Hook Set Innovations Float-n-Tote Rod Holder
by Steve Schweitzer
So you thought you didn't need one...
am not one much for buying a lot of flyfishing accessories,
so when the HSI Float-n-Tote rod holder arrived at my front
doorstep to review, I was sceptically intriqued. I have never
had much use for a float tube rod holder since most of my
float tube fishing is done in litle ponds and near shore on
lakes. However, the perfect trip was coming up to test out
the rod holder system.
arrived in Bozeman, MT to embark on a 7-day fishing trip which
included fishing rivers, streams, hiking and float tubing
on an 80 acre private lake. I have never really experienced
a large trout lake in a float tube before, so the adventure
was new. I prepared my float tube and strapped on the rod
holder. I was abit skeptical on the real use and need of the
darned thing, but that soon dissapeared as I began to kick
my way out to the middle of the lake. Well, that was no small
wind kicked up, the weedline at the bank was getting caught
in my kick-fins and the rod, line and leader was the last
thing on my mind and the first thing to get in my way. OK,OK,OK,
I admit...I didn't use the rod holder out of the gate; I held
onto the rod as I always have. What a mistake. So, being a
capable human being with rapid learning skills, I placed the
rod in the rod holder and concentrated on getting myself out
of the weedline and fighting the wind and current.
The Float-n-Tote rod holder straps on easily to the pontoon of your float tube.
After a tiring 20 minutes, I arrived at the spot on the lake
I desired to fish. Of course, I hadn't rigged the tippet and
fly before I left shore. You see, in the past, I learned that
rigging the rod with a sharp hook wasn't the smartest thing
to do prior to kicking about in a float tube. Plus, I generally
have always rigged the wrong fly and when I got to where I
was going, I changed the fly out anyhow. So, as I mildy kicked
to keep my position in the wind and current, I prepared my
tippet and fly without having to worry about the rod tip sinking
in the water or getting kicked by my fins.
While kicking about, the rod is out of the way
the day went well, catching several 3-5 pound rainbows on
a mixed bag of grey drakes, damselflies and streamers. The
time came when I decided to kick myself back to the shore.
The fishing was so good that I couldn't just hang it up as
I moved back in. Gee, I figured I could adjust the rod holder
to accomodate a little trolling action while I slowly made
my way back to shore. Sure enough, I caught two more fiesty
rainbows as I trolled a streamer at kick-fast pace.
The rod holder allows for easy change-out of leader
Now as I said, I am not one much for gadgets, but I suspicion
that this rod holder can come in handy for a variety of reasons.
I have not fished in the surf on a float tube or kayak, but
I betcha this little gadget can be a handy aid when the surf
is tossing you about.
to troll, hands free!
else might you use this accessory? I've come up with a few
different ways. I was fortunate enough to have 2 sent to me
fore review. So I used them both. Since I am a right-handed
caster, I mounted the other one on the left pontoon of my
Outcast U-boat float tube. The second rod holder became my
spare rod! I rigged two rods, one with a streamer leader and
streamer and the other with a dry fly leader and dry fly.
Switching out became as easy as moving rods! Hey, golfers
use many clubs, why not flyfishers use multiple rods?! Now
the idea came to mind: I needed a rod holding system for my
pickup to hold my rods securly while travelling from stream
spot to stream spot. wow! with just a bit of ingenuity, I
strapped the rod holders in the bed of my pickup (on a crossbar
made of 2x4). Now, I am not the world's smartest guy, but
I bet there are more ways to use the rod holders. I just haven't
figured them out.
it as a spare rod holder...
Try it as a rod holder on your truck...
Try it on your waist...
Float-n-Toat comes just the way Henry Ford likes them..."You
can have any color as long as it is black". It's quite
a sturdy piece and adjusts to your specific needs. It comes
out of the package ready to use as a rod holder on the left
side of your PFD pointing the rod rearward out of the way.
Simply place it on the right side for a nifty little trolling
holder. Instructions indicate that it even can be attached
via a belt around your waist for surf-style fishing, but this
trout fly-rod toting author didn't test that method!
easy to change between left and right-hand usage by loosening
the bolt, rotating the rod tube 180-degrees and tightening
it back again. The rod tube accommodates both spin casting
or fly rods. I did notice that the holder slipped somewhat
during a very windy gust on the lake. The tension can be adjusted:
I probably didn't have it adjusted correctly. However, to
do any position adjusting, you'll need a few tools such as
a flat screwdriver, a philips screwdriver and a wrench to
hold the nut while tightening. These tools aren't something
you'd want to take with you on the lake. Maybe a future version
will include large thumb screws for adjusting instead of tool-intensive
hardware. But like anything, be sure to have your adjustments
made BEFORE going out to fish!
rod holder retails for $35 to $40 USD. I am not an expert
float-tuber nor do I like a bunch of 'stuff' around me when
I float-tube, but I saw the immediate benefits of this gadget!
If you do any float-tubing at all, consider adding this piece
of equimpent to your float tube arsenal. GFF rates the Hook
Set Innovations Rod Holder as a 5 on the GFF scale.
more information, contact: Hook Set Innovations Suite 447,
205-329 North Road Coquitlam, B.C. V3K 6Z8 firstname.lastname@example.org
While adjusting requires tools, the holder is secure... you needn't worry about your rod taking a swim.