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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dr. Joe Siphek, in another posting, was looking for a way to carry rods in his topper. I don't know if my suggestion will help him but it may be of use to some of you.

I've attached one photo of my carry system inside my Tacoma topper and photos of my system outside the topper on a roof rack.

I will address the outside system first.

The tubes are 10', 1.5" thin wall electric conduit, which are available at Home Depot, for about $13 and about $5 at the Habitat For Humanity Re-Store if you can find them.

I don't use rods longer than 9' so I cut about 9" off the ten foot length.

The tube caps are also available at HD for about $5 each. They are in the PVC aisle. I was looking for a way to cap the ends of the tubes and got lucky when I found these. I don't know their original intent but they work perfectly for my application. You insert them in the tube then tighten the wing nut gizmo.

This project began with black PVC but when I found they bend and warp with temperature changes, I switched to metal conduit. It's a bit heavier but they don't bend with temp changes.

At garage sales, I found three complete sets of Thule roof bike racks for practically nothing. I disassembled them so I could use the "U" shaped trays where bike tires go then I attached them to my roof rack. You see them in the photo of the rear of the topper. Hose clamps are used to attach the tubes to the trays.

The one disadvantage to this system is, there is no container at the end to protect reels but that's not a problem for me because I usually only use the roof tubes when I'm moving from one location to another on a river.

About 8" from the rear end of the tubes, I drilled a 5/16" hole on each side of each tube. These are used to hold small bunji cords which I wrap around the back of the reel. You see how I use them in the photo.

If I do have a need to use a ten foot rod, I can remove one of the end caps at the front to allow the longer rod to protrude.

The inside tubes are also 1.5" in diameter but are cut to 5' lengths. This is how I travel with rods. I have one rod set up for nymphing and one set up for dry flies.

A word of caution is in order. If you use this system and you have your rod rigged with flies, allow for some slack in the fly line at the reel. A tight line will be kinked by the edge of the tube when the bunji cord is stretched. Also, use a rat tail file or emery paper to smooth both openings to prevent cutting the fly line. This is especially true if you use a plumbers pipe cutter to trim the tube. These guys will leave a very sharp edge on the inside of the mouth. One final note of caution. When you insert your rods in the tubes, don't snag a guide.

Total cost for one tube, not including labor, is about $25.
 

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Looks good! Maybe you could engineer a way to cover/lock your rods that ride on the roof?

Why didn't you put all the rod holders inside the topper?

EDIT: Am I losing my marbles or did you just change your username from Pogybait to Bucksnort?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dallasdb,

Nope, you are not losing all your marbles. I asked the web master to change my log in name to Bucksnort because I use the same name on various other forums.

The reason the outside tubes are not in the topper is because the tubes are 9' 3" long and the topper is only 6' long.

I'm keeping an eye out for a way to enclose the reels. Something will pop up, eventually. I saw another home made roof rod holder which had one of those Pellican waterproof containers at the rear. I didn't look at it closely but it looked kinda cheap. I think this holder was made of black PVC.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
dallasdb,

I think I now know what you mean. When I'm fishing, I remove which ever rod I need from the inside then transfer it to the outside for a day of fishing.

Earlier, I misspoke when I said I don't use rods longer than nine feet. I do have one pike rod, which I never have used, that's 10' in length. I keep it in a 5'6" tube, two extra two piece rods and two four piece rods in the Thule storage unit on the topper. Heck, you can't have too many rods.

When I bought the Thule storage unit ($50 from a neighbor), I told my wife it would be her sleeping area if she ever goes camping with me. She's afraid of bears.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wolfman,

Yes, I use the truck bed for camping but not for sleeping. Later, I will post a photo of the entire inside so you have a better idea of the layout. When you see this photo, please don't think I'm a master carpenter. The whole mess evolved but it evolved rather nicely. I love this truck and use it for all of my fishing/camping/hunting outings. I have a 2012 FJ Cruiser but rarely drive it.

For many years, I slept in the truck bed. It was a bit difficult to get out in a hurray when I had to pee really bad. On one camping trip, I decided to sleep in the driver's side in the cab. I pushed the seat back as far as it would go then moved the back rest to the farthest position rearward. I used my sleeping bag like a blanket. I placed my feet in the bottom of the bag then pulled it up over my head. I slept like a baby.

Later, I moved to the passenger side, which is more comfortable because the steering wheel is not there. The back rest will not lay completely flat so I place a small pillow under the small of my back to eliminate the divot where the seat and the back rest meet. I have a small pillow I use under my feet and two pillows for my head. When possible, I place the front of my truck at a fairly extreme angle on a hill. This keeps me from sliding down.

Toyota Tacoma 4X4 trucks with standard transmissions, have a clutch bypass feature. To start the truck, you must depress the clutch; however, the bypass feature allows you to start the truck without depressing the clutch. So when I need to warm the cab, I place the tranny in neutral, depress the bypass button then start the engine.

I rarely have to start the truck because it's way warmer sleeping in the cab than the bed. I've slept in temps down to 20 below zero and have been very warm. I sleep like a baby.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Dr. Joe, thanks for the complement.

Wolfman, I'm attaching a photo of the inside of my fishing/camping set up in my Tacoma.

Sorry for the snow. As I said, I didn't plan this final version from the get-go. It evolved this way.

The two open compartments you see above the tail gate are for stowing firearms. Depending on which soft long gun case I use and the long gun, I can sometimes stow two in each compartment and a handgun or two in soft cases. The gizmos with the holes are inserted in the openings then the long flap of thin carpeting covers all this with Velcro. I only carry firearms in these areas when I'm on fishing trips.

Under the water containers, are three storage compartments running from the tailgate to the front of the bed. There is storage along the sides which are accessible by lifting the tops. On the top on the left side, I have my hygiene items, chest fly vest, a shooting range bag and a shower kit for the rare occasion when I stay in a motel. On the right I have a propane stove, cooking items and some utensils.

I also have storage above. It was a bit tricky attaching this storage to the upper topper. I did this with small 90 degree angle brackets and some sheet metal screws which attach it to the frame of the topper windows. I store only light weight items above.

I have three hard plastic storage boxes which contain food and extra clothing. I'm considering removing the box with clothing and storing the clothing in the Thule on the topper rack.

It is still possible for someone to sleep in the bed as long as they aren't taller than six feet.

I am completely self sufficient and totally mobile when I'm out and about on my fishing trips.
 

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That rig is awesome. If only my topper didn't leak...
 

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Nice set ups!

I have a friend that made a lockable topper for his rods. He cut holes in an ammo can for the tubes to go thru. sealed it with liquid weld. Open the ammo can and pull out you fully rigged fly rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bugz,

You may have a good idea worth a thought or two. Tell me more about liquid weld. I'm wondering how durable the weld would be considering I am off road on some fishing outings. I have three galvanized rod tubes which might hold well with the welding material on the metal ammo can.
The inside of the can could be lined with thin foam.
 
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