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Watercraft Accessory Review

One, Two, Three...Easy Steps to install Berkley's Triple Rod Holder

Date: 2/9/04
Tackle type: Rod Holder
Manufacturer: Berkley
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.00

Introduction: For most fisherman their boats represent the ultimate tackle box, but with the introduction of today's application specific rigs anglers find themselves strapped for space to organize all their outfits. Berkley produces a straightforward and easy to install triple rod holder to lend an extra hand when it comes to effortless rod storage and accessibility.

Berkley Rod Holder (Tube) Specifications

Material Lightweight Polypropylene
Capacity 3 Rods with or without reels
Design Standing Tube
Color White
Mounting Hardware (Screws)
Reel Compatibility Spinning or Casting
MSRP $11.99

Impressions: Not a whole lot of surprises here, the Berkley Rod Holder is essentially a molded piece of Polypropylene. The entire unit is one solid molded section so there is no flex. The entire rod holder is very light and designed to be simple, easy to clean, and resistant to moderate levels UV exposure. The rod holder is only available in one color...white.


The Berkley Rod Holder is a no-frills tube holder and is designed to be easy to install and use on both freshwater and offshore watercraft

Why install a rod holder: Almost every rod manufacturer is now producing a large variety of application specific rods, which are designed to excel at one particular style of fishing. Tournament anglers carry a vast assortment of rods, all pre-rigged, so that once they reach a particular area they can quickly decide what type of application is going to be the most successful in that individual environment. Once making the choice they can quickly grab the rod and reel outfit of their choice. Now this is usually easily done as the newest boats are all outfitted with easy to organize rod lockers. But what if your boat is older, or shorter than 18ft, or enjoy fishing with one or two buddies? Most likely rod management and storage has been a issue on your vessel.

TackleTour's Nitro Test Bass Boat is 18 feet in length and while the rod lockers are just large enough to hold 6'6" rods, it is a bona fide hassle to get them in and out of the small hinged access. Most of the time rods are strapped onto the floor using two integrated tie straps. While the straps are fantastic for transporting the rods while the boat is running, the rods are exposed to damage when fishing from the front casting deck. I can't tell you how many times I have hooked into a fish and in the excitement accidentally took on step back and ended up crushing guides on my rods.

Test Rig for Berkley Rod Holder

Rod Kistler He69APC
Reel(s) Quantum PT Xmetal
Watercraft 1995 Nitro 180 FS Bassboat


That's exactly where the Berkley Rod Holder comes into play. This rod holder is designed to be easy to install, and even easier to use. The design allows you to stow three rods, or completely rigged outfits on your boat. The enlarged diameter of the rod holder mouths are wide enough to hold anything from light spinning outfits to deep sea trolling gear. The rod holder can be installed on a variety of watercraft and can be used for both inshore and offshore applications.


Deck straps are popular on bass boats and do a good job holding rods during transport but expose rods to accidental trampling while fishing

Three Steps: When we say the Berkley Rod Holder is easy to install we truly mean it. There are basically three steps before you can begin using the holder. These are: Decide where to put the rod holder on your boat, mark and drill, and mount.


Choosing a position on your watercraft should involve careful thought, make sure to pick a place that is easily accessible but won't get in the way of your fishing

Step One (Position): Deciding where to position the rod holder, is the single most important step in this brief installation process. If the rod holder is poorly positioned your rods will be hard to reach, or even worse, get in the way of your fishing. On our Nitro Bass Boat the best place to mount the Rod Holder was on the outside of the passenger console. This position puts the rods close to the center of the boat, making them easy to reach by anglers from the bow or stern, and since the rods are vertically positioned in the middle they do not get in the way of casting at all. This center position is very similar to where you would find most vertically mounted rod holders on center console boats.

Once you find your ideal position go ahead and mark the mounting hole positions with a pencil or pen. With our bass boat we had to use a permanent marker since regular pencil couldn't yield a mark on the gel coat. Now you can put the rod holder aside and move onto step two.

The hardest part of the entire process is drilling holes in your boat, make sure you have truly decided the exact position of all mounting holes prior to drilling

Step 2 (Drill): Something about putting holes into boats just isn't right. But in the case of the Berkley Rod Holder you have little choice. Unless you plan on super gluing the rod holder (not recommended) to your hull your going to have to whip out your Makita and put a few holes in your boat. Before committing to drilling make sure that these holes will not affect the operation of your boat. These holes must not penetrate your hull, or damage any wiring that exists in your watercraft. Once you have verified that it is safe to mount in your chosen position use a drill and make holes that are no larger than the size of the mounting holes. It is sometimes helpful to start with a smaller bit to help get an exact hole. While most anglers should make four holes to match up with the Berkley mounting positions, I have found that just using two screws is enough to hold this rod holder secure on most boats.

While most offshore anglers will want to go ahead and mount the standard white rod holder, bass anglers may want to customize the holder with a little paint work to match their colorful rigs

Step 3 (Customize and Mount): At this point you can line up the rod holder and mount with tapping screws larger than your drilled holes (it is not recommended to use tapping screws alone without drilling as you risk cracking your boat panels), or whenever possible use a nut and bolt, this allows you to fully tighten the rod holder securely. You are going to need to buy additional mounting hardware that best matches your boat.

Now Bass Anglers are known for their flashy rigs, after all bass boats are basically the sport car equivalent of fishing craft. Most bass anglers would find the white rod holder quite functional, as well as quite unsightly when mounted on their boats. Our Nitro 180FS is Blue/Platinum/Pearl color combination with black console instrumentation, so we decided to do a little bit of customization to help our new rod holders better blend in.

We chose to paint the rod holders to match the boat, and purchased two cans of spray paint. One black matte base coat, and one black/silver fleck finish paint. If you decide to do a little tailoring of your own make sure to purchase paints that are outdoor rated. The Berkley Rod Holder doesn't spray paint easy in its standard form and should be run over by hand with a fine sandpaper then washed and then completely dried to ensure a better paint bond. It took two coats of base layer and three coats of finish paint to get the rod holder just the right color. But finally we had something that we felt pleased to mount in the boat.


The Berkley Rod Holder can hold both rods alone or completely rigged combos

Real World Tests: The best way to test our newly mounted rod holder was to go fishing in the California Delta. The first thing we did was load the rod holder with three completely rigged baitcast combos and head to our destination at a speed of 45mph. The rods held nicely in the new holder and were spread apart enough so that the rod tips and reels never came in contact with one another during the outing. JIP fished from the stern while I casted from the bow, and never did any of the stowed rods ever get in the way of our normal fishing routine. Best of all, I was able to make quick changes in my combos when I decided to switch from reeling deep diving cranks to tugging topwater buzzbaits.


The rod holder makes it easy to stow three completely rigged rods making it possible to protect your valuable gear as well as access it in seconds

Price & Time Investments: At under $12.00 the Berkley Rod Holder is among the cheapest accessories you can slap on your boat, but it can go along way to helping you organize your favorite rod combos. All in all it takes less then an hour to mount the rod holder, with the majority of time spent picking the perfect location and checking and rechecking the mount positions before you proceed to drill. The addition of paint will increase the project time another hour as you spray on multiple layers and wait for the paint to dry.


Berkley Rod Holder Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid construction that is simple so it is easy to install and use, as well as easy to clean 9
Performance Performed well in our tests, the rod holder is spaced well so rods and reels do not come into contact with one another 9
Price What can we say, this product is cheap, but then again when you think about it, all it is a piece of molded plastic 8
Features No frills, one piece design, no options here. No colors or other configs available 7
Design (Ergonomics) Simple design works in the product. The last thing you need is a complicated mounting process 8
Application This rod holder will work on both inshore and offshore boats thanks to the wide tube placement and enlarged diameter openings. Solid mounting requires screws and drilling, and this may not be a favorable option on some watercraft 7

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Simple and straightforward L Lack of color choices
J Once piece design is durable L Only one configuration available
J Good for inshore and offshore applications L Your going to have to drill to do it right
J Very affordable option  

Berkley designed their tube rod holder to be above all, simple and functional. This no frills rod holder does the job well, whether you are organizing your bass rods, or stowing offshore rigs. The only complaint we had about the Berkley offering was lack of optional colors, which we were able to overcome with a little customization, and the lack of configurations like a 2 or 4 tube holder, this would allow for easier positioning on a variety of watercraft. While pointing rods are not common on most bass rigs, the important thing is the ability to switch rods to match applications quickly, which will help you react to conditions at whim, and achieve the ultimate goal....to catch more fish.

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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