How do you mount rod holders on a

fiberglass kayak without cringing as you plug the drill in? I have a newer CD Pachena DX sit-in kayak that is shiny fiberglass but I want to add some rod holders for occasional fishing/trolling. Anyone know if there is a potential problem bolting rod holder bases (the Scotty type) to fiberglass? Does this lead to stress cracking later on if you have the tension/weight from a fishing rod on it?

An idea…

I’d explore the possiblity of making a PVC frame that fits just inside the existing eyelets you have on your bow and aft decks. Use a diameter that will just barely keep a piece of rigid material off of the boat’s deck.

There are several things you can do to put a little bit of cusion between the PVC and your boat. They sell minicell foam in thin pieces.

A piece of shock cord with appropriate hooks can be used to attach the eyelets to the hard deck. I use some plastic hooks that are most often used by crab fishermen to keep the doors on their traps closed. The hooks are adjustable with appropriately sized shock cord and the hooks only cost about $0.20 each.

A hard deck fashioned out of 1/8" aluminum would facilitate mounting Scotty or RAM rod holders. My early versions were made of 1/4" plywood. Later I graduated to aluminum.

I didn’t do exactly what you’re trying to do but I did make a hard deck for one of my SIK’s that has a large cockpit. Drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you a pic or three to maybe help give you some ideas.

Unless you have a flat surface to mount to, you are not going to get a good even contact between the rod holder mount and the kayak. You can make the frame as suggested or use some hdpe plastic (cutting board) and make a detachable plastic base. Cut and glue 2 strips of minicel foam to the bottom of the plastic board to form a bridge and attach with straps or bungees to the eyelets. Another possibility is to cover the front deck under your bungees with a thin rubber mat and slip the rod between the mat and the bungees. Works pretty well but make sure the rod handle extends past the bungee closest to the cockpit and stop it against the eyelet.

Just Drill The Hole
Just, get a holesaw and close your eyes and bust a hole in it.

I’ve done two boats, putting three rod holders in each.

The ones with the wide flange mount and the PVC tube seems to work best. I’ve had to cut the tube that drops through the deck to length allowable in each case. The ones I’ve used took a standard 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 PVC cap to seal the tube after cutting.

Obviously you need to size your holesaw accordingly to the PVC size.

Don’t over cut it, leave all you can and seal the flange to the deck with silicone if a gasket is not provided. The screws that are required to attach the flange might need to be altered or replaced if they are to long.

Pick your locations carefully. Make sure there will not be conflict with the room needed to paddle once a rod’s inserted in the holder. Look close under the deck before you cut the hole to see where the tube might be after installed.

I’ve put them in front and behind the cockpit but spent much time measuring and remeasuring before I drilled my deck. One of my boats has had three installed for about 5 years now with no related problems.

Now go catch a fish big enough to pull you boat around for a while.