Sumo Rod Carrier

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With a Sumo Rod Carrier, transporting fly rods couldn’t be easier.

On a recent trip to the Hiawassee River in Tennessee, I was finally able to try out a new piece of equipment that I had purchased several weeks before. The Sumo Rod Carrier is a system designed to carry your rods on your vehicle, making transporting them to and from the river a breeze. Over the course of the two days that I was fishing the area, the Sumo Rod Carrier proved to be a valuable asset by keeping me on the water longer. Without having to break my rods down in between travel to different sections of the river I was able to be ready to go as soon as I stepped out of my Jeep.

The Sumo Rod Carrier is super easy to use. It will adhere to any smooth, nonporous surface on your vehicle. It is made of high quality plastic (described as “better than what they use in automobiles” by the manufacturer) that seems like it would last for quite some time without worry of breakage or degradation.

For my application, I had one mount positioned approximately halfway up the hood of my Jeep, and the other positioned at the top of my windshield. I had the mounts oriented to the passenger side of the vehicle for obvious reasons.

The suction cups go on easily, without a hitch. The mounts themselves have tension screws which, when loosened, allow you to manipulate the rod rests until they are level. Once you find that you are satisfied with the position of the rod rests, simply tighten the tensioner screws to set the position.

The rod rests are lined with foam to prevent damage to reels or rods. The mounts use bungee cord to hold your rods against the rod rests. At the end of each bungee cord are two rings that slip into a slot at each end of the rod rest, locking the bungee cord in place. I found this system to be very solid and the rings did not dislodge easily at all. The rods are held securely to the rod rest, not allowing for much, if any, movement.

The rod mounts themselves are stuck to the windshield and hood as if they are cemented to the vehicle. My buddy and I tried our best to pull them off of the windshield without success. They are solid.

Time to put my money where their mouth is.

Running back and forth to fishing spots along the river at 25mph with two grand worth of equipment strapped to the hood of your vehicle is one thing. Sure, that’s one of the biggest reasons why I bought this. To make those situations easier and more convenient. Mission accomplished. It does this very well. I was able to hop out of my Jeep and be ready to fish only seconds after locking my doors. I never once worried that any of my rods were going to fly off and shatter into a gazillion pieces. Definitely worth it, as I do a lot of fishing in locations such as these.

Now what about when things call for a long distance run to another section of river, or another watershed altogether? What then? Only one way to find out, right? Instead of shying away and packing my rods in the Jeep I decided to put the Sumo Rod Carrier through its paces while driving back to the house about an hour away, and requiring some highway driving.

“You’re feeling lucky today, huh?.” My buddy Tim asked. I could only reply with, “Nah, just ballsy.” 

We headed out and hit the highway, headed home for the night. With three of my rods lashed to the Sumo Rod Carrier, I drove over an hour back to my buddy’s house. The ride home was very windy as there was a storm front rolling in that night. With sustained speeds of 65mph, hitting speeds as high as 80mph, the Sumo Rod Carrier performed without so much as a hiccup.

Upon returning back home, I checked the rods and the rod mounts for any sign of failure. Everything was as I left it. The bungee cords were still in place, the rod rests were still level, and the rod mounts themselves still could not be removed from the vehicle without releasing the suction from the suction cups. Still Solid.

The Sumo Rod Carrier proved to be a great gadget for those that find themselves moving and traveling quite a bit between fishing spots. I think it’s a great product, and after this weekend it has proven to be a reliable tool. Sure there are other options out there that do the same job (i.e. Titan Rod Vault), but at $150, it’s hard to beat. I would recommend this to anyone looking for such a solution to traveling with rods/reels.

Get Yours Here.


Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
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16 thoughts on “Sumo Rod Carrier

  1. To those of you out there with, shall we say “older” vehicles, beware. The key phrase in the review was “smooth surface.”

    In my case, my truck has 220,000 miles, many of them logged to and from rivers; the fading paint, or on one or two occasions just backroad dust caused the Sumo to fail, once spectacularly. While driving from one hole to another on paved roads, seven miles, at an approximate speed of 55 mph, the Sumo on the roof of the truck held and the one on the hood failed. Result? Busted Winston BIIIX 6 wt, approximate repair cost $150.00.

    In addition, if you fish during the fringe seasons, i.e. when the weather may be a bit cold, good luck with the suction cups, regardless if your vehicle is old, new, clean or dirty. Anything below 50 degrees, in my opinion, is a crap shoot. One morning, before the BIIIX snapfest mentioned above, I secured my Sumo to my buddy’s brand new and super clean vehicle. It was a typical autumn morning in Colorado. Good news is that the Sumo slid clean off the hood and the window before we even made it out of the driveway, lucky break (no pun intended).

    While I agree the Sumo is infinitely adjustable and easy to use in terms of securing the rods to the rack, it is not for everyone, i.e. if your vehicle is old, you drive backroads or have an otherwise less than clean vehicle then I believe you should shop around or reconfigure the Sumo.

    That being said, the Sumo does come with magnets or suction cups. Once I modified my Sumo to magnets, my fishing excursions have been less stressful and easier on my rods. Long story short, I trust the magnets and do not trust the suction cups, even though the suction cups have worked more times than not, the two times they didn’t were enough to make me switch to what I believe to be more reliable magnets.


    • Thanks for sharing your experience Aaron! So far my experience with them has been nothing but positive but I will say that most of the time they’ve been used in ideal conditions on a newer vehicle. I did forget to mention that they do have a model that comes with the magnets. No doubt the magnets would be better suited for older vehicles and dirtier conditions where getting a pair of suction cups to stick might be sketchy.

  2. As the previous poster stated, the suction cups do not work in cold weather. Almost lost a sumo rack full of 10 wts on the way to a put in for a musky float on a cold morning. Wish I had gotten the magnetic version.

  3. Coming from someone who’s been using these for the better part of 4 years now, I have to say if you put them on and leave them on, they’re good. If you take them off and put them back on all the time, you’re going to run into problems. Unless you wash your vehicle all the time, but what fishing guides do that….

    They made a change to clear suction cups maybe a year or two ago, and they’re much improved over the first two generations. They work in below freezing temps and temps well into the triple digits. I had some serious issues with the first two generations of suction cups, but they provided me with replacements as they improved their product at no charge. Luckily I’ve never had any catastrophic failure resulting in damage to my rods or reels. But I do check them religiously everytime I put rods on it.

  4. Louis, Thanks for your review. And I want to thank others for their observations here as well. I tend to drive exotic wrecks, usually with bad paint. And the comments about problems with the suction cups on bad paint surfaces and in colder conditions also caught my eye. So I am likely to get the magnetic mount racks.

  5. Very bad idea, had one on my suv in 2011 ,without a long story, if you can afford to replace all your rods and reels then buy one.
    After my sumo came unattached 2 x I put it in the closet.

  6. Hi,

    I just read your review and the comments for our SUMO Rod Carrier. Firstly, thanks for the review. Secondly, I want to make sure all owners of the SUMO suction mount know that a couple of years ago we developed a new more powerful suction cup. The new cups can withstand colder temperatures and aren’t as temperamental as to condition of the car surfaces. While clean and dry are optimum, they are not 100% required. Sure, really old degraded and pitted paint might require the magnet model (suction requires a tight seal to maintain the vacuum), but they won’t produce the high holding force as the suction model. The suction model can withstand highway speeds and crosswinds no problem.

    BTW, the new cups are clear and the old style cups are black. If you or anyone has the old black styles, we replace them with the new ones at no charge. You can contact us at or by calling 541-330-8808.

    All the best fishing,
    Brad Evans

  7. First I’d like to say thanks, I love your site. Great info and entertaining. I always learn something. I’ve have a Sumo carrier myself. I purchased them several years ago and there still in great shape although sun bleached. I got the suction model but they wouldn’t a fix to my old 86 Ford, so I returned them for the magnetic ones. I must say they worked awesome And the old diesel dragon looked even sexier with it. I live in north central Pa and most roads in my county are dirt…well more like rock with a sprinkling of dirt. They held up through creek crossing and extended trips down the mountain. My truck couldn’t go over 70 but even with the vibration my Red Truck 5wt stayed in place. I do highly recommend good reel covers though. A heavy green drake hatch on upper Pine Creek covered them in mayfly guts and dirt from the roads can easily get into the reels too. Thanks for all your posts…tightlines gentlemen.

  8. Justin- just curious as to whether your Jeep is a Wrangler. I’ve been considering the Sumo mounts, but wasn’t sure if they’d be compatible with the dimensions of a Wrangler.

    • I know a guide nearby that uses them on an older wrangler. I think he uses magnets on the hood and suction on the windshield.

  9. Good review. Im looking at buying something like this to carry round my equipment instead of lugging it into the boot of the car each time. Just worried about climbing on top each time to retrieve them but does anyone have any views on this.

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