Fly Rod and Reel Storage Shelf



I wanted a nice-looking way to store and display my fly-fishing rods, reels and accessories. I did a lot of searching and didn't see any one solution that did everything I wanted so I merged a few of the better ones together.

Step 1: Materials

For this build I bought a pine board that was 11.25 inches wide by 1 inch thick by 10 feet long. I think it was about $40 at Lowes. This board will make up the tops and sides and should have been enough to make the two shelves as well but some last minute changes on the dimensions meant I needed another board.

The Second pine board was 6 inches wide by 1 inch thick by 6 foot long. This board will be used for the two shelves and 3 of the reel hangers. I think I paid $15 at Lowes for it.

The last board is the backing. It was a piece I had bought a long time ago so I don't remember the price for this piece. It was a 4 foot by 4 foot by 1/4 inch thick piece which I believe is usually used for flooring.

For the reel holder pegs I got (3) 1/4 inch dowel that were 36 inches long. I got them at Lowes for about a $1.50 each. I got the dowel in oak because I wanted something a little tougher than pine for putting reels on and off again.

Screws: PowerPro 8 x 1 3/4 inch screws for all of the shelves and Powerpro 9 x 2 1/2 inch screws for the top and bottom.

MinWax Early American, Minwax Puritan Pine, MinWax Polyurethane.

Step 2: Tools

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Chop Saw

Measuring Tape



Screw gun\Drill\Driver

Drill bits

Jig Saw

Straight Edge

Step 3: Measurements

Total : 21 7/8 inches wide by 32 inches high by 11 1/4 inches deep.

Sides: (2) 11 1/4 inches deep by 1 inch wide by 32 inches high

Top: (1) 10 1/4 inches deep by 1 inch wide by 20 3/8 inches high.

Bottom: (1) 10 1/4 inches wide by 1 inch deep by 20 3/8 inches high.

Backwall: 22 3/4 inches by 30 1/4 inches tall by 1/4 inch deep.

Shelves: (2) 4 1/2 inches wide by 1 inch deep by 20 3/8 inches high.

Peg holders: (3) 2 1/2 inches wide by 1 inch deep by 20 3/8 inches high.

Pegs: 1/4 round dowel 3 inches long.

Holes for rods: 9

Step 4: Layout

The basic layout will be a small shelving area in the front with pegs to hang the reels on. In the back will be the rod case storage area.

I took a 3 inch piece of PVC pipe and cut 10 1/2 inch slices. I used these to layout the hole placement for the rod holders.

Since I have a double rod case I needed one hole large enough to hold it. As you can see in the picture with the PVC slices laid out on it. I measured 1 inch up from the bottom for this placement. Then I measured 4 1/2 inches in from the front of the shelf for where the wall would start. That has the squiggly line though the area I will use the Dado blade to remove the wood. Next line is 1/4 inch back from the wall. This was to give me enough space from the back wall to the hole.

Now the center of the 3 inch holes on the very back starting from the bottom are:

2 1/4 UP 2 1/8 IN

7 1/4 UP 2 1/8 IN

13 1/4 UP 2 1/8 IN

19 1/4 UP 2 1/8 IN

25 1/4 UP 2 1/8 IN

Second Row of Holes

4 1/2 UP 4 5/8 IN

10 7/16 UP 4 5/8 IN

16 7/16 UP 4 5/8 IN

22 7/16 UP 4 5/8 IN

28 7/16 UP 4 5/8 IN

Step 5: Holes

Once you have the spacing for the holes figured out it's just a matter of getting the measurements to make the spacing look good. I used a 3 inch hole drill to make the holes. For the large hole at the bottom I drilled the two outer portions of the holes then drilled the center section out. I then cleaned up what was left with a jig saw and sandpaper.

Step 6: Dado Cut

For the grove to hold wall in place I used a dado blade on the table saw. You could use a regular blade and do multiple passes if you don't have the dado blade.

I set the fence of the saw at 4 1/2 inches and cut the grooves in the top, bottom and both side pieces. My dado blade with just the two outer blades and no inserts does a nice 1/4 inch groove which is what I needed.

Step 7: Router Edges

We used a router with 1/4 inch round over with a bearing bit to make the front edges of the shelves and the holes smooth.

Step 8: Reel Holder Bars

The reel holder bar is 2 inches by 1 inch by 20 5/8 inches. There are 30 pegs that are 1/4 inch oak dowel cut to 3 inches long.

The holes are drilled with 1/4 inch bit and the placement is from the end:


2 11/16

4 15 /16

6 11/16

8 15/16

10 11/16

12 15/16

14 11/16

16 15/16

18 11/16

and the holes are 3/4 inch up from the bottom of the board.

Step 9: Staining, Assembly, Top Coat

We stained the back, sides, top, and bottom of the shelves and pegs with MinWax Puritan's Pine which is a light honey shade on the pine.

For the reel holders pieces we wanted a 2 tone look and went with MinWax Early American.

Once we had all of the pieces stained and they dried, we assembled it with PowerPro 8 x 1 3/4 inch screws for all of the shelves and Powerpro 9 x 2 1/2 inch screws for the top and bottom.



    • Epilog X Contest

      Epilog X Contest
    • Safe and Secure Challenge

      Safe and Secure Challenge
    • Comfort Food Challenge

      Comfort Food Challenge