How To Pack Fishing Gear in Your RV


Jenny Anderson

Favorite Trip

Road trip through South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana where we visited the national parks and went fly fishing for trout.

Home Base

Land of 10,000 Lakes aka Minnesota

Favorite RV

I absolutely love our current fish house, a custom Glacier Ragen R216. But if I could have any RV, it would be YETTI A816-PK.

About Contributor

Jenny Anderson is an outdoor content creator, best known as the Girl of 10,000 Lakes. As someone who didn’t grow up “outdoorsy,” she believes it’s never too late to fall in love with the great outdoors. Prior to becoming an outdoor content creator, Anderson was a news anchor and reporter in western Wisconsin. She now uses her passion for storytelling to inspire families of all experience levels to get outdoors. Anderson is a published children’s book author and shares her love for nature, fishing, and the outdoor life with her husband, two children, and their yorkie named Kiwi.

Fishing and RVing go hand-in-hand, at least it does for our family. It’s hard to beat a campsite next to a pristine lake surrounded by the wilderness or the salty air and open ocean while being just a few steps away from a favorite fishing spot.

My husband and I have our own styles of fishing. He prefers trolling for big fish while I enjoy the slow but exciting moments brought by bobber fishing.  But we do have something in common in our shared hobby: we like our fishing gear somewhat organized, especially when we are RVing. Between the two of us, our 3-year-old son, 1-year-old daughter, and little Yorkshire terrier, there’s a lot of stuff to pack for each outing (including the kids’ fishing gear). It feels like we are packing up the entire house anytime we travel.

Fishing with Jenny Anderson
Image: Jenny Anderson

Getting our fishing gear packed in an organized fashion is essential, especially with limited RV space. Plus, fishing rods are fragile. The goal is to avoid tangled and damaged rods during transport and make sure hooks and any sharp objects stay secure. It saves us time and headaches. Organized gear means more time fishing and less time rummaging around for fishing gear.

To pack fishing gear swiftly and securely in an RV, here are some simple tips seasoned anglers and casual fishing folks can live by.

Store Fishing Rods and Reels in a Carrying Case

Lucky for anglers who are always traveling, there are plenty of rod carrying cases made specifically for fishing rods. These cases protect your fishing gear and are easy to grab and go, whether you’re packing up the RV or taking out your gear to head to the next fishing hotspot. Rod carrying cases usually come with compartments made to fit multiple rods and reels, are easy to store, and are very portable. You can find durable fabric cases as well as sturdy waterproof hard cases. Rod carrying cases can easily be stored inside your RV or pass-through storage.

Don’t Pass Up the Pass-Through Storage

RV Pass-Through Storage for Fishing Gear
Image: Jenny Anderson

The pass-through storage on an RV is basically made for fishing gear. If you love fishing as much as you love camping, then consider buying an RV with pass-through storage. This area is long enough to hold a wide range of rod sizes and the best part is that you don’t have to break down any multi-piece rods.

All your gear will be easily accessible on either side of the RV as you’re heading out for a day of fishing. Simply grab and go. You can easily fit any tackle box and rod carrying case in the pass-through storage. You can up your organization game by installing rod holders either on the ceiling or walls of your pass-through storage. 

Install a Rod Holder Storage Rack

Speaking of rod holder storage racks, these convenient rod storage systems are a great way to keep your fishing gear accessible and organized. Storage racks can be mounted horizontally, vertically, on a wall, or ceiling, and sometimes suctioned onto windows depending on what type of storage rack you choose. It can hold rods and reels, nets, oars, or even tiki torches!

The sky’s the limit, or at least the width of your RV is the limit. I highly recommend installing these in the pass-through storage and keeping all of your fishing gear in that space so that it can be your one-stop shop for all things fishing in your RV.

Keep it Tidy with a Tackle Box

Classic Tackle Box for Fishing Gear
Image: Jenny Anderson

It seems like a given, but keeping lures organized in a tackle box will save you the headache of dealing with sharp, loose hooks and time while sorting through tangled-up treble hooks.

With our two toddlers, it’s a priority for us to keep our lures, pliers, and other small items like sinkers and weights contained in a tackle box. We have an old metal tackle box that belonged to my husband’s grandpa with compartments and latches that keep our curious kids away from danger. It’s the classic tackle box with compartments, dividers, and a carrying handle.

There are so many different kinds of tackle boxes these days, but our main priority is to find a tackle box with plenty of compartments. That way, you can store everything from spinners to spoons, extra line, bobbers, and all things in between.

Use Your Shower When You’re Not Showering

Storing Fishing Gear in RV Shower
Image: Jenny Anderson

I’ve seen some RVers stow their rods and tackle boxes in their shower while on the go. While that’s a great use of space when you’re not showering, it’s probably not a good idea to keep your gear loose while on the move. 

One of the most basic but smart inventions is a milk crate storage system. It’s a 13-inch by 13-inch milk crate that can fit in kayaks, but it’s also something that can fit on the floor of your shower. On the exterior of the crate, you can install rod holders that not only hold your rod and reels and net but also pliers, knives, and lures.

There’s a Yak-Gear Angler Starter Kit complete with a crate, gear pouch, and two-rod holders if you want to head in this direction. The best part is that you can use the center of the milk crate as a place to hold your tackle box, waders, wading boots, or whatever other fishing-related gear you need to store. When you’re ready to go fishing, just grab your crate and go!

Travel Light with a Telescopic Fishing Rod

Telescoping Fishing Rod
Image: Jenny Anderson

If you truly want to save space when packing up your fishing gear, look no further than my favorite fishing invention of all time: a telescopic fishing rod. It’s a rod that’s extremely portable because it telescopes out into a full-sized rod and telescopes back into a travel-sized rod that can easily fit in a backpack. It’s perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle.

I’ve used mine to catch a variety of species including lake trout, stream trout, walleye, bass, northern pike, and even red snappers. Just try to find one that’s made of fiberglass with metal guides. Most telescopic rods come with lined reels but I like to swap them out for reels I already have at home.

Whether you’re looking to land your next big catch during a camping trip or simply want to spend more time on the water while RVing, it’s important to have your gear packed securely and safely so that you can focus more on the fun and less on the chaos of packing and unpacking. Figure out your favorite system for stowing fishing gear into your RV and ultimately spend more time doing what you love – camping and fishing.

What must-have gear do you like to go fishing with? Tell us in the comments below!

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