If you have a truck rack similar to the Thule Xsporter, there is a cheap and easy way to transport your fishing rods. I got tired of carrying them in the cab of my truck all the time so I came up with this method. I chose Berkley’s HR1 Horizontal Rod Holder based on the fact that it does a great job of protecting the rods tips and holds up well in the South Carolina sun.
The fact that they are $10 for a set at your local Walmart doesn’t hurt either. One set “could” hold up to hold 12 rods on the rack, but I prefer to space the reels a little bit apart to ensure no rubbing takes place. If I stagger the rods, I can carry 8 combos without any issue.
Using Velcro’s 15 inch reusable ties (comes in a package of 30) from Lowe’s, secure the rod holders to the back bar of the rack upside down as pictured. Lowe’s sells two lengths of these ties so make sure you purchase the 15” model.
Once in position, the HR1’s will not move. If you have more unused space on the rack you could mount them right side up and have the rods rest on top of the bar instead of having them hang. I chose to mount them under the bar so that I can have both kayaks on the rack and also strap in my rods. Just remember to remove your rods first prior to removing the kayaks when you get to your destination.
Purchase these Task Force 12” bungees from Lowe’s. They will need to be shortened a little based on your specific application. To do this, simply push the knot end of the bungee through the back of the blue ball, retie and cut the excess bungee off. I believe mine are around 7” now which allows for easy installation while keeping the butt end of the rod very secure against the crossbar of the rack.
The rubber strip mounted under the Xsporter rack acts as a cushion and prevents any scratching of the rods when under tension from the tarp bungees. If you are using a different rack, pipe insulation foam rubber or something similar will function in the same manner.
That is pretty much it. To load the rods on the rack, secure the butt ends with the bungee cord first then pop the rod tips into the HR1 holder. It takes almost no time to load up and take down a handful of rods. This system has been mounted on my rack for over 3 months and shows no damage from use or the elements. I couldn’t be happier with the results.