There is one piece of fishing equipment that too many anglers overlook when they’re rigging their boats—but that every keen angler requires—and that is a good set of rod holders.
Rod holders are indispensible if you spend time fishing for walleye, lake trout, open water steelhead, muskies, pike, salmon and halibut. And no matter what species you’re targeting, so many of the today’s top techniques involve using trolling aids like planer boards, lead core line, dipsy divers and jet divers that it is de rigueur to have rod holders mounted on the boat.
Other times, like when you’re trolling for muskies and pike with giant, deep diving crankbaits or bobbing in the ocean for halibut, you’ll simply wear yourself out and make it impossible to fish if you try to hold the rod in your hands.
That is why the first accessory I recently added to my brand new 2025 Kingfisher Flex SC XP was a set of Scotty 246 Striker rod holders.
I chose the Scotty rod holders because I recently returned from Queen Charlotte Lodge in Haida Gwaii, where I fished for salmon and halibut, and the lodge had Scotties mounted on all of their boats. I was so impressed with the way they handled that I didn’t consider anything else.
The 246 Strikers are also designed specifically for big fish like muskie, pike, lake trout, halibut, and even sturgeon, and since I like trolling big bottom banging crankbaits in the fall for these toothy critters, I appreciated the fact the posts on the holders are reinforced with stainless steel. I also often troll with pretty hefty rods with big handles, so the large opening on the holders and the smooth lock/unlock ring was just what I wanted.
On the other hand, given that I fish a lot for bass, black crappies and yellow perch—fish that don’t require rod holders—I also opted for a flush deck mount that allows me put the rod holders in when I need them, but also to pop them out and store them away easily when I don’t. And because the deck mount is low profile and flush with the top of the gunnel, there is nothing for folks to trip over when I am using the boat for pleasure purposes.
But as I often say, enough words. Watch this short video clip I shot the other day when I was out on Lake of the Woods, and I think you’ll understand why rod holders were the first accessory I mounted on my new Kingfisher boat.