How to build a spider rod holder

Written by matt scheer
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How to build a spider rod holder
A spider rod holder holds a fishing rod so that the fisherman doesn't have to. (fishing rod image by Inhumane Productions from

A spider rod holder is part of a spider rigging system for multiple-pole fishing. Spider rigging gets its name from the image of many fishing poles sticking out of holders on the back of a boat. These holders allow a fisherman to navigate the boat or survey a fish radar while lines are still in the water. If you don't want to buy a spider rigging system or if one of your holders is broken, you can make your own spider holder. This project requires welding steel, so if you're uncomfortable welding steel, ask a professional welder to do it for you with your own design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Permanent black marker
  • Tape measure
  • Angle level measuring tool
  • Pipe cutter
  • Vice
  • Acetylene torch and acetylene tank
  • 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide steel pipe, 3 1/2 feet long
  • Pipe bender
  • Safety goggles and gloves

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  1. 1

    Design the spider rig holder you want on paper. The holder should have an 8 to 10-inch stem, an angled transept or crossbar at least 1 foot long, a cradle or fork at one end and a upside-down "U" cradle on the other. The width between the tongs of each fork should be slightly larger than the width of your fishing rod's handle, 1 3/4 inch for wide handles and 1/38 inch for small to medium handles. The length and height difference between the cradles on the opposite ends of the crossbar determines the angle at which the pole rests on the holder. For example, when the two cradles are at the same height, the fishing rod lays horizontally in the holder. The front cradle should never be below the rear, upside-down cradle, or else the fishing rod may fall into the water.

  2. 2

    Mark the length of the stem segment you need to cut from the steel pipe you have with a permanent black marker and tape measure or micrometer.

  3. 3

    Insert the steel pipe at the mark you made into the steel cutter. Tighten the handle wheel of the steel cutter until the blade touches the pipe. Twist the body of the cutter around the pipe, tightening the handle wheel as you go, in order to spin the blade around the mark and cut into the pipe. Continue to do this until the blade cuts clean through the pipe.

  4. 4

    Draw a cross-sectional line with the marker on top of the stem at the angle you wish the crossbar to rest on the stem. Cut the pipe along this line with the same method you used in Step 3.

  5. 5

    Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to measure and cut the crossbar. Mark the centre length of the crossbar with the black marker.

  6. 6

    Put on your safety goggles and gloves. Put the steel stem in a vice. Turn on your acetylene torch. Weld the stem to the crossbar at the centre of the crossbar.

  7. 7

    Measure and cut the two cradles of the spider rod holder. Each cradle should be 10 inches long. Bend the pipe in a rotary, ram or roll bender, whichever is available to you. Bring the pipe to a machinist shop if you do not have a pipe bender. Bend both pipes into a "U" shape. Allow the inner distance between the two parallel lines of the "U" to be no larger than the handle of your fishing rod.

  8. 8

    Weld the two "U"-shaped cradles to the crossbar. The front of the rig holder is the end that tilts upward. Weld the bottom of the "U" to this end of the crossbar. Weld the other cradle to the opposite end of the crossbar upside down. Although this means that the fishing rod is angled slightly away from the length of the crossbar, it is going to be held securely in place by the upside-down cradle in the back. That way when a fish takes the bait, the fishing rod won't jump out of the handle.

  9. 9

    Insert the stem of the spider rod holder into your spider rigging.

Tips and warnings

  • Wrap the spider rig holder in bicycle handle tape to give it a soft surface texture.
  • Never weld in an unventilated space or near flammable materials.
  • Always wear safety equipment, such as goggles and gloves, while welding.

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