Fly rod protection while paddling solo

I have broken my fly rod twice with it assembled and ready to use while I paddle my solo canoe down a river. The last time my son and I eddied out behind the same boulder and his bow painter caught my rod tip and as he glided in next to me we both watch it bend, and bend for what seemed like forever, but was way too quick to do anything about before it was too late. I bought a new fly rod and would like to make something to hold and protect my fly rod as I paddle, but allow me to leave it assembled for quick access. It is 9’ long and my solos are ~15’. I am thinking about mounting some PVC pipe sections that it would slip in and out of along the inside of the gunwale. I thought there must be some people on here that fish a lot more than me and canoe that have a system totally figured out. Am I right?

Drift boats
Drift boats often have built in tubes that run along the sides and follow the contours of the side of the boat. These tubes are designed to hold and protect assembled fly rods. The tubes are long enough to contain the shaft of the rod. There is then an open trough that holds the rod handle. The reel just hangs down inside the boat. These set ups work well. A drift boat is longer than a canoe and is built to have two people stand up in them. They are long enough that you can reach the handle of the rod while it is in the holder and slide the rod out of and back into the holder smoothly. It would be more of a challenge to sit on a canoe seat and pull a rod out of a similar holder without having to go hand over hand.

It should be fairly straight forward to secure a piece of flexible tubing inside the gunnel by some temporary means and see how it works. Good luck with your venture and please report back.


Guessing you really like that rod…
…so this may be out of the question for you - but I simply went to a shorter rod for in the canoe and just lay it on the bottom.

Use some padding(sm. blanket…etc) but

– Last Updated: Jun-16-15 2:02 PM EST –

I would break it down into ~2 sections....with line strung out/fly tied on....much safer...a snap to get it back ready to cast. Having it in one piece does nothing for saving time if you have to wrestle with it to get it out...