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Another rod holder question.

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So, fellas. My current rod holder situation is far from ideal, and I would like some input on what you like/dislike about different rod holders that you have experience with.

As you can see, I have the cheap cabela's rod holders in back holding my leadcore/planer board line. Just ahead, right outside of the picture, is where I have one clamp on tite-lok rod holder that I use for dipseys.

So, I know the outside line should be furthest up in the rod holder, but the cabela's can not hold a dipsey, so when a fish is on the dipsey, we have to take out the planer rod, move the dipsey rod under, then put back the planer rod and reel in the fish.

DSCN1864-3.jpg

So, as you can see I have no room to mount tracks on my gunwale. It's only about 2" wide with the tracks running 3 1/4" I believe.

Here is what I am thinking. All Bert's. A 6" track, with a 4" riser to the 17" track, with 3 of the metal ratcheting rod holders on top of the 17" track. No lexan holders.

I want to make sure I have plenty of clearance over the gunwale, and I think a 4" riser should be fine. One other thing that concerns me is the strength of my side wall where I want to install the rod holders. It is not very thick. What type of backing is common? I see traxstech offers backing plates on their website. Would this be sufficient? It seems to me you would want to use a larger backing plate than the track size, and traxstech seems to offer a backing plate identical in size to the track. I want to get maybe a 12" long backing plate by 4" wide to help spread out the stress on the side wall.

So, Do you all think i am on the right track? I choose bert's because I could get their three rod pedestal for $500 vs. over $700 for the traxstech.

Is there anything I'm missing or not thinking about. It's just a large investment and I want to make sure I do it right the first time, so I want to ask all of your opinions.

Thanks guys!

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Check these out..... http://www.greatlakesplaners.com/index.htm

Scroll down about 1/3 of the way and look for the "Quad" holders on the right column.

These are tough as hell and with the "riser" set up of them it may work for you to get the holders above your gunwales. Plus the way the adjust is very nice. Rember, anything that "Ratchets" is going to wear out. Berts are nice for a while....but after a couple years the teeth go to hell and they get very sloppy and loose. If you fish 6 time a year then no worries, but if you fish a lot you may want to consider other options!

I hope that helps! :)

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Id think you should be able to mount the risers down there and back them with some 1/4" aluminum plate the same size as the track should be plenty adequate. Thats a pretty big foot print if you think about it and would take allot to rip it out. The only thing when choosing a track length is to be sure you have adequate room between the reels. IMO allot of the triple rod holder set ups position the reels too close to each other. I personally like a little room in between the reels and the rod tips. Makes it easier running the rods. Its also nice to have multiple adjustments so that you can "fan" the rod tips a bit.

Whatever rod holders you decide on, dont skimp. Buy a quality set and itll last you a lifetime. I personally have custom built rod holders on our boat with infinite adjustment, but have used the trax tech on some friends boats. And from my limited use they seem to be a fine quality product thats well built in Chesaning, MI.

Good luck with your project, i hope all goes well for you.

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Trees are the best for running boards. As far as your Dipsys I would suggest making your rigger board in the shape of a U. The two legs that would come forward could be used to mount individual rod holders or tracks.

You are thinking right. Get some sturdy rod holders for them Dipsys. :)

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It sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I just have a couple of suggestions. 17" for 3 rods could be tight, although I'm not sure. Mike has Big Jon triples on his boat and they seemed to work well. I don't know what the length measurement is, you'd have to look it up. As far as a backer, I think that if you could get a 12"x4" piece underneath you should be ok. I like to use as big of a backer as possible. I used composite decking for the backing on my new boat and it worked great. You will want to thru bolt it if possible. As far as the Bert's holders wearing out I don't see that as a problem for 2 reasons.

1. I have fished 15-20 times a year for the last 4 years with mine and they show no sign of wear. I understand that it could be a problem for charter captains but for us regular guys I really haven't heard of it being a problem.

2. All of the companies that make the ratcheting holders realized that they could wear out and redesigned the teeth. Now they are actually made to wear a little. The teeth on the new ones I bought last year are a little different than the old ones I have. They should last even longer.

Frank posted after I started this but I think I understand what he is saying. An alternative to your idea might be to mount a mounting plate back by your rigger board on each side. Then mount another one up as far forward as you would like to run rods. This would allow you to have a 2x6 sized board running along the length of your gunnels. Then you could mount a long length of track on each board. That would allow a lot more flexibility. To do that you would need:

4 mounting plates

4 risers

2 long pieces of track

After that you could start with 2 ratcheting holders on each side. Then if you wanted to run more rods you could add a set of trees later. The mounting plates would be nice because then you could remove them, they just use a set of thumb screws to hold them down. Just something to think about.

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Personally I would just add a set of Trees and run my diver rods off the bottom rod holder. A set of 4 rod trees would let you run up to 10 rods with your riggers. Thats a rigger a diver and 3 planer boards per side. It would all mount in one simple location and allow you to clear your gunnels easily. With a little shopping around at the fishing shows you can probably beat your budget doing it as well.

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The only problem I see with that Jim is getting a set where the lowest holder clears the gunnel. I've never seen a set that had a bottom that tall. You would still need a pedestal. Also, if you just mounted a set of trees that would be a lot of pressure in a small area. With the track at least the pressure would be spread along the gunnel.

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if you talk to guys that have the tripples or quads and then talk to the guys with trees (like me), the guys with trees are happier generally speaking.

I'm not bragging. The only reason I got trees was because I fished with guys that had quads and they said TREES. If you can find a way to mount them I think you will be satisfied. I mount everything with a 1/4 peice of aluminum on top and on bottom, pancaking the glass in between.

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Well, where to start at. Thank you all for taking the time to give such an informative reply.

Well, one thing that seems to be agreed upon is that I definitely should be able to mount a rod holder on my sidewall. I would think the bigger the backing plate the better, but we'll see.

Secondly, whatever it is I put on the boat I want it to be removable. That is why the 6" track appealed to me. So, when I'm done, I could just slide it out of the base track on the side wall and thats it. This isn't a salmon only fishing boat. Plus, I have to make sure I can get my cover on since it's stored outside during the season.

Daybreak, The Quad Holders do look nice. One thing I see is that the base is 5" by 5" so it would not fit in a track system, and would not be easily removed for my other types of fishing when they are not needed. They do seem to have a simple design, which would probably make them a fail proof design.

Paulywood, I like your suggestion. But this is only a 16' boat and I only feel comfortable taking one person with me in it on Lake Michigan. So, how much flexibility do I really need when I'm only going to be running a max of 6 rods. I don't need much. But, Thank you for your suggestion.

Killerbe, From what I can tell about that mounting system, it sounds like I have to already have an existing track from the boat manufacturer. There is no track like that on my boat, so that idea will not work.

I will do some research on the tree system, but I am leaning towards the triples.

One other idea is that Traxstech makes a 3" pedestal that slides into the track with a 4"x4" surface to mount the Big Jon rod holders. I shied away from them because the Heavy Duty Holders are so expensive. Which, from my undersanding you need them to pull dipseys. Does any one use the low profile Big Jons to pull dipseys?

Thanks again for you all taking the time to reply with such informative posts.

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Havent used the Big Jons in allot of years, so i cant comment on them now. But they used to be a pretty decent rod holder. They used to be a bit sloppy in their tolerances IMO. Im sure they could have changed things between then and now though. Whatever you get for your dipseys, make sure its sturdy. Youll need it!!!! We had some titelocks once with some spring pins and toasted them. Thats when we went to the custom holdesr.

As far as rod trees, I like both verticle rod trees and horizontal rod trees, but if i had to pick one it would be horizontal as it allows you more versatility.

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Big Jon and Traxtech trees are both fully adjustable so you can rasie and lower the rod holders and rotate them and change the angle at will. There is one I can see a pic of in my head but can't remember who made it. That has 4 rod holders and is track mounted I saw it a while back in a new product review. There are also several places making fixed trees that if you call them they will make them to your specs. I sold mine last season because they were too tall and I needed the money and plan on building a rocket launcher or buying one. http://www.greatlakesplaners.com/tackle-shop.htm make some cool stuff and would likely build you exactly what you need.

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Is this the one you were thinking about?

http://www.bigjon.com/store/list.asp?SubTypeID=4&ProductID=63

I think Mike uses the single rod holder for his dipsey's and they work fine. I think your idea will work, just throwing out a few alternatives. You just want to make sure that the pedestal is tall enough to get the holders above the gunnels. Then you can point the first one for the dipsey down toward the water. Just adjust the other 2 at different angles to run board rods and you'll be ready to go. Good luck!

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Yes, thats the one I was thinking of. Its almost half the price of the HD ones. And the link is the adapter traxstech has made to adapt the big jons to their track system. It was just another option. But I will only go that route if the low profile big jon's are adequate for dipsy use. I have never used them before.

http://www.traxstech.com/store/accessories.htm

Bert's gives me a little more versatility. Say, if I'm running two downrigger and two dipseys and two planer lines, I could always remove the third rod holder, or slide the second one more towards the outside to give room to the two rods on the triple rod holder.

I think I will very seldom use the 3 rods on the holder, but I want them just in case I am fishing early spring and need 6 planer lines, or two dipseys and 4 planer lines.

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The Big Jon rod holders are fantastic! One hand adjustments. :thumb: I use the triples that Nick put the link to for my leadcore. I am also using the standard single rod holders(non heavy duty) for divers. I attached the single to a bigger mounting plate, and also used a low strength loctite to make sure the screws do not come loose.

If you go with the Big Jons, make sure you mount them so you have to pull the rod holder towards the front of the boat to adjust them. ;)

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Well guys, I just pulled the trigger on the Bert's system. I like the versatility of being able to adjust horizontally and vertically. Seems to be more flexibility. As far as them wearing out, I am probably only able to get out on lake michigan a dozen times a year, so hopefully they will last me a long time.

Thanks for all your help in my decision making.

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Hey guys,

I just placed my order on Friday and already received my rod holders. That's quick! I plan on installing them this Saturday. I'm finally going to be able to get my boat out of storage and get it ready to fish.

I have one question I would like some advice on.

I plan to install the 6" track right where the black cabela's rod holder is. That is going to be removed. As you can see my rod storage let's me have easy access to the underside of my side wall. Same as the other side. The only thing that is keeping me from tightening the bolts on the underside is a block of foam running all the way down the underside.

Do you think it would be okay to cut a small section out in order to tighten the bolts, and then just reattach the removed section to the existing pieces when finished?

DSCN1868.jpg

Thanks guys.

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Hey guys. Saturday was a good day. I got the boat out of storage and my father and I installed my new rod holders.

The whole process probably took an hour's time. It was tough getting underneath the side wall by the console with all the wires and a couple other things, but we got er done. We did have to make a slit in the foam, and we're able to slide it down so we could get up to put in the backing plate.

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Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions. I can't wait to try them out.

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Looks nice. Did you catch any fish while you was sitting in the boat dreaming about being on the lake? :P

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