So you have what, $700 wrapped up in a rod carrier and mounting? At some point the cost out weighs the benefit.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.
Just seems like what others have said about a 2 pc rod case provides so much more flexibility and is cost effective.