Rod Vault / River Quiver: your experiences


Well-known member
Reaction score
North Carolina
I'm Gumby dammit!

I bought the Riversmith 4 banger when I started guiding wade trips this year, here are my thoughts and observations:

I like the convenience of having four rods rigged and ready to go when I arrive at the river with clients. Whether I'm taking out two or three clients, all four rods go to the water with us, rods are sometimes broken and when I need to change things up the clients can continue to fish while I re-rig the spare rod(s).

Security: One of the reasons I chose the Riversmith was the enhanced security of the box. Given time, tools and the inclination, any passive security measures can be defeated. The Riversmith box uses a better lock system than the competition and the fitment of the door provides very little gap to get a prying tool inserted; I cannot get a fingernail into it. It's a lot easier to smash a window and gain access to the interior of my vehicle than it would be to get into the box.

Damage to rods, reels, lines: I've read a lot of concerns about the possibility of heat damage but I've never talked to anyone who uses a rod vault complain about it. Today I ran a completely unscientific experiment wherein I parked my vehicle in full sun and placed thermometers in one of the rod tubes and on the drivers armrest inside the vehicle. After about 2 1/2 hours I checked the temps for comparison sake. The outside ambient air temp was 78*, the temp in the rod tube was 99* and the vehicle interior was 108*. I attribute the lower temp inside the rod tube relative to the vehicle interior to the ready air circulation around the tubes. I often leave spare gear in the vehicle interior while I'm out and I can't say I've ever had any of it damaged by the heat inside the car which I believe will always be higher than the temp in one of the tubes.

The rods do rattle around a bit in the tubes and if I cared to I could fashion something to fit on the tips to dampen that, as it is, I'm not concerned about it. Riversmith sent me a set of their reel pads with my purchase and I also put the neoprene reel pouches back over the reels before storing the rods in their tubes, things fit snugly and are indeed well padded.

Mounting: These types of boxes are not particularly heavy but if your mounting system does not allow wide spacing of the risers you will have a long lever overhanging the forward cross-bar. My factory (Toyota) cross-bars were completely inadequate due to a lack of rigidity and I purchased the Thule Wing bar and EVO raised risers which have so far been rock solid.

Hope all of the helps.

So you have what, $700 wrapped up in a rod carrier and mounting? At some point the cost out weighs the benefit.

Just seems like what others have said about a 2 pc rod case provides so much more flexibility and is cost effective.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Reaction score
I enjoy the ritual of stringing up at the river and breaking down at the end of the day.
Same here. When I fish I usually move once or twice. I am able to fit an assembled 9' rod through the hatchback of my BMW with the back seat down without it hitting something. This car has very low ground clearance so I don't take it too far off the beaten path.


Well-known member
Reaction score
Knoxville, TN
As for being able to carry fully rigged rods, I have built a rod holder in my car which can accommodate up to my 10' Euro rod. It could probably go up to a 10' 6" rod, but I don't have one. Not all cars can do this of course. My car is an Acura MDX so it has a full length area to store them. The rod tips do not touch the windshield or the dash.

All it took was some PVC pipe, a long velcro strip and some bungee cords. The rods are supported at the reel on a cooler with a boat cushion and locked down with the bungee cords. The PVC rack I built is secured to the back of the second seat with the velcro so that it can be removed with no modifications to the car. I place pipe insulation over the PVC to cushion the rods. They ride in the middle of the vehicle between the driver and the passenger. I probably have $10 to $15 in it plus about 20 minutes of time.

I will try to post pics later.


Well-known member
Reaction score
Oakville, ON Canada
I got a Riversmith two banger as a surprise gift from my brother in law at the end of last season as he just started fly fishing and i took him under my wing so to speak....and of course now he is an addict. I have a Forester - bought cross bars and installed it a few months ago. I usually drive highway miles at 70 mph to the Upper Delaware ....130 miles each way.....and find it convenient. I used to simply keep two fully rigged 9 feet rods on my passenger side and that worked fine as well....unless I have a passenger. Downside.....I can't go into a car wash with it...and as i'm the lazy type - i now have to manually wash my car which I do not like (LOL). My rods have been fine but I have noticed you have to really insert them in gently and keep them centered while doing so or you'll feel a hang up on your guides once in a while. Overall I really like it. Would I have spent $400 plus tax on my own for it ? Probably not - but it is more convenient for me.

Interesting... Thanks for sharing your experiences! I’m gonna look-into the Riversmith.

Have you noticed any abrasion / wear on the rods or reels? Does the Riversmith have any foam or lining inside to protect the rod / reel from wear?