Wood Fishing Rod Rack Project

By Mark Morris

Fishing is a common hobby, and many serious anglers have multiple rods. Since quality fishing rods are an expensive investment, fishermen want to store them safely and securely. A simple wall mounted wood fishing rod rack may be a good way for you to store your favorite rods, and it serves as a display as well.

Selecting Material

Choose hardwood lumber for your rack. The rack will have a back plaque and shelf. Select lumber for the backer wide enough to provide a good mounting surface, plus any additional width you may want for decorative edge cutting and painted on details. Lumber that is 1-by-4 or larger will work well. For the rod shelf, a 1-by-4 is sufficient. It allows enough room to store the rods, with the reels a little out from the wall, without hanging them out into your traffic way.


You can make the backer board and shelf piece the same length by cutting both boards at once on a miter saw. Make the shelf wide enough to hold all of your rods while leaving 2 to 3 inches between each for easy access. Mark out any decorative edge along the top of the backer board that you want and cut it out with a jig saw, or rotary tool. Use a router or rotary tool to sand down a decorative molded edge along all four sides of the backer. Round off the front edge of the rod shelf and cut notches as wide as your rods are thick and about 2 inches deep from the front edge, one for each rod. Glue and nail the shelf along the bottom of the backer board, with one narrow edge against the backer board's face.


Once the shelf glue is dry, sand it well using a rotary tool with a sanding accessory. Sand all edges, especially along the front of the shelf, until they are slightly rounded over to prevent scratches or splinters. Use a disposable brush to apply a coat of primer. This helps seal the wood and gives the paint a better surface to adhere to. Apply two coats of semigloss latex. If you prefer, skip the primer and apply two coats of stain and clear finish all-in-one.


Use an electronic stud finder to locate the vertical framing studs in your wall and mark off the correct height and position for your shelf. Drive screws through the plaque into the wall studs to anchor it in place. Use screws at least 2 1/2 inches long to ensure they anchor into the studs sufficiently. Predrill your holes with a countersink bit for a nice clean fit.

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