The Fishpond Quickshot Rod Holder is a deceptively simple fly fishing accessory that has the power to change how you cover water. To use it, the Quickshot Rod Holder attaches to Fishpond’s 4-way connection system, which basically means you attach the Quickshot Rod Holder to compatible Fishpond backpacks.
This lets you carry a fully-rigged rod along with you while you fish with another rod entirely. If you’ve ever wanted to fish the same section of a stream with different flies, using a rod holder for a second rod can save you time on the water and help keep your flies in the water — which is where the fish are.
To get us a closer look at this time-saving wonder, Fishpond sent us a review unit when the company sent over a Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack review unit (see our review).
This is what we learned about the Quickshot Rod Holder:
Fishpond Quickshot Rod Holder Review
The Fishpond Quickshot Rod Holder easily and securely attaches to the 4-way connection system built into various newer 2018 Fishpond packs. In addition to the main body of the rod holder, Fishpond includes a magnetic FidLock buckle that can connect to an upper 4-way connection point. The bottom portion holds the reel and handle portion of the rod while the upper FidLock connector wraps around the blank of the rod to hold it into place.
To keep the lower portion secure, there is an adjustable elastic cord system.
To access, stow or swap rods, it’s definitely easier if you remove the backpack altogether, but if you’re wading far into a stream, it is possible to swap rods if you remove one shoulder from the backpack and spin it around to the side and front of you. The process isn’t exactly simple, but it’s faster than tying on a new fly and dropper rig — and it lets you bring a different rod for different fishing situations.
Can you fish with the fly rod fully extended? Yes; however, you have to pay attention to your casting stroke and remember that you have a rod sticking up next to you. You’re probably better offer breaking your rod down into sections and letting the elastic cord and FidLock connector hold it altogether — which is what Fishpond recommends for better mobility and ease of fishing. Quick Tip: Throw a few rubber bands in your pack in case you want to secure the pieces or help manage your leader and line when you have a strike indicator on and you’re keeping the rod fully rigged.
Fishpond Quickshot Rod Holder Review: Pros and Cons
If you’re using a compatible Fishpond pack, the Quickshot Rod Holder is an awesome, must-have accessory.
Which packs are compatible? The new for 2018 models of the Thunderhead Submersible Backpack, the Wind River Roll-top Backpack, and the Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack. The Thunderhead Submersible Sling Pack also works, but only for left-handed fly fishers due to the position of the 4-way connector.
Just in case you’re skimming this post, let’s be extra clear: You need Fishpond’s 4-way connection system for the rod holder to attach correctly.
Which, as you can imagine, is also a con. At the time of this writing, the only way to use the Fishpond Quickshot Rod Holder is if you use it with a compatible Fishpond pack.
Meanwhile, with a little ingenuity, you could likely find a way to attach the Quickshot Rod Holder to a different pack or even a vest — but it might require a bit of sewing, gluing, wiring, or tying.
It would be super cool if Fishpond created a belt-loop attachment option that uses the 4-way connection system — this way you could attach the bottom portion of the holder to your belt or wading belt. Or connect it to another hip belt or pack. If a version of the connector had a 45-degree angle on it, you could have the rod stick out back behind you more than point straight up.
If you’re willing to mess around to make the Quickshot work with your own gear, the recommended retail price of $29.95 isn’t much of a risk.
Of course, if you buy into a compatible Fishpond pack, it all works together from the start. Plus, if you’re into covering ground while you fish and want to use a fly fishing backpack, the Fishpond packs also accept Fishpond chest packs, which attach to the backpack straps. The idea is that you can carry heavy or extra gear in the backpack while keeping what you use most up front and ready to go — check out our review of the Thunderhead Submersible Backpack for more detail.
As for the Quickshot, it’s a great Fishpond accessory. Highly recommended.