Rod Rests and Spinning Rod Rest Designs for Tubes differ.
No matter how committed a float tuber you are, sooner or later you will
want to carry more gear. If a well equipped boat angler can carry spare
rods, so why shouldn't we do it too.
There are various ways of
carrying spare rods onboard your float tube.
Most tubes have velcro
strips on the upper surface of both sides of the tube and a rod
can be carried clamped by the velcro material, in two parts in a
But while this basic
storage idea works ok, it gets in the way if you are fishing
with a second rod at the time. So we have come with improved rod
rests for float tubes.
is a tube rod rack for when I'm out fly fishing.
If you are fly fishing, you need
to keep the sky around you clear for rod movement, and
So your spare rods are best if stored in a rod rack which is
It's not exactly horizontal
however. There is a slight upwards ramp, so that as you go
up and down over waves, the rod tips are not immersed into the
water behind you each time your ship's bow dips down a bit!
Also it is important that the rod tips are raised a bit when you return in to the shore so they don't get caught up in the
It is also a good idea to tilt it up in the sideways
direction, as this means a side wave will not tilt your water
craft, and dunk the rods. It's easier to reach the outer rod
this way also.
So a little tilt up towards the rods out behind, and more tilt up away from the water surface to the side, is about
fly fishing tube rod rest was made from carbon fibre 4mm
diameter rods got in a model hobby shop or kite shop ( I used
where I work) with balsa wood for lightness.
balsa wood sheets were covered with carbon fibre cloth on top to
look cool and to waterproof and protect it, and with fibreglass
cloth underneath - fibreglass is half the cost of carbon fibre,
and nobody sees the bottom! PVC tubing makes the rod holders. It
could be made completely from PVC tube in less time, see
TubeDude's photo below for an example of this.
Here it is with my standard
trout and perch lake setup. One fly rod with floating line /
intermediate very slow sinker. The second fly rod has a sinking
line, either Wet Cel 1 or faster sinking Wet Cel 2.
The outfit is completed
with a light spinning rod for spinning for fry feeders, drop
shotting for deep fish visible on sonar that refuse to cooperate
with the fly fishing presentation.
Rod Racks for Shorter Bait &
The handiest bait fishing or spinning rod rack is slightly
If you are bait fishing or spinning with
shorter rods, there is no requirement to set the rods horizontal
in the rod rest.
This if done wrong can cause wet rods from waves lapping over
them, a small but avoidable quibble. Or worse, a broken rod tip
when returning to the shore and the horizontal rods get caught
in a tree branch or similar.
When the lake is high, a bait fisherman will want to get
closer to the
flooded bushy areas and fish from there with short rods, whereas a fly angler will prefer to stand off
a bit in open water, casting into those areas. Once again a
bait and spinner prefers less paraphenalia sticking out from his tube so
he can get closer to the brush.
This is achieved by a
baitfishing or spinning float tube rod rest like the one shown
How to Make a 4-Tube Vertical Rod Holder
by "TubeDude" from BFT fishing forum
I am always playing with my PVC and trying to come up with
new rod holder designs. Here is a pictorial on my latest
I use 1" SCHEDULE 20 PVC for the rod holder part. Don't use
the heavier schedule 40. The walls are thicker and they will not
fit most rod handles. The schedule 20 has the same outside
diameter, so it works with standard 1" PVC fittings. But, it is
lighter and thinner.
I have used the 1 1/4" schedule 40 PVC in the past and the tubes
are large enough for almost any rod, but that stuff is heavy. :
is a pic of the precut parts, with lengths of the tubes
indicated. This was made to fit the Fat Cats, where the outside
D rings are 13" on center.
That dictated that the spacer tubes were 4" long. You can
make them longer or shorter, depending on how you want to mount
them or how many rod tubes you want. You could also do a 2 or 3
the rod holder tubes are cut, I use a Dremel drill 1/2" sanding
drum to buzz out the depressions on either side of the top, for
the reel handle to fit into.
If an L shape notch is cut,
with a little 90 degree turn, the reel mounting part will rotate
slightly and lock into the turn and the rod is even more secure.
The next step is the gluing. Since you do not need to worry
about holding under pressure, you do not have to use primer or a
fancy gluing job. Just be sure to get the pieces straight as
fast as possible, when gluing, because the cement sets up fast.
Use clear cement for a neater job.
TubeDude on Lake Pleasant, AZ,
with an angled horizontal rack. It worked fine, but is not
recommended for fishing in cover or near shore. The vertical
design is far more convenient in these places.
It suits fly fishers where vertical rods would interfere with
the back cast.
is the assembled 4-tube holder, with the 2 nylon loops that will
be used to attach to the D rings, and an illustration of how the
bottom stabilizing bungee fits into the grooves cut into the
don't have to paint the rod holder. Here is a green painted
one...using an old can of green Rustoleum paint. Any good
exterior paint will do.
are the two nylon rope loops fastened to the D rings on the
outside of the tube, waiting for the rod holder.
is the rod holder with the first and third rod tube inserted
down into the nylon rope loops.
wife (TubeBabe) trolling and fishing jigs.
The PVC tube rodrack on the far side of the tube stores
extra rods accessible, but neat
and out of the way.
shows the final step in installing the rod holder, before
inserting the rods. You bring up the thin bungee cord from the
bottom and hook it into the grooves cut in the two middle tubes.
This pulls the bottom down and stabilizes the rod holder.
you can install the rods.
shows how the rods are spaced, using the 4" spacer tubes. You
can make the spacing greater or lesser by using different sized
was the first test of the new rod holder. Got a few nice cats.
test run produced some wipers.
here with kind permission from the author Pat Scouten (TubeDude)
A rising angled fly rod holder
with new Breech Lock Style Drop Slot
which avoids rod tip-to-bank-vegetation contact when near shore.
By the late "Zonker" from BFT fishing forum
been doing a little work on my float tube. I often fish trout
and bass from it using fly rods, so I decided to go all out and
make something with that in mind. Here are some photos.
of the mods are inspired by the ideas of others - especially
those on the
Big Fish Tackle Float Tube Forum.
In the pic, the yellow pool noodle is attached to top of
floating fish wire basket. I use this when I fish our in-town
lake for stocker trout. Yum!
Also seen in the pic immediately below are the blue/red
inflatable PFD, the Fishin' Buddy fish finder, and the green
Wood River fly fishing bag. Not seen in picture are the net,
anchor bag, and fins.
PVC is 1 inch schedule 20.
The rod tubes are drop
slotted for holding fly rods, and a breech-lock-style notch is
at the side of the slot bottoms.
Net slides in "T"
attachment on far right.
are cut to keep net from turning. Gravity holds it in and it is
offset so it doesn't tangle with rods.
Here's the frame
unattached. It is held on the tube with clips and bungie cords.
It can be disassembled into three parts by removing two bolts.
Dark gray padding is foam pipe insulation held on with zip ties.
Here is a shot of
the shaped tubes, cut with a Dremel tool. Note that neat slot
The cross bar in
back that gives frame rigidity.
finder attached. Fishfinder
holder is 3 inch black pipe held on by three hose clamps.
Frame is bungied
to bottom d-rings on tube.
here from Zonker's various
posts in the BFT forum. Unfortunately Dave (Zonker) passed away after
illness spring 2009.
single fly rod rest
for 2 fly rod system
by the late "Zonker"
You don't need more than two rods if you are going out fly
fishing for trout. One with a floating line and the other with a
sinker, or intermediate as conditions dictate. One rod stays in
hand, or across the apron while retying flies or unhooking fish, the other goes in the rod rest.
This means that if we want to travel light, we only need storage
for one unused fly rod at a time.
I have used velcro straps off the two side mounted D-rings, with a
safety lanyard clip (for prevention of possible wet fingered
fumbles while placing and removing the rod) for my version of this.
Here is Dave's (Zonker's) design for a holder for a single
second fly rod while tubing. As you can see,
Zonker made a more thorough job of it, modifying an easily purchased
boat deck mounting rod rest unit. The photo is self explanatory.
Deck mount fixed to two straps which go around the tube, velcro
to stop slippage.
The advantage of raising the rod tip a bit (for when you come
back in near bankside vegetation) has already been discussed. So
bear this in mind when setting your rod rest up. A higher point
of attachment for one end is ideal.
So this is a quick, simple
answer for the carrying of a second fly outfit while afloat
without a boat. It's interesting to look at this design, then
read up on TubeDude's quickfit design below, which emerged
later. The wood pocket inserts devised for that are a very handy
way to mount this rod holder
design which is
both horizontal and vertical
by "IcemanXXXV" from BFT
is Icemanxxxv's design for a holder for a fly rod which has two
settings to suit whatever kind of rods you carry while out
tubing. This is an excellent design, and very compact. Notice
that supporting T-tube, which will be useful in most
of the other rod rack designs as an improvement to their
stability and an "adjustable angle" upgrade.
: I wanted to design a rod rack for my Togiak float tube. After
looking at vertical racks people have designed I thought with my
errant casting skills I figured vertical wasn't for me. Vertical
rod racks would be nice for launching, beaching, and in tight
spots. Fixed horizontal racks while better suited for my casting
skills would not be the best choice for other situations.
Here is what I
came up with a rack that adjusts from near vertical to near
horizontal. The best of both worlds. I just drilled a hole in
the tube joint at the Vertical and one at the horizontal
position. Disassembled the joint cut the slot in the tube and
installed the screw in the hole through the slot and secured
with nut washer and locked the threads with super glue. Because
once the other tubes are glued up there is no getting at the nut
The two in the
back move together. The rod holders are held in the vertical
position by the tension between the "T" fitting and the tube.
The nut on the inside is backed up with a star washer and a
plain washer then it was tightened to provide the correct
tension. Than a drop of super glue on the bolt threads and nut,
since I can't rely on torque to keep it tight. When the tubes
are in the horizontal position they rest on the stop created by
the end of the slot in the tube.
I would like to
thank all who have posted your rod racks for others to see with
out these posts I could have never came up with this one!
here with kind permission from the author IcemanXXXV from
his posts in the BFT forum.
Strapless Quick Fit Multi Rod Holder
from BFT fishing forum
I have been codgertatin'
for some time on how to add all of my PVC "essentials"
without having to use the bungee straps and clips. That
stuff works but it is a pain to set up and take down.
The end result is that it should be exactly what I am
looking for...simple, easy to install and remove, little
(if any) added weight...and rock solid. No problems with
instability of rods, waving in the waves or breeze, etc.
The key to this
installation is using a pair of 2" x 2" wood blocks inside
the pockets...fore and aft...to create a stable frame
for attaching external goodies. Then, I connect the
front and back blocks with a thin strip of wood along
the inside of the outside edge of the pockets. That
makes it possible to anchor the "anchor" pieces of PVC
to which I attach the modular rod rack and utility rack.
The wood blocks are
secured by running in 2 to 3 screws into the
ends...through the fabric of the pocket. I position and
secure them with the tube partially deflated, to get a
good flat mount. Then, when the tube is fully inflated
it applies pressure to make them even more steady and
stable. That framework stays in place and the modular
racks just pop in place when you are ready to rumble.
The wood strip is about a half inch wide...painted
particle board, but any wood will work. You can either
screw or bolt the outside anchor PVC to that board.
Contrary to what might
be expected, the wood framework takes up little space.
Nor does it add appreciable weight. But, it does make it
possible to mount other things on the outside without
having to strap them down or use bungee cords.
Here are a few pics (right) and the finished job (below)
Reproduced here with kind permission
from the author Pat Scouten (TubeDude)