Top quality rod holders are almost an absolute necessity for catfishing from a boat. They allow you to place and present baits exactly where and how you want them, as well as keep your valuable rods and reels safe from being stolen by a running fish. In this article we are installing the Driftmaster T-6200 Trolling Rack with 6 ProDuo Troller rod holders. In an upcoming related articles we will discuss how to rig your boat for the way you fish and add a few ProDuos around the perimeter.
First things first, here is a list of a few tools we need and all of the parts of the rack.
This looks like a ton of parts but, the assembly was very easy. The first thing we did was take one top bar, a mounting base, and a rod base out to the boat and placed them in their approximate desired location. Once we decided where we wanted the mounting plates we marked the center of the plate onto the top bar. This happened to be at 5 3/4″ from the end so both ends of both bars were marked as well.
Next we slid both top plates onto the top bars and centered them up on the marks we made on the first step. These bolts were all snugged up but not fully tightened. The two outside rod holder plates were then installed on each end of the bars. Once these were on all of the bolts were tightened. Its a good idea to be sure all of the rod holder bases are “pointed” in the same direction. The bases will be much stronger if one “leg” of the base is pointed in the same direction of the tip of you fishing rod would be.
Now we had to do a little math… First we measured the space between the two end rod holder plates, center to center, and came up with about 70″. This measurement will vary from boat to boat. We are using 6 rod holders plates which will give us 5 spaces in between. 70/5=14 so, the rod holders should be placed on the bars on 14″ centers(if you want them evenly spaced).
To assemble the bases, simply thread the rods into the mounting bases until they are flush with the bottom. Remove the wing nuts and washers, and slide the riser tubes over the rods. Now the top bars can be placed on the threaded rods and the washers and nuts can be reinstalled. The entire rack can be taken out to the boat to be mounted.
After taking a few measurements to center the rack on the transom, one hole was drilled for the first screw on left mounting plate and installed one screw. Then after double checking that the rack was straight, one hole was drilled on the right base and a screw was installed. We continue the process of drilling and installing one screw at a time until all of them were in place. Last but not least, rod holders were installed and everything was tightened up one last time. Ready to hit the water!