Anglers who own center consoles with T-tops oververtical rodracks know that these things are imperfect, but few realize that there’s a quick fix you can make to prevent fishing rod damage. The rack shown here was on a 34Sea Vee, one of the boats we fished out of Key West last week while testing Shimano’s new gear.
As is often the case, the tips of rods placed in the console’s vertical racks will bang and slap on the pipework, when you hit waves. Not good. On some other boats you’ll see wider pipework, and holes cut into the canvass to accommodate the rod tips. Still not good – these set-ups make it difficult to insert the rod tip through the hole, and it’s all too easy to snag a guide on the side of the hole and bend it. Either way, your rod gets trashed. But look closely at the side of the T-top in this picture. See that little black strip? The captain cut a strip of foam, and wrapped the canvas’s tie-rope around it to keep it in place. Now, when the rods slap the sides they hit forgiving foam instead of hard aluminum pipework. The holders are easily accessible and the rods don’t get damaged. Smart.