The Best Ready Rod Bags

by Dan Webb |
Updated on

The ability to transport one or multiple rods to the bank that are already made up has been a real game changer, especially for match and carp anglers. Having a rod ready to go saves a lot of time on the bank, which allows an angler to prepare other items of tackle and bait, or go in search of the fish and should an opportunity present itself the rod can be put together and cast in.

Ready rod bags provide the perfect solution to transporting your rods and reels whilst also providing better protection than a standard holdall or tube. Often very well padded, with some offering hardcase options they will make sure your rods arrive to the bank safely and easy to access. If you're an angler that likes to take multiple rods with them fishing, the amount of time it will save you not having to set up each rod when you arrive is really worth the investment in one of these holdalls.

The best ready rod bags at a glance...

• Best In Class Rod Bag - MAP Rod Protection Case - View offer on Fishing Tackle and Bait

• Best Rod Bag For Specimen Anglers - Drennan Specialist Double Rod Sleeve - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle

• Best Rod Bag For External Storage - Nytro Sublime Hardshell Rod Holdall - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle

• Best Rod Bag For Carp Angling - Korda Compac Rod Holdall - View offer on Fishing Tackle and Bait

Whether you require a rod bag to hold just one rod or multiple rods there are plenty of options out there, most manufacturers will have sizes to accommodate 2 piece or 3 piece rods and reels and there are behemoths that will even accommodate up to 6 rods, should you require it. In this guide we have a look at some of the best and most popular ready rods bags available...

Best rod bag for feeder fishing

Carry up to four made-up rods, folded down with reels attached, fully protected in this hard case sleeve. Two rods fit in each compartment, held in place by staggered and prepositional butt protectors, Velcro straps and a dividing strap to prevent reels knocking together. Available at 180cm long for three-piece rods or 196cm long for two-piece.

A real plush and quality product to protect your precious rods. Despite being compact, even rods with quite big reels will fit comfortably inside. External pockets for landing net and quivertips are a great additional bonus.


  • Solid construction.
  • Extra side pockets and a tip tube pocket.


  • Not waterproof.

Best value rod bag

A hard-wearing and durable hardcase holdall with a thick waterproof base. Velcro straps and internal pouches hold the rod butts in place and are positioned to stagger the reels. At 191cm long, it will hold most folded-down rods on the market.

Lots of protection for your valuable rods in a very simple design. A modest and solidly constructed bag will do a great job at a price that’s hard to beat.


  • Hardcase material offers great protection.
  • Durable, waterproof base.


  • No bigger option than a 4 rod version.

Best in class rod bag

If you're looking for superior rod protection and have a lot of rods you need to transport to the bank, then you'll be hard pressed to find anything better than the MAP Rod protection case. The case comes in a standard and an XL size, the standard easily accommodating up to 5 rods and reels with the XL taking 8 or more. The hardcase ABS plastic finish will make sure the rods will be really safe and inside the rod straps and cushioned separators make sure they don't move or get damaged in transit.

The dimensions of the cases are: Standard Rod Case Dimensions: L190 x W25 x H23cm and XL Rod Case Dimensions: L190 x W40 x H23cm. Both are designed to transport 12ft, 2 piece rods and reels.


  • Superior rod protection, nothing stronger on the market.
  • Can accommodate upto 8 or more made up rods.


  • Quite bulky.

Best budget holdall

Made from tough 420 denier nylon, with a balanced carrying handle, this case will fit neatly inside the MX-6TFZ holdall. Designed to take one rod plus a reel, the zip is positioned along the spine, on the opposite side to the reel, to prevent damage and do away with the risk of line getting caught. At 183cm long, it will accommodate most rods.

This compact case takes up very little room in the car or shed. It’s easy to transport and very light. More a holdall within a holdall, rather than something you’d use in isolation, it’s still ideal for short trips or spur of the moment pleasure sessions.


  • Perfect for taking one rod fishing.
  • Very compact.


  • Doesn't offer the same level of protection as others.

Best for external storage

These superb rod bags come in three sizes to accommodate two, four and six made up rods comfortably. With a PVC outer material, it's not only durable but it's easy to clean to keep it looking as good as new. Strong SBS zippers and oversized pullers mean you will be be able to access your rods, whatever the weather and can be certain they won't fail easily. The holdalls are also available in different lengths to allow the storage of two piece or three piece rods.

The holdall has a rigid, hard spine to keep it straight, with very well padded dividers to ensure your rods with be very well protected whilst in transit. There is an external, zipped pocket to allow you to store brollies, landing net handles or distance sticks allowing you to take everything you need in one, easy to carry bag.


  • Lots of room for your rods.
  • Well padded to offer optimum protection.


  • No single sleeve option.

Best four rod holdall

The GURU Fusion 4 Rod Holdall is a fantastic ready-made rod bag that not only looks the part it also ensures the utmost safety for your travelling rods and reels. Double sided with a total length of 195cm it will accommodate up to four 12ft setups with ease and the padded inner pockets will prevent them getting damaged.

The outer is made from a protective hardcase material, with the durable, carbon effect leather material making sure it will last you for years to come. A nice little touch is the boot handle that is located on the base of the holdall, it sounds minor but it really makes loading and unloading the holdall into the car really simple and efficient.


  • Great material, easy to clean.
  • Very durable build.


  • Only a 4 rod available.

Best rod bag for space

Part of the high end, no-compromise Horizon X luggage range designed for modern match anglers, these holdalls are available in two sizes: 2-4 rods and 3-6 rods. Each compartment is oversized, with Velcro straps and internal dividers that top-and-tail your rods to save space. An EVA moulded outer pocket will hold spare quivertips, while a full-length external sleeve will take landing net handles and a brolly. Made from rigid PE board with waterproof zips and 195cm long.

A complete system that can hold all your rods made up and safe in one place. The only holdall you will need if you’re a rod and line angler.


  • Quivertip pouch is a nice addition.
  • Will take everything you need for a session.


  • Quite a large holdall.

Best rod bag for carp fishing

Designed with the modern carp angler in mind, this stylish holdall from Korda will take your rods to the bank safely and in style. There are two options in the range, a three rod and a five rod version, with the larger holdall perfect for taking your fishing rods and a marker and spod rod to save you taking them in a separate bag or just on the barrow. The 3 models are designed to take 10ft, 12ft or 13ft rods and there is a smaller version in the range for single rods, with light and dark camo options to please even the most discerning anglers.

Fully padded internal dividers with a water resistant fabric outer, the Compac holdalls are durable and very well designed to keep your rods safe and easily accessible. There is room on the outside for an extra rod or two should you need it, as well as a pocket located against the reinforced spine to accommodate a net and handle. The reinforced base means the holdall won't damage easily on its most hard wearing areas and there is even a handy little pouch to store your leads when the rods are tucked up inside the holdall to prevent any damage in transit.


  • Quality build.
  • External pockets and storage.


  • Dividers could be padded slightly more.

Best small rod holdall

The ultimate bag for the short rod angler. You can carry two made-up and folded 8ft rods with a landing net, your gear in three main compartments (one of which is insulated to carry bait), plus your bank sticks, boilies and nets in an outer compartment. A fully adjustable strap ensures it is always balanced to carry.

All your gear and bait, all in one bag! Perfect for hiding away in the car boot for a quick after-work or lunch break session.


  • An all-in-one bag, carries everything you need.
  • Great for short session anglers.


  • Not for use with longer rods.

Best rod bag for specimen anglers

A large main compartment will hold two made-up and strapped rods, plus tips and leads or feeders in dedicated internal pockets. External straps will hold an additional rod or umbrella with space for banksticks or landing net in two outer pockets.

This quality rod sleeve from Drennan offers loads of storage in the form of a compact and simple case. Great for storing rods at home, it can be quickly customised for your next session.


  • Internal lead/feeder pockets.
  • Tough 600D fabric.


  • 2 rod version is the maximum size.

What to look for in a rod holdall

Rods and reels are generally the most expensive items of tackle anglers own and it's imperative that your luggage protects them when in transit, as the last thing you need is an expensive repair or replacement. With so many options on the market it really depends on how many rods you have, your budget and if you'll be carrying the bag or transporting it on a barrow.

If you have a lot of rods or really want the best available protection then a full hardcase style rod holder would be the best choice, there really is nothing to compare to this style of holdall when it comes to strength and its ability to keep your gear safe. These holdalls do tend to be quite bulky, however, so if you like to carry your rods then still try to choose one that has some form of hard spine or hard outer layer to be confident any knocks or bangs won't develop into breakages.

If you're a specialist angler or someone who just wants to take one holdall fishing with them, look for one that has enough space to take the rods you want but also has that extra storage for essential items like a brolly and a net. This allows everything to be conveniently packed into one item of luggage, allowing you to stay mobile in search of opportunities.


Hardcase: Luggage with a hard plastic inner that keeps it rigid and protects from internal damage.

Made up rods: A term given to a fishing rod that has the reel attached, line threaded and end tackle attached so it is ready to fish with.

Holdall: An item of luggage that allows you to store rods and/or poles, landing nets and other items such as net handles.

Divider: A padded length of material that is used to operate the rods and stop them knocking together when stored.

Frequently asked questions on rod bags

Can you put any style of rod in a rod bag?

Whilst certain rod bags are primarily aimed at certain styles of fishing, as long as your rod doesn't exceed the length of the bag when it is fitted together or broken down then it can be used to store whatever rod you want it to.

What are the best kind of rod holdalls?

The best rod holdall is angler specific, as long as it holds all the tackle you need it to it will be the best for you. For the best protection it is well worth investing in a rod bag that is fully hardcase or has a hardcase element to it as these offer the best protection from damage.

Author Dan Webb first became involved in angling journalism in 2015 and has worked as Tackle Tester at Angling Times since April 2021. He is a fanatical all-round match angler and former England Youth International.

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