How to Anchor a Kayak

Anchoring your kayak is an essential action when you are partaking in kayak fishing. Because of how lightweight a kayak is, the wind can easily blow it and pull it in another direction. This is especially annoying when you have found the perfect opportunity to cast your reel.

A kayak is far lighter than most other types of boats and so it must use an anchor that will not completely way down your kayak and drag it under. Not only that, but you also have to find the perfect anchor and develop a system for using the anchor so that it doesn’t capsize your kayak or pull you overboard.

Now, finding an anchor is relatively simple because the most common options of anchors used for kayaks are between two choices - a 1.5lb anchor or a 3lb anchor. The tricky part comes when you are trying to anchor the kayak. Luckily for you, that’s where we come in!

In this article, we are going to be taking you through exactly how to anchor a kayak with our helpful tips and tricks guide.

Things to Consider Before Anchoring

One of the most important factors that need to be considered when you are out on your kayak and looking to anchor it is the conditions of the water and weather. Anchoring on a calm lake in good weather is not likely to pose any major risks. The anchoring will be pretty straightforward.

However, a stretch of water with a fast current or in a big swell can present many issues. For this reason, it is essential that each time you anchor, you practice safety. This stands even in the calmest of waters because conditions can change within the blink of an eye!

The main reason for anchoring a kayak is to keep you still. This tells us that the need to anchor often arises because of choppy waters and wind. Whilst you cannot just simply throw an anchor off the side and hope for the best, there are some helpful tools and pieces of equipment that will make anchoring a kayak as easy as can be, and reduce your chances of running into a problem!

The easiest way of anchoring your kayak is by using the Anchor Trolley Technique. You can then, from here, use any anchor you would like. This is what we will be focusing on in today’s article. We will be showing you a basic anchoring technique and a quick release technique. Keep on reading to find out more.

How to Anchor Your Kayak Using the Anchor Trolley Method

The Anchor Trolley method (or system as it is sometimes called) is an essential part of a safe anchoring system for your kayak. It works by having a looped cord that runs through two pulleys that stay at either the top and bottom of your kayak.

The looped cord joins a karabiner or a ring. This is where you will pass the anchor line of your chosen anchor.

What this does is make it easier for you to shuttle the trolley from the bow to the stern whilst you are sat down. This is essential given the lack of room for movement in a kayak.

The Anchor Trolley method can be adapted to suit your needs and many fishers and anglers have made their own adaptations and tweaks to better suit the way they fish.

Keep on reading to the next sections to learn about how you can use this trolley method alongside two types of anchoring.

Simple Kayak Anchor

Using this method is a little more straightforward than some of the available anchoring techniques. However, sometimes simplicity is better.

It should be noted that this technique does not allow for a quick release, so do bear this in mind. It may suit you to carry a rescue knife to quickly cut the anchor line if needed. Nonetheless, this is still a great anchoring method that will work well.

This method involves an anchor line running from the zig-zag cleat, through the karabiner or ring, and then down to the anchor and chain assembly.

The method does not involve a buoy and the reel of the anchor simply stays within the kayak. This means that there will be no tension on the anchor reel.

The reel can be attached to the side of the kayak or in the rear crate. You can easily make adjustments to the anchor using this method as you can let out extra lines as and when you need them.

Quick Release Kayak Anchor

Using a quick-release anchor method may feel like the safest, most secure choice for most anglers. To deploy this kind of anchor, you will need to place your anchor ring or karabiner beside you and have your line clipped securely (or tied to the anchor and chain if preferred).

Pass your floating rope through the karabiner or ring and shuttle the anchor trolley to the stern of your kayak. Here you will be cleating it off using a zig-zag cleat to keep it firmly in place.

You also need to cleat your floating rope in the same way, going into the opposite zig-zag pattern so that it engages with the cleat.

Keep in mind that the tag end needs to come off the bow side of the cleat and that the end of it closest to the buoy and reel needs to come off from the stern side of your cleat. This will ensure you can easily find it if you need to release it from the anchor.

Anchor it by moving slightly uptide to where you want to position your anchor. This will ensure that it gets to the place you need it.

Lower the anchor into the water and ensure it can run freely, without any tangles, from the reel. You can let out some extra line if you need it, but ensure that the reel ratchet prevents more line releasing after you have your desired length.

You can now release the buoy and anchor reel as soon as you are satisfied with how the anchor is holding you. You will now float back downtide and be held in place by your anchor.

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