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Cat Tip of the Day: Truck Rod Carrier

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Those of you that drive pickup trucks probably have encountered the same problem I have. My Ford Ranger pick up truck has a standard 6 foot bed but is too short to handle large one piece cat rods that are usually 7 feet or longer. Laying your rods cross ways in the bed of the pickup isn’t a good idea because they take up too much room and if you haul bait buckets, coolers and other things in the bed they can move around and damage your rods.

I decided to design a rod carrier that could mount across the top of my pickup bed sides that would get my rods up and out of the way and still allow use of the pickup bed for carrying other equipment. The design needed to be easy to put on and take off but solid enough not to come off while driving down the road. I settled on using 2” X 2” boards that are notched out to fit the pickup bed railings. To hold the boards in place are four heavy duty 4” clamps that hook over the boards and under the railings. Those clamps are tight and hold the rod carriers very securely.


To hold the rods on to the carriers I used a little ingenuity. I had some old Berkley rod holders with the foam inserts that you slide your rods into to protect them. They would serve as a way to hold the rod tips in place. I attached the rod holders to one of the rod carrier boards. Now I just needed some way to hold the rod butts in place. Naturally I’m trying to do this on the cheap so I took my usual trip to Menards and starting scoping out conduit strap hangers. They work perfect for holding the rod butts and give you flexibility for positioning your rods in the holders.


The rod carrier design is very simple and you will be amazed how easily the carrier can be placed on and taken off in seconds. The rod carriers store easily in the garage taking up little room so they are very convenient when needed. Normally I only have to go a short distance with the carriers on but having used them for 3 seasons now have learned to trust them with my rods, I have driven down the highway at 65 mph and they held tight and solid. So far I’ve had no problems.


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Yep, when in doubt, think it out grin. That’s what separates us "cat" guys from any other species fisherman. I see more idea's on how to make things simple come out of this forum, than any other forum.

Cool tip Steve! grin

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