Kayak Fishing Rod Holder Installation

Kayak Fishing Rod Holder Installation
Kayak fishing has a cult following in saltwater and freshwater environments. Kayaks are quiet, comfortable and easily maneuverable in skinny water. Rod holders allow you to paddle while your line in is the water. Many kayak models are designed specifically for fishing and come with rod holders attached. Others have a pre-threaded screw for rod-holder mounts and some have nothing installed to accommodate a rod holder. The kayak design is not important, as a rod holder can be installed on almost any kayak.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Threaded Mounts

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tape measure
  • Threaded rod holder mount
  • Dry erase marker
  • Rotary drill
  • Rod holder mount with hardware
  • Drill with 1/16-inch bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Marine adhesive
  • Screwdriver
Step 1
Measure the diameter of the threaded hole with a tape measure.
Step 2
Purchase a rod-holder mount with the corresponding thread size. The standard size is 2 inches in diameter.
Step 3
Insert the mount into the threaded hole. Thread the mount into the kayak deck by rotating in a clockwise motion. Thread until the mount will not turn any further, but do not overtighten. If the kayak has multiple threaded holes, choose one that can be reached while sitting in the boat but will not interfere with your paddling motion.

Screw Mounts

Step 1
Mark a small area with the dry erase marker either slightly forward or behind your paddling motion. Sit in the kayak and use a paddling motion to ensure the rod holder will not interfere with your stroke. Purchase a rod holder that will mount flush to the kayak.
Step 2
Set the base of the mount on the marked area. Mark the holes where the screws will be inserted and trace the oval where the holder will sit with the dry erase marker. Take your time, as you do not want extra holes in the kayak.
Step 3
Cut the hole for the mount with the rotary drill. Set the mount in the hole and be sure it has a snug fit. Use the 1/16-inch bit to drill the screw holes.
Step 4
Remove the mount and roughen the area where the mount will sit with sandpaper. Put a bead of marine adhesive around the oval and set the mount back in place.
Step 5
Tighten the screws by hand with the screwdriver. Tighten until snug then stop. If the screws are set too tight, they will strip the hole and rotate freely. This must be avoided. Let the kayak sit for 24 hours so the adhesive can dry. Check the mount and clean any excess mess.

Tips & Warnings

Drill the holes with extra care. You only have one chance to drill the holes. Extra holes in the kayak can cause the hull to fill with water and compromise the integrity of the boat.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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