While I generally subscribe to the adage that good roads lead to bad fishing there are places fished by some folks that allow for frequent moves, by road, along a waterway. Kodiak Island, where I spent seven wonderful years, is one such place. To save the time and trouble of breaking down your rod every 20 minutes, or worse yet letting it hang out an open window flapping in the breeze with every bump you hit, this rooftop rod rack might make things a bit easier. You can make your own or purchase them from my website.
It installs pretty easily and will protect your rod for the short jaunts or the hours long drive to wherever it is you are headed. The make up is pretty basic, two short lengths of 2” PVC pipe, corresponding lengths of foam pipe insulation, some U-bolts and a short Bungee cord. This device has a few subtleties that you should be aware of and they are as follows:
- The foam pipe insulation needs to fit inside the PVC snuggly and can be glued in place if you like. Short lengths (24”) of PVC can be had at most big-box hardware stores along with the foam insulation, U-bolts, bungee cords and assorted fittings. I cut the pipe into 8” lengths but you have the option to make them longer.
- When mounting the pipe/U-bolt pieces to the luggage rack on your rig be sure to use lock washers ahead of each nut. This will save you the time of walking 1 ½ miles of back road looking for the hardware that mysteriously flew off into the ditch when you slammed into an enormous pothole while instinctively reaching for the Thermos that rolled off the front seat.
- For security sake you will want backup for fastening the bungee cord to the PVC pipe (which is holding your freakin’ rod) so two alternatives (you will probably think of more) are offered. The first is simple notches (think table saw kerf) cut into the forward end of the aft pipe section on either side to slip the bungee cord hook into. The second is a pair of short studs (I use ¼” bolts that I took a hacksaw to) epoxied into the pipe. The bungee hook just slips over them so make sure they have a large head on them. A measurement here is good to size up the slack or lack thereof in the bungee. Why the backup you say? Simple, the chances are good that it will be dark when you are packing up to head home, it will probably be cold, raining cats and dogs or worse snowing and your fingers will be numb and practically useless. The last thing you need is some finicky lash up that is depriving you of the heat inside the cab of your vehicle and what’s left of the hot toddy your fishing buddy is already gulping down while you fiddle with your rod.
- If you experience a sloppy loose bungee cord just give it an extra wrap around the reel to shorten it up and replace it before your next foray.
- You can relax on the drive home knowing that your G. Loomis NRX+S 790-4 is safely nestled in its carrier. However, you might want to check the details of your auto insurance policy just in case.