Gear Review: Riversmith 4-Banger River Quiver.
Overview: I hate breaking down my fly rods when heading out on a fishing trip or even more so when I'm simply moving from spot to spot, preferring instead to keep them assembled and ready to roll. For a while I just ran them inside the 4-runner – over the seats and up by the dash. But they were always in the way, sliding around and getting banged up. Not only was it an annoyance, I worried about damaging my gear.
To solve this problem I first tried an "economy" option, an interior rod racking system, and, quite frankly, it never really worked like I had hoped. So I began to explore the rooftop models available from various brands. After poring over a pile of reviews and talking with a couple of respected guide friends that own the Riversmith River Quiver (Landon Mayer and Brian "KOZ" Kozminski), the decision became pretty easy. The 4-Banger now happily resides atop the 4-Runner (see what I did there?) and my fly-fishing life is much better for it.
As fly fisherman themselves, the folks at Riversmith were not satisfied with the quality or functionality of the roof-rack fly rod holders that were available on the market, so they set out with a team of mechanical engineers to design and build a better system, right in Boulder, Colorado. And they have.
The River Quiver sports the highest levels of functionality and strength neatly wrapped in a sleek, sophisticated design. The 4-Banger model in standard length (10' 4") carries four rods and runs $720 in the silver colorway (including all necessary hardware for attachment and free domestic shipping). The smaller 2- Banger model in standard length carries two rods and retails for $480 in silver. Extended lengths (11' 4") and different colorways, including the brand-new collaboration with Derek DeYoung, which you can learn more about here, are available in both the two- and four-rod versions for a small up-charge.
Author, angler, fly designer, guide and conservationist, Landon Mayer, is an advisor for Riversmith fly rod roof racks
"Preparation is the backbone of every successful guide trip. My 4 Banger River Quiver from Riversmith allows me to pre-rig my rods and reels for the next day's trout hunting adventure. This keeps me connected to the water even when I’m off the water." - Landon Mayer
What I like:
Strength: The River Quiver was specifically designed, tested and manufactured to withstand shock loads, wind loads, and impact loads while still being aerodynamic, quiet, and lightweight. Based on my experience so far, I can say: "mission accomplished." Koz had this to say:"I've had the other rod storage tubes, and they failed to stay secure on my truck while bouncing down dusty two tracks to trout heaven. Riversmith's River Quiver has been on my roof rack for 50k+miles and never needs to be tightened nor adjusted. Safe, solid, secure."
Security: Speaking of secure, the River Quiver reel box enclosure is made from an incredibly strong AES polymer and features a unique door design. The door utilizes a secure tongue-and-groove joint that locks together, making it almost impossible to insert a screwdriver or pry bar or to flex the lid away from the body, unlike some of the other models on the market that have simple overlap closures that are easy to pry or flex apart with hand pressure.
Assembly and Install: One thing I noticed right away was how easy to assemble and install this product was. It's smoothest with two guys, but can be done solo as well. This video walks you through every step of the relatively straightforward process.
While the River Quiver works best on aftermarket crossbars, with a quick call to their support team, I was able to verify that an install on my factory roof rack was possible as well. Pro Tip: investing in this little mini ratchet makes the install even faster and easier.
Aesthetic: In addition to the strength and functionality, the River Quiver just looks good. The design is understated, sleek, and timeless; sharp without screaming for attention.
What I don't like: Honestly, the product was everything I hoped it would be and then some. The one drawback, which is not specific to Rivermsith but rather a factor of any roof-mounted item, is that you have to pay a little more attention to your clearance and you can't run your vehicle through the car wash with it attached. So, I'm back to washing my own car for the season. I think I'll manage.
On the plus side, with the mini ratchet the carrier is pretty easy to take on and off, once you have the feet set, so I just pull mine off as needed.
Perfect for: Packaged in a sleek and sophisticated design, the burly-strong, IFTD-award-winning River Quiver line of fly rod roof racks delivers multiple solutions for guides or avid anglers who want to improve the ease of rod transportation while also keeping their gear protected and secure.
Stars: 5 out of 5
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