Introduction: DIY Fishing Rod Storage Rack , Wallmounted

About: Mostly harmless

This year for christmas I surprised my husband with this wallmounted shelf for his fishing rods -

to make him happy - of course - but also because I was tired of almost break them while stumbling over them ...

My wood working skills are not very high developed, and I'm sure, there are steps, that I could made better, but I'm happy with the result, and so is the man :D

the design is very simple and can be adjusted to any size of boards - and also in the amount of rod slots ( It can't be big enough! )

The trout carving became a nice detail, and wasn't that hard to achieve - check out step 6 and 7 for that.

I added the lower shelf to store fishing reels in a neat, decorative and secure way.

Now it's a decorative and yet functional detail in our house - would be a shame to mount it in a garage ;)

I hope you like it and may decide to build your own.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

The dimensions of the used boards don't matter that much, I simply used scrap boards that I already had, and was happy with the overall look - I would suggest not to use very thick and heavy sized boards.


  • wood boards ( I had a little odd dimensions of 16,5cmx 1,2cm ( 6,5" x 0,47")
  • wooden dowel pins or wood screws
  • wood glue
  • stain
  • boiled linseed oil
  • foam ( I used old package materials )
  • shiny fabric for the reel shelf
  • printed pdf files ( attached in step 3 and 5 )
  • 4 screws for mounting
  • optional: 4 copper screw covers ( see pictures, I have no idea what they are called ;D )

Power tools I used:

  • jigsaw
  • mitersaw and circular saw
  • cordless drill
  • sander with 120,180, 240 grit
  • ( drill with holesaw 50mm, 2" )
  • dremel tool with burr bits ( for trout carving )

Other tools:

  • pencil
  • ruler / right angle ruler
  • countersink
  • gloves for staining
  • paintbrush / fabric for staining
  • carbon paper ( for the carving)
  • hot glue gun
  • tension strap or clamps

Step 2: Cutting the Boards in Length

Note: you can change pretty much all of the measurements, and used boards -I took planks I already had, with the result of some odd dimensions - they had the width of 16,5 cm (6,5") and a thickness of 1,2cm (0,47"). So feel free to use your own dimensions, or stick with my measurements and be okay with some extra work :)

with the miter saw cut the parts (you might want to cut the boards with a circular saw to change its width )

side shelves 2 boards: length 90cm (35,4 ") width 16,5cm ( 6,5")

"trout" board: length 80cm (31,5") width 16,5cm (6,5")

reel shelf:

1 board length 80cm (31,5") width 15,5cm (6,1")

1 board length 80cm (31,5") width 5cm (2")

1 board length 80cm (31,5") width 10cm (4")

Step 3: Side Shelf Method 1

For the sides I used 2 different methods - mostly because my holesaw was nearly dull :D

This are the instructions for the holesaw method:

print out the pdf with the pattern

center it in desired position - I chose 10cm ( 4 ") from the back edge

punch trough the middle of each circle to mark it on your board

add as many rod slots as you like - I chose 9

load the drill with the 50mm ( 2") holesaw and drill a centered hole on your previous made marks

cut out the pattern with scissors

draw the pattern around the holes

on the lower edge of the board draw a rounded edge, to make a smooth transition from narrow to broad

cut the drawn lines with a jigsaw - make sure to use a sharp, figure cutting sawblade

Step 4: Side Shelf Method 2 - Jigsaw Only

print out the pdf pattern

cut it out with scissors

draw it on desired position - I chose 10cm (4") from the back edge

on the lower edge of the board draw a rounded design for a smooth transition from narrow to broad

follow the drawn lines with a jigsaw - make sure to use a sharp, figurine cutting sawblade

Step 5: Sanding, Sanding, Sanding

sand all parts of the rack : all boards and the sides

begin with 120grit, then 180 and finally 240.

i chose to round all edges that are not covered

I have not that many pictures of the sanding part - because it was horribly cold that day -17 °C /1,4 °F ;)

just make sure everything is smooth an there are no splinters left.

Step 6: The Trout

print out the pdf and tape the pages together until you have a nice looking fish :)

position the fish in the center of the upper board - I found the branch hole made a very nice eye.

tape the paper in place and use carbon paper under and trace the fish.

make sure you got all lines traced to the board before removing the print.

I decided to give the board a rounded edge and freehanded a design

cut the rounded edge with the jigsaw and give it a good sanding

Step 7: Carve the Trout

use a dremel tool with a burr attachment shown in the pictures - they will get you in goal very fast

angle the cone burr along the outer lines of the fish, to give it a freestanding look.

then add detail with the ball burr

when done and pleased, give the edges and the fish a new sanding until everything is supersmooth

Step 8: Dowel Pins or Screws

this is my first project ever to use wooden dowel pins, but I wanted to take the challenge and have hidden joints instead of screws.

Youtube links to easy -no jig -methods:

german video using tape - that's the method I used

and another method with nails:

How to make a joint with dowels - without a jig

But if you don't feel comfortable with it there's always wood screws or nails :)
Position the holes for the dowel pins as shown in the pictures and glue them in place

Step 9: Assembling

Now the moment of truth: will the holes and dowel pins fit?

Luckily they did, even without any fancy jigs and helping tools ;)

- Not perfect, but fair enough!

Add more glue to the tip of the dowel pins and a little on the edges

put it together under pressure and wipe away all spillover glue instantly with a wet towel

clamp everything together or use a tension strap

Step 10: Drilling Mounting Holes

position the wall mounting holes around symmetrically 5cm 2" from the edges

drill 2 holes in the upper "trout" board and 2 more in the lower "reel"board

use a countersink in each drilled hole, to make sure the later used screws will be flush with the board

Step 11: Staining

use wood stain in desired color - i chose walnut

use a piece of fabric to rub the whole rack with stain - except the trout, leave it clear.

use a small paint brush in the corners, around the fish and the mounting holes.

Step 12: Add Details and Linseed Oil

with a fine paint brush, paint all details of the trout with the stain you used for the rack

let it dry completely before moving on

rub the fish with a nice coat of boiled linseedoil to make it pop and shiny

NOTE: make sure to put the fabric you used for the oil into a jar with water,boiled linseed oil can ignite itself while drying on a big surface like a towel...

Step 13: The Reel Cushion

I was sure my husband would NEVER EVER lay down the fishing reels onto the lower shelf without any proper protection, so that's what I came up with:

some foam from a packaging, so that the reels comfortably can rest their heads after a long fishing day

and a fancy, shiny shiny piece of fabric, to add some glamour :)

cut the foam in size and place it on the fabric

cut the fabric big enough so it will cover the whole foam cushion

keep it simple and use hot glue to seal the fabric around the foam,

fold the edges neatly and add a dot of hot glue to secure it.

place the ready made cushion onto the reel shelf and be happy, that the project is done and can be mounted :)

Step 14: Mounting and Screw Covers

Now mount the shiny rod rack with four screws and help of a level

- if you're not into screw heads, you can choose to get your hands on some kind of cover

I had these nice, decorative copper thingis, that are normally used to cover nail heads

the pins on them didn't fit, so I snapped them and used a small dot of hot glue to put them into place.

- Much nicer than a ordinairy screw head ;)

Step 15: See That Glitter in His Eyes ...

Your hard work pays off, when you see that glitter in his eyes...

...and with all these rods and reels it looks completed

and makes a fishermans heart go: BOOM BOOM BOOM!

~ I hope you enjoyed your stay! ~

Sincerely Mimikry

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