Visiting the Hardware Store to Make Your Boat Fish-Worthy
C. BOYD PFEIFFER
For lots of fishermen, a boat is a platform from which you fish. I agree, but I am also inclined to jazz up any boat with some easily added appointments.
Just what you do depends upon whether your boat is a 15-foot canoe or 12-foot pram or stretching out to a 21-footer for a big lake or wide river. Regardless, a trip to the hardware store for some PVC plumbing supplies will help you a lot.
Light schedule (wall thickness) PVC pipe is available everywhere now, from skinny little diameters of about ½ inch to drain-cleaning four-inch pipes. Best for most boat angling purposes is the two-inch diameter or a tad smaller or larger depending upon your rods. If you want to mount rods vertically in a center console or similar boat with upright rod capability, get a few 12 inch lengths of PVC and mount them several inches apart—like a picket fence—on a boat that you can then mount to your boat. The vertical pipes will hold your rods upright. If on a center console, you can use a bungee cord higher up on the rods to hold them securely so that they won’t bounce around.
Long lengths of pipe that will hold the guides (about 1-1/2 inch for fly rods and 2 inch for spinning or casting rods) also works great when mounted horizontally under one or both gunwales to hold rigged fishing rods for instant use. You can use a cut out piece of pipe or similar racking to hold the fishing rod handles, with bungee cord to keep them from bouncing around.
Similar pipe, cut to the right length and of the right diameter can be used in the same way to make racks to hold gaffs, net handles, fillet and bait knives, ice picks, priests (clubs), perhaps even fishing pliers.
If you are handy with a Dremel or similar cutting-grinding tool, you can cut out slots and spaces to hold fly rods. These fly rod holders can be found in various catalogs and tackle shops. Use these as a guide for your homemade version of such racks. The small disc grinders and cutters are best and safest for these tasks. Sometimes for any of these racks, you will want to get some Velcro (hook-and-loop) strapping fastened to part of the shaped pipe to hold rods and such in place.
Some other handy items to consider are the following, all of course depending upon your fishing needs and type of boat.
- Short length of old garden hose for rope chaffing gear.
- Outside type carpeting to muffle sounds in the boat that otherwise might scare fish.
- A three-foot length of heavy chain on a rope to serve as a drag anchor when drifting along rivers.
- Minnow netting to throw over tackle when you are fly fishing to prevent the stripped fly line from getting tangled in tackle boxes and rod/reel handles.
You will probably find lots more ideas just by keeping your eyes and mind open when visiting tackle shops, boat supply stores and marinas. And remember that all these ideas and modifications are simple to construct and designed to make fishing easier and more fun.