Second only to the boats we drive, fishing rods rank at the top of the list in terms of overall value in angling investment. And if you are like most, a myriad of sticks are transported to the lake, in the boat, and back to the house at the end of the each adventure we take. Although rods are built to stand up to the abuse fish can throw at them, car doors, aluminum bows and a misplaced step can often lead to an untimely demise. At the other end of the spectrum, multiple rods mean multiple tangles. A certain headache at the best of times.
Rod totes, socks and storage systems help keep your prized possessions in one neat, safe and tidy package -- and all but eliminate the risk of scratches or breaks. Here is a guide that can help you choose the best for your situation.
A rod sock is a great way to keep lines from getting tangled.
Relatively new on the scene, rod socks are an inexpensive tool to keep rods protected during transit, but their real strength is in eliminating tangles. Let's face it -- rigged rods are a magnet for line tangles. It definitely is one of my pet peeves when out on the lake. But rod socks will put an end to those frustrations.
Made from finely woven light nylon, rod socks offer a snug fit to casting and spinning rods, and can house even the longest flipping stick. Depending on the design, most come with a strap or wrap to anchor the sock toward the reel end.
Rods socks work wonders for alleviating tangles and are an excellent choice for transporting rods in the truck or in rod lockers. They also excel at keeping blanks dust and scratch free.
Available in a multitude of colors, sizes and customizations, rod socks are a cheap insurance policy for tangle-free rods.
Rigid Cases and Tubes
Those looking for the best protection for their rods should check out any of the rigid styles available. Generally molded from hard and solid plastic, rigid cases and tubes can take all of the abuse you can dish out and then some.
A staple for the airline-flying angler, rigid carriers also excel for those that partake in backwoods adventures and camping.
Look for a model that sports ample amounts of foam padding inside. The more the better.
What style you purchase is purely a personal choice. Models range from allowing the storage of one rod, all the way up to nine or more. Depending on your use and size of rod collection, choose the largest diameter that fits your needs.
Ascertain if the reels can be housed along with the rods. If not, it will mean one more bag or case to lug around, so the option to carry both in one package certainly has its advantages.
Does the case lock? Always a handy feature when checking it in for airline travel. It may not deter a thief from making off with the entire case, but it may stop them from taking a peek inside.
Other features to keep an eye out for are shoulder straps or wheels. Both of these options will come in handy for the type of use you intend it for.
Soft Sided Combo Caddies
This style of rod tote is a wonderful choice for transporting rods to and from the lake when traveling by vehicle. Made from a lightweight nylon or neoprene, these suitcase-style bags can easily handle upwards of eight combos at a time, keeping them safe, dry and dust free during transit. They are also a great option for storage at home.
I use a Bass Pro Shops Extreme Combo Caddy and find that the protection it offers my rods -- be it loading them in the truck or taking them to the lodge or camp -- is second to none. Dust, dirt and grime have become a thing of the past, and with the individual straps that are contained within, tangles are almost non-existent now.
Options to look for when choosing a model are large and padded shoulder straps, Velcro inserts to keep rods secure and tight, comfortable handles, internal padding, and waterproof material. The size of rods you intend to carry should also be kept in mind. Ensure that they will accommodate your longest rod. This is of particular importance.
A rod wrap is a simple way to carry a number of combos when transporting them.
Although not as majestic as a case or caddy, rod wraps offer many valuable uses in a small and inexpensive package. Generally made from velcro or a cinch-type plastic clasp, rod wraps easily hold a number of combos snug and secure, making them a gem when transporting rods from truck to boat, or from the boat to cabin or homestead.
Rod wraps also alleviate many of the tangling issues that loose rods are prone to encounter and act as a cheap insurance against this aggravating nuisance.
Rod wraps are quick and easy to engage and are often your best choice when size constraints (caddies and cases are can be cumbersome for those that like to travel light) come into play. Best of all, they can easily be pushed into a pocket or tackle bag when not in use.
Always use two wraps when securing combos. Place one above the reel or reel seat and the other a foot from the tips.
Looking for a light, easy to use and convenient way to transport rods to the boat? The rod tote might be just up your alley. The portable rod tote is a device that can hold up to four
A rod tote offers a light and easy way to transport rods to the boat.
rod and reel combos, and flexible mounting clips allow it to be easily "secured" at home, in the truck or out in the boat -- in either a vertical or horizontal position. Constructed from durable aluminum and low-density polyethylene, this easy-to-carry system is designed for anglers on the go.
Vehicle Rod Carriers
No floor space in the truck or camper for storing or transporting rods? No worries. With a vehicle rod carrier system, holding upwards of seven combos is a breeze. Rods are "suspended" from the roof, giving an angler more floor room for bulkier items and keeping rods up and out of the way. Spring clips allow easy removal for storage when not in use, and the system conveniently adjusts to fit all types of vehicles.
Make it your goal to better protect your pricey investment this season -- while also enjoying the ease of transporting them more efficiently and easily. There is a rod sock, tote and caddy that will fit your needs perfectly. Give one a whirl this year. The benefits will be immediate.