If you use your boat for fishing — and stats show 80 percent of us do sometimes — it usually doesn’t take long to realize that you never seem to have enough gunwale rod holders. Adding a couple extra “guns” to the armory is a fairly easy weekend project that can be accomplished with basic tools if you are fastidious about measuring and not queasy about cutting holes.
When choosing flush-mount rod holders, be aware they come in various angles from 0 to 30 degrees. The steeper the angle, the more space is required under the gunwale, so make sure a 15- or 30-degree rod holder will fit the available space. Also, be certain no other gear, rod storage tubes, plumbing, electrical wiring or hydraulics are in the way. You can check out what’s behind the coamings and under the gunwales by opening access plates, removing stereo speakers or even taking out tackle boxes.
Choose open-bottom holders if you’re OK with rainwater draining through them. Some have drain tubes that can be routed to the cockpit if it drains overboard. After that, choose the units that best match other rod holders and hardware on your boat.