How to Video: Install a Flush Mounted Rod Holder

Streamed live on Dec. 18th via a Google+ Hangout, Chris Hackerd, ACK Co-Owner and VP of Store Operations, shows how to perform a flush mounted rod holder installation on a kayak. This was our first attempt at a live presentation and I gotta say, Chris did a great job! What do you think? What type of install would you like for him to do next?

Roland @ACK

The following products

Flush Mounted Rod Holder from Select Designs

Pop Rivet Black Anodized from the ACKessories

Locking Flush Mount Bracket 244L from Scotty

Baitcaster Rod Holder from Scotty

Rod Leash from ACKessories

Stainless Steel Bolt #10

Flush Mounted Rod Holder Install for the Offshore Angler

Offshore kayak fishing presents challenges that some kayak anglers may not be prepared for. One example is the integrity of a flush mounted rod holder when fishing for large pelagic fish. In some cases a typical install using rivets may not be sufficient enough. When a large fish strikes it can put great stress on the rod holder and  the rod holder can be ripped out causing you to loose the fish. In some cases can end up losing expensive equipment if it wasn’t secured with a leash and even worse, you can be left with a large open hole that water can flow into making your kayak unstable and unsafe. Andrew, the ACK Houston store manager, suggested that I try a different method of installation using nuts and bolts. The method illustrated below not only provides a more secure installation but also helps solve the issue of not being able to use nut and bolts because of limited interior access.

Steve Mullins
ACK-Houston Customer

Materials Needed:

(3) 10/32 stainless steel bolts, 2” long
(3) 10/32 nuts with nylon inserts
(6) – stainless steel washers
Needle Nose Pliers
Crescent Wrench
Vice Grips
Dremmel Tool w/metal cutting and sanding wheel

Instructions (click on each photo to zoom in):

Step 1: Remove the flush mounted rod holder that is currently installed. If installed with rivets, drill each one out with a drill bit. Using a ¼” drill bit, make the 3 holes on the kayak larger to accommodate the bolts. If you are installing a flush mounted rod holder for the first time, follow the recommended instructions provided by the manufacturer but use a ¼” drill bit to accommodate the 10/32 bolts when drilling the 3 holes.
Step 2: Insert a bolt and washer from the underside of the kayak into each hole. They should fit snug so that they don’t drop when the rod holder is inserted. If they keep dropping into back into the boat, apply a small amount of silicone around each bolt and let dry before you continue.
Step 3: Using the ¼ drill bit, make the 3 holes in the rod holder larger to accommodate the bolts. Add silicone to the bottom side and around each hole on the rod holder and carefully insert it back into the boat. You’ll need to be careful to not let the bolt slip back into the boat. If needed, make the 3 holes on the rod holder a bit larger for easy bolt entry by reinserting the ¼ drill bit into each hole several times. Reapply silicone as needed.
Step 4: Once the rod holder is in place. Insert a washer and nut on to each bolt; loosely tighten until you have about 1/8″ of the bolt exposed above the nut. It helps if you gently grasp each bolt with a pair of needle nose pliers (as shown) when doing this.
Step 5: Using your vice grips, clamp the top of each bolt and tighten the nuts. Wipe off the excess silicone for a clean finish once all the nuts are tightened.
Step 6: With the Dremmel tool, cut the remainder of the bolts off just above the nuts. Swap the metal cutter with sanding wheel and grind the top of each bolt for a smooth finish. This will keep you from getting injured by the rough edges left after cutting the bolts.
Time to go fishing!

Marine Pop Rivets

Marine Pop Rivet

One of the great things about kayaks is the fact that you can customize the heck out of them.  Pad eyes, bungee lashing hooks, bungee buttons, J-hooks, anchor cleats, cam cleats, jam cleats, handles, rod holders, if you can dream it up you can find a place to rig it on your kayak.

In most applications a pop rivet is the answer but there is an important distinction between a normal pop rivet and a marine pop rivet.  You want a rivet that will seal out water.  A marine grade pop rivet will have a small rubber seal on the underside of the rivet edge.  This seal compresses and keeps out the water.

One trick we use when installing marine pop rivets is make sure we don’t over tighten the rivet when clamping it down.  We take it to the point that it is good and tight and then we stop.  Then simply break the shaft off which insures that the center of the rivet stays in the rivet itself making it water tight.

If you have ‘oops’ and need to remove the rivet, here’s one of the ways we do it.  We use an awl (think ice pick) to push the shank out of the middle of the rivet.  You will hear it drop in the bottom of the kayak.  Then re-insert the awl about 1/4″ down into the rivet hole and gently pry.  When you start to pry it off, most often it breaks the rivet in two.  Now you can start over.

There you have it.  Marine pop rivets to install cool stuff on your kayak.

Clayton Clabaugh