DIY Fishing Gear for Sailors


We reviewed clamp-on rod holders a few years in the past, but found them expensive (see PS October 2006). Fortunately, there are alternatives that can save hundreds of dollars and be installed in an afternoon. Less shiny, but functional.

Simple lash-on tubes or clamp-on rocket launchers for the rail can hold anything from fishing poles, gaffs, and landing nets, to boat hooks and kayak paddles. They take less space than commercial versions, are nearly unbreakable, never scar a rail, and never slip.

Simple, non-nonsense, compact, and rugged. A 12- to 18-inch length of 1.5 to 2-inch PVC pipe lashed to the rail with 3/16-inch diameter cord holds anything from rods to boat hooks, out of the way and complete secure. The 1.5-inch-diameter will fit most rods, but not boat hooks and the like-measure first. Fit a 1.5-inch PVC cap with a -inch drain hole on the butt end and secure with polyurethane sealant or a screw-this will prevent longer items like boat hooks and landing nets from sliding clear through and either jamming against or scratching the deck. Mount them flush with the top rail, safely out of the way of lines. Cost: $3 including the cord.

We even added an outward-angled pair to hold stubby out-riggers (see PS September 2015). We use these only a few weeks each year for the Chesapeake Bay striped bass run, during which they allow us to trail an extra pair of lines. When not in use or docking, we slide the outriggers out and drop them into the lash-on holders next to them.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here