Hi-Viz Surfcasting Rod Holders Using Reflector Tape

This is a good garage project for a wet day recycling an old hi-viz vest into a useful surfcasting accessory.
This is a good garage project for a wet day recycling an old hi-viz vest into a useful surfcasting accessory.

How to make hi-viz rod holders by Allan Burgess

Here is an inexpensive way to make your surfcasting rod holders stand out in the dark. Not only will it be easier to find your rod in pitch darkness it also makes it less likely that you will leave your rod spikes behind at the beach. This is a good garage project for a wet day recycling an old hi-viz vest into a useful surfcasting accessory.

This old Hi-viz vest has plenty of life left in it's cloth reflector tape.
This old hi-viz vest has plenty of life left in its cloth reflector tape.

The way I make my rod holders easy to spot in by applying reflector tape. An excellent source of cheap good quality reflector tape can be found by removing it from old hi-viz (high-visibility) fluoro vests. Hi-vis vests are cheap to buy brand new only costing about seven dollars or so. If you know a builder or other tradesman they often have old hi-viz vests that they don’t want anymore.

The quick-un-pick tool is sold at most supermarkets.
The quick-un-pick tool is sold at most supermarkets.

The next thing you need is a quick-un-pick tool. You can purchase this little tool at the supermarket for three dollars or there might be one at your house already. It will make it easier to cut the stitches to remove the reflector tape from the vest. If you’re careful you could use a razor blade or small pair of scissors. But seriously the quick-un-pick is the way to go.

The quick-un-pick makes removing the reflector tape from the vest easy and safe.
The quick-un-pick makes removing the reflector tape from the vest fast, easy and safe.

Finally, all that remains is to glue the reflector tape to your rod holder. I found the best glue to use is contact adhesive. Spread some of the contact adhesive onto the rod holder and the cloth tape, wait about five minutes and then press it in place. Spread it with something like an ice-block stick. Avoid getting the glue on your hands if you can.

Apply the contact adhesive thinly to both surfaces. Wait five minutes and then press firmly together. Good use of an old hi-viz vest.
Apply the contact adhesive thinly to both surfaces. Wait five minutes and then press firmly together.
Cut a length of reflector tape sufficient to wrap around the rod twice and apply the contact adhesive to both surfaces.
Cut a length of reflector tape sufficient to wrap around the rod twice and apply the contact adhesive to both surfaces. Be sure to spread the adhesive right out to the edges and press down firmly. Note the tip light held in place by insulation tape.

Add the reflector tape to your surf rod

In a similar vein, you can glue some of the hi-viz tape near the tip of your surfcasting rods. A battery-powered light on your rod tip is very good too. In combination with the hi-viz reflector tape, it will be even easier to see any nibbles in the dark. You will still have to switch on your torch or head-lamp but the hi-viz tape will really “jump out” in the dark.

Reflector tape glued in place on the top rod holder. I think I'll add more reflector tape to fill the space between the top two rod guides.
Reflector tape glued in place on the top rod holder. I think I’ll add more reflector tape to fill the space between the top two rod guides.
You can see how the reflector tape from an old hi-viz vest stands out when lit by the camera flash.
You can see how the reflector tape from an old hi-viz vest stands out when lit by the camera flash.