Installing a flush mount rod holder is easy to do with the right tools and placement consideration.
Recently I decided to add a second rod holder to my kayak, those who use multiple setups while fishing know the importance of being able to switch rods quickly. Below are the instructions on how to install a flush mount rod holder on your kayak.
What you will need:
- Rod Holder + Rivets
- 2″ Hole Saw
- Rivet Gun
- 3/16 ” Drill Bit
Choosing the rod holder
For this installation I wanted a flush mounted rod holder as I wanted something I didn’t have to worry about when putting the kayak on my car rack. One of the best I found was on Amazon made by Pelican, it has thick plastic and comes with the perfect sized rivets. You can purchase this rod holder here.
Placement of the rod holder
Find a spot suitable for your rod holder whether it’s behind the seat like the one I am installing now or on the side such as my previous installation in the below photo
One thing to watch out for is to ensure the inside of your kayak has enough room for the tube of the rod holder (my kayak is an open top so the sides are enclosed and inaccessible)
Once you decide on the placement, turn the tod holder upside down and trace with a pencil around what is considered the top of the rod holder as shown below
Next, flip the rod holder so that the circular end is facing down and place it in the center of the trace you just drew then trace the circle completely around (this will be your guide for the hole saw
Cut 2″ hole using the hole saw
If you don’t have a hole saw you can find an inexpensive one on Amazon such as the one I used found here.
Place the center drill piece in the middle of the hole
Make certain that as you drill you are keeping it as straight and even as possible versus at an angle
Drill all the way through until the hole saw completes the cut
If your plastic circle does not stay in the hole saw and falls into the kayak, use a stick of any long item with two way tape wrapped around. Stick this down the hole and press against the circular disk to pull it our of your kayak
Now you have the hole!
Placece the rod holder in the hole, you will notice it doesn’t quite fit snug as shown below, you need to adjust the shape of the hole since the holder is at an angle
You can use a drill bit to grind against the plastic or you can use a circular file
Keep inserting the rod holder progress is going until the rod holder site flush against the kayak
Drill rivet holes
Using a 3/16″ drill bit with the rod holder sitting in the hole, drill all four rivet holes. If you need this drill bit I found a version of it for $5 here.
Insert the rivets
Once you have the rivet holes drilled, it is time to insert the rivets
If you don’t have a rivet gun, they are inexpensive such as this one here that will do the trick.
Using the rivets supplied with the rod holder, select which rivet gun insert fits the rivet best
Once you have selected the insert and connected it to the rivet gun, insert the rivet
Next, place the rivet in the pre-drilled hole and pump the rivet gun until you hear a snap
If there is an excess of the rivet pin leftover, snap it off with a pair of pliers
Repeat this for the other 3 rivets.
Round the edges
If you find the pliers have left a sharp edge, you can use a file to round and shave down those edges