Down ‘N Dirty: Yakima DoubleHaul

The seasons might be changing, but the fly fishing scene is still strong around Colorado. Whether you’re hitting your favorite pockets on the front range, wading the Rio down south or headed for the waters of the western slope, staying prepared is easy if you have the right gear. And by “right gear”, I mean the DoubleHaul rooftop fly rod carrierDoubleHaul rooftop fly rod carrier from Yakima. Nestled cozily next to a rooftop tent, a cargo box or your ski rack, the DoubleHaul might just be the answer to staying prepared to hit any water you come across.

MSRP: $699

Pros: Did someone say ultimate preparation and protection? There are a few things I really appreciated about the DoubleHaul. 

First, preparedness. I am so over getting myself and my gear stuck on hooks from rigged up rods stretched across the inside of my vehicle just so I can get on the water faster. Those days are over. The DoubleHaul gives me a “set it and forget it” option and and gets me on the water, faster. I have my rod ready to go in a trusted carrier on my roof and I’m good to go. 

Second, speaking of trusted, Yakima racks have been around for a long time. I’ve owned and used their cargo boxes, bike and ski racks, and crossbars for over a decade and I have never had anything stolen from them, thanks to their locking mechanisms. The DoubleHaul falls right in line and includes the Yakima SKS (Single Key System, so you’re not trying to figure out which Yakima key goes to which rack) locks to secure rods inside the carrier and lock it to the roof rack. The carrier is also constructed of plastic-lined aluminum rod tubes. It’s strong, solid and durable. And while I like to travel with a reel cover on my reel, it’s not necessary with this carrier, thanks to the interior felt-lined and padded reel rests. 

Third, capacity. This carrier can hold four fully-rigged fly rods up to 10 feet long with or without a fighting butt, including spey! According to the specs, the top two reel slots fit most 12-wt. reels and the bottom two reel slots fit most 10-wt. reels. We tested out our rods/reels and didn’t have any problems whatsoever with fit. 

I also really felt that having the carrier gave me more flexibility with my fishing. I could have my small stream 3wt., a nymphing 4wt., and a go-to 5wt. rigged up at the same time and pick any water type and location without forgetting (or having to re-rig) the right tool for the job.

Cons: The DoubleHaul is kind of a beast. It’s a good thing, but if it’s mounted on smaller vehicles (we installed it on a Subaru Outback), it looks really big and depending on your crossbar placement, can interfere with a hatchback trunk. Just be aware of placement and you’ll be good to go.

Also, the carrier includes additional foam buffers to protect your rods while they’re inside the carrier – use them on longer trips. While single day use didn’t seem to have any negative impacts on our rods, leaving a rod in it for a few weeks without the buffer did cause some abrasion to the graphite. We did it in the name of science and sound reviews, so it’s ok. But consider using them or putting a sleeve on your rod for longer storage inside the carrier.

Where we took it: All over Colorado. 

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