How to Install a Fishing Rod Holder on a Fiberglass Boat

How to Install a Fishing Rod Holder on a Fiberglass Boat

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Install one or two flush mount rod holders on your boat to increase your odds of catching game fish. Even if you own a fiberglass boat, your choices are not limited to just clamp rod holders. Installing a flush mount rod holder is a fairly simple procedure; all you need are a few tools and some safety equipment. A flush mount rod holder entails drilling into the boat's gunwale, which allows you to fish with ease while also keeping your boat more organized.

Items you will need

  • Dust mask

  • Safety glasses

  • Masking tape

  • Tape measure

  • Marker

  • 2.5-inch hole saw with a pilot bit

  • Flush mount rod holder

  • Hand file

  • Wrench

  • Screws

Choose a location on the gunwale and use the marker to mark where to drill a hole for the rod holder. Use the tape measure across the gunwale to determine its center. Ensure that the spot is free of any obstructions underneath the gunwale.

Place strips of masking tape over the surrounding area to protect the gel coat from damage.

Put on your dust mask and safety glasses to start fiberglass installation.

Drill a hole using the 2.5-inch hole saw at the area that you marked for installation.

Smooth the edges with the hand file to remove any excess fiberglass.

Test fit the rod holder flush into the hole and mark where the screw holes on the flange need to be drilled.

Drill holes through the surface by following the screw marks that you just made. This is where the flange or gasket of the rod holder will be attached. The screw size will depend on your chosen flush mount rod holder.

Put silicone sealant into each screw hole, then insert the rod holder into the gunwale hole. Screw the flange into place and tighten the rod holder assembly using the wrench.


  • Choose a rod holder in any angle that suits your needs. Angled rod holders come in different offsets; a rod holder set at a 30-degree angle is well-suited for trolling because it puts less stress on the reel seat. Choose a 15-degree angle if you prefer kite fishing. A 45-degree angle is ideal for high-speed trolling or deep-fishing.
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