How To Build A Rod Locker In Your Boat

So you’ve had enough of stum­bling over your fish­ing rods every time you take a step on your boat? Or maybe you’re just tired of them always being in the way when you’re try­ing to enjoy a tran­quil sun­set on the water? I’ve got the per­fect solu­tion for you — a cus­tom-built rod lock­er for your boat! Imag­ine, a ded­i­cat­ed, secure place for your rods where they’re not only well-pro­tect­ed but also easy to reach when you spot that per­fect fish­ing spot.

How To Build A Rod Locker In Your Boat 101 Guide

You will need to mea­sure and cut the boards to fit the desired size of the lock­er. When you have the boards cut, you will need to attach them to the inside of the boat. This can be done with screws, nails, or even with an adhe­sive. Once the boards are attached, you can begin adding the dividers to cre­ate the indi­vid­ual rod compart­ments. You may also want to add some hooks or oth­er acces­sories for addi­tion­al stor­age and orga­ni­za­tion. If You need more stor­age check our guide on how to build stor­age com­part­ments in a boat.

Steps to Fol­low:

  1. Design the Lock­er: Sketch out a design based on how many rods you want to store and the avail­able space on your boat.
  2. Mea­sure and Cut the Mate­r­i­al: Based on your design, mea­sure and cut your cho­sen mate­r­i­al. Remem­ber the old say­ing: mea­sure twice, cut once!
  3. Assem­ble the Lock­er: Start by screw­ing the sides to the base, then attach the back.
  4. Install the Top: Depend­ing on your design, this could be a lid or a ful­ly enclosed top. If you’re mak­ing a lid, don’t for­get to add hinges!
  5. Cre­ate the Door: Cut the door to fit, and install it with hinges and a latch.
  6. Seal the Lock­er: Use a water­proof sealant or adhe­sive to ensure the lock­er is water­tight.
  7. Install Rod Hold­ers: Depend­ing on your design, you might need to install indi­vid­ual rod hold­ers inside the lock­er.
  8. Mount the Lock­er to Your Boat: Depend­ing on your boat, this could be as sim­ple as screw­ing it into place or as com­plex as cre­at­ing a cus­tom mount­ing brack­et.

You’re going to want to sketch out a rough design. Trust me, a lit­tle plan­ning goes a long way. You’ll need to decide how many rods you want to store and how much space you have on your boat. Think Tetris, but way more fun!

How To Build A Rod Locker In Your Boat 101 Guide

Grab your marine-grade ply­wood or plas­tic and get to cut­ting. Remem­ber, mea­sure twice, cut once (a mantra that has saved me more times than I’d like to admit). Make sure your lock­er is going to fit your rods com­fort­ably and that you’ve allowed space for the lock­er door to open and close.

Assem­bly part can be a bit tricky. But noth­ing you can’t han­dle. You’ll need to screw the lock­er pieces togeth­er, tak­ing care to ensure every­thing is lev­el. Your lock­er isn’t much use if it’s off-kil­ter!

Materials Needed

To build a rod lock­er in your boat, you will need tools such as a drill, saw, screws, and bolts. You will also need mate­ri­als such as wood, met­al, and fab­ric. Depend­ing on the design of the lock­er, you may also need hinges, han­dles, and oth­er hard­ware. You may need adhe­sive, sandpaper, and oth­er sup­plies to com­plete the project. There are some mate­ri­als that you will need to pur­chase. Here is a list of the mate­ri­als that you will need for this project:

  • Marine-grade ply­wood or high-den­si­ty poly­eth­yl­ene (HDPE)
  • Saw (cir­cu­lar saw or jig­saw)
  • Mea­sur­ing tape or ruler
  • Screw­driv­er or drill
  • Marine-grade screws
  • Hinges and latch
  • Water­proof sealant/adhesive

In order to build a rod lock­er on a boat, you will need mate­ri­als such as marine-grade plywood, screws, glue, and sealant. You will also need a saw, drill, and oth­er tools to cut and assem­ble the plywood. Final­ly, you may need addi­tion­al hard­ware such as hinges and han­dles, depend­ing on the design of the lock­er.

See our arti­cle on how to mount down­rig­gers on fiber­glass boat.

You may also need to pur­chase addi­tion­al mate­ri­als such as foam padding, fab­ric, and car­pet­ing to line the inside of the lock­er and pro­tect your equip­ment. You may also want to con­sid­er pur­chas­ing a weath­er­proof sealant to help pro­tect the wood from the ele­ments. Final­ly, you may want to pur­chase a var­nish or sealant to help pro­tect the wood from UV rays and keep it look­ing good for years to come.

Tools Needed

To build a rod lock­er in your boat, you will need some basic tools, such as a drill and drill bits, a saw, a mea­sur­ing tape, and a lev­el. You will also need mate­ri­als such as wood, screws, nails, and sealant. Depend­ing on the type of rod lock­er and the mate­ri­als you wish to use, you may need addi­tion­al tools and mate­ri­als. You will need a few tools to get the job done. Here is a list of the tools that you will need:

  • Drill
  • Cir­cu­lar saw
  • Jig­saw
  • Ham­mer
  • Screw­driv­er
  • Sander
  • Tape mea­sure
  • Lev­el
  • Paint­brush

You’re going to need a good drill, some­thing you can rely on when you’re tack­ling the high seas or just the local lake. A saw, such as a jig­saw or hand­saw, is also cru­cial for cut­ting your cho­sen mate­r­i­al, whether that’s PVC pipe, wood, or some­thing else. Don’t for­get your safe­ty gog­gles, because no fish­ing sto­ry ever start­ed with “I was saw­ing with­out safe­ty glass­es and…”.

A set of screw­drivers and wrench­es will come in handy. And of course, marine adhe­sive or sealant is a must to secure your mas­ter­piece and ensure it’s water­proof. Mea­sure twice, cut once, right? So, a tape mea­sure is a must-have too.

Preparing the Space

Preparing the Space for rod locker

This involves mea­sur­ing the area where the rod lock­er will be locat­ed, and ensur­ing that it is large enough to com­fort­ably fit your rods. You should also ensure that the space is free of any obstruc­tions and is lev­el.

Constructing the Frame

When the space has been pre­pared, you can begin con­struct­ing the frame of the rod lock­er. Start by cut­ting the 2x4s to the desired size, and then use the drill to attach the pieces togeth­er. You can then attach the ply­wood to the frame. Use wood screws to ensure that the ply­wood is secure­ly attached to the frame, and use a lev­el to make sure that the frame is lev­el.

Adding Hinges

Once the frame and ply­wood are in place, you can begin to add the hinges. The hinges should be installed on the bot­tom of the frame, and should be secured with bolts and nuts. Make sure that the hinges are secure, and that they are able to open and close smooth­ly.

Sanding and Painting

Once the hinges have been installed, you can begin sand­ing the sur­faces of the rod lock­er. Use sand­pa­per to remove any rough edges and make sure that the sur­faces are smooth. You can then paint the rod lock­er. Use a paint­brush to apply the paint, and be sure to use a primer before apply­ing the final coat.

Installing the Rod Locker

Installing the Rod Locker

Once the rod lock­er is fin­ished, you can then install it in your boat. Use the hinges to attach the rod lock­er to the boat, and use wood screws to ensure that it is secure­ly attached. You can now add the rods and begin fish­ing.

Is it better to store fishing rods vertically or horizontally

It is gen­er­al­ly bet­ter to store fish­ing rods ver­ti­cal­ly. This is because ver­ti­cal stor­age helps to ensure that the rod and its guides are not dam­aged by being bent or com­pressed. It makes access­ing and trans­port­ing the rods eas­i­er, and takes up less space.

How do you store a lot of fishing rods on a boat

To store a lot of fish­ing rods on a boat, the best way is to use a rod hold­er. There are a vari­ety of rod hold­ers avail­able that attach to the sides of the boat and allow for mul­ti­ple rods to be stored secure­ly and safe­ly.

How do you drill a boat rod holder?

You’ll need a rod hold­er (flush mount types are pop­u­lar), a drill with a hole saw attach­ment the same size as your rod hold­er, marine sealant, screws suit­able for your boat’s mate­r­i­al, a mark­er, and a mea­sur­ing tape.

Start by mark­ing the area of the rod hold­er that will be drilled with a mark­er. Place the drill bit in the cen­ter of the marked area and start drilling slow­ly and steadi­ly, using pres­sure to cre­ate an even hole. You can insert the rod hold­er into the drilled area and secure it with screws or bolts.

Decide where you want your rod hold­er. This should be a flat area that won’t inter­fere with move­ment or oth­er fix­tures on the boat. Make sure there’s enough space below the deck for the rod hold­er and that you won’t drill through any impor­tant parts of the boat.

Use your mark­er to draw the spot where you’ll drill. A trick here is to use the base of the rod hold­er as a sten­cil. Now comes the fun part! Attach the hole saw to your drill and care­ful­ly drill the hole where you’ve marked. Always remem­ber safe­ty first – use gog­gles and gloves.

Apply marine sealant around the edge of the hole. This will help pre­vent water leak­age and ensure a tight fit for the rod hold­er. Insert the rod hold­er into the hole and secure it accord­ing to its instruc­tions. This usu­al­ly involves screw­ing it to the deck, mak­ing sure it’s lev­el.

Allow the sealant to ful­ly cure accord­ing to its instruc­tions before using the rod hold­er.

Homemade fishing pole holder for boats

Ah, the home­made fish­ing pole hold­er — a clas­sic DIY project for the crafty angler! Here’s a straight­for­ward way to get it done:

Mate­ri­als: You’ll need a length of PVC pipe (about 2″ diam­e­ter works great for most rods), a saw, marine adhe­sive, and some zip ties or screws, depend­ing on how you pre­fer to attach it to your boat.


  1. Cut the PVC Pipe: Decide how tall you want your rod hold­er to be. A foot or so is a good start­ing point, but adjust to your pref­er­ence. Cut your PVC pipe to that length.
  2. Angle the Cut (Option­al): If you want your rod to sit at an angle, cut the top of your pipe at the desired angle. A 45-degree angle works well in most cas­es.
  3. Secure the Pipe: Decide where you want to place your rod hold­er on the boat. It should be some­where acces­si­ble but not in the way. Use marine adhe­sive on the bot­tom of the pipe, then secure it to the boat with zip ties or screws. If using screws, make sure they’re suit­able for the mate­r­i­al of your boat and won’t cause dam­age.
  4. Let it Dry: Give the adhe­sive time to ful­ly dry and set before plac­ing a rod in the hold­er.

Once dry, place a rod in the hold­er to make sure it’s sta­ble and holds the rod secure­ly. You’ve just made your own fish­ing pole hold­er. Sim­ple, eco­nom­i­cal, and effi­cient — just the way we like it.

Fishing rod box for boat

The key is choos­ing the right mate­ri­als that can with­stand the ele­ments and know­ing the lay­out of your boat to make the best use of space.

Con­sid­er the num­ber of rods you want to store and the space avail­able on your boat. Once you have the design in mind, you can start the build­ing process. Marine-grade ply­wood or high-den­si­ty poly­eth­yl­ene (HDPE) are good choic­es for con­struc­tion, as they can resist the harsh con­di­tions of the marine envi­ron­ment. You’ll need to cut these to the desired size, assem­ble them, and seal them to make sure they’re water­proof.

Remem­ber to install indi­vid­ual rod hold­ers inside the box to keep the rods from knock­ing against each oth­er dur­ing your jour­ney. Secure­ly fix the box onto your boat. You would­n’t want your neat­ly orga­nized rods tak­ing a swim, would you?


What materials will I need to build a rod locker in my boat?

You’ll need marine-grade ply­wood or plas­tic for the lock­er itself, stain­less steel or brass hard­ware for hinges and latch­es, water­proof adhe­sive, and sealant to make every­thing water­tight. Don’t for­get a saw, screw­driv­er, and mea­sur­ing tape!

Where should I install the rod locker in my boat?

The place­ment of your rod lock­er large­ly depends on the design and size of your boat. Ide­al­ly, it should be eas­i­ly acces­si­ble, not inter­fere with move­ment around the boat, and not affect the boat’s bal­ance. Many anglers pre­fer to install it along one side of the boat or in the bow area.

Is it better to build a rod locker or buy a pre-made one?

If you’re handy with tools and enjoy a good DIY project, build­ing a rod lock­er allows you to cus­tomize it to your exact needs and boat lay­out. But if DIY isn’t your thing, there are plen­ty of high-qual­i­ty, pre-made rod lock­ers on the mar­ket. The choice ulti­mate­ly depends on your skills, bud­get, and pref­er­ences.


Build­ing a rod lock­er in your boat can be a great way to improve your fish­ing expe­ri­ence. By fol­low­ing the steps out­lined in this guide, you can eas­i­ly con­struct a rod lock­er in your boat and start fish­ing in no time. With a few sim­ple tools and mate­ri­als, you can eas­i­ly build a rod lock­er in your boat and begin enjoy­ing the con­ve­nience and stor­age that it pro­vides.