A marine rocket launcher is a device designed for a fishing boat that bolts to the cockpit floor or is incorporated into a bench seat, to hold multiple fishing rods. Rocket Launchers provide quick access to trolling rods without having to move between gunwales to adjust your spread. Several rocket launchers include center gimbals which allows fisherman to use the unit as a “battle station” or standing fighting chair. Some of the more advanced features on the higher-end rocket launchers include, bait/tackle trays, recessed cup holder(s), grab rails, and upgrades to teak. Pompanette manufacturers stand-alone pedestal mounted rocket launchers and rocket launchers that mount to the back of a fighting chair.
Fighting chairs and Rocket Launchers are important options when it comes to big-game fishing. The decision depends on the type of fishing you plan to do as well as on the size of your boat’s cockpit. For catching many offshore species, a rocket launcher is all that’s needed. If you’re intent on a chair, however, the size of your cockpit will determine the pedestal system required to give a chair the proper reach to provide adequate line clearance during a battle with a big fish. Rocket launchers are mounted on a chair pedestal and incorporate a series of rod holders, typically four to six; however, they can be customized to hold as many rods as you like. Live-bait specialists, particularly ‘those who use kites for sailfish, depend on rocket launchers to keep full spreads of frisky baits under control and to quickly react to an attacking game fish. All of the most radical rocket launcher setups I have seen have been aboard boats owned by live-bait specialists, and I’ve seen them with as many as 12 rod holders. More and more anglers who troll with light tackle are using rocket launchers rather than fishing chairs to hold rods whose lines pass through outrigger clips. A rocket launcher allows one or two anglers immediate access to four or six rods without having to move from their ready positions, so when a fish comes into the pattern they can quickly drop back. Rocket launchers will definitely improve your hook-up ratio. I’ve seen them used to great effect in sailfish and white marlin tournaments.
Chairs and boat rocket launchers seat are not solely for big boats. Over the years I have seen a variety of installations on center consoles that included bow-and cockpit-mounted chairs. Innovative placement of rocket launchers on a forward casting platform can be extremely effective for kite fishing and live baiting for sailfish, kingfish, yellowfin and blackfin tuna. My own center console has a rocket launcher with five rod holders as part of the helm leaning post that is more than just a place to put rods not in use. When trolling, it holds five active rods – two run through the right rigger, two run through the left rigger and one through the release clip on the center rigger. With all five rods centrally located it is easier to make quick adjustments in the placement of lures, to adjust the drags on any of the reels or to execute a drop-back to an approaching fish. It’s so convenient that one person can manage all five outfits, even while running the boat. The key to picking the right cockpit; furniture for your boat is selecting the right setup for the boat size and the kind of fishing you do. The classic good looks of a beautifully crafted chair or rocket launcher certainly won’t detract from the appearance of your boat, either.