Buyer’s Guide to Truck Bed Rod Racks

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Rods have evolved over time, from traditional bamboo-made rods to specially engineered and sophisticated carbon fiber ones. They have also been distinguished from which type of fishing they are to be used. There are those that are made and configured for commercial fishing, recreational, or even competitive casting.

No matter what kind of fishing you are into, a big part of owning a fishing rod is taking care of it. And, one way of taking care of it is making sure they are handled and stored fittingly during transport.

It wouldn’t be fun arriving at the lake and finding your rods tangled with each other just because you thought it was ok to leave them lying on the truck bed. It’s cheaper to get a truck bed rod rack than buy a rod each time it breaks during transport. So, make sure you get that best truck bed rod rack before that rod breaks. Read on to find out how to get one that will work for you.

What are Truck Bed Rod Racks?

Caring for your rods, just like any items you have, requires you to have storage that is made specifically for them. Like a purse to your coins, is the rod rack to your rods. These are basically rod holders that sit on your truck bed to help you transport your rods in an angled and secured manner. Your truck bed rod racks tuck your rods safely and securely, so you never have to worry about broken tips or tangled lines.

Comparison Table

Product Name ImagesQuick TakeCurrent Price
1. Portarod Inshore 5-Rod Holder Fishing Rod HolderPortarod Inshore 5-Rod Holder Fishing Rod Holder / Transporter for Truck BedNicely designed, strong holding system
2. T-Rex Tough Fishing Rod Pole Racks Holders – with Tool Holders T-Rex Tough Fishing Rod Pole Racks Holders - with Tool Holders, Available in 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 Rod Holders. Marine Grade, Rust Proof, 10 year warranty, Unique features, Made in USA Top quality.Your ultimate fishing arsenal storage
3. Boatbuckle Rodbunk Deluxe Vehicle Rod Carrier SystemBoatbuckle Rodbunk Deluxe Vehicle Rod Carrier SystemYour Snap-On rod racks system
4. Over the Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder Over The Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder (Mill Finish)Hook it and forget it
5. Plattinum Products Receiver Hitch Fishing Rod HolderPlattinum Products Receiver Hitch Fishing Rod Holder-Pivots Out (Mill Finish)Another great product from Plattinum Products

Best Truck Bed Rod Racks

Truck bed rod racks are challenging to find. A good set is that one that won’t damage your car’s paint job and of course, will hold still your fishing pole and not drop it.

#1. Portarod Inshore 5-Rod Holder Fishing Rod Holder – Nicely designed, strong holding system

Portarod Inshore 5-Rod Holder Fishing Rod Holder

One of the best and easiest systems to transport your rods on the bed of your trucks without drilling nuts and bolts. The simple, slim, and clean design makes it look sophisticated. Don’t be fooled by its simple looks though. Despite the minimalist appearance, it has what you need to keep your rods safe and secure.

Fabrication and materials: Portarod fishing rod holders are made with a strong, noncorrosive aluminum body that can withstand any outdoor elements. Its ratcheting support bar can be expanded from 53” to 84”, making it versatile and fitting to almost any pickup truck. Do you need to keep a certain distance from each of holder? You can do that by adjusting the vertical angles of your rods and the space between each rod. Portarod also offers a locking system for this truck bed rack that’s the same as Kensington locks. These are sold separately.

Features:

  • Ratcheting action helps with installation dismissing the use of drills, nuts, and bolts.
  • Adjustable vertical angling of rods as well as each holder’s spacing.
  • Fits any pickup truck with any year, make, or model.

Q: Will this Portarod model suit my bass/catfish casting reel that is sized 1000-5000?

A: They are all the same size and either Portarod inshore or offshore system will work. You just need to pick how many holders you need with it.

Carlos, a verified purchaser, claimed that as soon as he saw this system, he knew it was what he needed. The lack of reviews made him reluctant at first but after using it for some time, he was glad he took the chance. The holder’s concept was great and the welding on the holders was done flawlessly.

ProsCons
Materials used are lightweight making it easier to get from truck bed to garage (and vice versa) with no sweat
The adjustable vertical angles move and pivot all the way down if heavy rods are placed.
Aluminum body is weather resistant
Makes your truck bed look clean and organized

#2. T-Rex Tough Fishing Rod Pole Racks Holders – with Tool Holders – Your ultimate fishing arsenal storage

T-Rex Tough Fishing Rod Pole Rack Holders

For the usual price of a truck bed rod racks system, you are getting the rod racks and a toolbox. So, you’ll never worry about leaving behind anything you need for your fishing adventure. Its simple design has got your nice features. The brand name alone suggests just how you can depend on its strength and durability. T-rex Tough offers a whole deal more than the price you paid for.

Fabrication and materials: T-Rex Tough Fishing Rod Pole Racks Holders are manufactured using rust, rot, and stain-proof marine grade composites plus commercial grade heavy-duty PVC tubes. No wonder, the first thing you will notice upon getting it is its weight. This system is sturdy, the backing plate is a full one inch thick of solid composite. Worried about newer rods and reels with a trigger? T-Rex Tough has a trigger slot in the back of the tubes to accommodate them. Drive with no worries as it has its unique hook and loop fastening system that secures your rods from moving and bouncing.

Features:

  • Soft V-notch in front of the tubes to center your rods and prevent them from turning and twisting.
  • One of a kind hook and loop fastening system for secured transport.
  • Comes with 10-year factory warranty.

Q: Will the rods be held safely and securely at any driving speeds?

A: Users have vouched they have gone up to 80mph and it held steady with no pole damage.

Brett S, a verified purchaser, believed this system is solidly built and for him, it felt like it will last forever. He encountered no problems with rods even when he drove fast down the road.

ProsCons
Tubes are 130% thicker and heavier than other brandsSome screws may not be compatible or may be too long for the application
Comes with installation guidelines that are easy to understandA little heavy compared to other systems
Corrosion, rust, rot, and stain proof

#3. Boatbuckle Rodbunk Deluxe Vehicle Rod Carrier System – Your Snap-On rod racks system

Boatbuckle Rodbunk Deluxe Vehicle Rod Carrier System

No fuss and no effort. Just strap the carrier system to the opposite sides of your truck bed and you are good to go with up to 7 fishing poles. No broken rod tips. No tangled lines.

Fabrication and materials: Boatbuckle Rod Carrier System is built with durable nylon straps that attach to the opposites of your truck bed with its automotive-grade snap-lock connectors. The integrated adjuster makes setting it up on your car a breeze – simply attach the hooks, pull the strap to the desired length, press the button to release and you have your system up. This rack extends from 30” to 65” long, so it fits almost any truck. You can also use it inside your SUVs too. Just hang them to your vehicle’s integrated hanger hooks.

Features:

  • Hook and loop fasteners that help hold the rods in place.
  • A built-in keeper that prevents the strap from disconnecting.
  • Snap-lock connectors that make the straps easy to adjust.

Q: Can this be installed without drilling?

A: Yes! This system is easy to install and remove. No drilling required. All you need are the snap-lock connectors that it came with, clamp them to the sides of your truck and you’re all good.

Edward D rated this product as excellent as he felt his rods were secured and rattle free during his recent trip. He likes the snap-on feature, saying it was a welcome feature.

ProsCons
Universally designed, so you can use it either at the back of your truck or inside your SUVHook and loop tabs are too short causing the rods to be too close to each other
Can hold up to 7 fishing rodsMay be a little difficult to tighten fully
Materials used, nylon and plastic, are rust and corrosion resistantIf not tightened, rods could be in a jumpy situation on bumpy roads

#4. Over the Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder – Hook it and forget it

Over the Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder

One of the buying factors for rod racks is its ease of use. With Plattinum Products’ Over the Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder, you can achieve just that. Its simple method of attaching the rack over the tailgate has made it one of the best-selling rod racks on Amazon.

Fabrication and materials: Crafted out of solid aluminum with high-quality construction, Plattinum Products’ rod racks guarantees it won’t get any rust. This lightweight and the stylish holder can hold up to 6 rods of diameter under 1.7”. You can either slide it over your tailgate (as the name suggests) or the front of your truck bed just behind the cab. Don’t like your rods getting scratched and dented? This rod rack has the tips of its holder black removable polyvinyl rings to protect them. Not just that, the rack itself has rubber feet to keep the paint of your truck unscathed. 

Features:

  • Comes in different color finishes to match that of your truck’s color: Mill Finish, Text Black, White.
  • Strap and thumb buckle are included to keep it from moving if attached over the tailgate.
  • Rubber padded feet and rack tips to protect both your rods and your truck’s paint.

Q: Will it work with deep-sea rods?

A: It works with any rods with diameters from 1 5/8 (with the polyvinyl caps) to 1 ¾ inches (without the polyvinyl caps). For added security, you may add a tail hook to keep them down. This keeps them from dropping or falling off on bumpy roads.

Phil H, a verified purchaser, hangs this at the front end of his bed truck. His hesitation about aluminum brackets hanging all disappeared after his first drive with it. He claims rods are steady and secure even on big bumps along the way.

ProsCons
High-quality craftsmanship makes it securely and safely hold up to 6 rodsThe removable black rings at the rack tips sometimes slip when rods are taken out of the rack
Stylish and lightweight aluminum body
USA-made with 5-year warranty

#5. Plattinum Products Receiver Hitch Fishing Rod Holder – Another great product from Plattinum Products

Plattinum Products Receiver Hitch Fishing Rod Holder

Need to clear up some space on your truck bed for other things but still want to transport your rods safely and securely? You can. Plattinum Products got you covered with yet another of their pride creations.

Fabrication and materials: As the name suggests, Plattinum Products’ Hitch fishing rod holders is another system you can use to transport your rods with your truck’s hitch instead of the bed. Made of solid aluminum, it can room up to 6 rods at the same time. The 1 ½ inch square tubing slides into your 2-inch standard hitch receiver. The rack pivots out, so it doesn’t get in the way if you need to open your tailgate. Just like most of their rod holders, this also has removable polyvinyl caps to keep your rods scratch-free.

Features:

  • All aluminum construction that pivots out.
  • Has different color finishes to choose from, so you can match that of your truck’s color: Mill Finish, Text Black, White.
  • Finishing helps with protection against rust and corrosion

Q: Can I open my tailgate with the holder in place?

A: The hinge allows about 45° angle, so most likely yes.

TJ M, a verified purchaser, said this rod rack is his golf cart at the lake. It looks great on his truck and anyone who sees it has got him a lot of questions to answer.

ProsCons
Holds up to 6 rods
Lock pins for the receivers are not included
Easy installation. Just slide down to the hitch
Can not be used if you plan a trip with a trailer or another hitch rack
USA-made with 5-year warranty

Our Top Pick

Whether it’s the tidy person in you that wants the truck bed to be organized and clean or the fishing enthusiast that just values his fishing rod that much, truck bed rod racks are what you simply need. They are convenient to have, and they hold them fishing rods right on a ride.

In terms of ease of use and versatility, Plattinum Products’ Over the Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder is our pick. Being able to put it either on the tailgate or the edge of the truck bed with no installation or drilling required makes it very easy to use. The materials used to manufacture this product guarantees it will last long leaving you with nothing to need but it.

To show you just how effortless it is to use Plattinum Products’ Over the Tailgate Aluminum Fishing Rod Holder, the guys from Plattinum Products made a demo on this video.

If you are considering a product that is a little cheaper than Plattinum Products, then you may check out Portarod Inshore 5-Rod Holder Fishing Rod Holder. Just because it is cheaper than most holders don’t mean it can’t keep up with the other brands. This is one of the best looking and easiest to use too. No drillings or anything of that sort required. The ratcheting support bar also makes it the only rod rack you will need for any truck. Here’s a clip of how this gear works.

Took no more than 5 minutes to put up, right? That’s giving you more time to enjoy the lake.


Buying Guide: What to Consider in Getting Your Truck Bed Rod Rack?

Since you are considering getting a truck bed rod rack, it could only mean your rods are of way too much value to just be thrown at the back of your truck. You sure would want something to keep it safe, so you will still have something to use once you get to your fishing site. The best fishing rods are expensive, so you wouldn’t want to be careless with them. Better have a gear to help you keep them around for longer than keep having to replace or repair them every time they break. Here are some points to consider in getting a trusty truck bed rod rack.

Materials and craftsmanship

You would want a durable rod rack that can steadily hold your rods as you stride down the roads. The durability of these rod racks lies in the materials used for them. It should be able to help the rods you transport withstand outside conditions like wind drag or bumpy roads. The earliest rod racks’ prototypes consisted of PVC pipes and ropes. They have evolved over time and manufacturers started making them with patented materials. Whether they are made of stainless steel or aluminum, they should exhibit good quality construction. Choose the rod racks that look sturdy and durable but gentle enough to not scratch your rod or your truck.

Ease of setup

Since they are meant for transporting at the back of your truck, it means there will be lots of movement for the racks and the rods too – getting loaded from your garage to the truck, then from the truck to your fishing location. Find one that is easy to mount and remove so you can easily move them to your desired location. Reduce the time you spend putting it up and taking it down. It should always be easy as 1-2-3. They should be the real definition of stow-and-go.

Design

The rod rack system should be carefully designed to make sure there will be no damage to the rods. The systems design should have the purpose of keeping the rods secured and at the same time not getting in the way of other fishing items you need to bring. A lever design is ideal too. Racks are essentially tubes holding up your rods in certain angles. They should be adjustable enough, so you won’t have problems with low overhead clearance. The pattern should also be studied along with aerodynamics to not damage your rods if the wind drags heavily.


Conclusion

Truck Bed Rod Racks are essential in keeping both your rods and your truck organized and safe from damage. Without them, your rods could end with bent tips and tangled lines, and your truck, cluttered with some paints chipping off. Pick a gear with great value for your money – that one that has full-features of a truck bed rod rack that meets your fishing lifestyle.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

✅ Why should I get a truck bed rod rack?

Your fishing rod can get damaged if they are not stored properly, especially during transportation. No matter how flexible and strong they seem to be, they may not be able to withstand outdoor elements that can cause damages such as bumpy roads, wind drag, etc., This is also to have a clutter-free truck bed.

✅ What is the ideal storage position for rods?

Vertically, diagonally, or horizontally, as long as you don’t just throw them into the truck bed. This is so that they will not bend or sustain or get damaged from the wrong position during storage. Fishing rod’s quality also deteriorates if not stored after use properly.

✅ Should I go for the strap on truck bed rod racks or those that require drilling for installation?

Ideally, your rod racks should help you transport your rods from your garage to your truck to the side of the lake where you need to use it. If it requires you to drill every time you need to use it and remove it then you could lose much time instead of already enjoying your first catch for the day. Drilling could also start rust or corrosion that part that got drilled if left untreated without rust-proof coating.

Check out our guides on roof rack fishing rod holders and drop-in bedliners for your truck!

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