The Best Way To Store Fishing Rods (10 Storage Tips)

On returning from my first ever angling trip, I was shocked to discover that I actually didn’t really know how to properly store my rod afterwards. This is a seemingly small issue many beginner anglers face, but it’s important to understand the best ways to store your fishing rods.

The best way to store fishing rods is by purchasing a rack specifically for your rods. The rack can be placed indoors, somewhere that does not have prolonged sunshine, freezing temperatures, and extreme heat. Failure to avoid these conditions will lead to weak or damaged rods.

Many variables should be considered when putting your fishing rods on a rack. To correctly store your rods, you must first consider the essential maintenance needed after each individual use, and we go through tips for all of this below, so you can store your rods properly every time.

What’s The Best Way To Store Fishing Rods?

Storing fishing rods in a rack is perfect when you need storage options at home. Racks can be assembled in your house or within an outdoor hut. Before placing your rod into a rack, you must complete all essential maintenance to the rods and select a suitable position for the rack to be placed.

Rod Storage Racks

Racks are simplistic ‘box-like’ designs that you place on the ground. Rod storage racks are my favorite method of rod storage, and definitely the most practical. Many large angling stores will sell a rack specifically designed for storing many rods. These racks will keep your rods upright and in one place. Many racks come pre-assembled, while others require basic assembling.

Wall Mounts

An advanced (and more expensive) alternative is a wall-mounted fishing rod holder. Wall mounts come in both vertical and horizontal alignments. Your budget and gear will impact your choice when purchasing a rod holder.

Some specific rod models (larger saltwater predator rods such as the Shimano Tiagra) are not compatible with horizontal storage due to their immense size, while all rods are compatible with vertical storage. As these racks are simplistic in design, any experienced woodworker could quickly make them too. This DIYmethod should be considered if you are on a budget.

Ceiling Hangers

Ceiling hangers are another excellent method for storing rods. The main advantage of using ceiling hangers is that floor space can be saved. Although, the issue with ceiling hangers is that they may look unappealing in some household settings. Therefore, ceiling hangers are much more common in outside huts or garages.

How To Pick A Spot For Your Fishing Rod Storage Rack

The first thing an angler should think about when storing their fishing rods is sunlight. Direct sunlight for a prolonged period can damage your fishing gear. Therefore, you should select a spot facing away from windows. An example of this could be under the stairs, in a basement, or in the attic.

This variable is not as important when storing your rods in closed-off areas such as garages or huts. Although, remember not to place them too close to the door, as even small amounts of consistent light can slowly damage your rods.

Extreme temperatures are terrible for your rods as well. Ensure that temperature never goes below freezing if you store your rods outside. Similarly, ensure that the sun doesn’t heat your storage area too much. Try to pick a dry spot. In the past, I have damaged two of my rods by placing them in areas with high humidity levels!

Things To Consider Before Storing Your Fishing Rods

Line Removal

It’s essential to cut away pre-used, tangled lines before storing your rods. Once a mainline (the primary line on the reel) has become worn, tangled or gathered dirt, remove it. You don’t want to leave a dirty/tangled line within your reel over long periods, as this will destroy the mechanisms inside the reel.


When storing a saltwater fishing rod, you should clean it and the reel with warm soapy water. Doing so will help to take off any salt. Failure to remove the salt means the reel will cease up and the rod will gather rust over time.

When storing a freshwater fishing rod, you can clean the mainline using a cloth and dish soap and wipe the rod down with a cloth. Your fishing rods must be completely dry before you put them into storage. If you leave moisture on the rods, bacteria and rust will gather.

Some anglers will take the rod and reel apart and clean the individual mechanics with a microfiber cloth. This ensures that no extra moisture or water is left at all. Although, many anglers do not feel this step is necessary, so it’s up to you, and it depends how wet or dirty your rods get.


When selecting a suitable storage option for your fishing rack, you must ensure it is secure. Security is extremely important to look after your valuable gear. There are a few relatively cheap ways to secure your fishing equipment and storage location. Some basic examples of security are “CCTV in Operation” signs placed on doors, and secure padlocks.

A more advanced security method is the process of marking your rods with smart water. Smart water is an indicator that works by putting a near-invisible spot of fluid onto your rod, making it 100% traceable to you and detectable by any UV pen. If you have been unfortunate enough to be the victim of theft, report your missing gear immediately. It is also advised to note each item and its worth.

Cover Things Up

When storing your rods in a car, cover them from praying eyes. You should never leave valuable goods in the open for thieves to see. Therefore, use a blanket to cover your rods and reels before leaving your vehicle. Doing so will help to prevent would-be thieves from seeing your valuables.

It is also recommended to avoid placing stickers on your car. Stickers that indicate you are a fishing enthusiast is more likely to be broken into at popular fishing locations. Fishing stickers indicate that there may be goods stored in your car, so steer clear of using these.

How To Store Your Fishing Rods On A Trip

The simplest option for storing your rods on a trip is by using a rod case. A rod case is a holster used to carry specific individual rods. These are perfect for preventing damage. The cases are specifically tailored to the individual rods. Therefore, the rods sit perfectly secure inside them.

If you need something more robust, you should consider portable fishing racks. These portable racks are easy to set up and are designed to be placed across a car. However, they may be more costly than a standard rod case.

Why Is How You Store Your Fishing Rod Important?

How you store your fishing rod is important because it is the best way to maintain their condition over time. Proper storage ensures that your rods will be in good condition and last for many years, and will be kept away from damaging conditions like sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures.

Protect Your Fishing Rods

Many fishing rods are flexible during use. Any high-quality, suitable rod will withstand a strong fighting fish. However, having your rod bent for long periods can damage them and make them ineffective when fishing.

Therefore, proper storage is essential. Make sure there is no extra stress on the body of your fishing rod during storage. Proper storage will protect against any unexpected damage. Plus, storing your rods out of the way of moisture and sunlight ensures they don’t get damaged in this way either, extending the overall life of your fishing rods.

How To Store Fishing Rods In Your Garage

Your garage is one of the best places to store your fishing rods. Garages are cool, well ventilated areas. When placing your rod into your garage, you do not have to worry about them looking unappealing either, as they’re not on display in the middle of your home.

How To Select A Fishing Rack For Your Garage

When selecting a fishing rack for your garage, you need to keep one key factor in mind: the height of your garage. Usually, your garage will have a much lower ceiling than your home.

A low ceiling is a problem as some one-piece fishing rods can be very long. If you use large one-piece rods, you probably won’t fit them into a vertical stand.

For example, a surfcasting one-piece rod is usually between 9 to 12 feet (2.75-3.65 meters). Therefore, they’re not suitable for vertical storage in smaller locations. If you prefer one-piece rods, look into horizontal storage options or ceiling hangers.

Where Should You Place Your Rod Storage In A Garage?

The best place to store your fishing rods in the garage is opposite the garage doors. When you place them like this, no extra sunlight will reach them. If you have a cooler/freezer in your garage, avoid placing your rack beside it. Freezing temperatures will break fishing rods over time. This also applies to boilers, as excessive heat can be just as bad as the cold.

Are Greenhouses Suitable For Storing Fishing Rods?

Greenhouses are not suitable for storing fishing rods due to the extreme temperatures and humidity. Greenhouses are designed for storing gardening equipment and growing fruit/veg/plants. Therefore, they build up large amounts of heat and humidity, both of which are bad for fishing rods.

Is It Bad To Store Fishing Rods Horizontally?

It can be bad to store specific types of fishing rods horizontally, namely fiberglass fishing rods. This is because they can bend over time, and this can hamper their fishing performance. However, you can usually store graphite rods horizontally if you do it properly.

The most typical fishing rack is a vertical storage unit. It’s an ideal method for storing fishing rods vertically. They won’t attain any damage, and you can store them for long periods this way. However, as not every ceiling height can fit all fishing rods, some anglers must look for other options. One of them is horizontal storage.

Can You Store Fiberglass Horizontally?

Storing your rods in a horizontal position is usually a bad idea for fiberglass rods. Fiberglass is a material that shouldn’t be stored horizontally. Prolonged periods of storing your fiberglass rod in a horizontal position can lead to heavy wear on the flexibility and structure of the rod.

Can You Store Graphite Rods Horizontally?

Generally speaking, graphite fishing rods should have no issues with horizontal storage. Their structure is more resilientto wear than their fiberglass counterparts, but vertical storage is still preferable.

How To Store A Graphite Fishing Rod Horizontally

You need to make sure you support both ends of a fishing rod when you store it in a horizontal position. This is the best way to avoid unexpected damage to your precious gear.

Your commercial fishing rack might come with or without the extra support. In this case, you can quickly grab some wood or other materials strong enough to support the rods, and create a DIY support structure. This will prevent the rod from bending out of shape, and it’s a fairly inexpensive solution.

10 Fishing Rod Storage Tips

1. Measure The Diameter Of The Holes First

I can’t emphasize this enough. A rack will save you a lot of headaches, but just ensure your rod fits correctly before purchasing one. To do so, check the diameter measurements online or measure the rack in the store.

2. Clean Your Line Before Storage

Ensure your line has been properly cleaned before storing it. Storing a rod for long periods with a dirty line can make bacteria more prevalent. As well as preventing the buildup of bacteria, cleaning a line will improve its future performance and increase the lifespan of the line.

3. Loosen The Line

Loosen the line when putting your fishing rods away. A tight line could damage the reel if left taught for a long time. To loosen your line, remove the line from each of the eyes on the rod. Allow a short amount of line to dangle from the reel. Don’t tie a knot to keep the line secured, as this will bend the line out of shape. If your line is not straight, you may encounter faults when casting.

4. Remove The Reel

Take the rod’s reel and place it into a separate storage box. This will help you when removing your rod from the stand. If you don’t take the reel out, you might scrape the paint coating from the rod when removing it from the stand. If you do not want to purchase separate reel storage, you can find reel covers for specific rods fairly cheap.

5. Don’t Leave Your Rods Outdoors

Leaving fishing rods outdoors is an awful practice. They will be subject to the elements like rain, wind, cold, heat, and even snow. Specifically, avoid leaving cane fly rods outside, even for short periods. Compared to different rod types, cane rods can become damp and weather-beaten much quicker.

6. Lubricate

When storing rods for long periods, you must first lubricate them. Lubrication is not essential for rods and reels that are continually used. However, when storing rods for long periods, make sure to lubricate each connection point.

If a rod sits for an extended period, its connection points can stick together. This can prevent an angler from disassembling them at a later date. Candle wax or paraffin wax can be used as lubrication, but you can also find specific fishing lubricants.

7. Transporting Rods Overseas

You will require specific storage when transferring rods overseas. A rod can be checked into an airport as handheld luggage or a hold bag. Dimensions of the rod must be checked with an airline before taking it on as handheld luggage. When storing your rods for travel, you can use a PVC pipe stuffed with bubble wrap or cotton.

This is the best budget option for a rod travel case. Store-bought transport cases for airlines are usually costly. A range of options can be found online for different rod specifications, but again, just make sure you measure and remeasure your dimensions before you buy anything.

8. Loosen The Rod’s Drag System

A drag system allows the spool to turn when a specific tension is reached. Drag systems are used to control and play fish, and the drag of the system can be increased or decreased. I recommend decreasing the drag when storing your rod. The drag system can become damaged over long periods if set to a high drag.

9. Fishing Rod Security When Travelling

When storing your rods in an open-top vehicle, you must prevent them from being vulnerable to theft. I secure my rods using a secure truck bed holder. These holders are placed into your truck, bolted down and secured. When a rod is placed into them, they cannot be removed without using a release key or keycode.

10. Do Not Store Your Rod On The Floor

Bacteria and moisture is present on the ground, so avoid storing your rods like this. The paint coating can also become damaged and slowly erode, so it’s always best to use a vertical stand if you can.

Final Thoughts

The best way to store fishing rods is by using a vertical stand. However, this isn’t always possible, so ceiling hangers or proper horizontal storage options are also good choices. Just make sure you properly clean your rods before storage, and ensure they’re kept away from sunlight and moisture.