DIY Kayak Rod Holders: A Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own

Kayak Rod Holders Diy

If you’re an avid kayaker, you know that having your hands free while on the water is essential. Whether you’re casting a line or simply enjoying the scenery, you need a safe and secure place to store your fishing rod while you paddle.

That’s where kayak rod holders come in. Designed to keep your fishing rod in place while you’re on the water, these handy accessories can make your kayaking experience much more enjoyable. But why settle for off-the-shelf rod holders when you can build your own?

In this article, I’ll be showing you how to build your own kayak rod holders with a few simple tools and materials. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of DIY, let’s take a look at what kayak rod holders are, why they’re important, and the benefits of building your own.

Materials Needed for DIY Kayak Rod Holders

If you’re ready to build your own kayak rod holders, you’ll need to gather a few materials first. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:


  • PVC pipe
  • PVC fittings (90-degree elbows, T-joints, end caps)
  • Screws
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Bungee cord
  • Rubber gasket material


  • Drill
  • Hole saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • PVC cement

Where to Purchase Materials

The materials you need to build your own kayak rod holders can be found at your local hardware store or online. Check out stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Amazon for the PVC pipe, fittings, screws, and bolts. For the bungee cord and rubber gasket material, you may need to visit a specialty store or order online.

Before you begin building your kayak rod holders, make sure you have all of the necessary materials and tools on hand. This will make the process much smoother and ensure that you don’t have to make multiple trips to the store.

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Types of Kayak Rod Holders

When it comes to kayak rod holders, there are several different types to choose from. Each one has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your individual needs and preferences before making a decision.

Flush Mount Rod Holders

Flush mount rod holders are installed directly into your kayak, creating a seamless and secure connection. They’re a great option if you’re looking for a permanent solution, as they’re built to last and can withstand heavy use. However, they can be difficult to install and require a bit of DIY expertise.

Clamp-On Rod Holders

Clamp-on rod holders are designed to attach to the side of your kayak, making them a convenient and easy-to-install option. They’re also highly versatile, as they can be moved around and adjusted to suit your needs. However, they may not be as secure as other types of rod holders, and can sometimes interfere with your paddling.

Rail Mount Rod Holders

Rail mount rod holders attach to the rails on your kayak, providing a sturdy and secure way to store your fishing rod. They’re easy to install and highly adjustable, making them a popular choice among kayakers. However, they can be bulky and may take up valuable space on your kayak.

Tube Rod Holders

Tube rod holders are designed to hold your fishing rod at a specific angle, making them a great option if you’re trolling or jigging. They’re lightweight and easy to install, and can be adjusted to suit your individual needs. However, they may not be as versatile as other types of rod holders, and can sometimes interfere with your paddling.

Comparison of Each Type and Which One is Best for Your Kayak

Ultimately, the best type of kayak rod holder for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a permanent and secure solution, flush mount rod holders may be the way to go. If you’re after something more versatile and easy to install, clamp-on or rail mount rod holders may be a better choice. And if you’re trolling or jigging, tube rod holders are definitely worth considering. Take some time to think about your needs and do your research before making a decision.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building DIY Kayak Rod Holders

Now that you know the benefits of building your own kayak rod holders, let’s dive into the step-by-step process. Don’t worry if you’re not a DIY expert – these instructions are easy to follow and require only a few basic tools.

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A. Preparation

Before you begin building your kayak rod holders, you’ll need to gather your materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • PVC pipe (1 1/4 inch diameter)
  • PVC elbow joints (1 1/4 inch diameter)
  • PVC end caps (1 1/4 inch diameter)
  • PVC cement
  • Rubber washers
  • Bolts, nuts, and washers
  • Drill
  • Saw or PVC cutter
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker

Once you have your materials, it’s time to start building!

B. Building the Rod Holder Base

  1. Measure the length of your kayak and mark the center point.
  2. Cut two lengths of PVC pipe to the desired length of your rod holder.
  3. Attach an elbow joint to each end of the PVC pipe.
  4. Cut two more lengths of PVC pipe to the desired width of your rod holder.
  5. Attach the two shorter lengths of PVC pipe to the open ends of the elbow joints to create a rectangular shape.
  6. Attach a PVC end cap to each end of the rectangular shape.

C. Installing the Rod Holder

  1. Place the rod holder base on your kayak in the desired location.
  2. Mark the location of the bolt holes on the base and kayak.
  3. Drill holes in the base and kayak where you marked.
  4. Thread bolts through the base, kayak, and rubber washers.
  5. Secure the bolts with nuts and washers.

D. Adding Finishing Touches

  1. Apply PVC cement to all joints to ensure a secure hold.
  2. Allow the cement to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Test your new kayak rod holder to make sure it’s secure.

And there you have it – your very own DIY kayak rod holder! With this simple guide, you can customize your rod holders to fit your kayak and your specific needs. So why settle for store-bought when you can create your own?

Tips and Tricks for Building Kayak Rod Holders

Building your own kayak rod holders can be a fun and rewarding project, but it’s important to do it right. Here are some tips and tricks to help you avoid common mistakes and get the most out of your DIY rod holders.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Building

One of the most common mistakes people make when building their own rod holders is not properly measuring their kayak or fishing rod. It’s important to take accurate measurements and ensure that your rod holder will fit securely on your kayak and hold your fishing rod snugly.

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Another mistake to avoid is using the wrong materials. Make sure you choose high-quality materials that are durable and can withstand exposure to water and sunlight. Using cheap or low-quality materials can lead to a weak or unstable rod holder that won’t last very long.

How to Customize Your Rod Holders to Fit Your Kayak

Every kayak is different, so it’s important to customize your rod holders to fit your specific kayak. You may need to adjust the length or width of your rod holder to ensure a perfect fit, or add additional supports to ensure that your rod holder is stable and secure.

One way to customize your rod holders is to add padding or foam to the areas where your fishing rod will be held. This can help protect your fishing rod and prevent it from slipping or sliding around while you’re on the water.

Maintenance Tips for Your DIY Rod Holders

To ensure that your DIY rod holders last as long as possible, it’s important to take good care of them. After each use, make sure to rinse them off with fresh water and dry them thoroughly. This will help prevent rust and corrosion and keep your rod holders looking and functioning like new for years to come.

If you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or loose screws, be sure to fix them promptly. Regular maintenance and repairs can help extend the life of your DIY rod holders and keep them working properly for many kayaking trips to come.


In conclusion, building your own kayak rod holders is a fun and rewarding project that can improve your kayaking experience. Not only do DIY rod holders give you a sense of accomplishment, but they also allow you to customize your kayak to fit your specific needs.

By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can create rod holders that are tailored to your kayak and your fishing style. With a few basic materials and some elbow grease, you’ll have a set of rod holders that are both functional and stylish.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when kayaking. Make sure to test your rod holders in calm waters before heading out on a fishing adventure, and always wear a life jacket.

At East Coast Paddle Sports, we’re passionate about all things paddle sports. From kayaking to paddleboarding, we’re here to help you make the most of your time on the water. Be sure to check out our website for more helpful tips, guides, and product reviews.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building your own kayak rod holders today!

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