Homemade PVC trolling rod holder

Updated July 05, 2018

A trolling-rod holder is a useful add-on for your boat. Trolling employs techniques that require the boat to be in motion; most anglers do not sit quietly in the boat waiting for the fish to bite on the hook of a trolling rig. A rod holder allows you to steer, grab a drink or fish multiple lines at once. You can make your own trolling-rod holder with PVC pipe and a few basic tools.

Measure the seat-mount hole at the back of your boat. Buy PVC with an outer diameter that fits snugly inside the hole.

Measure 40 cm (16 inches) from the end of the PVC pipe. Cut it off at the 40 cm (16 inch) mark with the reciprocating saw. Push this piece into a seat-base hole at the back of the boat. Push the 30 cm (1 foot) length of smaller, outside-diameter PVC into the bottom of the seat-mount hole, creating a strong base.

Push a PVC cross connector onto the top of the 40 cm (16 inch) length of pipe. Keep the cross "arms" parallel to the back of the boat.

Measure and mark 30 cm (1 foot) lengths on the rest of the PVC pipe. Cut the pipe into 3 m (1 foot) sections.

Insert a 30 cm (1 foot) piece of pipe on both sides of the centre cross-pipe,. Push a cross-connector onto the ends of the 30 cm (1 foot) pipes. Angle the top of the pipe slightly forward on each side.

Insert another 30 cm (1 foot( pipe onto each horizontal end of the new cross connectors. Push a T connector onto the end of each 30 cm (1 foot) pipe, angling the T to the same angle as the cross connectors.

Glue all pipes into their connectors. Cut notches into the tops of the rod holders once the glue dries. Use the reciprocating saw or a hacksaw.

Strengthen the PVC structure by strapping it down with bungee cords or tie-down straps.


This project allows for four rod holders, but can be easily adapted by adding or removing the cross-shaped pieces. The angle of each holder is adjustable.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 m (10 feet) of PVC pipe
  • 30 cm (1 foot) of PVC, 3 m (10 foot) length
  • Measuring tape
  • Reciprocating saw or hacksaw
  • 3 four-way PVC pipe connectors
  • PVC T-pipe connectors
  • PVC glue
  • Hacksaw
  • Bungee cords or tie-down straps
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About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.