Saturday, August 20, 2011

"D.I.Y." Fly Rod Rack

I finally got tired of the disorganized mess of rod tubes leaning in the corner.

D.I.Y. fly rod rack

I built this rack using very basic lumber... mostly scraps of stuff I had laying around actually. The tops of each level are 2 x 6s, the sides are 2 x 4s, the trim at the bottom is scrap pine I found in a neighbor's trash, and the bottom is made out of two pieces of plywood. The most difficult part was deciding on the heights for each of the three levels. They ended up being 19", 25", and 31" respectively. It also took a little planning and figuring to get everything laid out so it would all come together very nicely. Those are my little secrets I guess, but you can probably see what I'm talking about from the photos.

Drilling all of the holes using a 3" hole saw and a drill press was the most time consuming part of the project next to finishing. I finished the rack in four steps. After light sanding (not too much- this thing was intended to be a bit rustic), I sealed the wood with pre-stain wood conditioner (very important when staining pine and other soft woods). I then used a walnut stain which didn't make me very happy... so I resorted to using a product I don't really care for in order to get the color just right- PolyShades (stain and polyurethane in one). I'm not a fan of PolyShades, but I guess it turned out pretty decent. The whole piece was finally finished with a coat of satin polyurethane.

The artist in me couldn't help but add a decorative touch...

Smallmouth Bass on the right side

Generic Salmonid on the left

I used a scroll saw to cut the fish out of a 1/2" thick piece of maple that ended up being the only thing I had to go out and buy specifically for this project.  Aside from the maple I used here, everything else would pretty much be considered junk lumber.

Based on the popularity of my last D.I.Y. post (it just happens to be my most viewed blog post), I imagine this one will be pretty popular too. Kelly really likes it- she says it's her favorite carpentry piece that I've ever created (probably because she like things to be very neat and orderly).

If Kelly likes it, I guess that's all that matters... but I hope y'all like it too!


  1. I love the look of this! Beautiful piece of work to hold a great selection of rods. I have a real connection with the DIY of any project and this is right up my ally. Now all you need is a rod case for one of those. (like how I worked that in:-) ). Really though, great job!

  2. Awesome work on the rod rack!! I really need to do this myself , that corner of my den with all the tubes and rods piled up just keeps getting worse. I'm not a woodworker at all but I think I might be able to knock out something although it won't look that good.

  3. That's real nice.
    Your keeping rustic, and the fish on the sides, a wonderful touch.

    Well done Jay.

  4. That looks great Jay. I'm looking for a transition from the "tubes leaned up in a corner" status too. This would fit that bill nicely.

  5. Thanks for the comments, gentlemen.

    I forgot to mention in the post that I really don't have three Browning "Black Canyon" rods. Only one of those tubes actually contains a "Black Canyon." One has a 10 wt travel rod made by Gremlin Fishing, and the other is empty. I found those in a clearance rack at Bass Pro for five bucks a piece. Apparently when people buy the display rods, and the sales associate forgets to give them the tube, they put the tubes in a bargain bin. I couldn't pass up a bargain on a nice rod tube.

  6. very awesome! I immediately thought, "man, I want one of those," after which, I was just as quickly reminded of a famous dialog:

    Wayne: "What is it?"
    Stacey: "It's a gun rack!"
    Wayne: "Stacey, why would anyone want a gun rack? Few people own a gun let alone enough guns to necessitate and entire rack, so why would I want a gun rack?"

    It goes something like that (Wayne's World). I guess I'm saying, I want one, but I don't have the rods to fill it. That being said, if I use teh Field of Dreams quote, "If you build it, they will come," I should go ahead and make one so the rods will soon follow :) Not a bad idea.

  7. Really Cool! The DIY projects are always the most rewarding. The rack turned out fantastic, and the wood fish are pretty sweet to boot!

    Well done Jay...awesome!

  8. Nice job Jay. If only I could copy this, but alas...I'd cut my fingers off on the first cut.

  9. This turned out great! My only problem with having a rod rack would be that I would think that I still had room for a few more! : 0

  10. Nice JOB Jay! I really like the cut outs too. I've had a wood shop for years and my corner could use a little organization as well, maybe when it cools off some I'll give something a shot. I'm not a fan of Polyshades either in fact Poly anything!

  11. Nice work... Mrs. Brownliner is due in about a month so I am going to have more hours at home than on the stream... maybe I'll give this a shot! Kudos!

  12. Jay and Kelly
    Really a shame I can't seem to find my fly rod and tube to put there--the post of the trip is out--really glad I got to fish with you guys

  13. David, build it, they will come. The urge to fill all of the slots will be irresistible.

    Sanders, thanks.

    Cofisher, maybe you could start by scrolling out the fish. The scroll saw is a pretty safe power tool... I actually got mine when I was 12 years old. You can actually touch the blade while it's running without cutting off a finger. The blade just oscillates up and down so it has no finger amputating action.

    RD, see reply to David above.

    Kevin, autumn is a great time for some woodworking. I'm not a fan of Polyshades, but I do love polyurethane... especially spar urethane. You really can't get a more durable finish, and I like my work to be pretty durable when it's finished.

    Mr. Brownliner, my rack was a result of not being able to get to the water much. It will at least give you a connection to the fishing you'll be missing.

    Bill, sorry about your rod. I'm still glad no one was injured. Material things can always be replaced, but you only get one you. If you had been hurt, who would guide us on the Sipsey Fork and Smith Lake in the fall?