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Best Kayak Rod Holder of 2020

Updated On July 11, 2020

Kayak rod holders are a nice and functional accessory you can fit on a kayak, whether it's already a fishing kayak or a recreational kayak that you want to use for a fun fishing trip. The great thing about buying your own rod holder is that you get to choose the quality and type of rod holder you use. Most fishing kayaks are fitted with standard rod holders which aren’t of the best quality. However, some of the best kayak rod holders are in the list below. The factors which make these rod holders great are also explained in the buyer’s guide at the end.

Our overall top pick for the best kayak rod holder for this year is the Cannon Downrigger Rod Holder.

Quick Summary: Top 5 - Best Kayak Rod Holder of 2020


Our seasoned editors have picked and rated these products for each specific category and area of expertise to recommend you the best models and products we can. We receive commission from some of these affiliate links.
Best Overall: 1. Cannon Downrigger Rod Holder
​The Cannon Downrigger Rod Holder is a premium rod holder fitted with great features. It is built to carry most standard rods and is capable of a full range of motion for adjustment.
Best Security: 2. YakAttack Omega Rod Holder
​The YakAttack Omega Rod Holder secures easy and secure installation for anglers with a track mount on their kayak. It is a product made of durable and high quality materials.
Best Installation: 3. Plusinno Rod Holder
​Removing the need to drill into your kayak, the Plussino Rod Holder employs an easy clamp-on mechanism for installation.
Best Flush Mount Holder: 4. Anndason Flush Mount Rod Holder
​The Anndason Flush Mount Rod Holder is the simplest type of rod holder for your kayak. It requires a flush mount, which keeps the holder neatly and securely kept in place.
Best Budget: 5. Bekith Adjustable Powerlock Holder
​The Beckith Adjustable Powerlock Holder comes in a package of two, despite it’s already low cost. It's a great option for those on a budget.
Top 3 Quick Comparison
Product
Photo
Mount Style
Link
Best Overall
Adjustable
Best Security
Clamp
(Track Mount)
Best Installation
Clamp

Our Reviews


Best Overall
The Cannon Downrigger Rod Holder is a premium rod holder fitted with great features. It is built to carry most standard rods and is capable of a full range of motion for adjustment.
Quick Specs
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Mount Style: Adjustable
This full swivel rod holder from Cannon is made from high quality ABS plastic with rust-resistant properties. It is designed to offer 3-position configuration and is set with spring-loaded tension knobs that help make swift rod adjustments. The base of the rod holder swivels and has different grips allowing users to position rods the way they want. However, the mount plate does not swivel. Instead, the rod holder itself swivels within the mounting plate, still giving a 360-degree range of motion.

There are multiple options for mounting this rod holder because of the 360-degree base movement; it can be mounted on top or to the side of the kayak. The holder only needs to be bolted onto the kayak surface with 4 screws. When installed properly, the holder is secure and stable. Cannon also offers additional accessories that you can use to customize the holder. (1)
  • Versatile with Multiple Configurations
  • Durable Material
  • Stable and Secure Hold
  • Easy Adjustment Options
  • Higher Cost
  • Heavy Material
Product Review
"Great quality for the price! Extremely sturdy and well constructed."
Best Security
The YakAttack Omega Rod Holder secures easy and secure installation for anglers with a track mount on their kayak. It is a product made of durable and high quality materials.
Quick Specs
  • Material: Marine Grade Polymer
  • Mount Style: Clamp (Track Mount)
The YakAttack Omega Rod Holder was built to fit nearly all types of reels, including spinning, casting, fly, and large conventional reels. The holder is made from a marine-grade polymer which feels sturdy and durable. The base mounts easily onto a Track; the brand recommends the YackAttack GearTrac but this rod holder can mount on to most standard tracks on a kayak. 

This unit is set with different mechanisms that were integrated into the design, making the holder secure and versatile. It can be set into different modes: locked, adjustment, and removal. Removing the rod holder from the base is made easy with a clasp-lock mechanism. By simply unclasping the lock, you can easily remove the rod holder. In the same way, placing it back is easy: just place it back on top of the base and lock the clasp in place. Adjustment mode is done by pushing on a lever to twist the holder and adjust the direction of the rod. Adjustment knobs are at the side to allow anglers to change the angle of the rod. The locked mode is simply when the clasp and knob is securely fastened to secure the position of the rod. Additionally, a collar secures the rod by holding the reel in place.

The design of this rod holder is built with innovative mechanisms that make it easy to adjust the position of your fishing rods, while still keeping it stable. While the size of the holder might be on the larger side, the rotating collar is actually able to keep most fishing rods in place. YakAttack also includes an extension arm which anglers can use to hold longer rod butts.
  • Multiple Adjustment and Locking Mechanisms
  • Durable Material and Build
  • Secure and Stable Position
  • Large Size
  • Requires Mounting Track
Product Review
"It is built extremely well and is easy to use. I've used a wide array of rod holders on boats and kayaks and this is by far the most heavy duty and best one that I have used to date."
Best Installation
Removing the need to drill into your kayak, the Plussino Rod Holder employs an easy clamp-on mechanism for installation.
Quick Specs
  • Material: ABS-plastic and Metal Clamp
  • Mount Style: Clamp
The Plusinno Rod Holder is actually a boat rod holder instead of a kayak rod holder. However, its design is still applicable for some kayaks; it is better fit for sit-inside type of kayaks instead of sit-on-top kayaks. The rod holder is made from high quality ABS plastic with stainless steel hardware and an anti-corrosive metal clamp set with rubber ends. The size of the rod holder allows it to fit most fishing reels with a diameter up to 4 inches.

It is set with spring loaded tension knobs and a 360-degree adjustable mount. The base of this unit relies on the clamp, which securely holds it in place. However, with larger rods, you might need to tighten the clamp lock to give it a better grip. While the clamp mechanism is secure, it is not applicable on inflatable kayaks.

Adjusting the position of this rod holder is possible since the mount supports 360-degree motion. However, in order to adjust rod position, anglers still need to unscrew joints. This can be difficult when done out in the water so it is best to adjust before heading out. The major advantage from this unit is that it is very easy to install and remove. 
  • Easy to Install
  • 360-degree Adjustable Movement
  • Steady and Stable Rod Position
  • Difficult to Adjust
  • Not fit for all kayaks
Product Review
"Perfect solution if you don’t want to drill into your kayak. I can also move it’s position or move to another kayak. The holder is well made and sturdy."
Best Flush Mount Holder
The Anndason Flush Mount Rod Holder is the simplest type of rod holder for your kayak. It requires a flush mount, which keeps the holder neatly and securely kept in place.
Quick Specs
  • Material: PC + ABC Plastic
  • Mount Style: Flush Mount
The convenience of a flush mount holder is that it does not get in the way. With other types of rod holders, bulky designs might make it difficult to move around. For others, it makes kayaks look cluttered. The Anndason Flush Mount Rod Holder is an easy to install holder that can be closed and ignored when you have no fishing rods on your trip. This rod holder is 19 centimeters deep, fitting most standard fishing rods. Longer rods might not fit as securely but will still be held in place with this holder. The diameter of the inner tube is 3.5 inches, also allowing most rods to fit. Inserted rods will be at a 30-degree angle placement.

Installing the flush mount holder on your kayak requires a drilling tool. It is not as easy as tightening a clamp but it is actually a simple process. However, since this will become a permanent fixture on your kayak, picking the right spot is crucial if you want to avoid leg obstacles or ruined storage hatches. 
  • Easy to Install
  • Can Close When Not Used
  • Good Quality Material
  • Affordable Cost
  • Permanent Installation
  • No versatility
Product Review
"Not too deep or not too shallow to where your rods want to fall out either. Modded my yaks and these help me get out there with multiple rods with different lures/baits on them already prepped and switching is made a breeze."
Best Budget
The Beckith Adjustable Powerlock Holder comes in a package of two, despite it’s already low cost. It's a great option for those on a budget.
Quick Specs
  • Material: Black Plastic
  • Mount Style: Adjustable 
This Powerlock Holder from Bekith is a simple and adjustable piece which only requires 4 screws for easy installation. Although the material can seem a bit flimsy at first, it is actually quite sturdy. The body of the kayak rod holder is made in a standard black polymer set with stainless steel hardware. Despite the form, the holder is actually capable of 360-degree rotation on its base as well as a full range of up-down movement. This means users can easily adjust the angle of their fishing rods. The mechanism of this rod holder is one of the simplest; it has a locking rod ring which you need to use to change the position of the fishing rod in place. 

The package comes with a set of two Adjustable Powerlock Holders. However, the base of this product is a bit wide so you may not be able to install it on narrow kayaks. Aside from this, however, the cost for these rod holders is definitely affordable as compared to many other options on the market.
  • Affordable Rod Holder
  • 2 Rod Holder per package
  • Simple Installation
  • Thin Plastic Material
  • Wide Base Mount
Product Review
"This rod holder is great. Easy to install and works for spinning rod/reel or fly fishing gear. Two items for the price of one! Great value."

Things to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Rod Holder

When picking out a rod holder, it is always best to be specific about what you want. Most people already have a specific style and material that they are looking for. To give you an idea on how to pick out a good kayak rod holder, here are the things you need to consider before your purchase.

Capacity

Majority of rod holders carry a single fishing rod. However, there are different sizes to consider, especially if you are looking for something to securely hold your rod. There are also a few brands that offer special 3-rod-slots. These are not often recommended as compared to the single slot fishing rod holders you can usually find. 

Material

Some of the best quality materials in kayak rod holders include fiberglass, nylon, and metals such as aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. Metal is one of the best options to go for because of the high level of durability. (2, 3, 4)

Mounting Style

One of the major factors is definitely how you can mount the rod holder on your kayak. In some Cases, drilling might be necessary; there are still other options that just need to be clamped on or screwed into the side. The mounting style also affects functionality and how the rod holder is used. 

Flush Mount

If you have a fishing kayak, odds are that there are a few flush mount rod holders already on there. A flush mount holds the rod holder under the surface of the kayak in a way that the handle is positioned below while the other parts are securely set above. Most flush mount holders typically come with a kayak but you can still purchase a set and install it onto your kayak using a few tools. The main advantages of this type of mount is that it is definitely long-lasting and durable, it also takes up less space and gives your fishing kayak a clean look.

Adjustable

Adjustable rod holders is another common type of rod holder you’ll find. It usually employs a ball and socket type of mechanism to lock the rod in place. This gives anglers better control of the direction and angle of their rod placement, giving them better control. However, these types also have a few drawbacks when it comes to durability. Most rod holders of this mounting type don’t last long if not made with high quality materials.

Clamp

One advantage of a clamp type is that you no longer need to drill your kayak to install a new rod holder. You can easily clamp it onto the side. It is a great option if you often rent kayaks. You should definitely be careful about how you set up this type of rod holder. If not securely clamped, it is one of the most likely to come loose.

Vessel

When picking out a rod holder, identify whether it is a kayak rod holder or boat rod holder; there is a difference between the two types that many new buyers overlook. A main problem is the process of mounting the rod holder onto the vessel. Some brands create hybrid rod holders that can be used for either type of vessel.
Our Top Pick
Best Overall
The Cannon Downrigger Rod Holder is a great item to use. It fits most standard rods and its adjustable hold allows anglers to mount it virtually anywhere on the kayak. While the item is a bit heavy compared to others, this actually adds to the durability of the hold. It stands out among all the other kayak rod holders because of its build, design, and functionality.
References
(1) screws - https://home.howstuffworks.com/screws.htm
(2) fiberglass - https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-fiberglass-or-glass-fiber-820469
(3) nylon - https://www.britannica.com/science/nylon
(4) metal - https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/metal.htm

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