5 Ways to Upgrade Your Aluminum Leaning Post
February 07, 2023 3 min read
Sure, your leaning post does everything that’s listed in the job description — provides you with a secure spot to lean at the helm, probably a little bit of bulk storage under the cushion, maybe a footrest for when you’re sitting. But do you really want an underachiever like that on board?
With a bit of innovative thinking and a few carefully selected accessories, you can turn your aluminum frame leaning post into a multi-function fishing and driving station. Here are five great leaning post upgrades, with something to fit any budget and DIY skill level:
1. Freestanding Tackle Center
A freestanding, deck-mounted tackle center underneath your leaning post can provide storage for anything from a few Plano trays to a small tackle shop's worth of gear. Boat Outfitters offers dozens of designs with various types of storage to fit the vast majority of leaning posts, plus full custom builds.
Storage options include tackle tray slots, bulk storage in drawers and cabinets, and dedicated leader spool and tool holders. Tackle units can also be mounted to the underside of the leaning post, as opposed to the deck, leaving room for a cooler as well.
2. Cooler Slide
Underneath an aluminum leaning post is almost the perfect spot for a cooler. It’s close to the cockpit and helm but doesn’t take up real estate that’s needed for fishing or moving around the boat. The only problem is that unless you drag the cooler out, you can’t open the lid fully to load large items or find what you’re looking for.
The solution is an aftermarket cooler slide that allows the cooler to be easily pulled out from under the leaning post for access, then pushed back underneath and locked in position. Add a cushion to your cooler lid, and you’ve also got an extra seat or two in the cockpit.
3. Mesh Storage
Mesh storage bags like those made by TackleWebs are great places for smaller items like charts and maps, gloves, binoculars, phones, handheld radios, sunscreen, and so on, as well as for Plano-style tackle trays, bags of soft plastic lures, and other relatively thin pieces of fishing gear.
A variety of shapes and sizes are available that can be easily attached to the back of an aluminum leaning post with ball bungees — no drilling necessary.
4. Clamp-On Rod Holders
Most aluminum leaning posts are built with at least four rod holders along the back edge. But is that really enough? If not, you can usually add several more rod positions with clamp-on rod holders.
If your leaning post has a grab rail running along the aft edge behind the rod holders, that’s an ideal spot. If not, you can often add a couple of rod holders on the backrest support legs or even on the lower legs of the leaning post itself. Clamp-on rod holders are available to fit tubing sizes up to 1.9”.
5. Docktail Bar
More interested in margaritas than marlin? Temporarily turn the cockpit of your center console into a complete beverage station with a Docktail Bar. The Magma LeveLock base drops directly into a rod holder — no drilling needed — and the bar includes an integrated cutting board and knife holder plus nine openings for cups, bottles, cans and mixers of every size up to 2-liter bottles.