While at ICAST I stumbled across the Stealth rod holder booth walking from one place to another. I had heard of Stealth but hadn’t really looked at them recently. The original version I had seen previously had some bulk to it, wasn’t easily mountable for a kayak without lots of screw holes and wasn’t really what I was after. This new version I saw, the Stealth QR2, however, piqued my interest. It now had available track mounting hardware, extension arms, basically what looked to be a great setup for trolling planer boards or deep cranks. I met the owners Jason and Cari who were happy to let me give one a try to offer some feedback.
Feedback is pretty important for the Stealth as is evidenced by their About Us page. It reads:
We are a family-owned and operated business, not a massive corporation. That means that we get to do things the right way without compromises.
We treat people the way we want to be treated. We appreciate that you put your trust in us when you purchase our products.
That’s why we have a Lifetime Guarantee. We stand behind our gear and we want your day on the water to be amazing. At our best, our products do what they do and allow you to focus on catching fish. But, if we ever let you down we want to know. First, so we can make it right, second, so we can fix it for the future.
About the Stealth QR2 Rod Holder
I know the title says Stealth is a rod holder for kayaks but actually, you could mount it on any boat using all of the different attachments that are offered. Two ways, block, rail mounts, track mounts, pretty much any way you need a rod holder they have a solution. You may also have some questions about make, usage, parts etc. Here are a few of the FAQs from Stealth.
What other systems is Stealth compatible with?
Our system is designed to fit into Scotty and Cabelas bases. The reason is that these are popular bases that may already exist on your boat. Therefore, it eliminates the need to drill new holes if you can leverage an existing compatible base.
Does Stealth have a ball mount adapter?
Not at this time. The reason is simply that we don’t believe in the ball system. Although we agree that they are easily adjusted, we hear a lot of complaints that they don’t hold up against big strikes.
All of our composite parts are Glass-reinforced Nylon. This is an Engineering Grade Composite that we specify because of it’s strength to weight ratio, durability, and UV weather-ability.
Will the flexible parts dry rot?
No. Our flexible parts are made of the same materials that automotive engine gaskets are made of. This material has an operating range from -58 degrees F to over 300F.
Are the metal parts Stainless?
Yes, all of our metal components are 318 Stainless.
What is the Stealth Warranty?
Lifetime. We build our rod holders to last. If you eve have a problem just reach out and we’ll resolve it. Don’t believe it? Check out social media. We ALWAYS take care of our customers.
Check out this quick video on different Stealth Rod Holder applications:
The Stealth QR2 with its unique closure allows you to troll or drift with confidence without having to unlock rod keepers on the rod holder to set the hook. Time is of the essence when a fish hits and the cam system is a really cool and secure way of getting to your hookset faster. Here’s a video of that cam system with owner Jason Begin.
#TBT to Captain Mack of @mack.farr – @stealthproducts with the QR2 Rod Holder!…#stealthproducts #rodholder #fishing #bassfishing #newproduct #icast2019 #Instagood #gear #tackle #fishing Mack You ROCK! S T E A L T H R O D H O L D E R S
Posted by Stealth on Thursday, July 25, 2019
I wasn’t really sure how well the cam would work in my trials but I was pleasantly surprised. I tested it trolling Strike King 5XD, 6XD, and 8XD crankbaits. I wanted to see if the QR2 could handle the torque on the rod and stay seated without trying to pop the cam loose. It absolutely stayed put. The only time it came out is when I was setting the hook on a fish and pulled it out of the holder. I like the fact that it doesn’t need to be locked to stay secure and allows a fluid motion for hooksets.
I used the kayak track mount and an extension arm for my trolling set up and they both worked great. The rig was secure from base to cam and even dragging big baits it never wavered. Compared to previous experiences with ball mounted rod holders where a good strike on a bait could cause the whole rod holder to turn. I like the stay put attachment points.
If you have an aluminum boat, a big fiberglass center console or a kayak, the attachment points for you and your boat are available from Stealth. They seem to have identified almost every single configuration a consumer would want and offer it.
Another thing that is great about the Stealth QR2 is that the design allows you to use long-handled or short-handled rods and can easily accommodate spinning or baitcasting reels.
Points of Improvement
The track mount mechanism for the QR2 is a bit bulky. That’s needed for extra security for deep trolling however if an angler just wanted to use the rod holder to hold or stage rods and not necessarily actively fish with them, a smaller profile would be helpful. I know Scotty makes a Gear Head Track Adapter and I think Stealth could easily develop their own style of light application adapter.
Occasionally I had to reset the cam. If you are using a skinnier rod the cam doesn’t always fully disengage on a hook set. It’s still secure in the down position and one of the sides comes up instead of both because the rod girth isn’t quite enough. An ultralight cam version that had a smaller opening could be good. Alternatively, you can reset it into the open position with your hand.
While not the ideal rod holder for every situation, if you plan to drift, plane, or troll bait, this is a far better option for fast hooksets and secure rods than so many others on the market. Quick while secure is the staple of what the Stealth QR2 is about.