Kayak Rod Holder


I want to introduce the KayakFishingCorner community to a critically important piece of kayak fishing gear: The Kayak Rod Holder. We feel that an appropriate kayak rod holder is one of the single most important kayak fishing accessories for your kayak fishing repertoire.

There are two different types of kayak rod holders: Flush Mount and Deck Mount. This post compares and contrasts each of the two styles, and offers our opinion as to the best of each type of kayak rod holder on the market today.

Unbiased Review

First, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

All of the product reviews included on KayakFishingCorner are based on my independent analysis.  I have the expertise necessary to rate these products, and I treat it very seriously.  I pledge to never give any brands or companies preferential treatment or inflated scores, and I review every product on a level playing field.

I display these reviews to help all of the KFC members and readers purchase the best products for their individualized kayak fishing experience.  In this case, I want you to learn about the kayak rod holder to determine whether it fits your needs.  I make it my number one priority to earn the trust of the entire KFC community, and I provide unbiased reviews and analysis as a means of doing so.  Once I do earn your trust, I do my best to keep it.  If you have any questions about how I review products, please send me a message.


kayak fishing rods

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means that we may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through our links. 

Shortcut to Kayak Rod Holder Review #1

Shortcut to Kayak Rod Holder Review #2

As mentioned above, the Kayak Rod Holder is a very important tool that can make kayak fishing less stressful.  They are easy to operate, and they are also easy to attach to your kayak.  Many of the rod holders are fairly inexpensive, and I have included some of my favorite options below.

Purpose Kayak Rod Holder

Each type of holder is designed for the purpose of, you guessed it, securely and properly holding the kayak fishing rod.  This is especially important during times when you have a line in the water, but you also need to complete other tasks.  You may need to tend to additional rods, lines, or the guiding kayak itself. The holder basically allows the any fisherman to have extra hands (several extra with multiple holders) and it multiplies you chances of catching a big fish.  It goes without saying that this ability leads to a more exciting and fun kayak fishing experience.

Importance of the Kayak Rod Holder

The importance of finding a holder that works for your particular style of kayak fishing cannot be overstated.  The most important part is that you do in fact purchase a holder of some sort, as doing so will allow you to have more lines safely in the water, and more lines in the water invariably leads to greater success and a better kayak fishing experience!

Aside from increased success in terms of catching fish, the rod holder is an important safety feature in terms of the figurative “extra hands” it provides. Between the rocking of the fishing kayak in the water, and the number pieces of gear stored in relatively tight quarters, you’ll have your hands full avoiding dangling hooks. Better to keep the hooks engaged in the kayak fishing rod, and store the rod safely in the rod holder until it is ready to be deployed.  Now it’s time to discuss the two primary types of holder:

  1. Flush Mount Kayak Rod Holder
  2. Deck Mount Kayak Rod Holder

Flush Mount Kayak Rod Holder

flush mount kayak rod holder

The flush mount kayak rod holder is designed to be installed into the a relatively flat area of your fishing kayak. The flush mount holder requires the creation of sizable hole, and it is usually installed on the top of the kayak, on the right or left side (or both).  That’s right, you actually create a hole in the deck of your fishing kayak (into a place that is most convenient for your kayak fishing style), and lower the rod holder into place, securing it to the deck with the screws included with the product.  If the idea of cutting a large hole in your expensive watercraft makes you cringe, you should skip this section and read about the Deck Mounted Kayak Rod Holder below.

 Many flush mount devices come with a template that you can use to trace the outline of the opening required for the product onto the deck prior to creating the hole itself. No template? No problem. You can create your own template or accurately measure and carefully cut the hole.  Many of the holes are standard sizes, and you can use a hole saw to cut a clean and accurate hole.  Click the picture above to learn more about the hole saw kit that I own and recommend.

You will want to be sure to purchase a holder of appropriate length for your kayak fishing rod grip. Most kayak rod holders are 7.5 inches deep. You’ll also want to consider the interior diameter of the holder itself, we suggest at least 45mm.

The flush mounted rod holder is best suited for those kayak fisherman seeking to maintain clean lines on his or her kayak, while still achieving the flexibility of having multiple rods active at any given time.

Best Flush Mount Kayak Rod Holder

(Commissions Earned)

High Quality; Lasting Durability!

If you’re looking for a great flush mount kayak fishing rod holder, I found you a great one. I love this product for several reasons, including its simplicity, reliability, and inclusion of two important (but often overlooked) features.  First, this rod holder comes with a cap, which comes in very handy for covering the product when no rod is located in the unit. This keeps the unit nice and dry, and disallows small particles, dirt and grime from finding their way into the void and gumming up your rod’s handle.

Second, the unit contains an ABC barrier (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) in the form of an under piece which ensures a tight seal between the fishing kayak deck and the flush mount rod holder. The last thing you want is a leak in the decking of your fishing kayak – The  flush mount rod holder prevents leaking of this nature.  It is reasonably priced.

 Deck Mount Kayak Rod Holder

The deck mount kayak rod holder is also designed to be installed onto the top of the deck of your fishing kayak, but it does not require drilling a large hole. Like the flush mount style, you’ll want to choose a location that aligns with your kayak fishing style, then attach the deck mount with the screws that come with the device. Many deck mount rod holder products are adjustable, allowing you to tilt your kayak fishing rod to the best angle for the particular type of fish you are attempting to catch.

You’ll want to make sure to purchase a deck mount kayak rod holder that, in addition to tilting up and down, is fully capable of performing a 360 degree horizontal rotation. This is an important feature to consider, especially when taking into account that a fishing kayak will often drift with the wind or water’s current, and the kayak fisherman will want to be able to adjust his or her lines with ease.

One benefit of the deck mount rod holder is that, unlike the flush mount style, no large insertion hole is required to be drilled into the fishing kayak’s decking. This is not to say that there are no holes whatsoever, as the deck mount style will require attachment to the deck of the fishing kayak via the screws included with the product. The holes created by the deck mount style are much smaller, however, and are easier patched when/if the kayak fishermen elects to relocate his or her kayak rod holders to different locations on the fishing kayak.  I believe that the deck mounted kayak is much more flexible, and it has the freedom to be placed almost anywhere on your kayak.

Overwhelmed? Try Inflatable Kayak Fishing, as some of these fishing kayaks come with pre installed kayak rod holders!

Best Deck Mount Kayak Rod Holder

(Commissions Earned)

Hold 3 Rods at Once!

A kayak fisherman interested in a deck mount system should consider the Powerlock Rod Holder by Scotty. This product can be mounted on the top or side of the fishing kayak due to its tilting and 360 degree rotation ability.

The reason it won our recommendation, however, is because the Scotty rod holder is built with a “universal” cradle, meaning that it can secure nearly any kayak fishing rod and reel, and, most importantly, is crafted with a front locking ring which is effective in preventing kayak fishing rod loss when the fishing kayak is actively traversing the waters. This feature alone will pay for the deck mount rod holder by Scotty tens of times over in terms of kayak fishing rods saved.

My Experience

I decided it was time to purchase my first holder after I looked at my fishing kayak, and realized that I had five kayak rods, and only two hands. I contemplated which of my rods I might be able to part with, and was left with the reality that I needed to bring all of them on board with me. The holder has vastly improved my kayak fishing experience, as it has allowed me to fish my lines and, as you might suspect, catch more fish! Now, I often find myself recommending to KFC readers that they purchase a rod holder very early on in their kayak fishing career.

You now know how to hold your rod, but do you know the proper way to cast? Check out this handy guide full of tips and tricks!


Quality – 4/5

We’ve been pretty impressed with the quality of the kayak rod holder – and we needed to be! Let’s face it, fishing rods are expensive. If you are going to trust something other than your hand to hold your fishing rod, then it better perform. The holder is made of quality materials and components which allow it to keep a firm grip on the handle of the fishing rod. Just tighten to the appropriate level and continue fishing with confidence that your rod will not slip free!

Performance – 4.25/5

There can be no doubt that a holder will make you a better kayak fisherman. How? The more rod holders – the more lines you can have in the water at any given time. A rod holder will also allow you to fish different depths and with different baits, all at the time time! Not only will your performance improve, the performance of the rod holder itself passes muster. The rod will not slip loose from the grip, even when a large fish comes on the line. Just a week or so after I first installed my rod holder, I got hold of a very feisty large mouth bass. The rod holder performed well, and I reeled him in without incident!

Price – 4.5/5

Its tough to beat the price on the rod holder. You can find most rod holders for between $10 and $50. The range of price often depends on whether you are buying flush mount or deck mount, and whether the rod holder comes with other accessories (most do). Kayak fishing can be a pretty expensive hobby, so its nice to see that at least some kayak fishing accessories are priced pretty reasonably. The holder definitely falls into the category of “reasonably priced”.

Durability – 4.25/5

So long as you properly install your holder, it will be durable enough to last nearly as long as your kayak itself. If, however, you improperly affix the holder to the deck of the kayak (like, for instance, by not tightening the screws to the appropriate level) you will severely compromise durability. Assuming you follow the instructions, installation should take you no more than 10 minutes per rod holder, and the durability of a properly installed rod holder will last you for years and years!

Overall – 4.25/5

Coming in at an average score of 4.25 out of a possible 5 points, the pros at KFC would urge you to strongly consider buying yourself a holder. There are several high quality models on the market, and they perform adequately to immediately make you a better kayak fisherman. What’s more? A holder is not going to make a huge dent in your pocketbook, and the durability is sufficient such that you get a return on your investment year after year after year!


I hope that this post has helped you learn more about the Kayak Rod Holder.  This is a cheap tool that drastically enhances the kayak fishing experience  The number one reason to buy a holder is because it will allow you to fish more lines during your kayak fishing experience. The more lines you can actively fish, the more fish you are going to catch. This type of kayak fishing accessory will pay for itself quickly in terms of more enjoyment on the water, not to mention saving rods from being inadvertently pushed over the edge! Learn how to stay safely anchored right on top of the school of fish by using a Fishing Kayak Anchor! Have you ever wondered if you are holding your fishing rod correctly? You may be surprised!

Kayak Rod Holder: Comments

Do you have any questions regarding the flush mount or deck mount holder or kayak fishing in general? Please share your questions with the rest of the KayakFishingCorner community by posting in the Comments section below.

After securing your kayak fishing rod, learn how to secure your kayak paddle with a Kayak Paddle Holder! Favor a more versatile paddle holder? Try the Kayak Paddle Leash!

Kayak Rod Holder - Land a Massive Fish with this Critical Tool
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Kayak Rod Holder - Land a Massive Fish with this Critical Tool
The Kayak Rod Holder is an important tool for all kayak fisherman. It multiplies the chance of catching a big fish by enabling the use of multiple rods
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Kayak Fishing Corner
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8 Replies to “Kayak Rod Holder”

    1. You know what they say. The more lines in the water, the better your odds! I don’t know about you, but I’ll take all the help I can get. Let us know if you land big catch!

      David Scott

    1. Deck mounted rod holders are also nice because you can angle them to a number of different degrees (and adjust them to face a number of different directions). Flush mounted rod holders can do this too, to a certain extent, but they don’t “lock down” onto the handle of the rod, so its harder to keep the rod from moving about while you are under power. Good luck out there!

      David Scott

  1. What a great idea! I wish I woulda bought a rod holder years ago. Lord knows it would have paid for itself many times over in terms of rods saved. Woulda kept my wife happier too!

    1. Hi Rodney!

      Yes, I know! I had to learn the hard way, sadly. I lost a rod into the bottom of the lake. If I would have had a rod holder, this result probably would have been avoided! If you like your rod holder, you should also take a look at getting Kayak Paddle Leash. It serves a similar role (making sure your equipment doesn’t get away from you).

      Be sure to let us know if you see more people using the flush mount or deck mount style! We see more of the deck mount, in our neck of the woods.

      Be safe and have fun!

  2. How am I supposed to know if I have a fish on the line if I’m not holding onto my rod? I think that fishing multiple lines sounds like a good idea, but I need to know when to starting reeling it in!

    1. Hi Brad,

      Fishing multiple lines with a kayak rod holder has tons of benefits, but you have mentioned one of its drawbacks. I suppose you could just watch your Kayak Fish Finder, but you’d still never know when one is on the line! We suggest that you keep an eye on the tips of the poles. When one is jiggling just a bit more than the others, there is a pretty good chance that you have a live one on the line!

      Good luck!

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