I am just setting up my boat for musky trolling. I'm installing a Traxstech track system and need rod holders. What are your suggestions?
Musky Trolling Rod Holders
Scotty power locks for boards down east salties for down rods. Never had a problem. However if I were going to be trolling almost exclusively I would probably upgrade to a traxtech system for my boards as well.
How many lines do you plan to run. Up to 6, the rod holders mentioned are fine.
I used to run Down East Salty. They are great rod holders, you need extra parts to run them in a track system. Google the setup and you see what I mean. I would not trust Scotty or Ram with Musky. The speed you are trolling (3.5 ave, 5.5 is common) puts much more stress on the rod holders than other types of fishing.
I fish Lake Michigan (Salmon) and Green Bay (Musky), often with 2-3 others in the boat.
Since you are running a track system, consider a rod tree. I went to trees to get more lines out. I much prefer them to gunnel mounted.
If you are fishing big water when it is rough, keeping the lines high helps quite a bit. Boards will often dive in rough water with the low mounted rob holders.
I can cleanly run 10 lines in a Lund 1675, 8 on the trees, 2 down rods. I am maxed at 6 with gunnel mount. If I run more they get into each other too often.
I love my Scotty's. They work great. No rattles when running on plane in waves. Easy to get rods in and out of rod holders. But....as posted below, if you are running rods with tips in the water, or down rods with rods in the water, get those locking seats or they will work lose and spin your rod into the boat. I almost lost a rod that way. But once I put those locking seats onto those "down" rod holders, all is perfect.
I've tried the Ram rod holders. Hated them.
I then tried the downeast salty rod holders. Much better than ram. Made a lot of noise when running on plane or in rougher water. But the thing I didn't like about them was that the rod was much tougher to get out of the rod holder once a fish was hooked. And they too would bust loose on "down" rods and spin my rod into the boat. But I know a lot of guys that love these, too. They just weren't for me.
If you go Scotty power locks, get locking real seats because otherwise action of rod will cause them to wiggle loose.
FAT AZ is a guide favorite.
I love my cisco’s. Expensive. But worth it in my mind. I ended up getting the tube rod holders because I like keeping the cockpit area of the boat free of rod butts. They’re easily removed and all aluminum with Lifetime warranty. I think they will work with the track system you mentioned. Worth checking out anyway.
Scotty power lock rod holders are really the way to go in my opinion.
We have bought cheaper/lesser brand rod holders over the years and after a month or two of getting blasted by big Pike/Muskie they wear out and before you know it you are getting slapped in the face by an eight foot rod swinging to the rear of the boat as your lure gets whacked by a big fish because the teeth in the holder base have worn out.
Nothing like I describe in the above paragraph has every happened to us with a Scotty power lock. They just work, simple as that.
Folbe or Down East are both excellent. RAM are good too. I've never used Attwood. Whatever you use, make sure they can stand the impact of a rip at 3-3.5 mph. I had some lesser brands over the years fail to the point of breaking on impact.
Attwood, Folbe and Down east.