Dave's Rod Rack for a Catfish Boat

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by duxsrus, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

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    The following instructions are how to make a fishing rod holder rack for a boat that can be removed if needed.

    The first thing to start with is determining a suitable place to mount the rod rack to the boat. On my current boat, I had nice flat surfaces at the rear corners to work with. On my previous boat, I had to fabricate mounts that were angled to attach directly to the gunwales. For these brackets though I used a piece of 3½” long 2” aluminum angle and cut one side down to ¾”. Drill two ¼” holes on the short side as shown in the picture. Next take a piece of 4” long 1½” square aluminum tube and drill a ⅜” hole centered through the side. It is real beneficial to do this with a drill press if available, to keep them perpendicular. Now weld the two pieces together as shown. Repeat this process for the other side of the boat. Position the brackets on the boat making certain both sides are symmetrical. Mark your four holes and drill and tap them for ¼-20 bolts. I used a piece of a bicycle inner tube as a gasket to keep from scratching the paint. Now attach them to the boat with stainless pan head bolts.

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    Next measure the distance across the boat to inside of the outer edge of the brackets. Cut a piece of 1¼” square aluminum tube with 45º cuts on the ends. Next determine how high you want the top of your rack to be and cut two pieces of 1¼” square aluminum tube with a 45º cut on one end and a flat cut on the other end. Now weld the corners together as shown. To help keep perfect 90º corners, I clamped the pieces together in a miter jig, like to make picture frames with.

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    Drop the rod rack down into the brackets on the boat. You may have to loosen up the bolts holding the brackets down so that you have a little play in them and retighten where fitment is best.

    Next determine how many rod holders you want to fit across the rack. I was able to space 6 rod holders nicely across the back of my boat that is 8 feet wide. I’m particular to Attwood rod holders so the next steps pertain to them. With a little ingenuity, you could adapt any style rod holder to this rack design. Next, trace all of the rod holder bases out on a piece of 3/16” flat aluminum, marking the mounting holes too. Cut these pieces out and drill out ONLY the bottom two mounting holes for each bracket with a ¼” drill bit. Space and center these plates across the rack so the two mounting holes you drilled are below the bar. Clamp the plates in place with Vise-Grips and weld them as shown.

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    Now drill and tap the remaining two top holes on each plate into the bar for ¼-20 bolts. Attach your rod holders to the plates using ¼-20 bolts in the top holes and ¼-20 bolts with nylon locknuts in the bottom holes.

    Lastly finish drilling the ⅜” holes in the sides of the mounting brackets now that you have inserted the rack down into them. Insert ⅜” locking wire clips through the holes to keep the rack locked in place.

    I opted to install two rear-facing black lights on my rack. To do so I had to fabricate brackets that attached to the Zorro black lights. I also ran the wiring through the rack to keep the installation neat. Plugs were added at each light and above one side of the boat brackets to keep everything removable.

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    Here are two pictures of the rack itself completed.


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