Necessity is the Mother of Broken Rods

Many a bass boat was equipped with this Fo-Mac rod-holder system back in the day.

Remember back in the day, before full casting decks, when we rigged rod holders along the side of the boat? Most astute bass anglers had a set of Fo-Mac rod holders (some two sets) located in their boat that would hold up to three rods per set. The rod holders supposedly kept the rods from banging around on the bottom of the boat and kept them at the ready should you need to pick up that topwater rod for a breaking fish.

The problem with these rod holders was the part that held the tip was too tight for quick release and many a rod was broken in the process of either securing or retrieving a rod from the rack.

Here’s an old picture of the Fo-Mac rod holders in action. Photo CLC magazine.

Then a company from Texas, called Quick Draw, designed what was supposed to be the solution. A rod holder that would securely hold the reel – in this case an Ambassadeur 5000 or 6000 series reel in any position and provide easy, quick access at any time. In concept it was a cool idea but in reality it was as bad as the Fo-Mac rod holders.

Quick Draw rod holder system circa 1970.

Rigged horizontally, as most anglers did, the rod tip still had a penchant for getting caught in the tip holder and even though Quick Draw said, “no shake or rattle in a bouncing boat,” many a reel and rod came flying out of the holder when an angler hit a decent swell – thus breaking the rod tip in the process.

It wouldn’t be until full casting decks were implemented and the rod strap invented that anglers would have a somewhat safe, secure and quick-at-the-fingertip rod restraining setup in their boats. Oh the good ole’ days of bass fishing.

  • Had QuickDraws on my 2nd boat, but my first ‘bass boat’ I had some kind of military surplus toggle clamps that held the rod by the handle so tightly they never moved. Not sure what their original intended use was, but MAN were those some good rod holders! Te secret to the Quick draws was to mount the tip holder about a foot closer to the reel holder than you thought you should.
    Things I miss: Stick Steering.
    Pedestal seats with underseat storage
    Flashers.
    Bass Buster Scorpions.

    • Yeah Rich, I guess if you mounted the tip holder closer to the reel it’d work better. Problem was not many anglers figured that out before breaking rods.

      And, ya know what, I miss all those things too. I also miss lining up on shoreline landmarks and two-way anchoring.

  • You don’t run a flasher anymore Rich? I guess I’m still fairly old school, because while I have the side-imaging H’Bird on the dash, I still order a flasher on every boat. Too bad Lowrance discontinued the old 1240a — but the Vexilar is a worthy replacement.

    • paul wallace

      Kind of off topic, but that Vexilar flasher along with Marcum, h-bird and others are still the king of the hill in ice fishing.
      Paul

      • Yeah Paul, Vexilar is still making a killer flasher for ice fishing. I wish they’d get more of a hold in bass fishing. Much better in shallow water than any LCD-type sonar.