

8. Angler’s Fish-N-Mate Sand Spike

Angler's fish-n-mate sand spike

The Angler’s Fish-N-Mate Sand Spike is an ideal rod holder for anglers working on sandy beaches.

Measuring almost 50 inches in length, it is long enough to accommodate surf rods while still extending far enough into the ground to keep your rod secure. A foot-push peg makes it easy to push into the sand.

9. Sea Striker Sand Spike

Designed to be as simple as possible while still working well, the Offshore Angler PVC Sand Spike is available in lengths ranging from 22 to 36 inches. It is white which makes it easy to spot even at night.

What To Consider Before Buying?

Rod holder on hand

Common Rod Holder Materials

The most common materials are steel, aluminum, and high-strength plastic. All three options are excellent choices but each works best in certain situations.


Steel rod holders are stronger and more durable compared to other options. They are the best choice for professional anglers, charter services, or those who fish a lot for large fish or in rough waters.


Aluminum holders are not as strong as steel holders but they are still adequate for serious use. Powder-coated aluminum holders are popular and it does not get hot while you are boating under the sun.

High-Strength Plastic

Most budget-level rod holders are made of high-strength plastic to help save weight and reduce the costs. They are adequate for casual anglers but they are not suitable for those working in tough conditions.

Mounting and Anchoring Methods

Rod holders are manufactured in a variety of ways so that you can use them on any fishing circumstances. Some are designed to work with particular rail or bar systems, while others can be used almost anywhere.

Rod Holders for Boats, Kayaks, and Canoes

Most rod racks designed for boats fall into one of these five basic styles.


Attwood clamp-on rod holder

Clamp-on rod holders are perfect for anglers who fish from various boats, as they can be attached to several places on most boats and kayaks. The clamp is usually spring-loaded so that you can move it quickly and easily.


Scotty threaded rod holder

Threaded rod holders feature a machined end which is designed to screw into a threaded receptacle mounted on the boat. They are very secure, but they are only useful for boats or kayaks with the appropriate receptacle.

Track or Rail Mount

Traxstech rail mount rod holder

Many modern boats and kayaks are equipped with rails or tracks, and some rod holders are designed to attach to them. Just remember that this type cannot be attached to boats without the rails or tracks.

Flush Mount

C. E. Smith flush mount rod holder
C.E. Smith

Flush-mounted rod holders penetrate into the body of your boat, they are designed to be attached with bolts. They are usually designed to be permanently fixed in place. You can move them but it requires tools and some considerable effort.

Rod Holders for Bank Anglers

If you are a bank-oriented angler who works the shoreline, you’ll need a rod holder that anchors to the ground rather than a boat.

Normal Stake

South bend stake rod holder
South Bend

The simplest type of rod holders feature nothing more than a metal or wood spike that you can drive into the ground. These work best for anglers who are fishing from shores with gravel, mud, or hard-packed soil.

Tubular Stake

Sea striker tubular stake rod holder
Sea Striker

Tubular staked rod holders are hollow – often they amount to little more than a section of PVC or aluminum tubing. One end goes into the ground, while the other end accepts the handle of your rod.

They work best on sandy beaches, where simple stakes won’t remain secure.


Hookem jetty screw-in rod holder
Hookem Jetty

Screw-in style rod holders are built like a large, threaded screw and must be turned as they’re inserted into the ground. They work best in soft sand or mud.

TIps and Tricks to Avoid Pitfalls

It takes a little bit of practice and experience to be proficient in using fishing pole holders. The following tips may help you avoid common pitfalls and get the most out of your rod holders.

  • It’s always a good idea to have a few backup rod holders on board in case one breaks or malfunctions.
  • Some rod holders utilize quick-release mechanisms so it’s easier to remove your rod from the holder once a fish takes your line. It is particularly useful for anglers working with several rods at a time.
  • Most good rod racks are designed to self-drain but budget models occasionally neglect to include this feature. Avoid this like the plague as you do not want water collecting at the bottom of your holders.
  • If you use your boat for different activities, invest in rod holders that are easy to remove. This will keep them out of the way to avoid damage while you are out boating with the family, for instance.

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