"Fishing Rod Totes and Carrying Systems"
By Justin Hoffman
common trait among anglers is the enthusiasm we share when it comes
to buying rods. Rods for spinning, baitcasting and trolling
applications. Rods for jigs, topwaters, cranks and worms. If truth
were known, we really have more rods than we can shake a stick at!
(No pun intended.) But with the more rods we own, the greater the
chance for damage and breaks when traveling to the lake, or storing
at home or in the cottage.
Rod totes and carrying systems help keep your fishing rods in one
neat and compact 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 staple for the airline-flying angler, molded plastic tube holders
are an excellent choice when security and protection are of utmost
importance. Most holders in this design are made from a rigid
plastic, capable of taking the bumps and bruises that go with
Although there are many different configurations, the premise is the
same. A foam or padded-lined inside that can store multiple rods
without any chance for damage.
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. It is always best to go for the largest diameter you can
afford, as your rod collection will always be increasing, and the
extra room can come in handy for excess tackle or fishing attire.
Will the tube accept rods with reels, or just the fishing sticks
themselves? Without the reels fitting inside, it means one more bag
to lug around.
Other interesting aspects to ponder are the collapsing capabilities.
Always a nice aspect of a rod case when not in use, or when it needs
to fit in the trunk of a car. It also will determine if those 7'6"
flipping rods will fit safely inside.
Can the case be locked? This can come in handy when leaving your
gear unattended, and especially after you check your luggage at the
airline gate. Although it won't deter a thief from taking the whole
lot, it can make them second-guess sneaking one out.
Other useful attributes are heavy-duty shoulder straps, wheels and
tackle storage. Similar to the options on a car, rod tubes can be as
customized, or as no-frill as you choose. It's entirely up to you.
Rod socks hold a single rod at a time, and are made from a
lightweight nylon that slides over the length of the rod. They have
an adjustable elastic strap that fits over the reel, keeping the
sock tight and in place. Depending on manufacture, most will fit
rods between six and seven-feet in length.
Rod socks are an excellent tool for keeping dirt, grime and the
elements from wreaking havoc with you sticks, ultimately protecting
your valuable investment. They are inexpensive to buy, and they
allow the luxury of covering as many, or as few rods as you desire.
They even have a handy loop for hanging on the wall.
Many anglers feel these are an excellent tool when storing rods in
boat lockers, as they excel at keeping the area neat and
Combo caddies provide for excellent storage and transportation, and
are lightweight and inexpensive to boot. Made from nylon or
neoprene, these thin, suitcase-style bags easily hold multiple rods
and reels, with a padded inside to protect from any bumps or bangs.
Most models will easily handle your biggest rods, and upwards of 8
of them at that.
Styles include an open-at-the-end and fully closed model, and offer
waterproof material to keep everything nice and dry.
I use a BPS Extreme Combo Caddy, and find that the protection it
offers my rods, be it loading them in the truck or taking them to a
lodge, 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. It certainly has made
my traveling easier, as well as my storage when back at home.
When choosing a model, look for features that add to the
functionality. Velcro straps, large shoulder straps and handles,
padding, waterproofing and length and width for adequate storage.
Cover all of these bases, and you'll be one happy angler.
not as majestic as a case or caddy, a rod wrap holds many valuable
uses. Being a simple, Velcro strap, rod wraps hold numbers of
fishing sticks together in one tight bundle, allowing easy transfer
from truck to boat, and of course, boat to cabin. They alleviate
many of the tangling situations that happen when loose rods are
thrown together, and are at the "bare minimum" in terms of a rod
carrying system. Saying that, they have come in handy when traveling
light, and can be easily tucked in a back pocket or tackle pouch for
I will often use rod wraps in conjunction with my caddy, and
depending on the fishing situation at hand, will often make a
game-day decision on which tool to use. For times when I am bringing
the bare minimum, or if I have a 100-yard trek to the cottage, rod
wraps work like a charm, and in a snap.
Resembling a rod rack with a handle, rod totes are a rigid, plastic
carrying unit that can store upwards of four-rod combos at a time.
Rods simply snap into place, and it's off to your favorite fishing
Although they don't offer any real protection to the rods
themselves, these units do act as a very nice transportation means.
They are lightweight, set up in seconds and can also be fixed in
place for traveling in a truck or boat. Now that's pretty slick.
Rod totes are a great design for the shore angler, as the switch
from vehicle to lake is quick and effortless. And when working the
shoreline, dealing with Velcro, zippers and enclosed bags is usually
the last thing on your mind.
As you can see, rod-carrying systems are a necessary piece of
equipment for all anglers. Not only will they protect your valuable
investment, they will also make the transportation and storage of
your rods much simpler and easier. Happy toting!