Yakima Ski Racks [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Yakima Ski Racks

06-29-2004, 03:20 PM
Has anyone used Yakima ski racks as rod holders? I was thinking of picking up a set so I don't have to breakdown a rod between locations. Are they safe enough to use for highway use. Any experience apprecited. Are there any other economical alternatives people have used for car top systems. Ideally I would love something that is lockable and could fit next to a kayak but the only option I see so far is a Thule system for $140 and I am not sure it works with the round bars of a Yakima rack.



06-29-2004, 04:02 PM

I have them - bought them for skiing but will use them for rods once in a while. Word of caution: I put my buddy's reddington in it this spring and it crimped the cork pretty bad. It holds the rods well but I wouldn't take it on the highway because gravel can kick up at high speed which could break your rod.

I think the magnetic ones that go over the winshield would be better. Don't know what your driving but the new ones in the orvis catalog look like a pretty good design if an SUV.

06-29-2004, 05:33 PM
The Yakima Rack works with a cross cuntry ski rack as a rod holder. I have used mine for years for both single and double handed rods. If you have a limber two-handed rod and a bad side wind you might have to take the rod down, but any of the other types would not work in that either. It is fine at highway speed and I frequently use mine from Shearers to Macks canyon on the Deschutes, which is gravel but low speed.

Bob Pauli
06-29-2004, 11:48 PM
A few years ago I mounted two Yakima 24-inch wide ski racks inside a Ford Expedition. These hold up to eight single-hand rods with reel.

A better solution is now available from rodmounts.com that has mounts for inside and outside.

Remember that the higher a rack is mounted inside a vehicled the shorter is the rod that can be accommodated, because of the slope of the windshield.

06-30-2004, 07:46 AM
I drive a Nissan Altima so anything on the inside of the car is out of the question other than feeding the rod out the rear window from the front seat (make sure you don't accidently roll up that window!). I broke down last night and checked out the Thule rack. It appears like it will fit the Yakima rack and includes a lockable box that holds the reel end and grip. I figure if I mount it with the box on the front of the rack with the tips pointing to the rear there should be no chance of pebbles reaching the rods with any force.


06-30-2004, 07:54 AM

Those are sweet. Let us know how it works out after you install.

06-30-2004, 08:50 AM
I have ski racks and use them all the time at highway speeds...no problems yet. (where's the knock on wood smilie?)

The Thule box is sweet. Friend has a preproduction one and his only complaint is that it isn't big enough to let spinning reels hang down. That shouldn't be a problem for you though ;). They may have changed the design for full production. The other nice feature of the Thule box is that your line is covered all day long, so UV exposure is lessoned.


06-30-2004, 11:02 AM
I use the yakima button downs and other than busting a rod while driving through the woods I've had no problem. You can crimp the cork if you crank them down too hard, especially when it's cold out since the rubber is not as pliable.

My old Jeep died and the new one has a different crossbar so I'll have to pick up some new mounts. The rack is in decent shape and it's got to be close to 10 years old now.

06-30-2004, 07:27 PM

Even the best plans sometimes just don't work out. I went to put the Thule rod carrier on the Altima tonight and after realizing there would be a few issues I just decided there weren't enough plus sides. First off the carrier doesn't really accomodate the Atlantis. Due to the two handed grip the fit is really tight and would cause a standard rod to be prettly loose in the covered enclosure. Second, due to the short length of the Altima it would hang 2-3 feet over the front bumper which I just wasnt' comfortable with and worse off the back. Another complication was that if you did mount it so the tips would face to the rear you would have to remove the rods to open the trunk due to the height of the lid when open. At that point I stopped counting the barriers and packed up the box for return tomorrow. I think it looks like a great set up for an SUV with standard spin or fly rods but just didn't meet my needs.


07-01-2004, 06:55 AM
Go for a front Brush Guard, and throw some vertical rod racks there. You'll have a beach buggy in no time! :razz:

Seriously though, I do love the Barrecrafters ski racks, never squished a cork grip with them. You may want to give them a second look. When I get nervous about the length of fly rods in them, i just break the rod in two, then place in the rack. It's just as sturdy, and way safer. Takes no time to set up either.


07-02-2004, 02:19 PM
I use a Yakima ski rack for transport ing 15-foot spey rods completely assembled and it woirks great! I can't imagine the rod racks working any better; in fact, I've heard stories about them coming loose. I use mine at highway speeds in BC. I point teod tis forward - that way I can see them and will remember they're there when I'm manuevering in tight spots, otherwise I'm afraid my memory would fail me and... well, you get the picture I'm sure. I've also used them with the rods pointing backwards and they work fine... I'm just concerned about operator error.

The Yakima ski racks have a lock, but I don't think it would stop someone who was determined to steal a rod It would slow them down I suppose. I don't use mine.

I've also used it with trout rods. They works great for those too. I use mine on a station wagon so they're spaced further aprt then they would be on a sedan. I think the shorter spacing could be problematic if you were trying to transport spey rods with a sedan, but it really wouldn't be a big deal to simply break them down into two pieces still strung up (assuming a four piece rod).

If I remember correctly, the Yakima kayak mounts turn the kayak on its side for transport, there might be room to mount a kayak and the ski rack too.

I highly recomend these and would much rather have them than a conventional rod rack.