Well, it's nice that this method works for you, but I wouldn't call it a one-size-fits-all method. A 3-inch diameter pool noodle isn't bigger than normal; it's the only size pool noodle I've ever seen so I'd say it's pretty standard. Pool noodles are better than pipe insulation, but they still compress just about all that way in a short time if there's much contact pressure, so the actual contact area still ends up being barely bigger than the bar. Maybe you have a tough boat, maybe your bars line up with bulkheads, maybe you don't leave your 'yaks strapped as tightly or for as long or as in such hot weather as other folks do. All I know is that I've seen plenty of warped boats plastic where the dents line up perfectly with pool-noodle-wrapped crossbars. If the method works for you there's no reason to change anything, but there's no way one can say pool noodles provide "better" padding than any of the really nice cradles that are available, especially when you start talking about longer and more-fragile boats. It's a matter of surface area, and nothing even comes close to providing as much surface area as hull-conforming pads.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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