While folding chairs are a dime a dozen, fishing chairs that incorporate (or include) a rod holder are rarer than honest politicians.
After an exhaustive search, we could only find two.
But if you’re looking for a portable fishing chair that can double as a rod holder while you watch a bobber, we’ve got you covered.
Below, you’ll find reviews of the two chairs, as well as a few comments about which might be better for you:
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Wild Republic’s fishing chair is a good buy for those looking for a portable, folding option that’s light enough to tote to and from the water with little effort. Really more of a folding stool with a backrest than a full chair, it’s nonetheless a solid offering in a very narrow field of products.
Built from aluminum tubing, Wild Republic reports that this chair will support as much as 330 pounds. The tough nylon fabric appears to be durably stitched, and I have no reason to doubt this strength claim.
Be aware, however, that the seat is small - creating something more akin to a stool than a chair. The backrest increases comfort considerably, and I don’t expect you to get uncomfortable when fishing for a few hours.
Two thin metal rails create the rod rest, locking as many as three rods in place. They work well, and there are worse locations for a rod holder than between your calves, though three rods would get cramped quickly.
Of course, this chair also folds down, allowing it to be transported and stored easily.
If you’re in the market for a small, light, relatively comfortable fishing chair that includes a rod holder, this is a great option to consider.
Bass Pro Shop’s Lunker Lounger is a mixed bag.
On the one hand, it’s comfortable enough for a full day’s fishing, and the padded back and armrests are nap-ready, no question! It also comes with not one but two cup holders, and thoughtful details include a side pocket and underseat mesh pocket that can hold a 360-sized tackle storage container.
Those are nice features, and they’re things I appreciate in a fishing chair. So will you.
Made from steel, it’s plenty strong, and I wouldn’t worry about capacity problems.
But there are plenty of design issues, too.
Let’s start with the worst.
The rod holders are simply junk. Attachment to the chair is fiddly and dependent on hardware that’s easy to misplace. Virtually no one is happy with them.
The Lunker Lounger is also pretty heavy at just under 16 pounds, necessitating that you carry it in the included bag with a shoulder strap. For short jaunts across a parking lot or down a pier, that’s acceptable, but if you need to walk a while to get to your favorite spot, that’s going to get heavy, fast.
And while this chair is plenty solid, that rigidity comes at the price of compactness when collapsed. It’s pretty big prior to deployment but not so cumbersome that it won’t fit in a convenient corner or trunk.
Overall, this is the more comfortable - and expensive - of the two chairs we’re reviewing, but also the heavier and bulkier.
With only two products, a head-to-head comparison makes the most sense.
Hands down, Bass Pro Shop’s Lunker Lounger is the more comfortable chair.
Plenty of padding on the back and armrest - and a mesh seat that’s breathable - make this the better choice for long days at the water, and there’s no question about which you’d rather plop yourself into for a while.
That said, Wild Republic’s folding chair/stool isn’t a torture device by any means; it just isn’t as geared toward lounging.
Both of these chairs fold down, making them easier to transport and store, but the Wild Republic is simply much, much better on this front.
Weighing in at around three pounds, Wild Republic’s chair is easy to carry and lift from even the deepest trunk, and plenty of anglers will appreciate that light weight on long walks in the sun.
It also folds down to just a few inches in height, making it easy to store at the bottom of your trunk or slide in between other items. At home, that makes it convenient to store, too, and it just doesn't take up any more room than a normal folding chair.
Wild Republic’s chair folds down flat, making it easy to store.
By contrast, the Lunker Lounger is a heavy-duty heavyweight that’s probably no stronger in practice but a lot heavier in the hand.
You’ll want to use the included carrying bag, no question, and while 16 pounds isn’t going to break your back, forget having your kids carry this one to help handle all your fishing gear.
It also doesn’t fold flat, so it takes up a good deal more space.
The Lunker Lounger isn’t as easy to store or transport.
This is another win for the Lunker Lounger, and if you like a cold beverage and a cup to hold your phone, keys, or other accessories, Bass Pro’s chair has what you need.
That thoughtful storage bag below the left armrest and the storage space for a plastic tackle box come in handy. I’ve got to hand it to the Lunker Lounger: it’s definitely the better option for fishing in this respect.
By contrast, Wild Republic's chair offers no storage of any kind.
If you’re looking at a fishing chair that includes a rod holder, obviously, the quality of that device matters to you.
And here, Wild Republic wins the day.
I’m not thrilled with the rod holder design on this chair, but it does work, and it’s dead simple. As you expand the chair, the two rails spread, allowing you to feed your rod through and secure it in place.
Awesome, no. But quite functional.
Really long handles might have some issues, but most anglers will find that their tackle fits well.
By contrast, the rod holders that come with the Lunker Lounger are a mess. You’d expect that one would fit on each side - but no - they both attach to the right legs of the chair.
Fiddly and not built to last: this is a rod holder that will cause a lot of frustration.
That’s accomplished via a screw with a big, comfortable knob. But both the screw and the nut into which it’s threaded will loosen over time, and at best, the rod holder slips down. At worst, you lose one or both of these pieces, making the rod holders useless.
Chalk that up to a good idea but bad engineering execution.
If comfort is all that matters to you, you'll probably prefer Bass Pro’s Lunker Lounger, and if your usual trip to the water lasts hours, we wouldn’t blame you.
There’s no question that on this front, the Lunker Lounger is superior. And in terms of storage options, it comes out ahead, too.
But on the transportability and convenience front, Wild Republic takes the win, and it simply runs away with the prize once we consider their respective rod holders.