I have been thinking about changing the rod holders on my kayak for quite some time now, but it has taken me a while to decide on the best solution and also how and where they would be fitted.
The layout of my kayak was previously set-up with a rod holder situated on the center console between my legs, it was also placed quite close to me with the intention of using it whilst drift fishing, this gave me a handy place to put my rod when unhooking fish when I was fishing jigs over a reef, but wasn’t ideal for trolling lures because it got in the way when I was paddling. It served it’s purpose without any major issues, but still meant that I was limited to using only use one rod at once.
I spend quite a lot of time paddling to my favorite fishing marks, and why not troll a lure or two on the way to try and pick up a Bass or two? After seeing Rob’s set-up at http://www.cornishshoreandkayakfisherman.com I decided that having two rod holders in front was definitely the best option, which would serve me for both trolling lures behind the kayak and also drift fishing baits with two rods.
Another part of this idea would be to mount the rod holders on each side of the kayak, rather than on the center console which would give me the advantage of being able to free up some space in the kayak for easier paddling, or unhooking big fish (fingers crossed).
After further research on the internet, I decided upon a pair of Zooka tube rod holders made by YakAttack in the USA. I decided to go with the static surface mounts which are the most sturdy option with no risk of the rod rest moving around (if I got a take from a good sized Bass). I got the model featuring the 4″ and 8″ extension arms which would allow me to position the rod holders quite high up away from the water, and keeping the rod butt clear of my feet. The Zooka tubes came with RAM Mount surface mounts with plungers, for easy adjustment while out on the water.
I fitted the surface mounts using 4 x M6 x 25mm marine grade stainless steel bolts, with penny washers on the inside of the hull to spread the pressure of the nut (to avoid cracking the plastic). The RAM mount bases have a good sized footprint and far more sturdy than mounting the rod holders on a RAM Ball. I drilled 6mm holes for the screws and applied a good blob of marine silicone to seal before I tightened down the nuts.
I am really pleased with this outfit, I gave it a flight test and trolled a shallow diving plug and a Savage Gear Weedless Sandeel about 5 miles really comfortably. I didn’t pick up an Bass that day but I did pick up a couple of Pollock over a reef close to shore (about 20 feet deep) on the Sandeel. I experimented with the different positions that I could adjust the rod holders and found the perfect setting for trolling and also some good positions for when I put out some baits on the drift (I’m really looking forward to Cod fishing this Winter) – Tight Lines!