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MickD

Open cleats are a fishing rod trap

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If your boat has open cleats, then there is a significant probability, especially if fishing with kids and others not tuned in to the potential, that you will have a rod broken by its getting under the open cleat end and simply picked up.  Note the pictures.  I have such a boat, and could not find retractable cleats that would work on my boat, so I searched for another solution.  If you have some of the flexible polyurethane foam, about 1 inch thick, that comes as packing with electronics (I never throw it away-has so many uses), you have a solution.  It is light, clean, doesn't flake or quickly degrade, and snaps on and off in a wink.

 

Cut a piece of the foam out that can enclose the cleat and be about two inches longer than the cleat. Then cut out the center to allow it to be placed over the cleat.  Leave them off until on the water, storing them in a handy place, then before fishing, cover the cleats.  Piece of cake.

 

Note the photos, (note the image, not the title, I screwed up on titles)  and if you have questions, please ask.  This simple, free, solution can save you a broken rod.l

OpenCleat1b.jpg

Fix1b.jpg

OpenCleat2b.jpg

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Good idea, but too late for my buddy who already broke 3 rods this year on his boat cleats :( lol

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2 minutes ago, Team9nine said:

Good idea, but too late for my buddy who already broke 3 rods this year on his boat cleats :( lol

I did my best.  Just got the boat this year.  :-)

 

Your comment makes me feel good in that there is the possibility that this post can save others' rods.  Looks like I was right in concluding that open cleats are in fact a rod trap.

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Great idea!

 

...those open cleats also shred clothing when you climb up onto the boat while it's on the trailer...two nice Columbia shirts in a couple weeks on mine a couple years back.

 

I pulled off the open cleats and replaced them with fold downs.  Your solution is much more cost effective, but less permanent - great thinking!

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Man, do I ever know that feeling 😬. Had an older work boat that I only used occasionally to fish out of, reached down to grab my flipping rod and “crunch”! Not a nice moment all.    

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Glad to see I'm not the only person to break a rod on the cleats...  One of the more stupid ways that i've broken rods. 

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I have had 4 of those cleats on my boat for 30 years and have never had a rod catch on one before. It could be because they are not located near where anyone would normally lay a rod. 

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I feel the pain, broke 2 rods like this, thanks for the tip.

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I have torn a shirt on mine, no broken rods.  But I often loan my custom built rods to friends, and friends and kids have no way of knowing that those cleats can break a rod so easily, so I wanted a reliable solution.  I knew sooner or later there was going to be a broken rod unless I did something about it.

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7 hours ago, Scott F said:

I have had 4 of those cleats on my boat for 30 years and have never had a rod catch on one before. It could be because they are not located near where anyone would normally lay a rod. 

Curious where yours are?

 

Mine are where the red circles are:

CMV_rope_cleats.jpg

 

...easy to place a rod near/under any of them...or snag a shirt leaning in to grab something while the boat is on the trailer...

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My front ones are in exactly the same place as those in the photo. My console is not tight to the side of the boat and there are storage compartments running the length of the boat. In front, when I lay my rods down, on the storage lids, the tips point towards the rear, and the handles start behind where the cleats are.

In the back, they are close to where those in the picture. Whoever is in back lays his rods so the tips are toward the front and the handles never come near the cleats.

Could be because of the layout of my boat that the cleats just don't get in the way. We also always keep the entire rod inside the boat so they don't have parts hanging over the side.

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my last boat had exposed cleats. I seemed to catch everything on them. my new boat  came with recessed cleats.

didn't think i would like them at first. now I would never go back to the exposed cleats.

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14 hours ago, Further North said:

Curious where yours are?

 

Mine are where the red circles are:

CMV_rope_cleats.jpg

 

...easy to place a rod near/under any of them...or snag a shirt leaning in to grab something while the boat is on the trailer...

Mine are similarly located.  The statement directly above is valid for me and my boat (. . .easy to place a rod. . .) I may be very careful of where I place my rods, but cannot completely control others.  But those who don't recognize or have an issue, forget it.  If it's not an issue, never mind. 

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When I had my jon boat I can't tell you how many times, pulling up to the dock, my rods would get caught under the cleats and then hit the side of the dock. Thankfully, back then I couldn't afford expensive rods. @Mick D that is a smart idea.

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2 hours ago, MickD said:

Mine are similarly located.  The statement directly above is valid for me and my boat (. . .easy to place a rod. . .) I may be very careful of where I place my rods, but cannot completely control others.  But those who don't recognize or have an issue, forget it.  If it's not an issue, never mind. 

I don't know about others, and this may not apply as much to bass, but I will admit to not always paying perfect attention to where I'm setting down a rod while I'm trying to net, de-hook and release a thrashing, toothy, three or four foot long fifteen or twenty pound fish...

 

DSCF3286_zpsndoqnbkt.jpg

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Great idea! I've got the exposed cleats and broke my favorite Falcon last Spring : (

I'm gonna get busy this Winter and make a couple, thanks.

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I broke a spinning rod 2 years ago picking it up when it was under the cleat. Didn't look like it hurt it until I cast and it folded in half. 

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Last summer a few of us were tied up with the kids.

my buddy’s boat is a crown something or other with exposed cleats.

 His boys were sitting on the rail trying knock each other off, when one pushed the other backwards. The kid slid back and almost punctured his scrotum .  

ER doc said he has seen this more than once.

 

so, don’t slide on the rail with protruding cleats!

 

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3 hours ago, NHBull said:

so, don’t slide on the rail with protruding cleats!

Ah, good to know.  I haven't tested these things for scrotum deflection.  I'll leave that for someone else.

 

The problems with open cleats are bigger than I ever dreamed.

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On 12/7/2017 at 4:30 PM, MickD said:

 could not find retractable cleats that would work on my boat, so I searched for another solution. 

Why not fold down cleats?

Image result for fold down cleats

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I considered those cleats, thought they were unreasonably priced, and I was reluctant to mess up my boat with new holes in the gunnel.  I had zig zag cleats on my last boat, and they do work fairly well, but not as reliable, IMHO, as a regular cleat design.  They also are more sensitive to rope diameter.  

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2 hours ago, slonezp said:

Why not fold down cleats?

Image result for fold down cleats

That's what I used.

 

Easier to make the move on an existing install when you don't know if there is room underneath for the retracting hardware...and less expensive, by orders of magnitude.

 

They work great.

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6 minutes ago, Further North said:

That's what I used.

 

Easier to make the move on an existing install when you don't know if there is room underneath for the retracting hardware...and less expensive, by orders of magnitude.

 

They work great.

I'm pretty sure the OP has a Lund based on the pics. It's wide open underneath the sport track gunwale. I've got the retractable cleats on my Lund and I like them a lot. Only drawback is if it's below freezing and the cleats are wet, they freeze closed and are a pain to get unstuck.

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1 minute ago, slonezp said:

Only drawback is if it's below freezing and the cleats are wet, they freeze closed and are a pain to get unstuck.

Never thought of that...

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