One of the best things about owning a pontoon boat is having the ability to spend hours fishing on the lake. Unlike smaller fishing boats, your pontoon boat enables you to bring some of your closest friends and family members along for the trip. Another benefit of choosing a pontoon boat for fishing is that you have enough space to store food and drinks; many pontoons built specifically for anglers even come with high-tech fishing equipment and livewells!
It’s no secret that fishing and pontooning share a close relationship, which is why most manufacturers build models just for fishing. Many of these angler pontoons come with their own fishing chairs and rod holders, but what about the rest of us? If you’re itching to catch bass, catfish, various other exciting fish and don’t have a place to set your rods, have a look at this list of best rod holders for pontoon boats. You’ll be happy to know that installing and replacing pontoon boat rod holders can be quick and easy.
When it comes to fishing equipment, Scotty has established themselves as an authority in the field. Their products are known to be durable and reliable, making Scotty the go-to brand for a number of anglers.
Scotty’s Square Rail Mount is great because it’s easy to use. If you have a pontoon with 1 ¼” square rails, you can install it in two minutes. This makes the Scotty Square Rail Mount an ideal choice for pontoon owners who don’t want to make any modifications to their pontoon, like drilling holes in the boat.
What’s great about this mount is how easy it is to set up. This mount is also one of the cheapest pontoon rod holders on the market.
The only downside of Scotty’s Square Rail Mount is that it lacks a quick-release button, so getting your rod out can require some extra wiggling. With that said, it’s a durable clamp-on rod holder that is guaranteed to withstand hours of use without fail. If you're looking for something simple and straightforward, this is the holder for you.
A lot of anglers don’t like clamp-on rod holders because of their reputation for being flimsy, despite being known as some of the easiest rod holders to set up. If you’re someone who’s put off by clamp-on holders but want something that doesn’t require any fishing rod holder plans and drilling, have a look at Eagle Claw’s AABRH holder.
The AABRH rod holder is a durable clamp-on holder that’s designed to be extra sturdy. It’s crafted from corrosion-resistant material and is on a swivel that provides 360 degrees of adjustment.
Don’t let the fact that this rod holder’s made from plastic turn you off. The Eagle Claw AABRH is heavy-duty and is strong enough to handle any job. It’s also compatible with all types of rods up to 1.375 inches.
The AABRH can even double as a trolling rod holder. It’s rugged enough to be used for trolling without the clamp dislodging or the adjusters breaking. For this reason, it’s one of the best overall rod holders on the market. It has a suggested retail value less than $25, making the Eagle Claw AABRH one of the top well-rounded rod holders.
If you’re looking for something as durable as the Eagle Claw holder, but is able to support fishing rods wider than 1.375 inches, Plusinno’s rod holders are a great alternative. Plusinno sells these holders individually or in packs, so you can easily buy as many as you need.
These rod holders are made from a sturdy, anti-corrosion material. Since these rods are made from a durable polymer, they don’t have the plastic look that other clamp-on holders have.
For me, one of Plusinno’s biggest selling points is the ability to clamp or physically mount the holder onto the boat. This is perfect for anglers who don’t trust clamp-on fishing rod holders and want a little extra security.
The Plusinno Rod Holder is a durable attachment that can withstand a beating and continue to work to its fullest. Most anglers report that it can support fish bigger than 10 pounds, making it great for fishing trips in the bay. Its sturdiness also makes it great for trolling as well.
Overall, this rod holder is guaranteed to be reliable and is perfect for the serious angler, as well as the casual fisherman looking to add some pontoon boat rod storage.
What to Look for When Buying Rod Holders
You’d think that buying a rod holder for your pontoon would be pretty straight forward. All you need to do is go to your local sporting store and buy the first one you see, right? Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are a number of different kinds of rod holders on the market. Some are good and some are bad. Before you can get the right one for your pontoon boat, you first need to have a look at a few components. Here are some things to assess when purchasing a brand new rod holder for your pontoon:
You’re going to want a strong product that can withstand the pressure and force of a strong fish. This is especially true if you plan on using your rod holder for trolling. The last thing that you want is to watch your rod and holder fly into the water because you hooked a fish that’s too strong.
A good rule of thumb is to buy a holder that’s capable of holding a 10 pound fish. Anything less than that and you could risk losing expensive equipment, which will ruin an otherwise fun day on the water.
2. What’s the adjustment angle?
A good rod holder isn’t one that’s flashy and loaded with features that you probably won’t need. Alternatively, you also don’t want a rod holder that’s 100% functional and provides no additional perks.
One of the nicest perks to have on a rod holder is the ability to adjust its angle. You might be in a situation where you need to adjust your holder to catch that prized fish. If you’re not fishing with a holder that provides 360 degrees of movement, it might cost you a trophy-winning catch. For this reason, you want to buy a rod holder that gives you a lot of freedom with movement. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it now, there may come a time when you wish that you had a flexible holder.
3. How compatible is my rod holder?
The truth is simple: you really shouldn’t be buying a rod holder without doing some research first. If it’s a snap-on holder, you’re going to want to make sure that it works with your rails. Some holders are universal, while others only work with round or square railing.
Another thing to take into account is the width of your rod. You might think that it’s safe to assume that all rods can fit a fishing rod holder, but you’re wrong. If you’re fishing with an extra thick rod, you’ll probably need to buy a holder that’s designed especially for bigger fishing rods.
The last thing that you want to do is get on the lake only to find out that your holder doesn’t work! Make sure that you ensure that any new rod holders are compatible with your boat and your rods.
4. What’s the material made from?
Along with compatibility, this is another important component to consider when purchasing a fishing rod holder.
A lot of people don’t like plastic holders. They feel like plastic ones look cheap and ugly, and they’re afraid that the holders will break under the slightest bit of pressure. Because of this, people often opt for metal rod holders, forgetting that they’re exposing them to a lot of water.
Holders that aren’t made from anti-corrosion and anti-rust materials will wear down over time and end up breaking. Even if they aren’t completely soaked with water, the moisture from your hands and fishing poles is enough to damage them. For this reason, it’s good to find a rod holder made from a durable polymer like ABS. These rod holders may cost a little bit more, but they’re guaranteed to withstand years of use without breaking.
The Last Little Bit on Rod Holders
Now that you know a bit more about the best rod holders for pontoon boats, when are you planning on adding one to your vessel? One of the best things about pontoon boats is their versatility. You have the option of customizing and adding a number of features to your boat over time. This enables you to create a pontoon boat that’s optimized for fishing without spending the extra money on an angler’s pontoon.
With a couple of rod holders and a fishing station, you’re able to transform your pontoon boat into one of the best fishing boats on the water. Now that you know what to look for when purchasing a good fishing rod holder, go out there and catch some prize-winning fish!
Featured Image by Laura Cummings