Basic Fishing Rod Holder




Introduction: Basic Fishing Rod Holder

This instructable is designed to show you how to make a basic fishing rod holder using only 2 pieces of wood and several basic tools. For this project you will need at a minimum: a drill, tape measure, rafter square (speed square) and a jigsaw or handsaw. Optional tools include a Circular saw or Miter Saw, Orbital Sander and Drill Press.

This is a beginner difficulty project and is perfect for practicing layout, marking, and basic tool technique.

link to plans:


(1) 1"x4"x6' piece of lumber I used common Pine from the local hardware store

(1) 1"x6"x6' piece of lumber


1-1/2" drill bit


Jigsaw or Handsaw

Tape Measure


(8) 1-5/8" long screws

7/32" Pre Drill Bit

Counter-Sink bit (optional)

Orbital Sander (optional)

Circular saw or Miter saw (optional)

Drill Press (optional)

Step 1: Supplies and Tools Needed:

For this project I used a 1x6x6 (1"x6"x6') pine board and a 1x4x6 pine board

You will also need a drill, 1-1/2" drill bit, measuring device, square (rafter square works best) and a jigsaw. A Circular saw or miter saw will come in handy as well.

For hardware you will need 8 total 1-5/8" screws. You can substitute screws that are slightly longer or shorter if you do not have 1-5/8" screws.

Don't forget your safety glasses and hearing protection!

Step 2: Measure and Mark Your Boards to Length

To keep things simple, all of your boards will be cut to 34-1/2" long.

Begin by measuring from one end of your 1x4 and 1x6 and mark at 34-1/2"

Use a square to draw a line across your board at 90 degrees

Step 3: Cross Cut Your Boards to Length

Cross cut your boards to length at the 34-1/2" mark

A Miter Saw will be the easiest way to do this but if you do not have one you can use your rafter square as a guide to keep your jigsaw or circular saw straight as you crosscut your lumber.

You can also use a handsaw, but be careful to cut as straight as possible

Remember you need 2 cross braces and 2 side pieces, you can use the first piece as a template to mark your second piece in case you are off by a little bit!

Step 4: Make Your Layout Marks for Your Holes

For now you are done with your 1x4 boards, so set those aside.

On your 1x6 boards, draw a line down the center with a pencil. Your line should be 2-3/4" from both long edges, bisecting the board hotdog style.

Then mark every 6 inches on that line, making a crosshair where your 1-1/2" holes will go. Your drill bit should have a centering point so there is no need to mark the actual circle.

Never use pen or marker on wood as it will seep into the grain and you won't be able to sand it out!

Step 5: Drill Your 1-1/2" Holes

Drill 1-1/2" holes every 6 inches on your marks from the previous step.

Use a Forstner or Spade style drill bit. A "hole saw" can be used as well.

PRO TIP: put a flat piece of scrap piece of wood under your board to help eliminate "tear-out" on the opposite side of the board.

Step 6: Mark the 45 Degree Angles With Your Rafter Square

Mark your layout marks for the 45 degree cuts to be made with the jigsaw

Use the 45 degree side of a rafter square (often called a speed square) and make a tangent line to the circle.

Step 7: Use Your Jigsaw (or Handsaw) to Make Your 45 Degree Cuts

Using your jigsaw or handsaw, try to cut directly on the line you drew in the last step.

Step 8: Mark Your Layout for Cross Braces

On your side pieces, mark where your top and bottom cross braces will attach. It is important to mark where your screws will go so you can pre-drill a pilot hole otherwise the wood may split. The pilot hole will also greatly assist in accurately attaching the sides to the braces.

You can either measure the cross brace and mark it, 3/4" from the edge and 3-1/2" from the top/ bottom, or use a scrap piece of 1x4 as a template, just make sure it is oriented correctly!

To mark where your screws go you should measure in 3/8" from the outside edge using your square or tape measure, then measure 1" from the top and bottom of where the cross brace will sit.

Step 9: Pre-drill and Counter-sink Your Screw Holes

Now you should pre drill with a 7/32" or 1/8" drill bit to create a "pilot hole" where you marked in the previous step.

Do this for both side pieces.

If you have a counter sink bit you can counter sink the hole so that the screw will not protrude from the surface of the wood.

You can also use a forstner bit to counter-bore a hole that can be filled later with a dowel plug or wood putty. If you do this (as shown) you should do it BEFORE drilling your pilot hole.

Step 10: Sand Everything Smooth

Before you assemble, you will want to sand everything smooth. You can do this by hand but if you have a sheet sander or Orbital sander you will have a much easier time.

Start with 120 grit sandpaper and sand with 120, 180, 220 grits if you have them available

ALWAYS sand WITH the grain (in the direction of the grain, not across it!)

Make sure to lightly sand over the edges so there are no sharp edges or corners!

PRO TIP: Use a smooth round object wrapped in sandpaper to sand the inside of the holes!


Step 11: Pre Drill and Attach Cross Braces

In order to keep the wood from splitting and ensure a flush fit, you will want to predrill into the cross braces from the pilot holes you already drilled on the side pieces.

Clamping both pieces to a flat surface will help hold them flush as you pre-drill

In the video I show the proper settings for the drilling and screwing. Make sure you turn your torque and drill speed down when driving screws if using a drill/driver as over torquing the screw can cause the wood to split!

Step 12: Touch Up and Finish As You Like

Once everything is assembled you can touch it up by adding wood filler to the screw holes, give it a final sanding, and paint or stain as you like!

When attaching to a wall make sure you locate the studs and screw it directly to the studs on your wall or use drywall anchors!

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    24 days ago

    i used the idea to make a good project in my class, i got a good grade due to the simple but good design, good job on making a simple rod holder.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    I really like the simple design :)

    You should consider entering the Woodworking Contest :)