Convertible Fishing

Upstate Outdoors
December 22, 2017 - 9:58 am

To some anglers, a day of fishing means using one rod to do all of your business. For others, the concept of “the more the merrier” runs strong, especially if the offering on the end of the line is some type of live or cut bait. Other anglers prefer to do both, depending on the circumstances and will cast off the boat all day long if the conditions dictate, but then settle back and let numbers of fishing rods do the work.

Fishing with multiple fishing rods at one time requires some system for holding and supporting the fishing rod so it doesn’t fall out of the boat or get pulled over the side when a fish takes the bait.

You may have even been out on the lake and seen crappie anglers with rods poking out of the front of the boat, making the craft look like some oversized water bug or catfish and striped bass anglers slowly trolling or drifting along with a vast array of roads trailing lines behind the boat.

For the angler with only one boat but a wide variety of fishing interests, this often presents a problem. Many would-be crappie anglers balk at the thought of converting their bass boats or fish and ski’s over to a full-fledged trolling rig. They want the freedom of a clean open deck without dealing with all those rod holders when they aren’t crappie fishing. 

“I think we’ve come up with a solution,” said Driftmaster LLC President David Baynard. “We’ve developed a mount that resembles a crow’s foot to lock onto the mounting pin for the pedestal seat. The feet are adjustable to accommodate any fishing deck. Mounted on top of the Crow Foot base are two T-bars that hold 4 rod holders each. Each of these T-bars allows independent adjustment of each rod so that you can spread them out as far as you want.”

Baynard said this type of set up is important on windy days to keep the rods low to the water and makes it much easier to detect bites than a rod that has several feet of line out of the water.

For striper, catfish, and other anglers who prefer to fish or troll from the transom end of the boat, Baynard said his business also manufactures a number of trolling bars that can be mounted parallel to the transom or parallel to the gunnels of the boat along the rear deck.

“Most anglers who have a fishing boat identify as a particular species angler,” said Baynard. “Those folks will permanently mount rod racks and rod holders in whatever configuration suits their style. For those who want more options we can do removable mounts.”

Baynard said to think of his trolling rack systems like a removable ski-tow bar that is common on the rear of many runabouts and pleasure boats. The mounts themselves are flush to the deck so there’s no tripping over them when the rack is not installed. The racks mount to the bases based on a pretty ingenuous system of stainless steel bolts and wing nuts that can be installed in just a matter of minutes.

“This allows you to fish the style that’s most comfortable to you, without all the hardware being in the way when you’re just out pleasure boating,” he said.


Phillip Gentry is the host of “Upstate Outdoors,” broadcast from noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays on 106.3 WORD FM. Online broadcasts and recorded podcasts of the show can be found at 


For anglers who desire the flexibility of having rod holders mounted on their boats, but don’t want to deal with all the hardware when they are not fishing, Driftmaster, a South Carolina-based company, makes rod holder mounts and racks that are removable and can be installed in just a couple of minutes. Photo by Phillip Gentry

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