Sunday, April 3, 2011

Anchor Setups

The kind of bottom surface you're fishing over will determine what kind of anchor you want to use.  The depth of the water will also play a role in your decision as well.  The following are some personal preferences that I have acquired for the different places I fish. 

If anchoring in sandy or soft bottom then I use a 5.5lb grapple style anchor.  I secure the main anchor rope to the bottom of the anchor and tie 20lb monofilament to the top, holding the rope in place.  That way, if the anchor gets lodge under something, I can lift up on the rope, break the monofilament and bring the anchor up by the bottom.  Otherwise it would be impossible to dislodge the anchor.

I also cut the rope and tied on a heavy duty swivel so I can detach the rope easily if I want to switch out anchors.  Also, the swivel helps reduce rope twists since the anchor likes to spin when pulling it up through the water.

My main is 100 feet since there are times I anchor fairly deep (30'-50').   I attached a heavy duty off-shore swivel/clip to easily attach the right anchor for the situation.

There are other styles of anchors that work well (ie: bruce anchors), but I have not tried them yet since the grapple style has worked well for me.

I also have a small grapple style anchor that I use more to drag.  It helps slow down my drift if current and/or wind are pushing my kayak too fast through the target area.

If I'm on a flat where it's less than 4 feet deep, I'll bring my stake-out pole instead of an anchor.  I won one made by Hobie in last year's TKAA tourney.  It's easier to handle.  No rope.  Just put it through your anchor trolley and stick it in the ground.  Done deal.
If anchoring in rocks or an area with a lot of structure, I use a mini wreck anchor.  Instead of rebar, like on the large wreck anchor for big boats, these have thin flexible stainless steel rods.  For those that are in the Tidewater, VA area, they are available at Ocean's East 2.  The guy that introduced me to these awesome anchors works there.  Ask Kayak Kevin about the "piling huggers" special set up.

They may look small and perhaps too thin to hold in fast current, but I was very surprised to find that they held well and they were very easy to recover also.

I like to have my rope coiled under my leg so it's easy to disperse.  I used to keep it wrapped around something but it took up room, became cumbersome, and this was just easier.  When I recover the anchor, the rope ends up in a coil there anyway.

I always send my anchor rope to one end of the kayak or the other.  I rarely anchor up to the side.  It can quickly become disastrous in fast current.  Also I like to attach a buoy (piece of a fat pool noodle) outside the anchor trolley clip, so just in case I need to release my anchor line because of emergency or to chase an epic fish, it's quick and easy.  For more information about how I rigged my anchor trolley and cleats visit this link.

I hope this helps.

Tight lines and be safe!


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  2. Nice post Rob.

    Do you always keep your warp loose?, ever considered a divers reel (SMB reel)?.

    I normally fish in around 60'+ of water in strong tides and let out up to 300' of warp, more on a big tide.

    That said, my setup is similar to yours, though my anchor is lighter. I like the wreck anchor a lot, far better than losing a decent anchor!

  3. Rob,
    I have the same kayak as you. I just started kayak fishing last year and I began adding stuff this year as it became obvious it was needed. Any chance you can post a photo of where the front of your anchor trolley is attached? I like your system the best out of all the others I have looked at.

    1. Here's a pic. I hope it shows what you want.

      There's a few more angles on this post...

  4. Thanks. I was going to put the cleat on the side just under the edge to avoid the trolley from riding up on the deck so much. I have no rudder so I was going to go from the front all the way to the back. When I tested it... It seemed like the trolley was going to run right up the middle of the kayak. I noticed you have a hook to keep yours to the side when not in use. Does that hook interfere when you are using it?

    1. I only use the hook when I'm not using it so it keeps the rope out of the way.

  5. Rob....where did you find the quick release cleats...I looked at Green top and appamatox river CO...but haven't found them...hoping to see you out there this year!


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