Kayak Paddle Holder DIY

Kayak Paddle Holder DIY | How to Make a Kayak Paddle Holder

Alright. You have picked up your kayak and decided it is time to make modifications to fit your personal style of fishing or travel. This is the point where we gain total creative control and can do whatever we want! Well, within reason; we can’t add an air conditioner for those hot summer days (you can add a fan though!). If you’re into those kinds of things, you can even go as far as a kayak paddle holder DIY.

With the increase in the number of companies introducing pedal kayaks to us anglers, the paddle has taken on new roles; but I personally recommend that you find somewhere to keep it handy. Just last week on Lake Oauchita during the FLW/KBF event, I talked with three anglers who either lost their motors function, broke a prop or did some damage while slamming into submerged trees running wide open in the dark. Not an issue if the water is warm and you are close to the ramp… but at least one of the guys was several miles away from the launch.

Kayak Paddle Holder DIY: Finding Your Mounting Options

I am in a Hobie PA14, so there are several options in that boat. I could have kept it in two pieces in the location behind the seat, I could have flipped the rod holders outside of the kayak or I could have just laid it beside me. As a shallow water angler, I wanted the paddle ready for quick access, so I didn’t trust the rod holders to be robust enough to not snap off when the wind blew me across a tree or into a rock wall, and I carry too much stuff with me to just lay it in the way. 

I wanted it quickly accessible, out of the way, and held firmly to the kayak. Sounds simple enough with all of the roto grips, paddle mounts, and gadgets on the market, but I am often too stubborn to go with simple options… I mean creative… yeah, not stubborn…

Kayak Paddle Holder DIY: My DIY Holder

So I channeled my inner designer, sketched up what I wanted… ok, I really just thought about it in my head, I can’t draw without CAD software… and I started digging through the internet and at my favorite outfitter, Caney Fork, for kayak paddle holder DIY options.

Hobie makes a universal mounting plate… sweet!

kayak paddle holder diy(1)

I picked up some cheap paddle clips

kayak paddle holder diy(2)

I then replaced the screws that came with the clips, using stainless steel versions to avoid issues with rust. 

Now I mentioned that I do not sketch without software… and although I am an engineer and the process to draw this up would have been relatively easy… it would have felt too much like I was at my desk working, so I “faked it till I made it”; and since most people don’t keep CAD software laying around, I want you to know – that approach works.

I mounted the plates to the H-rail selecting what I thought would be a comfortable angle (I sat in the boat with my Bending Branches paddle to test), then I attached the clips to the plates.

 It didn’t work.  

It was extremely awkward to pull the paddle out of the clips. So I sat there sketching a new design (again, in my head), then began modifying the original attempt.

I slowly trimmed the holders by cutting off one side.

kayak paddle holder diy(3)

The next thing I did was to get another holder because I cut too far.  

I started over – I suggest you buy spares since they are cheap, or be far more careful than I was… and I cut less the second time, tested, cut slowly, tested… then, tested… then moved… and tested. I finally landed on a location that would fit the paddle, allow me easy access and hold it snugly.  

With other brands of kayaks – or even the Hobie, you can buy off the shelf options, use a gear track with YakAttack Roto Grips; or combine any number of parts to create your own design.  

Unless you want to buy or build your own 3d printer and choose the correct polymer, I have found that a Dremel whacking away at a cheap cutting board allows you to make all kinda cool stuff! I created a really scary version of a rod holder for my first kayak with those two items.  Your cuts may not be clean (unless you have a milling machine too), but the cutting board material is really durable once you are done… and the weather doesn’t damage it.

Good luck with your kayak modifications!

This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

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Mike Cheatham


May 2016, sat in my first kayak. October 2016, skunked in my first tournament. Spring of 2017, placed 11th in the KBF Open and have chased the addiction since. Fishing is the one place my mind gets quiet, the place I have always found peace. To do it competitively with a great bunch of folks is just a bonus. To have an opportunity to combine my love for fishing with writing...I feel like I have finally found a place in this world! I do have the support of a wonderful woman who understands my need to be on the water; she supports my dreams fully....life is truly good.

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