How to make a fishing rod holder | Follow 9 Easy Steps

Are you looking for some creative ideas on how to make a fishing rod holder at your home? No matter if you want to save some money or bring out your creative self, building something is always fun.

I am not a hardworking type of person. But my father was. I have seen him doing a lot of DIYs and repairing all by himself. He taught me how to utilize every element available in the house and make something out of it.

So, I finally decided to build something on my own. And to be honest, I am pretty impressed with myself.

Fishing rod holders DIY can be a bit time-consuming. But the result will be worth it. Here, I will tell you two DIY ideas on making fishing rod holders for garages and boats.

DIY fishing rod holder:

There are plenty of DIY ideas on the Internet. The design that I have chosen is quite simple and pretty. I have added a shelf at the bottom for storing other fishing gears too.

I have added a trout carving for the extra punch. It gives a more artistic vibe. But you can skip it if you find it troublesome. 

Table of Contents

Required materials and power tools:

  • wood boards 
  • glue
  • wooden dowel pins or screws
  • stain
  • boiled linseed oil
  • foam/ cork sheet
  • four screws
  • shinny cloth for the shelf
  • jigsaw, miter saw, and circular saw
  • sander
  • cordless drill
  • Dremel tool with burr bits
  • Drill with a hole saw 50 mm


  • pencil
  • ruler
  • paintbrush
  • hot glue gun
  • carbon paper

After assembling all the needed tools, now it is time to get on work. Follow these steps accordingly:

Step 1: Cut the boards

You can make the holder with your dimension according to your preference. My rod holder can take eight holders with one shelf for extra gears. The length of the holder is 90 cm and the width 80 cm. For this length, you have to cut the boards in the following measurement:

Two sideboards of the shelves: Length 90 cm, width 16.5 cm.

The upper trout board: Length 80 cm, width 16.5 cm.

The extra gears shelf: It will take three boards.

1 board length 80cm, width 15.5cm

2 board length 80cm, width 5cm

3 board length 80cm, width 10cm

Step 2: Side Shelf

There are two methods for cutting out the side shelves. In method 1, you have to saw hole saw, and for method 2, jigsaw. 

Method 1:

  • Draw the rod slots on a paper
  • Center it in the desired spot – I decided 10cm from the back edge.
  • Pierce through the center of each circle to mark it on your board
  • Make as many rod slots as you like – I chose 9 for my holder.
  • Load the drill with the 50mm hole saw and drill a dot on the prior made marks.
  • Cut out the pattern you drew with scissors. Cut the slots at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Draw the wave-like pattern around the holes.
  • On the lower edge of the board, draw a rounded edge to make a smooth transition from narrow to broad.
  • Cut the drawn lines with a jigsaw.

Method 2:

The steps are the same as that of method-1. You do not have to use a hole saw here. 

  • Draw the pattern
  • Cut it out with scissors
  • Center it in the desired location as before
  • Cut the drawn lines with a saw and make sure you are using a razor-sharp saw
  • And do not forget to draw a rounded design for a smooth transition from narrow to broad

Step 3: Sanding

After cutting all the loose pieces, now it is time for sanding. It is essential for a smooth textured surface.

First, begin with 120grit, then 180, and finally 240. As I have decided to make a wave-like pattern for the side shelves, the edges are curved.

Make sure all the sides of the boards are edges are smooth, and no splinters are left.

Step 4: The trout

As I have said before, you can skip this step. But if you want the extra glow, then this is a must. 

  • Draw the fish on paper.
  • Place the fish in the middle of the upper board.
  • Trace the fish on the board with the help of carbon paper.
  • Make sure all the lines are traced on the board before removing the carbon paper.
  • The rectangular shape was not looking good. So, I decided to give the upper board a rounded edge. 
  • Cut the rounded edge with a jigsaw and sand it properly.

Step 5: Make the trout 3D

  • Use a Dremel tool with a burr attachment to carve the trout. 
  • Angle the cone burr along the outer lines of the fish to give it a freestanding 3D look.
  • Add detail with the ball burr.
  • When done and pleased, give the edges and the fish a new sanding until everything is super smooth.

Step 6: Fix the dowel pins

It is an easy step if you have experience of using dowel pins before. It is the best option for hidden joints. But if you find it troublesome, you always have nails.

Drill holes for the dowel pins and glue them.

Step 7: Assemble all the pieces

Now is the moment of truth. If you have drilled the holes perfectly, the dowels will fit in perfectly.

Put a generous amount of glue on the tip and a small amount on the edges. Join it together with pressure and wipe away all spillover glue instantly with a wet towel.

Clamp everything together or use a tension strap.

Step 8: Drill the mounting holes

These are the holes used for hanging it on the wall. Drill two holes on the upper block and two on the extra gear shelf.

Symmetrically drill all the holes 5 cm from the edges.

Step 9: Staining

After assembling and joining all the parts, now, it’s time for the makeover. Use a wood stain of your desired color. I chose walnut.

Use a fabric to rub the whole holder with stain but leave the trout. You can use a brush to stain the outer parts of the trout.

Step 10: Embellish the Trout

Paint all the details of the trout with the same stain you used in the rack. Use a fine paintbrush for the details.

Rub boiled linseed oil over the fish with a piece of fabric. It will give the fish a final glossy look.

Step 11: The extra gear shelf cushion

This step is optional. If you want a cushion for your extra gear, then follow this step.

You can use a cork sheet or a foam from some packaging. Cut the foam according to the size of the shelf and keep it over the fabric. Cut the shiny fabric big enough to cover the full form.

Use hot-glue to seal the piece of fabric around the foam. Fold the edges neatly and use a small amount of hot glue to seal them.

And it is done. You can now mount it on the wall. You can keep 9 rods in this holder. It can hold around six reels on its lower shelf.

Now that we know how to make a fishing rod holder for the garage, it is time for fishing rod holders for boats. It is easier to make and also does not require many tools. 

DIY fishing rod holders for boats:


  • PVC pipe with 1.5″ inside diameter, 9″ long
  • PVC cap socket
  • Half-inch diameter bolt that was 2.5-inches in length fit my ore locks just right. You may have to adjust this according to your need.
  • 1/2″-13 nut
  • Construction adhesive


  • Saw to cut PVC
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Tape measure
  • Caulk gun
  • JawHorse (Optional)

Step 1:

Cut the pipe according to the length of your preferred fishing pole holder for the boat. 9 inch works best for both of my rods.

Step 2:

Drill a hole at the PVC cap as the diameter of the bolt. Drill the hole at a 45-degree angle with a smaller bit followed by a 1/2″ bit.

Step 3:

Insert the bolt at the hold and cover its head with adhesive.

Step 4:

Now, glue the pipe and the cap together. You can do this with PVC primer and cement. I used the same construction adhesive.

You can use a JawHourse to hold them together all night. The next day you will have your DIY fishing pole holder for the boat ready.

Step 5:

Put the bolt through the ore lock and tighten the nut by hand. You can use a wrench to tighten it further or keep it a bit loose for rotating.

If you are not a fan of the custom rod holders for boats, this DIY is perfect for you. It costs around 7 dollars only and works great too.


Now you know how to make a fishing rod holder for your home/garage and boat. These DIYs are well designed and do not require too many tools as well. You can make them yourself without anybody’s help.

They are also durable if made following all instructions. So, make one for yourself right away without further delay.

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