Make and Mount a Trolling Rack | Boating Magazine

Make and Mount a Trolling Rack

Follow our guide to avoid drilling holes in your boat.

Few anglers like to drill holes in their boat to mount downriggers, rod holders and other trolling gear. My solution is to make and mount a trolling rack across the stern, using unique Eagle Feet clamps ( that grip the boat at the rub rail.

[1] Measure the beam at the stern, and buy a pressure-treated 2-inch-by-6-inch plank. Rough-cut it a bit wider than the beam.

[2] Align and attach the clamps to the boat, adjusting so their tops are level. Lay the plank on them, mark it, and cut it to fit. Mark for fastener holes through the holes in the Eagle Feet.

[3] Remove the plank and clamps. Tip them over. Line up clamp holes and marks on the board, and drill one hole. Install one bolt at a time to make sure they all line up. Instead of the knobbed bolts, I use hexhead bolts and a wrench to get a firmer hookup.

[4] Clamp the board onto the boat. Drill holes to install downriggers, rod holders and other gear to suit.

I keep a pair of pliers handy, its sheath screwed onto the board, along with a hex wrench for rod holder adjustments. You can add lure holders, drink holders, lights — whatever you want. And removing the plank and gear for other boat uses is a snap. Eagle Feet list for $92.62 a pair, but we found them for $70 at