Letters From The Vice: DIY Fly Rod Rack

First off, this concept of a fly rod rack was not an original idea of mine though it’s a simple and genius way to store and organize your ever expanding fly rod collection. One night I was diving deep into the social media world cruising a private Fly Fishing Gear FB Group with an eclectic set of followers. I came upon a post from a gentleman named Daniel Wesley Owens. It was a collage of images for a rod rack he built for his travel trailer. As stated before, I thought it was genius so I took a screen shot and went into the garage to take some measurements.


I have a few fly rods from various companies and found that the average diameter of a rod tube is around 2.5” and lengths are between 30” – 34”. So with these measurements I went down to my local Home Depot. First stop was the tool area for a hole saw drill bit to cut the rod holes. There are various sizes over 2” but I chose a multi-purpose 3” hole saw drill bit. This way you don’t have to be too precise when throwing your rods in the holder. The other plus is you can use this bit with either a drill press or standard hand drill. Next, is getting the wood for the project. I chose simple lower priced pine but there are many options, it just depends on the look and functionality you are going for as well as your budget. The great thing about HD is you can have them cut the wood to your spec with relatively strong precision. I had the local HD employee cut me (2) 1” x 8” boards each 33” in length. Then (4) 28” long 1” x 4” cross beams. With all the lumber I needed I picked up some 2.5” multi-purpose gold screws in route to the cash register and I was on my way back to the house.

To be honest, the hard part is over now it’s just going through the motions. Using the 1” x 8” boards I drilled 5 holes on each side starting roughly 4” from the bottom of the board and spacing each hole 3” from each other. I then pre-drilled each screw location to place the cross beams so I did not split the wood when setting the screws. I then secured one cross beam at the top and one at the bottom of the of the rod rack. On the back I placed the remaining crossbeams more towards the center so I can mount them in the garage wall with ease but you can vary the distance to your preference. Once those are set you are good to go with organizing your fly rods.

Basic Materials & Equipment breakdown

  • (2) 33” long 1” x 8” boards
  • (4) 28-30” wide 1” x 4” boards
  • Hand and or drill press
  • 3” diameter hole saw drill bit
  • (8) 2.5” long gold screws
  • Drill bit with a smaller diameter then your size #2 gold screws

Suggestions to customize your rod rack holder

  1. Sand the boards and rod holes to give it a more finished look
  2. Place a board across the bottom of the rack to create a shelf for your reels
  3. Stain or paint to match your surroundings
  4. Place wood glue along the edge of your crossbeams to reinforce your screw
  5. Line the inside of the drilled holes with felt


Note: This is a pretty cost effective way to organize your fly rods. Remember you can make your own varied designs and upgrade your materials however you want to make it your own creation!