Hauling your fishing gear safely, particularly the long single-piece tools, is always a difficult part of traveling to the fishing sites.
Thus, bullbar rod holders are literally a life savior, making it easier for anglers to carry long rods on their four-wheel vehicles.
In Victoria, Australia, the use and movement of rod holders are still legislatively controversial. Are fishing rod holders illegal in Vic?
In Victoria, fishing pole holders fitted to bullbars are illegal, be they in use or not. South Australian police have deemed attachments protruding from fishers’ cars or vehicles illegally, especially if they present a danger.
Why so, and what are rod holders legalities and illegalities? Read on to figure out how to get legal when carrying rod holders.
Are Fishing Rod Holders Illegal In Vic?
According to South Australian police, anglers transporting fishing poles on their vehicles could cause them to face a fine.
As the weather heats up in Victoria, the law states that anglers will get a fine of $498 and face a vehicle defect notice for hauling those hazardous gadgets.
Why Is It Dangerous To Transport Bullbar Pole Holders?
SA police consider those projections dangerous, therefore illegal, because they’re likely to accelerate the bodily injury risk to pedestrians whenever there is a crash.
If your car hits a walking person, the sharp edges of those pole holders could impale him, which is highly hazardous.
The problem is, rod holders tend to protrude forward and thus apply to boats or kayaks rather than motor vehicles.
Particularly, if you fit them to a bullbar, they will certainly protrude from the car, increasing the risk of serious injury to road users.
The design of motor vehicles provides human bodies with little impact and resistance in case of a crash or collision.
With such a dangerous attachment on your car’s front, be it pole holders or other objects, you’re posing a threat to pedestrians’ safety.
Other protruding devices falling under scrutiny include aerials and winches.
One exception to this rule in Vic is for ancient cars before 1965 that already have fitted rod holders, compliant with the existing laws at that time.
Similar legislation also applies to NSW, where any protrusion of a bullbar or bumper projecting forward posing a threat to other pedestrians is illegal. If you violate the rule, you could face a $173 fine.
Generally, in Victoria, WA, Tasmania, and Queensland, fishing pole holders can be legal only when:
- The holders don’t protrude the bullbars.
- The number of rods doesn’t exceed four.
- The driver positioned them on the left side.
- The holders don’t block vehicles’ lights.
What Are Rod Holder Illegalities?
Many anglers choose to place their pole holders in the bullbar’s middle so that the rods go in a straight line with their vehicles.
Because the bar is usually thicker (75mm) than other 50mm bars, which often sit on the bullbar’s side profile, some drivers think the only issue is keeping the bullbar securely in this place.
Essentially, adapter plates having larger U-bolts function as making a pole holder fit right in this place. So, anglers think the problem no longer causes concern as they can now transport the poles to the fishing areas.
However, please keep in mind that you also have no permission to haul your pole holders even when you position them in the bullbar’s middle.
Similarly, placing them on the right side is not a brilliant idea, either. This practice would considerably reduce your view and prevent you from identifying sudden obstacles on the road, potentially leading to accidents.
For this reason, it’s illegal to locate fishing poles in the position, decreasing your vision of the road.
As mentioned, the only legitimate position to haul your rods is on the left hand (driver’s left side). Nevertheless, many bullbars are illegal because they also risk decreasing the driver’s vision.
What Are Rod Holder Legalities?
Essentially, you can set the assembly’s pole holder portion at any place regardless of what angle your bullbar left side is. If you position your rod holders correctly, they’ll run straight in line with the vehicle’s left side.
This practice is legal because it doesn’t obstruct your view and deter you from watching things on the road.
Just to remind you, there are four pods only as bullbar pole holder producers must design them to bear 1-4 rods, or else they’re illegal, even when you don’t use all the pole holders.
Only putting in four fishing poles in a six-pod holder still violates the rules.
Also, you can’t stack two or three four-pod bullbar sets on each other’s top to carry 8-12 rods. All you’re allowed to do is transporting a four-pod pole holder and hauling four rods maximum.
However, even when you satisfy this condition, your rods must not obstruct your car’s driving lights and extend toward the bullbar’s front profile.
When they protrude like that, you may accidentally injure other people while you park your car or go underway.
Setting a turnable pole holder at higher can probably deal with the driving lights problem, but you still have to make sure the pole butts will not extend too far.
Besides, SA police require anglers to secure their rods tightly to lower the chance of them coming dislodged during the transit or in case you are to suddenly brake.
A tip is to take advantage of a stretchable strap. You can use it to secure your poles into the pole holder or the tips into the carriage bars or other points on the vehicle’s roof.
Even if you tie a light rope piece to the tip and tension it mildly to a rearing point on your car, it’s possible to deter the rods from wobbling immoderately and incurring damage.
Please remember, you have to ensure your fishing poles will not get adrift during the trip. On top of that, constantly keep an eye on them.
You don’t expect to show up at the fishing site and realize that your rods are broken and can’t be ready to use.
Besides, you’re responsible for firmly securing the rods’ tackle, so it won’t come loose and fly around and hurt someone.
A sizable sinker can easily hit a windscreen, denting your car or damaging a rod’s blank if it comes free. We advise you to unrig your poles before you carry out the highway transit.
Make sure you tension your line and secure your lures or sinkers against the blank using a Velcro strap, particularly when driving along the beach. This way, you prevent them from bouncing around.
Tricks To Get Legal
Hauling your fishing rod holders legally would save you from the risk of damaging someone and facing a prohibitively expensive fine.
Remember, if you cause injury to a pedestrian because of your illegal bullbar pole holders, you’re in big trouble.
So, spend some time reading through the following terms to get legal:
- The attachment gives the driver a clear view of the road as well as of traffic, from the front to the sides of the vehicle.
- You must only set the rod holders on the left side of your car.
- Your rod holders must not carry more than four rods.
- You must secure hooks, sinkers, and rods firmly in place.
- Either the rods or the rod holders must not obstruct the vehicle’s lighting.
- You must both remove and retract the rod holders behind the bullbar’s profile when they aren’t in use.
Are fishing rod holders illegal in Vic? For the majority of cases, yes.
Bullbar fishing pole holders appear illegal if they get in your vision of the road and present a threat to other people’s safety. Keen Australian fishers might face a painful fine if they violate the legislation.
It’s better to sort out and tackle all rod transit issues to reach the fishing sites with minimal trouble and the rods in damage-free conditions.
Have a nice angling trip!