How To Make A DIY Rooftop Rod Rack

Since I installed my new DIY rooftop rod rack last week, I’ve had a number of questions about how to make one. Although there are products on the market that accomplish the same goal, at the time I needed one I could not find anything suitable. With limited daylight after work, my winter fishing window is limited and so came the need for a set up where my rods are rigged up and ready to go in 5 minutes or less.

5 pieces of paracord, some jewelry wire and a bit of high density foam later, I had a secure rack that fits my Jeep Patriot and can hold everything from my smallest tenkara rod to my fly rods to my heaviest bait caster. This modular set up is simple yet functional, easily customizable and ideal for any SUV cargo area or under a truck canopy.

You will need:

  • Jewelry wire or tie wire for mounting paracord rod rack to vehicle
  • Front & rear anchor points “A”: 2 pieces of paracord, approximately 2.5 times the width of the mounting points, folded over and knotted every 8 inches or so (or wide enough to hold your largest rod tube).
  • Paracord supports “B”: 2 pieces of paracord, measuring the distance/length between front & rear anchor points (to support a cross brace), with a small loop on one end and knotted halfway down (to minimize rear slippage of cross brace).
  • Middle cross brace “C”: 1 piece of paracord, about three quarters as wide as your anchor paracords, folded over and knotted every 6-8 inches or so.
  • Inserts: 4 pieces high density foam or clothes pins. I repurposed pieces of a foam leaderboard, and put slits in both the top and bottom.

To construct:

  • Mount one of paracord “A” across your front anchor points and the second across your rear anchor points. When attaching it to the vehicle, use the loop in the paracord for a loop to loop connection on one end, and secure with a knot on the other. Before securing the front anchor point, slide both paracord supports “B” onto the front anchor paracord “A”, a couple of loops apart.
  • Make sure the front and rear anchor points are secured tightly, but with enough room to fit a rod tube in. Make sure to hang it low enough that your rod doesn’t hit/rest on your roof.
  • Slide the loop of the middle cross brace “C” over one of the paracord supports “B” and run across tightly, tying it to the second paracord support “B”. This middle cross brace will support your shorter rods, and the knotted sections are essential to holding the rod in place on bumpy backroads.
  • Run paracord supports “B” straight back and tie the opposite ends onto the rear anchor paracord “A”. The rope grid is now complete.
  • Position the inserts into the sections of the front anchor paracord “A” and middle cross brace “C” where you are storing pre-constructed rods. These will allow you to retrieve the rod easily, without your guides getting caught up in the paracord loops.