Having a reliable way to hold your kayak in place can be essential. Whether you’re fishing a particular spot or just want to take a break. This guide will help you find the best kayak anchor for your needs.
Kayak Anchor Reviews
Best Marine Kayak Anchor 3.5 Pound Folding Grapnel Anchor with 40 Feet Marine Rope.
The Best Marine grapnel anchor is a great anchor for kayaks. It’s galvanized so you don’t have to worry about rust.
The fold down feature is also great for kayakers. Kayaks are usually not the most spacious vessels. So, folding the flukes down for compact storage really helps save space. When you’re not using it, you can easily store it in a round access hatch.
The anchor comes with 40 feet of rope that is fitted with a float ball and a stainless steel carabiner. You can store it in the storage bag that comes with the kit.
I would recommend that you re-rig this anchor so that it can be dislodged in the event that it gets stuck.
Overall, if you’re looking for a grapnel anchor, this is a very good choice to start off with.
The Seattle Sports Kayak Anchor kit is very similar to the Best Marine version. You can get this anchor in at 1.5 lb. version. Keep in mind that this is very light and may not be suitable for fishing kayaks.
I would only recommend this if you need anchoring on a very light kayak. Also, I would be cautious of using this anchor if you expect to encounter heavy currents or winds.
If you’re looking for a mushroom anchor then the Extreme Max kit is worth looking at. It comes with a 25 foot rope, a float and a clip.
I consider this to be the budget friendly option. The nylon rope is not the best in the world, but it will get the job done.
Some users complain that it won’t hold position. Remember that with mushroom anchors, you need to allow the anchor to embed itself in the sand or muddy bottom.
If you are in heavy current, wind, or don’t have enough slack in the line, this could be a problem. Try giving the anchor some time to settle on the bottom before putting pressure on it.
This anchor weighs 8 lbs. It should be adequate for a fishing kayak. However, if you’re using a large kayak like a Hobie PA14, you may want to consider a heavier mushroom anchor.
The Seachoice Fluke anchor kit is a different style of anchor from either a grapnel or a mushroom anchor. This fluke style or Danforth style anchor should only be used on soft bottoms. It’s one of the lightest of all kayak anchors at 1 and 3/4 lbs. It comes with 25 feet of nylon rope. It also is coated with vinyl.
Be advised, this is a very small anchor. It does have some bad reviews from users that have used this to try and anchor a personal watercraft such as a seadoo.
This anchor won’t work well for that application. It’s just too small.
But if you want something lightweight that will work for a kayak, then you may want to try this out.
Of course, if you have a very large and heavy kayak such as a Hobie PA 14, it might not be heavy enough. This would be a problem in heavy winds or currents.
This is a great choice if you know your anchoring locations and will not encounter and rocks, trees or other hard obstructions.
How To Choose The Best Kayak Anchor
There are a few different types of anchors to choose from. The main styles are mushroom and grappling hook or grapnel anchors.
The mushroom anchor is simple. It’s a heavy anchor that mainly uses its weight to hold the kayak in place. In muddy or sandy bottoms, the accumulation of mud or sand inside the mushroom can help the anchor hold your kayak in place.
Most mushroom style anchors will also have holes on the head of the mushroom. This will allow it to vent mud and sand as you raise the anchor.
One of the drawbacks of the mushroom anchor is that it can be ineffective in heavy winds and currents. It can also be a problem in rocky bottoms.
If you’re in heavy current and your mushroom anchor gets wedged in some rocks, it may be difficult to get it out.
Aside from this, mushroom anchors are pretty easy to use.
Grappling Hook Anchors Or Grapnel Anchors
Grapnel style anchors look like a grappling hook. They have multiple arms that extend from the center shaft. You can get a solid grapnel anchor. Or, you can get one with arms that swivel down. This makes the anchor compact for storage.
The benefits of grapnel anchors are that you can get alot of holding power in a lightweight package. Once a grapnel hooks onto a rock or other solid structure, you will most likely have a solid hold.
unfortunately, grapnel anchors are not very effective and holding in sandy or loose gravel bottoms.
Additionally, if your grapnel anchor gets stuck, you may find it very difficult to extract it. The extraction problem can be solved though.
Many boaters use grapnel anchors with shaft release mechanisms.
This entails a rode which can be made of chain. This rode connects to the hook end of the anchor. Then, the chain runs up the shaft and is attached to the top of the shaft.
The attachment to the top of the shaft needs to have a release mechanism. One version is using a length of line with a breaking strength that will hold the boat at anchor. However, if pulled on with greater force, the line would reach its breaking point and snap.
This would release the attachment at the top of the shaft. The anchor would then only be attached to the rode at the hook end. This would allow for dislodging the anchor from any rocky crevice where it has become lodged.
Overall, this may be unnecessary for kayaks, but if you fish an area with a rocky bottom and need to anchor effectively, this may be a consideration.
Fluke Or Danforth Style Anchors
Bottoms like sand and mud are ideal for this style.
This is because they work by slowly digging into the substrate. As a kayak is pulled by current or breeze, the flukes start to dig deeper and deeper. This is what creates the holding power. As a result, fluke style anchors can be lighter than other styles.
The downside of these types of anchors is that they can become easily stuck.
Weight Vs Size
When you’re dealing with kayak anchors, weight is a definite consideration. Keep in mind that a mushroom anchor will weigh more and take up more space than a folding grapnel anchor.
Anchor Trolleys are a great way to anchor your kayak and hold your desired casting direction. They let you change the anchor point on your kayak from front to rear.
How Anchor Trolleys work
Anchor trolleys work by letting you move your anchor point from one end of your kayak to the other.
So, for example, if you want to cast to a shoreline, and the wind is coming from behind. You keep getting blown towards the shore.
So, you drop your anchor that is at the front of your kayak. In a couple of minutes, the wind has swung your kayak around 180 degrees. You’re now facing in the opposite direction of where you want to cast.
With an anchor trolley, this is not a problem.
You just pull the cord so that the anchor attachment moves to the rear of your kayak.
After this, the wind will turn the bow of your yak towards the bank and you’ll be able to fish it with no problem.
A good anchor trolley to install on your fishing kayak is the YakAttack Leverloc anchor trolley kit. You can get it here.
Mounting Your Anchor
If you don’t have an anchor trolley attaching your anchor can be a challenge. Now you can go with a simple solution like clipping it with a carabiner to an attachment point on your kayak. But that can cause problems in current or wind. So, keep in mind that you may need to switch attachment points depending on those variables.
Another option for mounting your anchor is to use an Anchor Wizard. This is basically a reel that can be used to reel up or released your anchor line. The reel has a large handle that you turn to take up your anchor line. It also has a release mechanism that you activate to drop your anchor.
Now this doesn’t solve the wind or current problem. but it can be used in combination with an anchor trolley.
Kayaks are great vessels for anchor poles. Being light weight makes it easier to just manually drive in a pole and hold your boat. Of course, this type of anchoring is practical for shallow water applications. You probably would be out there with a 20 foot pole looking to drive it into your favorite drop shot spot. Anchor poles are also popular in rivers.
One way to do this is to buy an anchor pole or a fiberglass garden pole.
All you need to do is drive the pole into the bottom and then tie it off to your boat. But this is easier said than done if you don’t get a solid grip into the bottom with the pole.
The pull of the rope can just bend the pole and cause it to easily become dislodged. To remedy this some anglers will drive the pole through one of the scupper holes in their kayak. Keep in mind that this may not be a good idea at all as it could void the warranty and break your kayak. The twisting forces against the walls of the scupper holes could cause the hull to crack.
Another option is to create a DIY channel for you anchor pole that is connected to your kayak. There are many videos and pages with instructions on how to do this.
Finally, you can go with the powered option.
Power poles are available for kayaks. They use an electric motor power the pole down. They can be battery operated.
The PowerPole Micro is the most popular kayak powerpole on the market. It comes with a remote control. This allows you to drop and raise the pole with the press of a button.
To add this to your kayak, you will need to consider mounting positions.
Mounting Plates And Modifying Your Boat
To mount powered or DIY anchor poles, you may need to drill into your kayak. Keep in mind that there are kayaks that come with inserts for mounting The Power Pole Micro. So, if this is a requirement for you, then you may want to look into these.
In the DIY area, you can find various youtube videos that describe how to set up a mounting bracket for a manually operated anchor pole.
Anchor Rode And Scope
Most kayakers do not use anchor rode. Rode is basically a chain leader that the end of your anchor rope. This helps keep the anchor and its initial several feet of line down near the bottom.
In keeping the anchor rode near the bottom, the angle of pull on the anchor is reduced.
But why do you want to reduce the angle at which pull is placed on the anchor?
If you pull straight up on an anchor, there is a much better chance that you’ll dislodge it.
But, as you move further and further away from it two things happen. First, the angle of the line changes. Instead of pulling directly up on the anchor, you’re now pulling off to one side.
Second, as more line is released, more stretch will be available when tension is applied. Unless you have all chain out.
So, the more line you release, and the further the line angle gets from being straight up and down, the more secure your anchor will be.
When you’re using a grapnel or sand (Danforth) anchor types, scope can be especially important. Giving the anchor enough rope to get a good bite on the bottom is essential.
This takes on more important in heavy current or winds. The additional length also takes advantage of the stretch in your anchor rope. The stretch helps prevent sudden jerks that could dislodge the anchor.
Drift Chutes are not exactly anchors. They’re made to slow down your kayak in heavy wind.
They basically work like a parachute. If your kayak is being blown in the wind, deploying a drift chute will cause a significant increase in drag. This drag will slow down your kayak considerably.
Of course you can get different sized drift chutes. The large the chute you get, the more drag it will create.
When dealing specifically with kayaks, a 36 inch diameter drift chute should be more than enough to slow your kayak down.