For Fishing Convenience: Can You Add Fishing Pole Holders To A Kayak?

For Fishing Convenience: Can You Add Fishing Pole Holders To A Kayak?

Kayaks are a cool fishing tool, allowing enthusiasts to explore untapped areas with less fishing pressure and potentially catch more beautiful fish. 

Can you add fishing pole holders to a kayak? In our experience, fishing pole holders are super easy to install in your kayak with flush-mounted, surface mounted, or track-mounted holders.

This article will dig deep into why and where to place rod holders, different types of rod holders, and how to install them.

You can also learn more about fishing, including fishing destinations, equipment, and techniques via Big SLO Bike. We’ll help you achieve desired fishing trips around the US and the world.

Can You Add Fishing Pole Holders To A Kayak?

Fishermen and boat owners know that pole holders are an essential kit for the most eventful fishing season. Without this piece of equipment, it’s just a tedious day on the river or sea.

You can definitely add a fishing pole holder to your kayak as long as you know where to place it and what type of rod holder suits your demands perfectly.

Why You Need Pole Holders

Anglers can rarely go on a trip without these useful fishing gadgets: pole holders. They make fishing a more manageable and thrilling game, adding necessary convenience to the process.

A well-planned range of pole holders in your kayak can eliminate typical frustrations when fishing. They’ll keep the rods stay in place and closer to the angler as well as give you more focus on paddling and finding the creatures.

Whether you’re switching out traps, trolling for alligator gars, or having a break, a well-placed pole holder offers more control over the process while essentially helping you land more fish.

Plus, not only does a rod holder hold your poles securely while you’re inspecting some essentials, such as electronics and driving the boat, but it also lets your hand relax after controlling the pole for hours. Hand fatigue is, therefore, no longer an issue.

You can install the holders anywhere on the boat, no matter the materials or what kind of kayak you’re using. Picking and adding fishing pole holders to the boat is also the first stage in customizing your ride.

Where To Position Your Pole Holders?

If you feel comfortable reaching the rods, that’s the right position for your rod holders.

Here is the method to identify the best place for your rod holders.

First, you need to take your boat to a lake, then paddle a decent distance and start to cast the rod. Take note of how far your pole tip reaches back and how far the pole heads forward and to either side.

Different fishermen will have different ways of casting. You don’t expect poles in the holder to get in your way, so notice these locations.

Once you determine a most comfortable sitting position, place the rod’s butt in the area where you think the holder will be a nice place to mount easily.

Make sure it’s an accessible reach because you obviously don’t want to stretch your arm too far backward and forward to grab a pole or put it back.

Another factor to take into account when identifying the right position for rod holders is the kayak handle as you’re moving.

Wider beam boats tend to be more solid and stable, allowing you to move around somewhat more. Meanwhile, smaller beam kayaks get a tippy feel to them.

In short, find the place you feel most accessible and most comfortable to reach the fishing poles.

What Types of Rod Holders To Choose?

Mounting-based kits are among the most preferred types of rod holders. An upside to using mounted pole holders is that you can switch out and position them in different places depending on your demands and paddling movement.

You can look at the three major mounted rod holders below to find the right one for you.

Flush Mounted Rod Holders

Flush mounts are highly reliable

A flush-mounted rod holder is a fixed mount placed in your boat’s gunwale. Its material is usually high-quality steel, offering great durability, reliability, and strength. You can relax when leaving your expensive fishing kits for it.

Flush mounted pole holders can hold poles at an angle of 15-30 degrees or vertically. You can install them anywhere you wish along the kayak’s gunwale, which means there are tons of choices to set up your boat as per your style and preference of fishing.

For many anglers of all styles, this type of rod holder is the most trusted and convenient. Once you install a mounted holder, you don’t have to worry about your pole getting in your way until you need it.

More importantly, it’s solid and stable enough to assist you in considerable game fish. Those frequently performing trolling or switching up fishing styles will love flush mounts for sure.

Surface Mounted Rod Holders

Surface mounts require some extra steps to install

Though surface mounts are more difficult to install, they will keep your poles off the deck, well-organized, and always ready to serve.

If you’re about to go fishing alone, then a couple of surface-mounted holders will allow you to catch fish with two or more rods. More fish captured and more lines in the water, isn’t it fun?

Should your kayak not include gear tracks or the tracks not be in an ideal position where pole holders can be functional, or you can’t find an appropriate place or way to attach gear tracks, it’s advisable to directly link the base to the kayak’s top.

Using stainless steel hardware is always a good idea, and if possible, you should attach the bases to nuts and bolts instead of screws (as they can come loose after a period).

However, you have to access the location’s underside and take a wrench there to use the nuts. If your boat doesn’t include that access hatch, which means you can’t use nuts and bolts, well-nuts or rivets are also a reasonable option.

Track Mounted Rod Holders

If your boat has gear tracks, track mounts are the way to go.

Track mounts are the best choice for kayaks that already have gear tracks. If that’s the case, you will find bases sliding into these tracks and tightening down.

We recommend you go for the model that comes with a useful gear track adapter. This feature will help you add it to the track quickly and easily without drilling additional holes. Also, you can move the bases around within seconds.

The beauty of track mounting is that it does an excellent job of storing rods. However, if you’re planning to do trolling with pole holders in gear track bases, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind.

While pressure over the pole holders on the kayak’s starboard tightens the bases, pressure over those on the kayak’s port side loosens the bases. So, a giant fish can adopt enough impact to loosen your track-mounted rod holder base.

How To Install A Fishing Pole Holder

Once you figure out which type of fishing pole holder applies to you, the first step to install one in your kayak is to choose the style. There are two styles for you to pick: through the deck and on the deck.

The ‘on the deck’ design is ideal for adding the holder directly to the boat’s deck and protruding from the boat, whereas the ‘through the deck’ style works finely for sitting flush and creating a big hole.

Plus, while you can keep the ‘through the deck’ aside until you need it, the ‘on the deck’ can flexibly switch into various positions.

Next, you will determine where to position the pole rod holders using our method in the above section.

Then, you’ll need to create holes to keep the holders in place. It’s better to measure the right size of the hole when drilling the boat’s deck to slide the pole holder.

A tip is to create a hole with an approximate diameter first, then fix the diameter according to the rod holder’s diameter.

After that, you simply seal the holes and bolt the rod holders. Your kayak is now ready to engage in an all-day fishing trip.


Pole holders are a critical part of any angler’s fishing kit arsenal. Many beginners may not value this ‘silent’ tool on the first trip, but they’ll realize it’s genuinely a great assistant supporting their kayaking more than they could have expected.

Can you add fishing pole holders to a kayak? You can, and you should. Adding them to your boat will offer you extra convenience and concentration on exploring new water lands.

Have a safe and happy ride!

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