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The 2019 Big Rig HDFD comes with a lot of new features, two of those being the left and right side rod stagers. The stagers allow you to store four rods (two on each side) that are within easy reach. The tips of the rods are inserted into the tubes at the front of the rod trough and the handles sit in clips on the stager. The rods are not likely pop out of the clips, but I wouldn’t trust them for transport, which is where this mod comes in. Inspired by teammate Matt Ball and using parts from the JK store, I made my stagers more secure.

Parts list: (use the search feature in the JK Store to find the SKUs listed)

4 – J Hook (available from the JK Store, SKU #1168)
4 – Rivet 3/16 x .157-.431 Grip, Bulbex (available from the JK Store, SKU #1186)
4 – Pull Tab; Mako Pull w/JK (available from the JK Store, SKU #1689)
4 feet – Rope; Bungee 3/16″ Black Polyester (available from the JK Store, SKU #1199) cut into four 12 inch lengths

Step 1 – Drill four holes on the rod stager for the bungee to pass through. Drill two holes to the inboard side of the lower stager clip and outboard of the upper stager clip. NOTE: If leaving the stager mounted during this step, be careful not to damage the hull.


Step 2 – Drill a hole below each clip on the opposite side of the holes from Step 1. Mount the J Hooks with the rivets.

Step 3 – Tie a knot in one end of a twelve inch length of bungee leaving a one inch tag end and insert it into one of the holes by the clip coming from the bottom of the stager. Slip a pull tab on the bungee and insert to running end through the second hole.

Step 4 – Tie a knot on the running end with a one inch tag and repeat the steps for the remaining three clips.

Step 5 – Reinstall the stagers and test rods for fit. The tag ends can be adjusted to add or remove length.

This mod just adds an extra piece for mind when it comes to securing your fishing rods. I use this both on the water and when trailer my Big Rig. So far this mod has worked like a charm.

Tight lines,
Robert Brown