Sunday, April 15, 2012

DIY- Redneck Rodrack for Your SUV

How To:

Ever wanted to throw your rods in your SUV without having them bounce around or stick out the doors and get crushed?  You should try this simple cord rod rack.  If you don't actually want one in your vehicle, maybe you can adapt the idea to something else.  Nothing complicated or genius here- just some redneck engineering.

The only real material that you will need is some cordage.  I used parachute or "550" cord.  You can get this stuff at army surplus stores and at many other retailers.  I like it because it is strong, stretchy and easy to knot.  The first step is to own a vehicle that is long enough for a rod- an suv, wagon, van etc.  I am sure this could be adapted for use in other vehicles as well.  The first step is to find your anchor points- i.e. the clothes hanger thingies on the roof.  I took the plastic hangers in the back of my 4-Runner and tied to the bare screws because it was a more solid connection.  You want this thing to be pretty tight or it will sway and bounce all over the place when you go over speed bumps or on bad roads.  Originally I just tied two lengths of cord across the roof and set my fly rods on top.  I did this right before driving 5 hours across the Rocky Mountains and soon took the rods down because they were sliding all over the place.  I decided to add the loops and now it has become a permanent fixture in my vehicle.  I like having it because I can leave all my flyrods set up and just slide them in the back.  When I get to wherever I am going I can just grab whichever one I want to use.  The rod tips are kept out of harm's way on the dash and the loops keep my reels from bumping together.  The main attraction for this rig is that it is cheap- might use a dollar worth of cord- and it is easy to remove.  Heck, you can just cut it down and make another if you need to.  My rack is set up to hold 6 rods but you can adjust the design to hold however many you think you need.  The back portion is probably about an 8 foot section of cord.  The only real knot needed is an overhand loop knot.

Here is the cord.

Here is where I connected in the back to the screws.

I usually sit the rod on top of the main cord with the reel behind and put the loop around the butt of the rod.
This thing can also hold spinning rods or bait casters just as easily.  If you'll notice you can use two loops to keep a rod pointed to the left or right.

 Here is my messy car with a few rods in the rack.
 This is how I connected to the handle things in the front part.  Made a loop and put the long tag end through it.

The trick to getting this thing tight is this little rig.

 Here is a basic loop knot.  If you can tie fishing knots I am sure you can tie this one.

This is the end and then a much larger loop about ten inches away for the rod loop.

 Make the rod loops pretty large in order to allow them to get around fighting butts and such but not so large that they will let your rods slide around.

This is how I get the necessary tension on the cord so that it won't sway too much.  Do not pull too tight and mess up your vehicle.  My buddy tried this and pulled down the panels in the back of his old Bronco.

This is the end of the rig.  The other end is already connected to a handle or screw or whatever you are using.  Make a loop and leave a long tag end.  put the tag end around the anchor and then back through the loop.

Pull tight and then use the rest of the tag end to tie off around the loop.  This part is kind of tricky and takes some adjustment.

Here is a picture of the rig on my desk.  This is the back part.  The front is just a straight cord on mine, although you could put loops on that too.  You can adjust the spacing and loop size in order to achieve the results you want.  You could make many more loops in order to carry many more rods, the only problem is you will want them to angle toward the passenger side to keep you driving space clear.  My best girl gets a little ticked when my fly rods mess up her hair, but you take the good with the bad.

This is super simple and costs a lot less than the car racks that you will find in Cabelas or wherever.  It is also far less intrusive and I think it looks kind of cool.  It will help keep your rods intact and out of the way as well as giving you a place to store your "truck rod" for those quick trips to the local pond after work.  As you can see my truck rod is a Wal-Mart special- 15 bucks and has caught more fish than most of my Sage rods.  Plus, it casts fairly well and if it breaks... who cares?  Back to the rod rack- try one of these out, experiment with it and let me know how it works out.  I have enjoyed having mine in my 4-Runner and if you like to keep a rod in your car or like to wade fish and change locations without breaking down your rod or plain breaking your rod, this might come in handy.

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