anchor options.....

I’m looking for the lightest, most unobtrusive, anchor system for my yaks (10.5 to 14 ft boats).

I’ve heard of little 1.5 lb. folding anchors on retractable dog leashes, little sea anchors, mud poles, rock bags, etc.

What do you guys like best and why?

Get 2 feet of heavy chain and tie it to some nylon line.

Almost anything works in the places
you paddle. I use a window sash weight, its very good. Alternatively, I also have used a 3 lb rubber covered dumbell. My favorite, though, is a brush clip, $3.99 at your local Academy. Academy also sells the folders cheap too, though I think they’re clunky and rattle to much. You rarely need anything that digs into the bottom on Texas lakes and slow rivers. If you feel you must have an anchor that digs into the bottom, abet a 2.2 lb claw anchor at West Marine. Its cheap and effective and popular on the Texas Gulf Coast.

We “family and fishing buddies” have been using clothes pin bags.

Yes, clothes pin bags. The kind that can be found at discount and Dollar stores.

Cost is usually around $3.00.

The bags only weigh about an ounce. We use small diamater nylon rope with them, like the camo rope found in the camping section at WalMart.

When we get to our fishing spot, we pick a rock and put it in the bag.

When we are leaving, we dump the rock.

Inexpensive, works good, and you don`t have to lug a heavy anchor around.

That’s the option I prefer. Eddy out, beach on a sandbar or rock, or get out and wade.

Of course, if your water is different from mine, then maybe you’ll be OK. But usually I think that anchoring in a kayak is like saying, “I don’t know when I want to die, but I know I want to be wet.” It’s a make-your-own-strainer situation.

  • Big D

Unless he’s paddling Central Texas
rivers, parts of the Devils River, the Pecos, or the canyons of the Rio Grande up in Big Bend, anchorining is may be necessary to fish the lakes and rivers of North and East Texas. Most of the rivers are fairly broad, slow moving, and soft bottomed. And, lakes, being lakes, it may be necessary to anchor to fish holes and certain locations. Species also may determine anchoring needs. Generally, I’m most likely to anchor in the winter and when the water in the lake is flowing strongly from run off, or if the wind is blowing hard. The rest of the time, I drift fish. I do anchor with my brush clip if i can. Brush clips are excellent for rivers when there is brush and deadfall you can clip to. But not for fast moving water.

I normally want an anchor
when I’m fishing the points on a lake when the wind is blowing. I know better than to anchor in a current. I’ve got a brush clip but when there’s no brush and I want to park over some structure, an anchor is about the only way.

Very true. The three pound dumbells

– Last Updated: Jul-30-07 12:51 AM EST –

work well, cheap and you can get them a W-Mart or Academy. Get the rubber coated, quieter.

Don’t do much fishing anymore, but

– Last Updated: Aug-02-07 4:16 PM EST –

in the 80s, while still had my fishing canoe, I filled a coffee can(of any size) with some cement I mixed up...& planted big eyelet-screw in middle ...worked out pretty well. Gotta get the air bubbles out so as to get a good set, but I think the light gripping anchors would probably be better, although the non-hooking design pulled up easy...but then did tend to sink a little when dropped on muddy/weedy bottoms.

Had one of those, except made of lead.
Inherited it when I bought my Loon used. It worked well, but hung in brush on the bottom of the lake. That’s how I lost it. Damn good for open water though. With the price of lead weights going out of sight, wish I had it back. I’d get the equipment to make my own sinkers.

That sucks . . . .
Sounds like a lot of lead at the bottom of a body of water . . . .

About 6 lbs, It was on the upper part
of Lake Conroe (near Houston) where it begins looking like a river again. Usually, I use a brush clamp in those kind of places, but didn’t have it that day.

Bag of shot
Small nylon stuff sack with about three to five pounds of coated shot. The shot bags are very quiet and tend not to to get hung up in rocks. Be sure to hang it off the end of the boat or you can swim down and get it since you will be in the water anyway. I tie a small woodworking spring clip to a handy strap. The clip holds the anchor rope at the correct length and allows for easy adjustments. I flyfish so use an anchor off of both ends so that the boat does not swing in the wind. With the clips it only takes a few seconds to set both anchors at a likely spot and only a moment to pull up the anchors and move on.


Steel or lead shot/

Lead shot
In fact, I think it was about size 6 lead shot for reloading shotgun shells. The environmental agencies are worried about releasing lead into aquatic environments. As a result I used the copper coated lead shot. It does cost more, but I have never understood sportsmen that trash the resources that provide their recreation. There are a pair of nice articles on this 2-anchor system in a canoe at Just search for “2 anchor” and you will see the articles.

A friend of mine uses the system on his kayak and uses carabineers to attach the ropes through the front and back. They attach easingly through the bow and stern loops and can be removed to return the boat to its original state.


For kayak fishermen, its called an
anchor trolley system. I use it on my kayaks and conoes. On my solo canoe, I rigged one temporarily using metal rings…good sized ones…cable ties, and polyethelene cord about 1/*’ thick. I attached the rings to the uderside of the thwarts using the cable ties (the black ones, they’re UV protected). The cable loops through the rings. I"ve got the padeyes to do a permanent instalation, but haven’t gotten around to installing them. Maybe one day. Right now, my temporary system works fine.

Yeah but that’s still a 1-anchor system.
And you would still float around in a circle around the anchor. I like the idea of a two anchor job. I’ve recently used the bag with a rock in it, but it still bangs around a lot.

I like the copper coated lead shot idea in a bag, but the price is a little high to me. When I was in water treatment, we had some ceramic media that was originally developed by 3M. Obviously it’s water resistant, and the fines are pretty small, so it flows like sand a bit. To me, it would also be a bit safer for the environment than anything containing lead.

A buddy of mine still works there, so I’ll have him get me some (used stuff from a return or something). You can also get it from a Kinetico dealer in your area. I don’t know what it would cost though.

Not so. I’ve two in the canoe.

– Last Updated: Aug-07-07 2:01 AM EST –

One goes from the bow thwart to the middle thwart. The other goes from the thwart just behind the seat to the stern thwart. Both the bow and stern thwarts are about 6" from the pointy end of the canoe. On my kayaks, both have trolleys on each side that run bow to stern. Usually, though, the right hand trolley on the yaks is used for my anchor, the left for my drift sock.

As for using one or two anchors, if the wind is steady or the current is slow, one works just fine. Its when the wind changes directions off and on that its a problem. For sheer holding in one spot, yes, two anchors work best.

Why a trolley system
I have seen trolley systems for kayaks and do not understand what advantage they have over just hooking the line by a ring or a carabineer to the front padeye and running the line back to you. It is not obvious to me why you want to have a system for running the anchor rope back and forth along the side of the boat. I am not doubting there is a reason for all this complication, but I can not figure it out. If you have experience with the trolley system could you smarten me up (that may be hard - how about just enlightening me).


why trollies…
This I know about. Sitting in a kayak (SIK), you are’t going to be about to reach the bow or stern toggles. A trolly allows you to clip the anchor line and adjust it fore or aft to compensate for wind and/or current. It helps to keep the boat pointed in the right direction.