Regardless of your rod holder needs, from singles to systems, Driftmaster has
products to meet your personal fishing style. (Photo: Terry Madewell)
Driftmaster Rod Holder Updates for 2022
by Terry Madewell
Meeting the needs of anglers
Having choices in terms of fishing products that meet your specific needs is the first step to fishermen enjoying a day on the water. Perhaps not so important for single pole anglers, but for most crappie fishermen, rod holders and associated equipment is a key component. Driftmaster Rod Holders are the first choice for many professional crappie fishermen.
David Bayard with Driftmaster said their quest to enhance the overall Driftmaster product line continues with new products designed for multiple levels of fishing expertise and needs.
He said his goal at Driftmaster is to generate quality products that last a lifetime and are designed to serve multiple market levels.
“We’re working to ensure we have all types of rod holder and associated accessories that fit the enjoyment and skill levels of any angler, and are compatible with their financial commitment,” Baynard said. “We look at the market in terms of beginning, intermediate and professional levels of fishermen. Not everyone needs the top-of-the-line models that professional tournament fishermen require. Plus, these high-end products are also typically at the top of the financial commitment list.”
Baynard said Driftmaster has multiple “Best Sellers” based on the market level targeted. He used the phrase “Best Seller” to describe a product for a reason; because the product is exciting, it works and serves a huge need in the market.
“One good example is how our T-bars, that hold multiple rigs, have been embraced by crappie anglers,” he said. “We developed the original T-bars before they were ‘cool’, but now they’re so popular we’ve expanded the basic models to include intermediate and advanced levels.”
Baynard said this enables fishermen to spider rig at varying levels of refinement. For example, the basic T-Bar model is perfect for buddies fishing together, or for taking kids and grandkids fishing, because it enables anglers to fish simply and effectively.
“It’s a case where most fishermen want to enjoy the process of fishing with other friends or family members and catch fish,” he said. “The entry level T-bar allows multiple rigs to be fished in close proximity, but without the adjustments required by professional fishermen. In this case, simplicity is best.”
“We’re working to ensure we have all types of rod holder and associated accessories that fit the enjoyment and skill levels of all anglers, and are compatible with their financial commitment,” David Baynard, Driftmaster Rod Holders
“At the other end of the rod holder spectrum we strive to provide rigs that align with the needs of the professional angler,” he said. “These must be highly efficient and have the adaptability to be adjustable to minute levels of refinement. This enables the pros to precisely meet the individual needs of every fishing scenario they encounter.”
Professional crappie fisherman and Publisher of CrappieNow Dan Dannenmueller said the new Driftmaster model T-275 Crappie Stalker delivers what crappie anglers have been wanting and needing for professional tournament fishing.
“Several professional fishermen talked with Driftmaster about the ideal design including the need for taller T-bars,” he said. “We also worked with them to help design a product where everything was adjustable, and is easy to set up and to remove and store.”
Dannenmueller said the Driftmaster T-275 checked all the boxes. He said it provides anglers an unlimited number of potential setup positions with each stand-alone rod holder.
“The functionality of this product is so versatile that an angler can set them exactly how they want for their personal fishing style,” Dannenmueller said. “For me, it’s not simply adjusting to a normal or preferred style. It’s the ability to able to adapt to unique fishing situations by keeping my rods, and rod tips, positioned precisely to ensure I get the best performance.”
Dannenmueller said this provides the mental assurance that he can control everything possible. That’s important from a mental aspect in a tournament environment because it enables him to stay focused on finding fish, as well as physically presenting the bait or lure properly.
He said the individual rod holders do not transmit bite signals to other rigs as they may on a regular T-Bar.
“This ‘no vibration’ communication is key, especially with crappie on a light bite,” Dannenmueller said. “The versatility of this product enables me to move rods without impacting other rigs. I can change rod length without impacting the action or setup of other rigs. I can effectively use these rigs for spider-rigging or pushing, depending on the exact situation I’m fishing. I can quickly rig two of them high and two lower with a minimum of effort enabling me to diversify my presentation.
“I envision a limitless number of variations that will enable me to cope with any situation encountered when crappie fishing,” he said. “Plus, I can also align them as I desire when I’m live scoping for crappie, or ‘spider scoping’ as I like to say.”
Dannenmueller said another key is that all of the Driftmaster rigs are easy to setup and to take down and store when not in use.
“Many fishermen use their boats for multiple purposes and the simplicity of taking the rigs down and storing them with a minimum of time and effort is an awesome feature,” he said.
Baynard said the T-275 has different levels of functionality and size within that same series. The T-275-HC Crappie Stalker was the first single pole system developed for spider rigging and meets the needs of many anglers.
The T-275-HCXX Crappie Stalker Pro and the T-275-HCXM Crappie Stalker Max have added rod holder adjustments at the top of the stem allowing minute adjustment of the rod angle independent of the rod holder position. The Crappie Stalker Pro has a 3/8″ diameter stainless steel stem and the Crappie Stalker Max has a 1/2″ diameter stainless steel stem and stainless flush base for added strength and stability.
“The intent is to have products that work really well, at fair market prices, to help anglers reach their goal at all levels of enjoyment,” Baynard said. “Plus, it allows for growth within the fishing skill levels. Success at one level may motivate someone to ramp up their equipment to the next level.
“Conversely, professional anglers at some point may decide it’s time to back off tournament fishing and start taking grandkids fishing, so they can scale down to basic or intermediate rigs,” he said. “It works both ways to help meet the need of fishermen regardless of their personal goals or skill level at any point in their fishing lives.”
(Award-winning writer and photographer Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C., has been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years. He has a degree in wildlife and fisheries management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager.)