Last year, around May or June, I was looking for a better to transport my fishing rods. The telescoping rods were in a sort of pile in a back corner of the trailblazer. The longer rods were leaned in a corner and along the sides of the seats. The longest rod, one of my wife’s, was always whacking her in the head as it arche against the roof of the vehice. There had to be a better way.
Of course there was. A lot of online research lead me to some commercially available vehicle rod racks sold at Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops. They ranged from about $40 for cheap cloth/rope loops to $150 or more for metal rods and plastic holders. There were also plenty of home made solutions also ranging from cloth/rope loops to PVC. There are loads of PVC designs.
I don’t have anything against PVC but it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to use the existing grab handles and garment hangers. I wanted metal bars if at all possible. After giving it a lot of thought, and thinking about stuff I had seen in stores I figured I could use the commercially made garment hanging bars. They are designed to go from one garment hook to another, or one grab handle to another and for you to hang a bunch of clothes on coat hangers on them. They are available at any automotive store for around $10.
Looking around in Dick’s, I saw several types of Berkely rod hlders. They were designed to be mounted on a garage wall, or boat deck. But the simple two hole mounting made it look easy to attach to the bars. A couple of stops, 20 minutes of work, and a dozen zip ties later and voila!
The bars are adjustable to the width of your vehicle. They attach by either a metal rectangle or plastic hook. They can attach to either grab handles or garment hooks.
The rod racks are two pairs of the Berkley Twist Lock 4 Rod Racks. I chose those because of the enclosed circle type holders. That seemed more secure for the rod butts. I just put the rods through the twist lock front portions, but I don’t use the locks. I mounted them on top of the bars instead of hanging to give me more head clearance.
This gives me a capacity of 8 rods, which is more than enoough right now. Especially since 3 of my rods are telescoping and don’t get put in the racks. If we ever need more capacity it will be easy enough to replace the 4 rod racks with 6 rod racks. I could probably squeeze one more in the center, but I wanted to leave some space for other things.
The mounting was zip ties through the screw holes on each end. So far they worked magnificently. Here is a selection to choose from
The pictures are too big for the blog, so click on them for a full view.