In recent years rod racks have become popular on catfish boats. These racks run from the port to starboard side across the back of the boat and are built to hold fishing rod holders.
The basic idea of a catfish boat rod rack is to allow you to spread fishing rod holder across the back of the boat and raise them up to a “working” level so you’re rod and reels are easier to access when catfishing.
Catfish boat rod racks are very popular with anglers who fish in rivers, here’s why:
- Most catfish anglers that target catfish in rivers with current will fish from the back of the boat when anchored.
- There’s a variety of other catfishing techniques used for river catfishing that would’t involve fishing from the back of the boat like controlled drifting or “bumping” but when fishing anchored the overwhelming majority of anglers fish from the back of the boat.
- The nose of the boat is anchored into the current and anglers fish from the back so they’re working with the current.
Having a rod rack isn’t a necessity for catfishing in rivers, there’s many anglers that don’t use them, it’s just a matter of personal preference and fishing style.
If you’re fishing style doesn’t put you in position to primarily fish off the back of the boat then a rod rack really serves no purpose on your catfish boat. If you primarily fish in lakes and reservoirs you may find that you don’t fish from the back of the boat often or at least on a limited basis.
Here’s The Video
Here’s Why I Never Used Rod Racks:
Here’s why I never used rod racks on the back of my catfish boats.
- There’s times when targeting blue catfish in the spring where I fish primarily from the back of the boat due to wind but that could change on a daily or even hourly basis.
- When fishing from any part of the boat and fishing anchored I need to be able to access the front and back of the boat to keep the boat from swaying when on anchor.
- Most “stock” designs are expensive to buy, expensive to ship and many typically interfere with accessing hatches, live wells and compartments.
- Most stock designs typically require permanent installation on the boat. This means a huge obstruction on the back of the boat that’s occupying space, something to work around and step over that’s taking up space.
- Custom options can be expensive are require some effort in design and engineering to get right and in many cases they don’t look great.
The bottom line is I didn’t want a huge fishing rod rack taking up space on the back of the boat that I was constantly having to work around and step over that I was only going to use for limited periods of time.
The SeaArk Cat Rack Rod Rack Is Different
When I ordered my 2016 SeaArk ProCat 240 they’d recently come up with a design for a new fishing rod rack called the “Cat Rack” that they wanted me to try.
It solved all of the problems I’d had with rod racks in the past so I decided to give it a try.
- The SeaArk Cat Rack mounts into the slide track on SeaArk boats so there’s no drilling or permanent mounting, it can be installed or removed quickly and easily with four bolts.
- Because the SeaArk Cat Rack mounts in the slide track system on the rails I can adjust the position moving it forward or backwards as needed.
- It’s built specific for SeaArk Boats so you can open all of the compartments.
- I can still open the live well and back compartment on the ProCat with the SeaArk Cat Rack installed.
- It doesn’t interfere with trimming the motor up.
- It’s easily removed, just 4 bolts and a one man job.
- It’s built so it can be stored easily or even broken down almost flat.
- The SeaArk Cat Rack itself has an integrated slide track so rod holders can be easily mounted to the rack and their position are adjustable.
Should You Have a Rod Rack On Your Catfish Boat?
If you fish in rivers and primarily fish from the back of the boat it’s a matter of convenience and personal preference but they’re definitely helpful.
If you don’t fish primarily (or often) from the back of the boat then you don’t need a rod rack. It’s most likely just something that will get in your way.
If you fish in lakes and reservoirs like I do, your use for a rod rack will probably be limited or specific to seasonal patterns or specific techniques. I’ve relied on the Cat Rack some in the spring and have used it extensively in the fall and winter.
The SeaArk Cat Rack is perfect for my boat and fishing style.
I’d never install a rod rack on my catfish boat that couldn’t be quickly and easily removed or installed since my use is limited. When you’re not using it it’s difficult to work around (especially when anchoring the back of the boat) so being able to have it on the boat only when it’s needed makes the SeaArk Cat Rack a perfect solution!
For more information on the rod holders shown in the video visit the Driftmaster Fishing Rod Holders website.
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