How to Store Fishing Rods the Right Way (2022)

fishing rods
Table of Contents

    Storing your fishing rods the correct way could mean the difference between keeping them for a while or having to get new ones.

    The life of your rod is very important because buying fishing poles can be very expensive. Anglers take great pride in their fishing reels and rods, and they take care of their rods to prevent corrosion. Here are the best ways to care for your various fishing equipment so they’re ready for the next fishing season. 

    Why Does Proper Fishing Rod Storage Matter?

    If you want to be a more serious fisherman, you need to take good care of your equipment. Not only your fishing rods but your reels and waders too. Everything is so expensive these days that you can’t just store things however you feel like it.

    fishing rods in a garage

    Most people like to keep their fishing poles in the garage

    You need proper storage solutions to ensure that you can use your equipment for a long time. The most important thing about storing your fishing poles is to keep them out of the sun. These may be outdoor equipment, but they aren’t made to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

    Another way to keep them out of the sun even if they’re inside is to keep them away from the garage door if your rack is in the garage. You could be doing work outside with the garage door open, and the sun could be hitting your fishing poles the entire time. 

    Before you put your fishing rods up for storage after you use them, you need to wash and dry them properly. If you put them up without washing them, rust can build up and ruin your fishing rods. Just because you use fishing poles on the water doesn’t mean that prolonged water exposure is good for them.

    The most important part of this routine is that you dry the poles until there’s absolutely no water left.

    How to Store Fishing Rods

    There are two ways that you’ll need to store your rods: at home and on fishing trips. You’ll be storing your fishing rods at home a lot more often than on fishing trips. There are a few ways that you can correctly store your fishing rods at home.

    And, these storage solutions work best in the garage or shed. Also, you can buy storage racks or DIY them. 

    Wood Rod Rack

    This is a rack that you can buy, and it’s very nice. It’s a wall rack that has several different functions and saves lots of storage space. This rod holder is also very good-looking, so you can hang it in the house if you wanted to. You could try to make this type of fishing rod holder, but you should really know your way around a workbench.

    If you choose this rack, you won’t be disappointed with how it looks. 

    Commercial Rod Rack

    This is the most popular fishing rod storage rack because all you have to do is buy it and set it up. You might not be super into arts and crafts, so this rack is perfect for you. There are several different kinds of racks that you can buy, but they all optimize your garage organization.

    You can also get racks that have places for all of your fishing gear. Some racks have moving parts and reel seats too!

    DIY Wall Rod Rack

    This is a very creative way to store your fishing rods, and it includes a PVC pipe and pool noodles. First, you make holes in the PVC pipe that are big enough to hold the end of your fishing rods. Next, mark on the pool noodle how far apart the fishing rods will be.

    Cut slits into the pool noodle where your fishing poles will hit them. Finally, put the handle end of your fishing pole in the PVC pipe hole and slide the rod tip into the pool noodle slit. 

    DIY Overhead Rod Rack:

    For this rack, you’ll need to purchase some materials to make them, such as PVC pipe J hooks, double-sided weatherproof tape, soft foam, and wood screws. You’ll need to hang J-hooks from the rafters of your garage, two per fishing rod, and as many pairs as you need for how many fishing rods you have.

    If you don’t have wooden rafters in your ceiling, you can always buy some two-by-fours and use those. You can use some foam to cushion the J-hooks. Then, put your fishing rods in the J-hooks. 

    How to Store Fishing Rods to Go On A Fishing Trip

    When you’re on the go, it might seem easy to just toss your fishing poles into the bed of your truck or into the trunk of your car. However, you really shouldn’t do this. Stacking your fishing poles on top of one another risks breakage and entanglement.

    You need something that will keep all of your fishing gear organized and secure. Some companies make drawers that will slide in and out of truck beds very easily. They will fit all of your reels, rods, bait, and waders. Some drawers even have enough room to store whatever you catch too!

    You’ll want to make sure that whatever drawer system you buy is waterproof, and you’ll need to check its dimensions to ensure that it fits in the back of your truck. If you don’t have a truck or just don’t like the idea of the drawers, you could get a rooftop rack.

    These have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are bringing a kayak and plan on keeping it on top of your car, you’ll need to look into the drawers. If you don’t plan on taking a kayak, a rooftop rack is a great option if you want to keep your rods out of the way. 

    The last option for those who don’t have the ability to put things on top of their car is just a portable rod rack. It comes with brackets that you mount to the wall wherever you plan on keeping your fishing rods indoors. Then, you can lift the whole thing off of the brackets and take it on the go.

    They’re very lightweight and small enough to keep inside the trunk of a compact car. When it comes to the rest of your gear, you should look into quality tackle boxes. The best boxes have special compartments to keep your lure, spools, and hooks.

    These boxes should be waterproof and easy to clean. A good box will also have enough space to keep the fish you catch and be accessible enough that you can clean it out with a hose. 

    Different Types of Fishing Rods

    You can always get a cheap rod from Walmart or Amazon, but it makes more sense to spend a little more money. This way, you can save money in the long run. However much money you want to spend on a rod, you need to store them the same way. Also, you need to store the different rods the same way.

    • Freshwater Rod
    • Saltwater Rod
    • Fly Fishing Rod
    • Spinning Rod

    Freshwater Rod

    Freshwater casting rods are made from fiberglass and graphite, and the handle is usually made out of PVC foam or cork. As the name suggests, these fishing poles are meant to be used when going catfish or bass fishing. They typically have between five or eight guides, and they are about five to nine feet in length.

    There are a few different varieties of freshwater rods, but the bait-casting and closed-spin casting rods are the most popular. 

    Saltwater Rod

    Saltwater rods are made from corrosion-resistant materials because the salt causes the corrosion process to speed up. The main thing that designates saltwater rods from freshwater rods is the guides. These rods have guides that are made of corrosion-resistant metal.

    Saltwater rods should have shock absorption because you need to keep tension on the fishing line. 

    Fly Fishing Rod

    Fly fishing rods are specifically used for fly fishing. Lighter in weight than other types of fishing poles, these rods are usually made out of graphite or fiberglass.

    Fly fishing is very popular in freshwater lakes and rivers. 

    Fly fishing is very popular in freshwater lakes and rivers.

    Fly fishing line is different from regular fishing line, so you should make sure that you’ve purchased the correct kind for your pole. Another difference is that the guides, line rings, are very close to the actual rod. This rod is very well-balanced. 

    Spinning Rod

    This is the most common type of fishing rod. They’re lightweight, and they have spinning reels that are good for beginning anglers. You might remember this kind of rod from the first rod you might have had as a kid. This type of rod holds the spinning reel underneath the rod while the guides face down.

    There are a few different varieties of spinning rods, as far as length and style are concerned. 

    Basic Tips About Storing Fishing Gear

    Your fishing gear should be super important to you. Keeping the same gear for a long time can make sure that you save money. There are certain things that you should do to make sure that you keep your gear for as long as you can. Try to maintain all of these things in your fishing routine, and you’ll have your gear forever. 

    First, you should loosen the drag on the line before you put up your fishing rod. If you just put the rod up for storage without doing this, you might risk pulling the rod or breaking the line. You don’t want to have to reline your rod every time you go fishing, so just loosen the drag and then put it up.

    It could save you lots of time when you’re getting ready for a fishing trip. The next tip has to do with storage for the off-season. You should disassemble your rods to clean and oil them. Your rods need this kind of treatment a few times during the fishing season, and you should definitely do it before putting them in storage for the off-season.

    You’ll get all of the grime and water remnants out of the areas of the pole that you can’t normally see. Another tip about storing your fishing rods is about taking apart your rods. You should use rod sleeves to keep all the parts together when taking the rods apart.

    The worst thing that could happen when you’re deep cleaning your rods is that you lose a piece. You need to make sure that that doesn’t happen, and the easiest way to do that is with rod sleeves. If you find that your equipment is rusty or corroded, you should wait until the end of the fishing season to replace or repair the pieces.

    It’s hard to get rid of rust or corrosion, and the best thing that you can do for your equipment is to replace it. However, you might as well wait until the end of the fishing season because you don’t want the new equipment to start rusting too.

    If you find that your gear is constantly getting new rust and corrosion, you should look into your cleaning routine and find ways to improve it. 

    Another tip is to clean and dry everything within an inch of its life before you put it up between fishing trips, and this tip is especially important between fishing seasons. Fish have a very powerful odor, and that means that your fishing gear will too.

    Also, if you put metal hooks up without properly drying them off, you could come to get ready for the first fishing trip of the season and find that all of your hooks have rust on them. It’s better to be over-prepared than have rusty hooks. 

    Keeping all of your equipment in one place might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not always to some people. You don’t want to be running all over the garage or wherever you keep your gear just to pack up for a fishing trip. It’s best to have some sort of workbench to start rigging your gear before you leave so that you have less to do once you reach your fishing destination. 

    Bouncing off the idea of a workbench in the last tip, you should have a workbench that is specifically dedicated to fish. You don’t want to scale a fish on the kitchen counter, so do it out in the garage near where you keep your fishing gear.

    It makes the most sense to keep the smelly, bloody process of scaling the fish outside. The last tip is about cleaning the knife that you scale fish with. This knife should be cleaned, oiled, and sharpened after every use. You don’t want any bacteria entering the fish while you’re cleaning it to be eaten. 


    Whichever way you want to store your fishing rods, remember that there is a right way and a wrong way. You shouldn’t just lay them around without any rhyme or reason. Position them upright if you can, and make sure that they’re clean before you put them up.

    You should look into buying or making a fishing rod storage rack because it’s the best way to ensure the long life of your fishing rod. 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.