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Tool Review

An extra helping hand, the flexible "3rdGrip" pole and tool holster

Date: 9/16/02
Tackle type: Tools
Manufacturer: 3rd Grip
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.83

Introduction: When fishing we all can occasionally use an extra helping hand to help hold our pole while we change lures unhook fish. To respond to this need 3rdGrip has created an extremely flexible pole and tool holster.

3rdGrip Pole Holster Specifications

Body material Cordura 600 Denier
Pole Holster tube material Plastic
Total Weight .8 lb
Colors Blue, Camo
Attachments Plastic buckles and Velcro
Water Resistant Yes
MSRP $19.99

Impressions: I was first introduced to the 3rdGrip Pole Holster by Rodney Williams, 3rdGrip President, back in July at ICAST 2002. After the initial introduction to the product I was very interested to show the 3rdGrip to the other TT Editors, as it seemed to be a very useful tool. I was interested to see just how useful this patented product was under various applications ranging from shore to boat fishing.

The 3rd grip is constructed from high quality 600 Denier Material that is water and snag resistant


The field tests: The goal of 3rdGrip is to produce a flexible pole holster that can be adjusted for use for many various forms of fishing. We field tested the 3rd grip for shore fishing and use on a bass boat. The 3rdGrip was tested with various rods and reels consisting of both spin and baitcast styles.

The actual part of the holster that holds the rod is made of thick plastic

Materials: The 3rdGrip uses excellent materials in its heavy duty construction. This is one piece of rugged hardware that utilizes a thick plastic tube for the actual rod holder surrounded by thick 600 denier material. The material is not only extremely thick but also snag resistant, so that if stray hooks come in contact with the 3rdGrip they rarely snag up, if ever. All connectors are made out of high quality plastic, and the fastenings all use industrial strength Velcro. One thing that we really liked about the construction was the detail in stitching. All stress areas are double stitched and/or have reinforced liner material to cover the joints. This makes it possible for the 3rdgrip to bear heavier rods and reels with ease.


A thick integrated pad adds comfort, even when strapped on tightly to your lower leg or waist


Comfort: The 3rd Grip is very comfortable to wear on your lower leg or around your waist thanks to oversized straps that evenly bear the load of a your rod/reel combo. The fact that the 3rdGrip is very lightweight, at under a 1lb also reduces any stress. To further increase comfort the 3rdGrip also features a 1 inch embedded pad that acts as a buffer between the rod holder and your body. When strapped on, the pad will actually contour to your leg or hip. For our tests I even holstered my large surf fishing rig which are among my heaviest combos. When on my waist the combo balanced nicely and the entire weight was well distributed making it easy to bear the load. What the 3rdGrip essentially allows you to do is put the rod in a comfortable position, freeing up your hands to rig other rods, or even grab a bite to eat.


Interestingly the 3rdgrip is just as comfortable wearing backwards, why is this important? Surf anglers can appreciate this tool because it allows them more flexibility while in the surf. After wading out to the surf it is usually very difficult to manage 2 rods. By wearing the 3rdgrip on your waist backwards it is actually possible to fish with one rod and stow another pointed up and behind your back. This also allows surf anglers to put their pliers within easy reach.

The flexible design allows the 3rdGrip to be easily attached to your lower leg or waist


Flexibility: Flexibility in design is really what makes the 3rdGrip unique. This is one tool that comes ready to attach to your lower leg, waist, or float tube.

Shore anglers will most likely prefer the lower leg attachment because it allows you to fish and rig standing up while holding the traditionally longer poles in perfect position. It also allows shore anglers to kneel or sit down with the rod still pointing at the right angle, perfect for fishing with live bait or bobbers.

Surf anglers will be fond of the ability to put the 3rdGrip on your waist because it actually helps reduce fatigue as you stand in the surf holding your rod. Since the holster is on your waist it also helps keep your rod and tools out of the water, and within easy reach.


Float tubers can use the 3rdGrip with the extension attachment to become a temporary rod holder on their portable watercraft. The ability to stow your rod while float tubing allows these anglers an easier time when retying and allows the ability to fish with 2 rods if desired.

The wide mouth makes it easy to holster rods, and the integrated tool holder can hold pliers or sheathed filet knives

Rod and Tool holstering: The 3rdGrip holds rods in a "relaxed" fashion, which basically means that rods are held loosely in the oversized holster. This allows anglers to easily drop and draw their rods in a split second. What this also means is that if you move around while your rod is stowed it will flop around slightly. The 3rdGrip is an excellent tool to hold your rod while waiting, retying, or unhooking fish, but it is not meant to holster a rod while walking or hiking.


Ease of use is excellent as the rod holster is large enough to handle all types of rods, including large surf rods that boast large rubber butt caps. The only thing we would have liked in addition was a small ring or loop in which to physically secure pliers to. This would help keep pliers from falling out or accidentally dropped.


Adjusting the drag with one hand while live bait fishing


Ease of use: The learning curve to put the 3rdGrip rod holster to use is virtually nil. It straps on quickly and can be converted with the extension straps for waist or float tube use in a matter of seconds. During our field tests we got so many questions from fellow anglers about the 3rdgrip. Many were surprised by the simple and yet ingenious design, others were amazed at how easy and functional this tool was.


Securely held thanks to two Velcro straps


Application: The 3rdGrip makes sense for anglers that fish the surf and shore more then boat angling applications. While bass boat anglers can still appreciate the ability to stow a rod quickly to change a lure, the fact that they have a large boat in which to lay down a rod is usually sufficient. Where we think the 3rdgrip really shines is on the shore where the ability to stow your rod for extended periods, or quickly drop your rod into the holster to unhook a fish is a big plus in terms on convenience. While sitting on shore the 3rdgrip holds your rod at a 45 degree angle, allowing you to relax or hold another rod in your hands.


In addition the ability to be attached to float tubes adds convenience and flexibility, and float tubers can even use the 3rd Grip to hold a rod for trolling.


While on your waist the 3rdGrip holds the rod at a 40-45 degree angle (adjusting the waist strap is easy with one hand, and the entire strap can be quickly unbuckled)


Warranty: Though we never think you will need the warranty thanks to the rugged construction it helps to know that the 3rdGrip is 100% Guaranteed in terms of material and construction. The only way that you can destroy the 3rdGrip is to run over it with your car....and even then this well built tool still has a good chance of surviving.



3rdGrip Pole Holster Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great construction that makes this a very rugged tool that will last 9
Performance Works well for many shore and surf applications. Very well suited for wait to bite applications like bait and bobber fishing 9
Price A reasonable price for a tool with this many flexible uses. the addition of the accessory strap to modify the 3rdgrip for waist and float tube use is a big plus 8.5
Features Not many features but very flexible in design. Wish there was a ring to secure pliers or knife to 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Lightweight and easy use, the 3rdGrip requires no learning curve 9
Application Flexible for so many applications, the 3rdgrip is good in many applications and is at home in both fresh and saltwater applications 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Innovative Design L Not for mobile use
J Ease of use L No ring or loop to secure pliers
J Rugged construction  
J Comfortable on leg and waist  
J Many great uses  
J Reasonable Price  

Conclusion: This patented pole and tool holster can be used on your leg, waist, or float tube, and truly is a versatile fishing tool that many anglers will appreciate. The 3rdGrip pole holster is perhaps the most versatile and user friendly accessory I have ever tested. Perhaps most impressive of all is the ability of the 3rdGrip to address the need for that extra helping hand, making it possible to focus on the task at hand, rather then where to drop your rod. In situations where it is necessary to wait for the next bite, change bait, or even unhook a fish, the 3rdGrip delivers in flying colors. Flexibility, ease of use, and rugged construction make the 3rdGrip a welcome friend for surf, shore, pier, and float tube anglers, and at a price of only 19.99 a great deal as well.

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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