Fishing rods on the roof? Is that even possible? Sure, why not! Roof racksare a great way to get large and sometimes bulky gear conveniently and safely from place-to-place. Let’s take a look at some of the options on the market as well as the plusses and minuses of each one.

Cargo boxes

Cargo boxes are great options for moving gear that won’t fit inside your vehicle, and many are machined from the same high quality aluminium as professional lacrosse equipment. If you want to move your rods and reels in a cargo box, they don’t provide a convenient way to secure them. Consequently, you’ll need to break down your rod and reel and put them in separate cases. This means a box is great for long range transport but won’t help for short hops like going from hole-to-hole along a river or creek.

Ski racks

A traditional clamshell style ski rack can work well for holding an assembled rod and reel. They hold rods securely and can even be locked. However, they don’t provide protection from the elements, so longer trips are probably not recommended with this method.

Dedicated fishing rod mounts

Several companies make dedicated fishing attachments for roof racks. These vary in design, but virtually all of them provide a built-in protection from the elements for your reel. Some incorporate aluminum tubes lined with plastic or foam to completely protect your setup.

These dedicated mounts work well and allow you to leave your rig built up, but they do tend to be expensive. At the same time, they are semi-permanent on your vehicle, so plan to either leave it there for the duration of the fishing season or spend some time removing it when you won’t be using it for more than a week or two.

Hood mounted suction cup mounts

There are also suction-cup mounts that fit onto the hood of your vehicle. These are best used for short-haul trips, going from one favorite spot to the next. They are designed to be secure, but driving with them at highway speeds is not advisable.

In-vehicle options

Finally, several manufacturers build mounts to fit on the inside of larger SUVs and wagons. These allow you to keep your setup assembled and protected inside your vehicle. They are probably best removed when not in use as they can impede entry and comfort inside your vehicle.


There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing a rod mount. How far do you intend to travel? How much are you willing to spend? How important is it to you to keep your setup built up and ready to go at a moment’s notice? Working through these questions will help you pick the perfect mount for your needs.