How To Make A Roof Mounted Fishing Rod Holder

A handy tool for any angler.
     As my angling career has progressed so has my need for gear.  One piece of kit that I've been lacking is a convenient way to carry my fishing rods.  I used to just put my rods inside the cab of my truck.  That worked fine until I started guiding and competing in tournaments.  I needed a way to carry multiple rods outside of my vehicle to free up space for other things.  I really needed to buy a rod locker.  After a lot of research I discovered that rod lockers are EXPENSIVE!  All of the options on the market hover around $500.00.  That just doesn't work with my limited budget so I started exploring alternatives.  After lots of reading and of course some YouTube videos.  I discovered that many anglers are turning to a popular product from the construction industry.  It's a readily available and easy to build conduit carrier kit. This kit makes it possible to have a rod locker for less than $100.00.  Here's how to build it.
     First you'll need to unbox the contents of the conduit kit.  Make sure you have all the pieces and then head over to the hardware store and buy a piece of 6 inch diameter pvc pipe.  The shortest length I could find was 10 foot.
     When you've got the pvc pipe home you'll need to trim it to size.  The longest one piece rod I own is 7'6" so I chose to trim the pvc down to a length of 8 feet.  Depending on the rods you own you may need to adjust the length.  A simple hacksaw works well to cut down the tube.  Just make sure to measure twice and cut once.
     Once you have the pvc trimmed to size you can customize it.  Many anglers paint the tube to the color of their choice.  I didn't have that luxury because I live in Wisconsin and everything is frozen.  Besides I don't need it to look nice because my truck looks like it's been through a train wreck.  I just added some stickers from my collection to spruce it up a bit.
     Next it's time to fit the end caps.  Even though the conduit carrier kit comes with self tapping screws I found that it helped to drill some pilot holes.  Be sure you take your time and keep the end caps snugged up tight against the pvc pipe.
     Then you just need to drive the screws into place.  It's really important that you don't over tighten them because if you blow out the threads you'll need to rotate the end cap and start the process again.  Once you have all four screws tightened down just repeat these two steps on the other end of the pipe.
     The final step is to mount the rod locker to your roof rack.  This is a pain in the ass so try not to do it outside in winter.  The important thing is to make sure that it's centered across the bars and that you leave enough room to accommodate the use of anything else on your rack.  The nuts are 15mm and I found that using a gear wrench made quick work of tightening up the U-bolts.  If you have round bars on the rack you'll probably have to bend the mounts slightly to allow them to grip the bar.
     That's all it takes to build a rod locker of your own.  As you can see they have plenty of room to hold multiple rod and reel combinations.  Make sure to use rod sleeves and reel covers to keep the combos in good shape.  I've read about anglers that have been able to fit as many as 17 combos inside a single 6 inch tube.  I don't even own that many rods, but if you're a tournament bass angler I'm sure you'll appreciate the space.  To purchase a conduit carrier kit so you can build a rod locker of your own just follow the link.
     Tight Lines.

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