Best Fishing Rod Racks

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for Best fishing rod racks

Your valuable fishing rods probably take their fair share of abuse in the field. You may hop streams with them, wade the surf with them, and battle bass and other untold monsters of the deep with them. For this reason, it’s important to protect them when you can. A fishing rod rack can keep your rods safe and out of the way when not in use.

A fishing rod rack is an affordable purchase that can help you organize your rod collection. From fly and ice fishing rods to simple spinning rods and baitcasters, the organization provided by these racks can prove priceless, especially if you have a lot of gear to store.

In this guide, we present pointers to help you find the best rack for your needs. We’ll help you decide between a freestanding fack and a wall-mounted rack, examine the aspects of a quality rack, and outline various price tiers so you know what to expect.

I1 
If your fishing rod rack is constantly tipping over, try balancing out the poles so the weight is distributed more evenly.

Key considerations

Freestanding vs. wall-mounted

Two common types of fishing rod racks are freestanding racks and wall-mounted racks. If you are in the market for a fishing rod rack, chances are that you will end up with one of the two.

Freestanding: Once assembled, freestanding racks stand on their own. These are often stable enough to hold large or heavy rods and can be placed in the corner of a garage, on a porch, or wherever you have the space.

Wall-mounted: If you’d like to raise your rods off the ground, go with a wall-mounted rack. Wall-mounted racks require no floor space, making them ideal for areas with limited room. Some can even be mounted horizontally on the ceiling, keeping them out of the way yet still accessible.

Capacity

When purchasing a fishing rod rack, note the number of rods it can hold as well as the size of rods the rack can hold. Fishing rod racks are made to hold anywhere from 4 to 24 rods. Some sellers offer a variety of sizes, so you can easily choose what you need based on your current (or future) rod collection.

You should also verify that the rack you are considering will hold the types of rods you own. Do you only own freshwater spinning rods, or do you also have larger saltwater casters? Will you be storing flyfishing rods next to children’s rods and ice fishing rods? Some fishing rod racks are designed to work with specific rod sizes and types, while others are adjustable so you can use them with a wider range.

Ease of use

Fishing rod racks typically employ some form of slot or clip to hold the rods. The clips should hold the rods securely — but not so securely that it turns into a tug-of-war every time you want to go fishing.

Appearance

While some fishing rod holders are mainly functional, others have a decorative element. If you are just throwing a rack in the corner of your shed, you probably don’t care much what it looks like. If you are mounting the rack on the wall of a cabin or placing it in another high-traffic area, the rack’s appearance will become much more important.

Fishing rod racks are available in a variety of styles and colors to meet your needs, be they functional or decorative.

fishing rod rack 2
Did You Know?
In addition to protecting your rods, a fishing rod rack is designed to store them in such a way that your various lines and tackle will not become tangled.
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Features

Materials

Fishing rod racks can be constructed from a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, plastic, and wood.

Aluminum

Aluminum is durable, lightweight, and resistant to rust and corrosion.

Steel

While heavier than aluminum, steel is also durable. Stainless steel is resistant to the corrosive effects of salt, rust, and sunlight.

Plastic/ABS

Less costly than other rack materials, plastic or ABS is lightweight and will hold up to the elements. On the downside, it is not as durable as other materials.

Wood

While it can fare poorly when exposed to the elements, wood is otherwise durable and exudes a warm look. Wood fishing rod racks can be heavier than racks made from other materials.

Slots/clips

The slots or clips should not only keep your rods from falling to the floor, they should also offer some type of padding to protect your gear. The best types of clips/slots work with both large and small rods and are adjustable (movable up and down) so you can avoid damaging elements of the rod, such as the eyelets.

Some fishing rod racks, particularly wall-mounted racks, include a shock cord as a simple method to hold the rods in the rack.

Base

While not an issue with wall-mounted racks, freestanding racks should have a large enough base to keep the rack stable, even when it is loaded down with rods. Some bases feature reinforcement for strength; others have rubber feet on the bottom of the base to prevent slipping.

Handle

While fairly rare, some freestanding fishing rod racks include a handle or handles so you can easily move them around. These are often found on lightweight racks designed for portability — say if you were to carry a variety of rods to the beach some days and the riverbank on other days.

If you anticipate transporting your fishing rod rack often, choose one made from aluminum, which is durable and lightweight.

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Fishing rod rack prices

Inexpensive: Racks that cost less than $20 are usually simple wall-mounted racks constructed from plastic/ABS. These typically hold between 4 and 10 rods and are a great solution for people who occasionally fish and have limited equipment.

Mid-range: In the $20 to $60 range, you will find a variety of fishing rod racks made from plastic, steel, and even wood. Geared toward those who fish regularly, these racks tend to hold a larger number of rods of various sizes and will be either freestanding or wall-mounted.

High-end: Those for whom fishing is a passion do best in the over-$60 range. Fishing rod racks at higher price points hold more rods and generally sport a better overall build than cheaper racks.

fishing rod rack 3
Did You Know?
If your rack will be exposed to the elements, avoid choosing one crafted from wood, as wood can easily warp when exposed to water.
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Tips

  • Saltwater rods take up more rack space. While these racks are often designed to hold both freshwater and saltwater rods, due to their larger reel size, you might not be able to store as many saltwater rods as freshwater ones. Take this into account when deciding on a rack size.
  • Horizontal racks are great space savers. If you really want your rods out of the way, consider a horizontal rack. These can be mounted overhead, often on a garage ceiling, protecting your poles by keeping them out of the way yet still within easy reach.
  • A weak point of some wall-mounted racks is the quality of the included hardware. If you receive your rack and find the screws and other mounting hardware to be subpar, spend a couple of dollars at your local hardware store to upgrade them to something more durable and long-lasting.
  • Note the type of warranty a fishing rod rack carries. While these racks usually aren’t subjected to a ton of abuse, they do perform an important function. It’s wise to protect your investment, and a warranty is a great way to do so.
I2 
To better protect your fishing rod rack, be sure that any rods stored on them are first rinsed with fresh water and toweled dry.

FAQ

Q. Do fishing rod racks include a lock to secure rods?

A. Generally not, although some high-end racks may feature locking systems. While you might be able to find some third-party rod locking solutions, your best bet may be a light-grade bicycle lock, which you can use to secure your rods to the rack.

Q. Can these racks be used on a boat?

A. It depends on the rack you purchase as well as the boat you’re using. Due to a boat’s constant motion, a freestanding rack probably will not remain upright without some way to fasten it down. You might be able to use some form of wall-mounted rack on your boat, assuming you have the space for it. Measure your boat space carefully (and give serious thought to whether you really want to drill holes in your boat) before ordering a rack to be used this way.

Q. How difficult are these racks to assemble and install?

A. The level of difficulty in assembling and installing a fishing rod rack depends on what type of rack you purchase. A freestanding rack should only require a few minutes to pull together, often without the use of tools. A wall-mounted fishing rod rack will require a bit more work. Of course you’ll need to decide where to mount the rack (and measure carefully to be sure your rods would fit that space). Then, you will need to attach various elements of the rack to your wall. Wall-mounted racks generally require more time, tools, and effort to set up.
 

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