My pontoon boat is my escape from the world. Three or four times a month I will head on out, either by myself or with a few fishing buddies to see what we can reel in from the lakes. When it’s just me, I don’t really have much need for storage, but when there’s a large group of us, my pontoon rod rack has come in very handy.
Admittedly, we do tend to spend more time chatting and having a beer or two, than actually casting a line, so a lot of the time, we don’t even get around to taking our rods out. But, it’s always good to know that we have a pontoon rod storage solution that works.
When I talk about storage in this guide, I don’t necessarily mean rod holders on the rail (click here for the best rod rail mount holders), but instead an actual rack to keep our rods up off the floor when not using, or box that sits under seats or elsewhere on the boat.
Before I get into that though, let me show you what pontoon fishing rod storage I use and why I love it so much.
Pontoon Boat Rod Storage Ideas
Before I get onto talking about racks, let’s look at some box-type storage ideas. You might not want to stand the rods up, but instead get them into a case where they are out of the way and probably a little bit safer from damage.
I have a Jekosen portable case. I can carry my poles and equipment to and from my pontoon boat securely, and then slide the whole box underneath a seat when not in use.
It’s only really suitable for one person, but most of my fishing trips are done alone, so for me it’s ideal. It’s not expensive either.
Other ideas that you might want to consider would be larger cases. I have a friend who uses a water skis box to pack his rods into.
Whilst the ski box isn’t designed for fishing rods, it works perfectly. He just uses a box like this one on Amazon and packs his poles into it underneath a seat on the boat.
The Best Pontoon Rod Racks – In My Opinion!
A cheap solution that I use is the Taco Marine pontoon rod rack (available on Amazon). I upgraded to this about 12 months ago, for only one reason and that’s I preferred the design and look of the it compared to an older model I used to own.
This rack doesn’t cost a lot, and can handle four rods, which is more than enough for my needs, especially when I have my fishing buddies with me. It takes just a couple of minutes to construct, but you will have to attach it to your boat.
But that’s easy too as it comes with stainless steel fasteners that you can simply clip, and they don’t corrode in salt water either.
I’ve got kids, who sometimes come along with me. Before I bought my pontoon boat rod rack, I had a couple of rods broken… by my over-enthusiastic children. Having the rods safely mounted upwards like this, rather than on the deck has ended up saving me a lot of heartache – and money.
With a two rack points on it, your fishing rods stay safely and securely in place. Go check it out, it’s a no-brainer in terms of the low price point.
Below you can see a photo of how these racks can be fitted onto the rails. They clip on pretty easily, and are very secure even when the boat is moving.
Rail-Based Horizonal Solution
If you want your rods easily at hand, and placed on the rails of your pontoon boat in a horizontal position, then you might want to take a look at the Rod Saver SM8 product on Amazon.
Again, it’s a cheap purchase and is made from marine grade flexible rubber which is also UV resistant. I quite like the idea of positioning the rods vertically along the rails as for me, they are probably going to be better protected that way.
With these side mount rod savers are named as a vertical application, that can be us horizontally, and thats how I would use them. This product is designed to hold rods and reels in a crisscross manner to enable more rods to be stored in a smaller space. The Rod Saver SM8 Holds between six and eight rods at any one time.
You can see another real-life example of how you could implement this rod storage idea in the photo below from another pontooner who already uses this product.
The Best-Looking Design
There’s another rod rack that I love, but only use it at home in my garage. It’s the KastKing on Amazon. The design is awesome, it’s looks industrial and heavy duty, and can store a lot of rods in one go.
So, I can’t 100% recommend this one for using actually on the boat, although people do, as for me it has too much rattle.
But, I love the way it looks, and the fact that I can get so many rods into it. Mine is placed at the rear of my garage and I love it. You might want to consider it, and try it out on your pontoon, but you might get that rattle too.
Custom Pontoon Boat Rod Storage Ideas
In terms of some other ideas where people have made custom cases or rod racks for pontoon boats, I’ve taken a look on Facebook recently, and found some pretty good storage ideas that I wanted to share with you. I don’t know who these ideas are from originally so unfortunately cannot credit any names but go take a look below.
The two ideas above aren’t my own, but saw these both on Facebook recently; they are very well thought out and set-up. These are the best ideas for those pontooners who are handy with tools and confident that can make this work – both storage racks seem pretty simple in construction though.
The under-seat solution above has 14 fishing rods stored away, including two eight footers. If the seats on my boats would let me do this, then it’s certainly something that I would consider instead of having stand-up racks. It just looks like a more secure solution, especially where the boat owner has portioned off sections. This keeps everything out of the way of kids and other passengers who could damage rods if left in a standing position.
There are some manufacturers and models who will give you the option of paying for factory-installed holders and storage as you can see in the example above. The back of this pontoon boat is built for fishing, leaving the font of the boat for entertaining. Looks very, very cool, I am sure you will agree. Can’t help but think the poles might rattle around a bit though!
Handy Hint: You can find a list of the best pontoon fishing accessories elsewhere on Pontoonopedia.
Want to Make Something Yourself?
The Internet is full of creative ideas where other pontooners have come with their own homemade and DIY solutions for pontoon boat fishing rod storage ideas. I have put a list of some of the best and worst that I have seen – you can take a look here.
Personally, whilst I love to customize my own boat, this is a step too far for me.
I want something that’s going to look stylish and be in keeping with the look and feel of my boat, and I just don’t the technical expertise to construct something myself that’s going to look anywhere near decent enough. That’s why I would always recommend buying a purpose-built solution such as the ones listed further up this page.