Rod Box Project: A more secure way to store fishing rods on-board or while in transit. SEE THE 2 GIF FILES FOR PICTURES TO GO ALONG WITH STEPS 1 TO 3, AND STEPS 4 TO 5.
I always worry about the security of my fishing rods when the boat's docked overnight at the marina and I'm tucked away in the motel room. Similarly, on the way to the water, rods stored in an open towed boat, or in the bed of a pickup truck can "walk-away" if unattended during stops for supplies, meals, or gas. You can't be 100% sure any measure you take will work all the time, as improvements in security are always meant with advanced methods to overcome security devices. While we can't stop the professional, we slow him down. We can deter some would-be thieves by making our property more difficult to pickup and walk away with, more time consuming to steal, and therefore less attractive as a target.
The Rod Box I've built helps me to safeguard, as well as organize and transport my fishing rods. The rod box holds about 12 rods, ranging from heavy saltwater gear to light freshwater rigs. It accommodates rods to 8 foot long, and casting, trolling and spinning reels. Basically, its a wood box, with a secure door, that allows rods with reels attached to be stored inside. The rods extend through a slot in t he top of the box, reducing the boxes size, and making it possible to carry the box more easily when rods are inside. The reels are secure, because the locked door keeps them out of harms way, and the slot in the top of the box prevents rod and reel removal, because the reels attached to the rod can't be pulled thru the top slot. The box filled with rods can be chained or cabled to the inside of a pickup bed, onboard to a cleat or rail, or at the dock, to a piling or dock cleat for security. One lock secures the box door and hasp, and can secure the box to a chain or cable.
The box is built of Pine 1 X 10, 1X 4, 1 X 2, and 1/8 inch plywood. Common hardware is used to outfit and provide security for the box. Building mine took about 5 hours, mainly because I had to decide on dimensions that would accommodate thick rods, with long handles, and heavy reels. The average do-it-yourselfer could probably built the box in about 2 hours.
Here's the steps to build it.
Step 1: Build the Box Frame:
1. The Top, Back, and Bottom are Pine 1 X 10.
2. The Top and Bottom are equal length, and 23 inches long.
3. The Back is 28 inches long and the Front Braces are 26 1/2 inches long.
4. The Side and Front Braces are Pine 1 X 4
5. The Back and the Front Braces butt joint to the Bottom and the Top.
6. The Side Braces butt joint to the Front Braces and Back. Use a 1 3/4 X 5 inch joiner plate to reinforce the Side Brace to Front Brace joint, and corner braces to reinforce the Side Brace to Back joint.
7. Cut all pieces to length, and assemble using white glue and finishing nails or brads. A nail gun makes assembly quick
8. To make the sides, lay the assembled frame on itís side on a piece of 1/8 inch plywood, and trace around it. Use the side you cut-out as the pattern to make the second. The sides are attached to the box Bottom, Back, Top, Side Braces, and Front Braces with white glue and finishing nails or brads.
Step 2: Cut the Top Slot, and build/install the Bottom Rod Guide
1. To cut the slot, begin by marking the start position for the slot near the joint of the top and the back. The Slot begins with a 7/8 inch
hole, centered on the width of the top, and 3 inches from the back edge of the box. Drill the hole. With a straight end, draw lines to the front edge of the top from each side of the hole. Keep the line parallel. Now cut out the slot using a jig, then sand all edges of the slot.
2. Assemble the Rod Guide from 2 pieces of Pine 1 X 4 and a piece of Pine 1X2 for the bottom of the Rod Guide. Assemble with white glue and finishing nails or brads. The Rod Guide assembly should run from the boxís Back to the front edge of the Bottom. Center the Rod Guide on the width of the Bottom and install with white glue and finishing nails or brads.
Step 3: Build and install the Door
1. Cut a piece of Pine 1 X 10 to 26 3/4 inches long and narrow it down to 8 3/4 wide.
2. Cut a Brace from Pine 1 X 2. Mount it on the outside of the door using white glue and finishing nails or brads. Position it 6 1/2 inches from the top of the door. This brace is the same length as the door, and keeps the door from warping.
3. Cut a second Brace from Pine 1 X 2. This will mount on the inside of the door to help prevent the door from warping. Mount it using white glue and finishing nails or brads. It will be 7 1/2 inches long. Facing the inside of the door the brace will be mounted 1 inch from the top of the door, 1/8 inch from the left inside of the door edge, and 1 inch from the right inside edge of the door.
4. The door will be installed to the box with 2 door hinges. The hinges will be installed on the inside of the box so the mounting screws canít be removed when the box is locked. Mark corresponding positions for the hinges on the right side Front Brace, and the left inside edge of the door. Recess the hinge, so the door will mount flush to the Front Braces and the Top. When installed, the door will align with the outside edge of the left front of the box.
Step 4: Installing Hardware
1. Mount 2 Igloo Cooler Handles on the outside of the box. Align to the front edge of the box, and center on the boxís height. This mounting position allows the box to be carried with the back towards the ground, and when filled with fishing rods.
2. Pickup a bi-fold style hinged hasp at the hardware store. It mounts to the door and the side of the box.
3. Install a sliding door J-Hook, again available at most hardware stores. It mounts inside the box, on the Top, and mounts astride the slot. The J-hook is important, and keeps the open end of the slotted Top from being pried apart when the boxís door is locked shut. With the door locked shut, the J-hook canít be disengaged from the outside. The door protests the J-hook from being opened, and the J-hook keeps the slotted top from being pried open.
4. Install foam strips to the top of the box on either side of the slot, to keep rods from moving around or rattling. The strips run the length of the slot, each is about 2 inches wide. Position the strips so they meet in the middle of the slot, then secure them to the top with a staple gun.
Step 5: Finishing touches!
ē Choose a Stain for the exterior.
ē Seal the exterior and interior with 3 to 4 coats of Marine Grade Spar Urethane
ē The completed Rod Box is to the left. Below, note the locations of the J-Hook, Rod Guide, Door Braces, Hasp, and Foam Strips.
ē And finally, to protect your decks, or carpet, and the wood on the box, install either self adhesive felt pads, or nail on chair leg protectors/slides to the 4 corners of Boxís Bottom, and Back. By doing so, the Rod Box can be positioned upright or on its back. On board, I stand the box with rodís inside upright to conserve deck space. When transporting in the bed of a pickup, I lay the box on its back, with the fishing rods parallel to the ground.
Hope this helps increase the security of your fishing gear. You can't beat a determined professional, but you can at least discourage the amateur or casual passerby from "having a go" with your gear.
Alias "Hurricane Bob"