5 Things To Look For In A Fly Rod Roof Rack
If you're in the market for a fly rod roof rack, there are a few things you should consider before spending any money. After all, if you're going to use it to transport (and protect) your fly rod, this isn't a purchase you should take lightly.
So, what, exactly, should you look for when buying a fly rod rack for you car?
We've compiled a list of 5 key characteristics you should take into consideration.
Let's wade in.
If you're going to trust a fly rod roof rack to carry the most important piece of gear you own, durability should be your top consideration.
Fortunately, high-quality manufacturers put their products through the most rigorous of tests to showcase what their fly rod holder can endure. Such tests include military-grade shake tests, treating the fly rod holder like a literal javelin, and repeatedly taking a hammer to the frame.
Witnessing these tests would make any angler wince, but wouldn’t you want your fly rod holder to withstand any and all conditions you put it through?
Chances are high that if you’re an avid outdoorsman, your vehicle is durable and can take any off-roading conditions you challenge it with. The equipment that rides atop your vehicle should be no different. Nothing devastates a fly fishing trip faster than damaged or lost gear in route to one’s destination.
The first thing on your mind should be the solitude and fish that await. That last thing on your mind should be the condition of your fly rod holder on the way to your spot.
Inevitably, you will leave your vehicle behind at trailheads, campgrounds, picnic sites, and in parking lots.
Obviously, your fly rod will be in-tow if you’re outdoors, but if you’re at a grocery store stocking up on camping supplies and your fly rod is in its carrier, you’ll want to make sure it’s always safe.
With that in mind, a fly rod carrier worth buying should have a locking mechanism located where the fly rods are removed and inserted. This next level of security will prevent access to a desperate person; even if they try to make entry with a pry bar or screwdriver.
A quality roof rack fishing rod carrier doesn’t get in the user’s way.
Perhaps you have euro-nymphing rods 10+ feet in length, or buddies traveling with you with their own rig, or you like to bring backup rods with you in case one breaks out on the water. A fly rod roof rack that can accommodate several fly rods at a time no matter the weights and lengths is super handy to have.
A good fly rod carrier should be able to handle more than one rig at a time, no problem.
And for a little extra cash, there are manufacturers who can customize your rack to comfortably fit a euro-nymph rod.
Also, make sure that you purchase a rack that has a versatile mounting system that suits your vehicle.
It would be a pretty bum deal to anxiously wait for your fly rod roof rack to arrive and when it’s finally delivered, you discover it cannot accommodate your vehicle’s current rack.
4. Ease Of Use
Often an overlooked detail with these products is the door of the entry point.
This is so usually overlooked because it takes hands-on user experience to discover. However, it warrants one of those face-palm moments once you fall victim to it.
What do I mean?
If the door you have to open to insert or remove your fly rod opens vertically and an unexpected gust of wind rolls through, there’s a good chance your precious fly rod or your hand is going to take some damage.
Obviously, your fly rod and hand would appreciate it if you can avoid this possibility.
Instead, look for a fly rod roof rack with a horizontal door opening with a hinge housed in it to hold the door in place.
Not only will this horizontal-opening door protect you and your rig, but they keep the accessory lower to the ground, and thus accessible without ladders or ramps--a minor detail, but a huge plus!
5. Quality & Aesthetics
Quality and aesthetics are usually the two components that lead a fisherman to eye one product over another. Everyone wants something that looks like a dream, but what if it can work like one too?
For looking like a dream, there are fly rod manufacturers out there that have various color options to match or compliment your vehicle. That, and if the manufacturers are also anglers (which they should be if they’re worth their salt,) they’ve put just as much attention into the interior of the fly rod roof rack.
Look for a fly rod carrier lined with quality material such as top-grade polypropylene that will provide extra soft protection, as well as smooth and easy fly rod removal/insertion.
After these two conditions are met, take it a step further and look for a product that’s extremely aerodynamic.
You wouldn’t think this is worth much consideration, but a fly rod roof rack that’s lightweight, aerodynamic, and sleek won’t add as much to your vehicle’s payload. Less payload, less gas used.
The best fly rod roof racks are manufactured for anglers, by anglers.
You’ll know if that’s the case when the fly rod carrier you’ve been eyeing meets all of these conditions.
If you’ve become attached to a certain brand, but their product falls short of any one of these qualities, I’m sorry friend, but move on to the next. Your wallet and your future self will be thankful.
Enjoy your upcoming purchase and expect a lot of fellow fisherman tipping their hats off to you in traffic!