During the fishing in Key West this week I noticed one thing that all of the guide’s boats shared in common, a rodholder rigged to hold a cutting board on the transom. These guys were all running twin outboard boats (Sea Vees) and as many of you will already know, it’s not possible to mount a large number or rodholders on the outside of the transom because your outboard will hit them, when you tilt the engines up. But these guys all had a single holder flush-mounted against the back of the transom, right in the middle, where the engines won’t hit them.

This is a great set-up because not only does it allow you to troll one more line down the middle, it also doubles as a receiver for a pedestal-mounted bait cutting board. Here’s what the rig looks like:

transom cutting board rodholder rigging

Centered between the motors, the rodholder doubles as a bait cutting board.

Many cutting boards mounted on rodholder pedestals are on the market, and they fit just about any rodholder (just make sure it has a gimbal pin, so the table can’t spin.)

The down-side? These tables are large, and a bit clunky to stow when not in use. So make sure you have somewhere you can fit one, before rigging the boat up with that center holder.

Wait a sec – why not simply use the gunwale-mounted rodholders you already have for this purpose? Two reasons: first off, you want that holder for your rods. And secondly, bait tables mounted in gunwale holders tend to drip fish goo onto your hullsides, and make a big mess. One of the nice things about this transom rig is that it keeps the mess outside the boat, and drips and fish bits fall into the motor well where they’re soon washed away. It’s a set-up that works well, so if you’re looking for a better way to cut bait, consider this transom mounted center rodholder.