Pole holders for Pontoon Boats

While traveling with my Outcast on top of my tent trailer, the Scotty Pole holder that straps to my boat blew off, and cracked. I'm wondering if there are any creative alternatives to the Scotty that will accomodate fly reels. The thing that I didn't like about that pole holder, while it worked, was the rubber strap that is used to secure your rod. Any ideas?
I fretted about this issue for some time and finally made my own rod holders for my pontoon boat out of pvc pipe. Here is a picture that will give you an idea of how they were made:

It's hard to see from the picture, but I cut a groove from the end of the pipe to where you see the reel located and then cut a notch where the reel can swivel over into place. With the groove/notch cuts, I don't see the need for a rod-securing strap.

I have since made improvements by using a thicker pvc pipe (the first one was too thin and I didn't trust it to hold up to a savage take from a large fish), and by using a couple of nylon tie-down straps.

These rod holders will take some planning and effort, but man were they cheap. I think I paid less than $5 in materials for the two holders I made. :)

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Depends on what you want to use the holders for. Simply to hold the rods down during transport, or you want one to occasionally hold a rod (even a fly rod) to troll a fly occasionally while you work the oars.

I have a couple options for you. If you want just to hold the rod in place, get the berkely rod holders. They are the one's the hold them horizontally I do believe (I do believe danielson has them too cheaper). They are a hard plastic with little cutouts with either rubber/foam inserts that grasp and hold the rod in place. You can usually mount then directly to the frame with light drilling. Pop rivet them in place and SEAL the holes with caulking. The berkeley are 4 rod holders, but the danielson (I do believe can be bought at Sportco and GI Joes) have 2 rod holders. This way the rods won't move and get damaged. I ALWAYS suggest you NEVER have rods sitting vertically or have them extend beyond lenghts of your boat while moving. I always take my rods down when I had the smaller boats. Once I had my bigger cats (like my 9' steelheader) my rod was EXACTLY the same size as boat. So locked into rod holders I described above so fit perfectly within tube length. If you have rods extending outside the tube length can get hung up quickly by anything protruding from the water or bank. Only takes a second to snap the tip off your rod. Also same is true with the verticle rod holders you see normally on ocean boats that some attach to a pontoon boat. Even taken down, your rods sit up usually over your head. There are times where your drift around a corner or following the current will take you into trees. Same thing holds true. Either put together or taken down rods sitting vertically will get hit. I've personally seen them snap and knocked out of the rod holders.

If you want to have something quick to hold the rod, or simply to put in holder and kind of "fly troll" get about any rodholder out there. I know the fish on's work pretty good if you have a fighting butt. I do believe scotty has an actual "fly rod" holder. But I would NEVER use the straps. Cabela's has a rod holder clamp with universal fitting for multiple styles of rod holders. Will clamp to ANY piece of the frame on your boat. So you can position about anywhere and can take off in a second with the clamp. It's all I use. I do believe Cabela's has modifed how they make them. I still have all of mine. Will post a pic for you all to see next week.
thanks for the detailed replies. I am going to check out cabellas and I may contemplate the PVC---good idea. I like to troll flies on lakes and place the rod in the holder while I'm rowing down the river. Point well taken about getting too close to the bank.
what do i know, im just a kid

for awhile now i have been contemplating getting a rod holder for my tube. but im not sure if i will ever even use it. my tube has velcro straps for stowing an extra rod and i hate trolling around without my rod in hand. at first it was nice having my hands free but i was missing a lot of fish. i would either not see the take or not get on the rod fast enough. just something to consider before you cough up the dough. im thinking i may make one to hold my rod while eat my lunch. since its cheaper that way.

One mistake with alot of rod holders is the tip of the rod is to far off the water. The closer the rod tip is to the water the less missed takes you will have. This has been based on experince since I use a kayak and cannot hold the rod in my hands and troll, since my hands are needed to paddle. I tried diffrent angles of the rod holder and found I caught more fish with the tip almost in the water.
Glad I'm not the only one who lost a Scotty rod holder to the roadway. I hated it anyway because the straps kept twisting around all the time or sliding this way or that.
Also it's far to slow in the release to set up on most strikes. A foul piece of equipment!
Bob, the Pissed at Scotty:reallymad

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Say it this way guys, I've had my boat with rod holders still attached, and they've held on going 70mph no sweat. Great stuff from Cabela's. I looked in their catalog. Looks like they may have changed them. I'm gonna order one and check it out. Will still post one of the older styles.