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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the pontoon world and river drifting. I borrowed a pontoon end of last year and did my first drift. I have been rowing boats since I was a kid and figured how hard could it be. River flows were low and slow so placed my rod next to me on the pontoon and went for it. In the first 100 yards there was 2 large rock in the middle of the river and only a small channel to get through. I started to row downstream but away from the rock to navigate around it but found that the I was now approaching the rock at an alarming speed and I was still on course for a collision. A bit of panic set in as I proceeded to row faster downstream only to worsen the situation and it quickly became apparent that a collision was imminent. My next reflex was to reverse my paddling upstream and away from the rock which of course helped and it became instantly apparent to me that this is what I should have done at the start but it was too late. A second before impact I realized that my rod tip was sticking out past the tip of the pontoon and would be the first thing to hit the rock. The tip proceeded to bend in a very unnatural way. At this point the fact that I was colliding with a rock and may end up in the river disappeared from my mind and I sat there frozen and dumbstruck watching my rod contort and waiting to hear the snap all while the boat bounced off the rock now sideways to the current and tipping. A little voice in my head was saying “how could you be in this much trouble just a few minutes into the trip”. Miraculously, the boat continued to rotate around and level out and I was now facing upstream with my rod still intact. After learning (the hard way) how to steer the boat in a current the rest of the trip was great and caught lots of fish and got to see an area of the river I had never seen before because it’s not accessible. I was hooked on drifting.

Segue to today.

I bought 2 used Bucks Bag Southfork toons on the cheap and am excited to get going. I and am looking to prevent breaking my rod (see long story above) so I would like to get a good rod holder to mount that provide quick temp storage of the rod when I need to row but keeps the rod safe from collisions (yes, I am paranoid now). I have searched the forum and Scott’s seems to be good but I didn’t see a specific model that was for mounting on a pontoon frame (they all looked geared for flat mounting on a boat. Do any of you have recommendations on a rod holder (not rod storage tube) and does anyone have pictures on how and where you have mounted your rod holder?

Sorry for the long post to ask one simple question but I thought I would share my first float experience.
 

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I second the Scotty rod holder. I have two on my Buck's. The only consideration is to watch out for trees. My buddy lost the tip section of his spey rod to a tree on the Deschutes a couple of years ago.

GBeeman
 

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I have and like Scotty holders but on my float tube I've got a Caddis fly rod holder. It has a strap that wraps around the tube, clips into place and holds the rod nicely. If you have a flat deck on your toon you could flush mount your scotty holder there, out of the way, but that will make them less feasible for fishing while floating.
 

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All commercial rod holders I've seen have the same drawback - they hold the rod vertical or near vertical. It is difficult to fish with a second rod with the first rod sticking up in the holder. They can also be trouble under low hanging limbs, etc.

I made a cheap and better holder quite simply. Take a 9 or 10 foot length of PVC or CPVC (CPVC is lighter) and rip it lengthwise on a table saw. I cut less than half the pipe away so I'm left with a tray that is a little more than half round. On my Outcast pontoon I am able to attach one of these trays to the outside of the frame on each side using heavy duty double stick velcro straps at several points. With a little imagination I'm sure you can devise a good mounting system. I've been using these for several years and they are great. I sometimes wrap a length of light duty velcro around the tray just ahead of the reel for security if I'm entering rough water. I've never seen my rod so much as jiggle or threaten to bounce, though. My rods are protected, easily accessed or stored, and out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Barry,
Your rod holder out of PVC sounds interesting. You wouldn't happen to have a picture you could post. I can't quite visualize exactly what you are describing.
 

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Just waiting on warmer weather, .......
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I like to fish a lot of stillwater, but occasionally like to fish the Kankakee river and work over some of the backwater sloughs.
For my rodholder while I'm fishing, I took a piece of 1" white pvc, cut two lengths @ 1', then drilled two 1/4" holes in each piece (@ 3" & 6" from the bottom of each section.) Using a squeeze clamp to position it onto the leanbar, I then drilled thru the tube & the leanbar. One hole done, I removed the clamp after inserting a stainless steel 1/4-20 carriage bolt about 4" long adding a comparable lockwasher & nut, then proceeded to drill the rest of the holes in like fashion. I have one on each side, although trying to hold two rods there is all but impossible if you must maintain the drift of the craft all while trying to fish. (The rods cross over each other about four feet above the leanbar, so I'll replace one side or the other with a cup/can holder, & perhaps mount my depth/fishfinder/gps somewhere around the center of the lean bar. My rod handles fit almost snugly inside to a depth of 6", which is plenty of holding power.
I've got a couple of other ideas for rod storage, but will have to do a layout to make sure there will be no problems encountered in case I have to do any rowing, but maintain easy access.
 

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I hate being a smart ass but...

"I borrowed a pontoon end of last year and did my first drift. I have been rowing boats since I was a kid and figured how hard could it be."

Learning how to row in moving water would be the first step to not breaking a rod. Can I suggest going with someone who knows the river and how to row it?

Glad you made it out.
 
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