4 Great (and Cheap) Fly Rod Storage Ideas

Jeff
| Last Updated April 5, 2021

Stainless steel, stained oak, and other fanciful fishing rod displays are okay.

Still, a practical storage solution is more important to many anglers than showcasing their collection of fly-fishing gears. 

Here are four practical and economical ways to store your fly rods and potentially extend their lifespan without putting a huge hole in your wallet.

How to Store Your Fly Rod

Whether you consider yourself not-so-handy or ready to build, these fly rod storage ideas are pretty straightforward; anyone can put them together in a couple of hours. 

Fly Rod Storage

What We Love

Easy to construct and install with fewer items and basic instructions; highly customizable to suit different needs

Stores multiple fly rods of different lengths and uses; offers excellent flexibility

Organizes your fishing rods neatly; an excellent space-efficient choice, especially for graphite fishing rods

Lightweight and low-cost storage solution for safe transportation

Photo Credit: OntheWater.com

J-hooks are made from plastic polymers or galvanized steel to look like the letter “J.” They provide support in both indoor and outdoor applications with lots of flexible uses. 

In this case, you can attach a dozen J-hooks to two 2 x 4s to create economical storage for your rods inside your garage.

You can make this as simple or as complex as you want. The most important thing is to have enough room to hold all your rods.

You need a bunch of wood screws, a power drill, and a hole jig to construct this fly rod storage.

Advantages  

  • You can set up J-hooks to mount on the ceiling in your room, garage, or basement.

  • The storage is pretty straightforward to construct; plus, the items required are inexpensive and readily available.

  • You safely can store all types of fly rods with their reels on the J-hooks.

Photo credit: onthewater.com 

Disadvantages  

  • The set up might not be suitable for storing fly rods of varying lengths.

  • A basic level of carpentry skills is required to construct the storage successfully.

  • You might split the 2 x 4s if you don’t know how to pre-drill holes in them for the hooks.

Best For

The J-hooks and 2 x 4s setup is a great fly rod storage option for anglers looking for something they can easily tailor to suit their storage needs.

This storage idea can work for you, regardless of the space in your room, garage, or the number of rods in your collection.

With 16 J-hooks (arranged in pairs with at least two screws) and two 2 x 4s of some considerable length, you can create enough storage to hold up to 16 fishing poles conveniently. You can get a longer board and add more hooks if you want to store more fly rods. 

DIY Storage Shelves 

Photo Credit:Instructables.com

If you are a handy angler, you can build many DIY storage shelves for your fishing rods in any part of your home. All it takes is a little ingenuity, the right tools and materials, and a few hours.

The rod storage can be for your garage, an outdoor shed, the ceiling in your basement, or wherever you have room. 

One good thing about DIY fly rod storage shelves is that you can build them to accommodate up to two dozens of fishing rods of just about any length. Plus, you can create extra storage if you have enough room.

Advantages 

  • DIY storage shelves offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to where you want to mount them (on a basement ceiling, under a deck, or in the garage).

  • They can hold many fishing rods of varying lengths.

  • They are a lot cheaper to construct compared to store-bought options.

Disadvantages

Photo credit: instructables.com

  • It might not be up to standard, depending on the builder’s skill level.

  • It might require buying additional construction tools.

  • DIYs might not be the best route to take if you are not handy because it usually involves many calculations, instructions, and different pieces of items, depending on the construction design.

Best For 

Anglers with an extensive collection of fly rods can opt for DIY storage shelves. They are a cost-effective way to store all your rods without putting too much stress on your bank account. 

DIY storage shelves can hold a variety of rods for nearly all types of fishing situations. Whether you own fly rods, spinning rods, or baitcasting rods, you can conveniently store them in your homemade shelve. 

However, your skill level needs to be above beginner level to construct durable storage shelves. Setting up standard storage will require finding the right materials and tools, and the ability to follow instructions carefully.

Photo Credit: SquareSpace.com

Wall Art Racks

As tempting as it might be, the floor is not the best place to keep your fly rods. Your garage wall is an excellent spot for hanging racks where you can store multiple fishing rods. 

Store-bought options might be expensive, though, costing up to $200 or more. But a DIY solution can save you a lot of bucks. A simple 1 x 4 peg constructed using hardwood will do the trick and even look nice on your wall.

However, if you prefer to buy a wall rack, consider plastic rod racks with built-in foam for scratch-free storage. These are a lot cheaper.

Advantages 

  • Wall art racks are space-saving storage solutions for fly rods and are also cost-effective.

  • The rack can hold multiple rods at a time in a neat fashion, making you more organized.

  • Storing your fishing poles off the ground (on shelves) will prevent mold, rot, and other possible damages.

Disadvantages

  • Anglers with too many rods might not have any room left on their walls for other items.

  • Storing older fiberglass rods horizontally for long periods can cause them to take a set because their entire length is not supported.

  • Rods with thick handles might not fit into the rack’s base.

Best For  

Wall art racks are your best bet if you have quite a collection of graphite fishing rods. You do not need to support the rods’ entire length because they won’t have any problem sitting on wall racks for a long time. 

You can mount wall racks in your garage or inside your home at room temperature. They are suitable for both hot climates and air-conditioned environments. 

DIY options are easy to construct; even people with beginner-skill levels can do it in a few hours.

Besides, there are many cheap options available with the opportunity to quickly expand your storage if necessary.

Photo Credit: Instructables.com

Photo Credit: WideOpenSpaces.com

Polyvinyl chloride pipes (or PVC for short) are another excellent material for rod storage because of their lightweight, rust- and chemical-resistant properties. 

Many anglers use PVC pipes to store their fly rods for several years without any problems. Make sure your rod’s handle can fit into the pipe’s diameter.

Typically, you will need to use adhesive during the construction to keep the rods in place. Some anglers (especially first-time users) worry about the vapors of the glue.

If you are concerned about fumes from the adhesives damaging your rod’s finish, simply air out the pipes for about a week or so.

Advantages 

  • PVC pipes travel well both by car and on planes, but be sure to read the terms and conditions of your preferred airline.

  • They offer excellent protection for the rod tips.

  • Pipes are budget-friendly storage options (you can get a 10-feet long pipe for $10 or less).

Disadvantages

  • Fishing reels can’t fit into PVC pipes, so you have to store the reels separately.

  • PVC pipes are not as robust and shock-resistant as ABS rods.

  • There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to PVC pipes for rods; you must factor in pipe diameter, thickness, shape, and more.

Photo credit: BDOutdoors.com

Best For 

If you are moving house or plan to move overseas or interstate, you should consider storing your fishing rods in PVC pipes. Of course, you can store fly rods in homemade rod tubes for long periods without any damages. 

However, you might want to add some cushioning if you are concerned about scratching your rod’s finish. Wrap each of the rods in bubble wrapping to prevent possible damages or breaks during transit. 

Consider adding some pieces of foam in the end caps to provide extra protection. Remember to glue the foam or use a strong adhesive to hold them in place. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing How to Store Your Fly Rod

The angling world has two types of anglers; those who fish 365 days a year and the rest who take a break during the off-season. Here’s how to preserve your fly rod in storage if you take time off from fishing yearly. 

Clean and Dry Your Fishing Gear Before Storage 

Whether it’s your rod, reel, or line (or even your waders and boots), the most significant rule of thumb is first to clean and properly dry them before storage. 

Manufacturers usually specify what cleaners work best for their products, so be sure to check the instructions, especially for cleaning your fly lines. 

Avoid using dish soaps on lines because that will wash away the slick coating. Instead, use a washrag and warm water to clean off grime or dirt from the fly line. 

Use a toothbrush to scrub the fly reel and guides and the reel seats on your fly rod.

Consider a Horizontal Storage Position

Your fly rod is best stored horizontally, as against standing upright.

Allow the rod and cork handle to completely dry before putting it safely in its tube or sock. 

Your rod is going to be out of use for several months during the off-season, so you want to allow it “breath” while in storage. Consider leaving the end caps off the rod tube. 

Photo credit: FlyFishingForum.com

Using a bit of oil before storage might keep your fly reels in good working condition, depending on the brand you have. Leave an opening if you store your reels in the bag to let any moisture escape.

Hang Fly Lines in Loose Coils 

Fly lines can develop significant memory if you store them wrapped around the spool for the entire off-season. The standard recommendation is to hang the lines in loose coils over a nail or hook to minimize memory development.

A coffee can is also a great alternative if loosely hanging the lines is not feasible. You can even leave the line on the backing. Simply wrap the line loosely around a coffee can and place the connected reel inside the coffee can. 

Inspect the line before storage and consider shopping for new ones if there are signs of wear and tear.

Consider the Shelf Life of Your Leader/Tippet

Store your leader and tippet in a cool, dry place, but don’t forget its shelf life. Typically, fluorocarbon lines can last for up to seven years or more and still work fine, but exposure to sunlight can affect a monofilament leader and tippet.

A monofilament has a shelf life of two years on average and can reduce drastically depending on its usage. Therefore, you may want to consider a replacement leader and tippet after one or two fishing seasons. 

The good thing is that these fly-fishing items are inexpensive, so you can easily buy new ones if you are unsure about their shelf lives. 

Photo credit: youtube.com

Conclusion

Storing your fly rod doesn’t have to cost much in terms of time, money, and effort. Proper storage means longevity, and the fishing tool will be ready to perform every time you need to use it. The most important thing is to ensure that your gear is clean and dry before storage.

Jeff

My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.