"Your fly fishing life really first starts when you get a magnetic rod holder". Those are the words of GFF partner Martin Joergensen, who has used a set of Tightline Enterprises rod holders during this season, and has been very pleased.
Tightline Enterprises' Fishing Rod Transporting Systems|
Price: US$ 120.-
Available directly from Tightline Enterprises
GFF rating: 5
Breaking down rods and assembling them again, untangling lines - even getting hooked on a stray fly while handling a rod inside a car. During a period with a larger car, I usually just shoved the rod inside. The car was large enough to take a 9'6" rod - provided I let the rod bend a bit in the front window. That trick cost me a couple of loose top eyes, because the eye would sometimes get stuck in the ventilation slots under the window.
Well, those days are over. Now I clunck the two magnetic rod holders on the car, one on the hood and one on the roof. I snap the rods under the heavy elastic cords and enter the car and drive. No more reels tossing about in the trunk and no more rod tips in the ears while trying to locate a new spot
. I even use the rod holders as temporary stations for my rods while rigging. I stick one on the side of the car, and stick the assembled rods into it while getting dressed or tying on a new leader.
I have also used the rod holders for two hand rods, and that poses no problems at all. And riding at speeds of 80-90 kilometres per hour or some 50-60 miles per hour is nothing that stresses the system.
The Tightline rod holders are heavily built. They are not elegant, but I certainly prefer a brutally efficient design over an elegant one when I am to trust about a couple of thousand dollars worth of rods and reels to its magnets and bungee cords. The rod holder lives well up to this confidence.
They are constructed from a heavy stock flat iron bar, which has been bent and connected to form a horizontal H. The lower arms have been mounted with heavy, round magnets and the upper ones have been padded with thick foam. The foam effectively protects the rods and a thick layer of something that looks like a powder coating on the magnets protects the car from scratches.
Once the rod holders are mounted, you loosen the bungee cords and pull them over the rods and slip the cords into their slots again. A ball at the end of each cord holds it tight and gives you a good grip at the same time.
The holders - and the rods - are able to withstand the wind when you drive, and even a heavy pull will not loosen the rod holders. I have not seen them slide the least bit even once. Which leads me to the discussion of magnets vs. vacuum rod holders. I have used both, and my experiences with the vacuum ones are not the best. Many of the vacuum models seem have a tendency to slowly let go and loose suction. I have also experienced vacuum rod holders that slid along and moved almost a foot under the duration of a one-hour drive in rain. The rods and holder were still tightly connected to the car, but nevertheless they had slipped.
A friend had dire difficulties getting the vacuum system to stick on the lightly profiled hood of his car, and wound up going magnetic too.
An other good reason to choose magnets is the price. The fully magnetic set is 120 US$ while the system with two vacuum cups will set you back about twice as much - 235 US$.
And the Tightline model is an excellent choice compared to other brands I have seen. They are sturdy and well built, work really well and the bungee-and-ball system is really unique and works like a charm.