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Best Rod Holders for Bank Fishing: 2022 Reviews and Buying Guide

Written by: John B
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Whether you fish at night for catfish, casting big circle hooks armed with chicken liver into a quiet lake, or bait tiny hooks with maggots for trout, a good rod holder that holds fast to the bank is essential.

Waiting is the name of the game, and most anglers prefer to do that without the weight of a rod in their hands, leaving them free to sip a beverage or have a snack.

There are dozens of designs on the market and hundreds of products, so it can be difficult to know where to start.

If you’re looking for help, we’ve got you covered!

Below, you’ll find reviews of some of our favorite products, as well as a complete buying guide to get you up to speed.

Quick glance at the best bank fishing rod holders:

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Bank Fishing Rod Holders Reviewed

Basune Rod Holder - Most Portable Rod Holder for Bank Fishing

BASUNE Fishing Rod Holder Stainless Steel Ground Support Stand Fish Pole Folding Holder - 2 Packs

Amazon 

Material: stainless steel

Height: 8.7” with a roughly 3” arm

Weight: 4 oz. each

Basune’s rod holders are an awesome choice for most anglers, and from their light weight to their excellent materials, there’s a lot to like here.

Made from stainless steel, the first thing you’ll notice about this 2-pack is that they mean business. This isn’t pot metal that’ll bend when you try to drive it home, and it’s not going to rust on your second trip to the lake or river, either.

Lighter than you’d expect, these folding rod holders are easy to transport and store, too.

The main body of this bank rod holder is a nearly nine-inch spike that’s easy to drive home in normal ground. Because it’s just not that long, it’s not ideal for gravel, and I’d look elsewhere if that’s what you're facing.

At the top of that spike, you’ll find a hinged arm and a D-ring, also made from stainless steel. 

The inside diameter of that ring is 1.38 inches, and if your rod butt or handle is bigger than that, you won’t be able to use this holder, so measure carefully.

For most rods - and most anglers - this bank rod holder works well, providing plenty of strength and support. But the short overall height doesn’t allow for really deep placement, and for large catfish, I’d probably look for another model.

Pros:

  • Light
  • Excellent materials
  • Folds for easy transport and storage

Cons:

  • Too short to be secure enough for really big fish
  • Not good for gravel banks

Rite-Hite Dual Rod Holder - Best Dual Rod Holder for Bank Fishing

RITE-HITE Bank Fishing Dual-Rod Holder - Holds Two Fishing Rods and Reels at The Optimum Angle. Great for Bank Fishing on Lakes and Streams

Amazon 

Material: steel with a rust-preventative powder-coated finish

Height: 36”

Weight: 2.4 pounds

Catfishermen everywhere probably know the RITE-HITE name, and this popular bank rod holder has proven itself in the real world.

Made from thick gauge mild steel that’s been powder coated to prevent rust, this rod holder is sturdy, strong, and well-designed. A crossbar with two rubberized bends cradles your rods, and the two central protrusions give you somewhere to store a bag of livers or a lantern for night fishing.

Two spikes on the bottom allow you to drive this rod holder into normal soil or clay, though it won’t work well in gravel or sand.

By resting your rods on the ground, you create a pretty sturdy setup that can tackle a big cat, but I wouldn’t leave my rods unattended or forget the bell or alarm.

The only real downside to this otherwise excellent rod holder is that it’s big and unwieldy. If you’re hiking to your honey hole, it wouldn’t be your first choice.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Holds any size rods
  • Well-designed
  • Great height for catfishing

Cons:

  • Unwieldy
  • Won’t work in gravel or sand

E-jades Rod Holder

E-jades Fishing Rod Holders for Bank Fishing, Fish Pole/Rod Holder Ground, Bank Fishing Rod Rack Stand,Fish Pole Holder for Beach, Christmas Gifts for Men,360 Degree Adjustable-2 Pack

Amazon 

Material: stainless steel and reinforced plastic

Height: ?

Weight: about 1 lb. each

When you first consider this 2-pack of rod holders, you may think that plastic is a bad choice, but hear me out.

E-jades’ rod holder is full of surprises, and it’s way stronger than you’d think.

The lower portion is a U-shaped spike that’s easy to drive into hard ground. Of course, you can’t expect this design to hold in sand or gravel, but it works really well in normal soil and clay.

The top portion rotates on the bottom, allowing 360-degree rotation in the horizontal axis and 130-degree rotation in the vertical axis. A set screw that’s easy to turn by hand locks it into position, and despite the metal to plastic contact, it holds well, even after multiple fishing trips.

That adjustability is really a great feature when you’re fishing from a bank that’s covered in trees and bushes, as you can find a good spot, drive two rod holders home, and then set them up facing different directions.

The rod holding element of this design is well-constructed and padded, and pretty much any rod is going to fit and be held fast without getting scratched up in the process.

My only hesitation about this rod holder is that when driven into the ground, it’s pretty short. For anglers who need maximum strength, that may be a deal-breaker. But if you’re looking for a portable, storable option, E-jades’ rod holder is definitely worthy of a second look.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Holds any size rods
  • Well-designed
  • Adjustable head is great

Cons:

  • Short
  • Not secure enough for really big catfish

Berkley Spiral Rod Holder - Best Budget Rod Holder for Bank Fishing

Berkley Spiral Rod Holder , Red

Amazon 

Material: powder-coated mild steel

Height: roughly 12”

Weight: .44 lbs.

A simple spiral of powder-coated steel, these rod holders from Berkley have earned an enviable reputation in the real world among catfishermen and freshwater anglers of all kinds.

Made from .25” steel stock, the coil can accommodate rods as large as 1.25 inches at the butt and handle, and when driven to about half its length in ordinary soil or clay, it has surprising staying power.

Of course, this design is neither sand nor gravel friendly.

Strong enough for eating-size cats without question, this ultra-light, ultra-simple design is ideal for anglers on the go, and as you’d expect, it’s priced right, too!

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Simple, strong design
  • Ultra-light

Cons:

  • Probably not secure enough for really big catfish

South Bend Telescopic Rod Holder

South Bend Aluminum Telescopic Rod Holder

Amazon 

Material: aluminum and plastic

Height: 16” to 25”

Weight: 3.2 oz.

South Bend’s telescopic rod holder beats trying to find a stick by a country mile, and if you’re not worried about maximum strength or longevity, it’s a great option.

Ultra-light, this rod holder is made from aluminum and plastic. It telescopes from a closed 16 inches to a maximum length of 25 inches, locking in place with a plastic ring that’s hand tightened.

That makes it considerably more fragile than the other designs on our shortlist, and if you’re trying to break South Bend’s rod holder, you probably can. But if you use some care with how you plant it in the ground, it’ll more than get the job done.

Obviously, this design won't work well in gravel or sand, but in normal soil, it has proven itself more than capable of holding a rod securely, and it’s certainly not going to break the bank.

Pros:

  • Ultra-light
  • Telescoping
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Relatively fragile
  • Probably not secure enough for really big catfish

What We Look for in a Good Rod Holder for Bank Fishing

Portability

If you’re walking a long way from your car or truck to the water, even if that just means a hike to the other side of the lake or pond, you really want to consider how portable your rod holder is.

Weight is obviously one metric to consider, and lighter is better. But the overall size can matter almost as much.

For instance, the RITE-HITE rod holder we review above isn’t heavyweight by any means, but its overall dimensions - plus that weight - make it a bit unwieldy if you’re pushing your way through brush around a lake.

By contrast, the nearly flat-folding Basune rod holder is excellent on this front, and despite being nominally the same size as the Berkley spiral, it’s a lot easier to deal with without a backpack or bag.

Security

Bank rod holders are designed for soil, not sand or gravel. 

They’re typically not long enough to drive deep into sand, nor do they feature spike shapes that can hold fast in loose materials.

In terms of overall strength, none of the rod holders I’ve seen are really designed for trophy-sized blue or flathead catfish, but then I bet most of the anglers chasing them are pretty content to keep their rods in their hands!

And for eating-size channel cats, as well as trout or panfish of all kinds, any of the rod holders on our shortlist offers more than enough staying power.

Rod protection

The last thing you want at the end of the day is to realize that your rod holder has destroyed the finish on your rod or damaged the handle.

Some form of cushioning on metal parts that may contact the blank is always a good idea, and the models we review offer just that.

Durability

While freshwater anglers aren’t fazed by the added corrosion problems caused by salt, water will still cause issues with corrosive metals.

Some bank fishing rod holders defeat corrosion by using stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic. Others coat mild steel with a thick layer of paint.

Both approaches work well, and all the products on our list are excellent in terms of rust resistance.

Breakability is another issue, and here, simplicity shines.

Products like Berkley’s spiral are darn near indestructible in actual use, as is the RITE-HITE.

There’s just very, very little that can go wrong with either design.

Final Thoughts

Trout or catfish, panfish or bass, a good rod holder is an ideal accessory for bank fishing.

And while only you know exactly what you need and can afford, any of the products we recommend will work well on your next fishing adventure.

If you’ve got a long way to walk to your honey hole, we recommend the Basune rod holder. Light, slender, and foldable, it’s easy to stow in a pack and as simple as tucking it into a belt to bring along.

For anglers who like to run two rods side-by-side, it’s very hard to beat RITE-HITE’s excellent rod holder. Built to last with thoughtful details, it’s served many a catfisherman well, season after season.

Finally, for those on a tight budget, the Berkley spiral rod holder is an awesome buy. Simple, dependable, and strong, it works well and has proven itself time and time again.

As always, we’d love to hear your questions and comments, so please leave a message below.

About The Author
John B
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.
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