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Let’s face it – most people have to commute to their favorite fishing spots.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have the perfect fishing hole right behind your house, you’re probably going to need a way to transport all your gear as you make the trip.
A fishing rod holder for your car roof rack can take some of the stress out of traveling to your destination.
There are plenty of options available to you, but the best fishing rod holders for car roof racks will be those that are affordable, durable, and most of all, functional.
There are tons of options on the market today, each of which is designed to meet certain needs, styles, and types of fishing rods.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. Take a deep breath. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about how to select the best fishing rod holder for your car roof rack.
What Should I Look for in a Fishing Rod Holder for a Car Roof Rack?
Picking the perfect fishing rod holder can be quite the challenge. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you begin shopping.
We’ll tell you all about our favorite fishing rod holders in a moment, but these tips can help you as you pursue other options, too.
Installation and Fit
This is one of the most important factors to consider when you are shopping for a fishing rod holder for your car roof rack.
You don’t want to have to engage in expensive or time-consuming modifications to your roof rack – or worse, to your car – to install your fishing rod holder.
You don’t have to opt for a roof rack fishing holder that fits inside your car – there are plenty of fish rod holders for car roof racks that don’t require you to drill or dent your car in any way.
Simply look for products that can be easily mounted without any professional help – or serious adjustments to your car.
The best options will be easy to install in less than an hour and won’t require you to do any heavy lifting.
Some rod holders for car roof racks are multipurpose. This feature is a major bonus.
If you want to use your car to carry other items in the future, you should take advantage of your fishing rod holder purchase to buy a carrier that will serve other purposes, too.
Keep in mind that these types of fishing rod holders tend to be slightly more expensive, but given the benefits, they might be well worth the investment.
Durability and Stability
A fishing rod holder that is not durable and secure is not worth your money.
Look for a fishing rod holder that is made out of strong, damage-proof materials like stainless steel. If you have a strong rod then you need to have something very sturdy and secure.
Some offer coatings that will resist rust while others are magnetic, allowing them to adhere to your car with ease.
Stability is important, too. Most manufacturers will recommend that you don’t exceed speeds of 50mph when driving with a rod holder on your car roof, but as you likely know, this is downright impractical in some areas.
You should make sure your fishing pole holder is stable so you don’t have to worry about it falling off.
While your final purchasing decision shouldn’t be all about the price tag, you should plan on a product that does not sacrifice quality for the sake of a lower dollar amount.
That being said, you don’t have to dump your entire life savings into this kind of purchase, either.
Instead, look for products backed by good reviews and reasonable warranties to determine whether you are getting a good buy for your budget.
And if you are bank fishing you might also consider getting a good quality bank fishing rod holder too.
Top 5 Best Fishing Rod Holders for Car Roof Racks
1. Rhino-Rack 574 Roof Mount
The Rhino-Rack 574 Roof Mount fishing rod holder is one of the best holders you can find. It offers the ideal solution to carrying all your gear around on your next fishing trip.
It is equipped with a universal mounting mechanism that enables it to fit easily onto the roof rack of just about any car.
This multi-purpose roof mount can be used for other gear, too. You can use it to transport skis, snowboards, and other sporting equipment to make it an all-seasons must-have item.
Comprised of durable materials, this roof rack is waterproof, mold-resistant, and even dustproof. It’s also UV protected, which can help it last even when exposed to harsh rays of the sun for years at a time.
The design of this roof rack is efficient, economical, and downright attractive. It comes in a sleek black color and weighs less than six kilograms.
Coming in at less than 26 inches wide, it can fit most makes and models of vehicles. It’s even key lockable so you won’t need to worry about theft.
- Easy to assemble with no separate tools required
- A multipurpose carrier that can be used to carry other sporting equipment
- Locking mechanism to keep gear and fishing poles safe
- Makes some whistling noises as you are driving down the road
2. Thule Universal Carrier
Next on our list of the best fishing rod holders for car roof racks is the Thule Universal Carrier.
This one has a loading platform that has a width of thirty inches, giving it the ability to hold multiple fishing rods, four snowboards, or six sets of skis.
To use this fishing rod holder, all you need to do is press the large open button and stash your gear inside.
It has a soft rubber padded interior that will protect your equipment from scratches and jolts. There are also locks to keep your fishing rods safe.
Interestingly, this fishing rod holder has a telescoping capability that allows you to slide the carrier from the center of the roof over on to the other side – no more leaning on the car to unload your rods.
- Easy to install with a convenient speed link mounting system
- The large unit can also hold ski and snowboarding equipment
- Has a telescoping feature to make it easier to work with
- Slide sometimes freezes while pulling it out
3. Rod Saver Vehicle Rod Carrier System
We are in love with this affordable fishing rod holder for your car roof rack. It is high-quality and is designed to be attached to the interior upholstery – something unique among these kinds of products.
It takes up quite a bit of space, so if you’re only an every-now-and-then kind of angler, it might not be the best choice for you.
However, it can be attached and removed quite easily, so you won’t mind taking it off just to put it back on again.
This fishing rod holder is designed specifically for fishing rods, unlike many of the other multipurpose racks.
While it won’t hold your other equipment as easily, it’s a perfect choice if you are budget-conscious and want a fishing rod holder that will perfectly hold your fishing rods.
It is also more stable and since it is designed exclusively for fishing equipment, it’s also more secure.
- Designed specifically for fishing rods so it’s extra secure
- Affordable choice
- Sits inside your car so your equipment is protected from the elements
- Not a multipurpose fishing rod holder
4. Rhino-Rack Multi-Purpose Holder
Another Rhino-Rack product that makes our final cut is the Rhino-Rack Multi-Purpose Holder.
This is the perfect product for an avid angler on a strict budget. It can carry fishing rods as well as other equipment like skis, snowboards, or even shovels.
The rod holder is constructed with durable nylon material that is glass-reinforced along with cushiony rubber padding made out of Santoprene.
There are several different purchasing options available, including the Rhino Aero/Sports Bar model, perfect for people who own Rhino roof racks with aero bars, as well as the Universal Mount option for people with different types of roof racks.
This rod holder can adjust to any bar types, including square and round bars. You’ll receive two multipurpose holders, each of which is just over two inches wide.
- Small and compact yet sturdy
- Easy to install with no tools or vehicle modifications required
- Several options available depending on the type of roof rack you have
- Can only carry about three fishing rods
5. Tight Line Enterprises Magnetic Fishing Rod Rack for Vehicles
This fishing rod holder is ideal for a truck or SUV, and you won’t need a crossbar to install it.
It is made out of magnetic materials, so you can easily attach it to your vehicle without damaging the interior or exterior.
It is stable even when you are operating your vehicle at higher speeds – your fishing rods will go nowhere.
You must have a ferrous roof in order to use this fishing rod rack carrier. If you have an aluminum or fiberglass hood, it simply won’t attach.
Otherwise, there’s a lot to love here – this rod holder is made in the United States and constructed out of rugged molded nylon with durable ¼ inch bungee cord tie-downs.
You can easily attach up to four rods with reels or even larger surf rods.
- Easy to attach and remove with suction cups and magnets
- Designed for longer fly rods
- Made out of non-corrosive stainless steel and rugged injection-molded nylon
- Only can be used on ferrous roofs
Wrapping it up
While these are our favorite fishing rod holders for car roof racks, there are plenty of other high-quality options out there.
Select the product that works best for you, your budget, and your preferences.
A fishing rod holder for your car roof rack is essential if you plan on doing any kind of traveling with your fishing gear. Invest the time and money into finding a high-quality product now.
It’s well worth it to be able to fish wherever and whenever you want to – and not have to worry about your expensive fishing rods/poles falling off a flimsy roof rack while you’re driving down the road!
Further Reading: Top Beginner Rod and Reel Combos