I recently received a shipment of products in from DD26 Fishing for testing. From their beyond-beefy Mean Mount Motor Tote Transom Saver to their ingenious Spool Stix Fishing Line Winding Tool and their Billet Tool Holder, DD26 Fishing makes some pretty impressive stuff. Many of their products are made with extremely durable billet aluminum, making them stronger than steel. Accomplishing this feat requires an extensive manufacturing process. This means some of their higher-end products are a little pricey. But the cost is a product of the process, and the products will likely never need to be replaced… ever again.
One product of theirs though that is certainly affordable on any budget is the DD26 Fishing Billet Tool Holders. And these will be the products we’re reviewing today.
BEYOND DURABLE BUILD OF TOOL HOLDER
The DD26 Tool Holders are also made with billet aluminum. This is a big deal in this particular vein of marine products. There are lots of add-on, tool-holder products on the market that can be used to keep tools tidy and within reach in the boat. But many of them are made of plastic that becomes brittle over time, with simple suction cups to mount them to the boat.
I think you’d have a hard time breaking one of the DD26 Billet Aluminum Tool Holders with a hammer, honestly. Matter of fact, if you were short a hammer in the shop you could probably drive a nail into a a 2×4 with one of these things. They’re basically a solid block of high grade aluminum with a cavity and a few holes cut into it. The finish is thick and scratch resistant. The holes are lined with rubber grommets. And they can be mounted with either screws, 3M adhesive tape or both.
SIZES AND PRICES OF BILLET TOOL HOLDER
The Tool Holders come in two sizes: small (4” x 2” x 2″) and large (6” x 2” x 2”). The small can accommodate three tools, the large a half dozen. Prices are set at $26.49 and $29.99 for the two tool holders respectively, which is again very competitive in this market considering the plastic products made by many of DD26’s competitors cost about half as much or more.
I was fortunate to be able to test out both products. I mounted both sizes in my Triton, a boat made in the early 2000s that doesn’t have a lot of the built in tool storage that comes standard in boats today. So, these were a welcomed addition to the old ride for sure.
VERSATILE MOUNTING METHODS
I really liked the versatile mounting methods. Again, each of these tool holders comes with an extra-sticky strip of 3M adhesive tape already on the back, as well as two screws. So you can use either method to mount the Tool Holders, or both. I mounted the large one using both. I simply peeled the film off the back of the mount, lined it up where I wanted it and pressed it against the fiberglass.
Then I was able to drill out pilot holes for the screws without having to hold the Tool Holder in place (since the adhesive was holding it for me). I ran the screws in next and voilá, a beautiful and clean location to store my tools. Moving to the small Tool Holder, I decided to mount it onto the side of my steering console. But, since there were some wires running through the area, I opted to go with just the adhesive there and not run the risk of nicking a wired with the drill bit or screws.
A few more tips on the mounting process. You’ll definitely need to drill a pilot hole if you’re working with fiberglass or metal. An SQ2 driver will be required if you want to use the screws that come with the Tool Holders. And if you’re going to use the 3M adhesive only, be sure to follow 3M’s guidelines on how to prep the surface and at what temperatures to do the install.
OPTIONS FOR BIG AND SMALL TOOLS
The Billet Tool Holders come in two colors: black and silver. Both looked pretty good with my ride, which is primarily white with some black and silver (on the outside). Black would go with most any boat’s color scheme.
When really trying to figure out exactly what tools I’d want to store where, I found that some of my bulkier tools, like scissors and needle-nose pliers, actually stored better when I popped out the top rubber grommets. Having these come with the tool holders allows you to store smaller tools securely, line picks for backlashes or files for sharpening hooks.
But the grommets can be popped out easily to make room for the bigger stuff too. What I found worked best for me was to take a couple of the grommets out of the top of the tool holder, but leave the ones in the bottom. This allowed me to stick the pliers and scissors through the top holes, while the rubber grommets on the bottom held the tools securely in place.
Taking everything into account, the DD26 Fishing Billet Tool Holders are pretty easy to recommend. The price-point is more than fair considering the process and materials used to make these. These are as durable as (or even more durable than) any similar product you’ll find in this space. The install was easy and rock solid. Ten out of ten in my book.