Have you ever wondered how to attach an anchor to a kayak? Maybe you want to start fishing, and you need to be able to stay in one place for a while to do so. The only problem, you know nothing about anchors and kayaks!
Having the wrong anchor or attaching it incorrectly could not only ruin your kayaking experience but could also pose a risk.
Never fear. We’re going to tell you everything from anchor type to explaining how to attach an anchor to your kayak.
Table of Contents
Types of Anchors for a Kayak
You might be surprised to learn that there is more than one type of anchor for a kayak. Some of these types of anchors work better with different underwater terrains. Some are considered more general or universal different terrain types.
Stake-out poles are exclusively for shallow flat waters. In these conditions using a stake-out pole as an anchor is possible. Stake-out poles are long, fiberglass - usually - poles that stick into the ground to hold the kayak still. They’re easy and quick to deploy. Simply push into the sediment, then via your anchor trolley, tie off to the pole.
Since most stake-out poles don’t extend beyond 12ft, it’s reasonable to say that you can only use them in water 12ft and below. This is the depth found in canals, shallow lakes, backwaters, shallow areas, and skinny waters.
|3.6 KG Mushroom Anchor
You can either buy mud anchors or make it a DIY project. Mud anchors are most heavily featured in situations where the water is still, and the underwater terrain is soft mud. They’re also extremely popular with anglers or fishermen.
When conditions are calm enough, the mud weight can hold the kayak successfully in place. While mud anchors can be used in saltwater, the area needs to be both shallow and low flow. When it comes to rough ground, mud anchors are very useful because they rarely snag.
Furthermore, while you can purchase mud anchors, like the popular Mushroom Anchor, you’re also able to make your own.
Simply take a house brick, drill a hole (if there isn’t a hole already), and add a loop of cord to then attach your anchor cord. Alternatively, fill a flowerpot or anything that can hold cement, and let it set with a metal shackle or ring sticking out. With the shackle or ring, you’ll be able to attach the anchor line, and there you have it, a homemade mud weight.
Bruce anchors are more geared towards softer sediments like gravel, sand, and mud. In terms of design, they usually have three flukes that feature a fixed shovel style. These flukes are particularly well-designed to dig into softer grounds.
Folding Grapnel Anchor
|1.5 KG (Most Common)
The Folding Grapnel Anchor is by far the most common anchor amongst kayak fishermen. The folding grapnel anchor can grab onto rough and hard surfaces with minimal issue. Even better, if you use a length chain, it can handle sand and mud.
Like other anchors, its shape is somewhat typical, with four folding flukes as well as a sliding collar that locks them in the position either closed or open. Folding grapnels are compact and easy to store when folded. As a result, you’ll be able to have it in your kayak with no issues.
6 Steps to Attach an Anchor to a Kayak
We’re going to break down step-by-step how to attach an anchor to a kayak for you. You might think it’s a complicated process, but once we’ve gone through the steps, you’ll see how easy it truly is.
Step One: Deciding on an Anchor
We broke down the anchors already. Now you need to figure out which one you’re going to need for your journey out into the open waters. Understand where you’re going to be taking your kayak before making this decision.
- How deep is the water where I’ll be kayaking?
- What might the ground be like at the bottom?
- Is the water still? If no, is it a low or moderate flow, or is it faster tides?
These questions are essential because they will narrow down your options for anchors. For example, some situations require a folding grapnel anchor. Others can simply do with a homemade mud anchor.
Step Two: Attach Anchor Line
With an anchor chosen, it’s time to attach your anchor line. More often than not, a medium-thickness nylon rope is used as an anchor line. The rope’s cut according to water depth. As a rope, nylon is highly durable, and due to its density, will sink. This makes it the best choice for the anchor line.
75 feet of nylon rope is the standard length. However, if you’re kayaking in significantly deeper waters, you will need to adjust accordingly. The same is true if you’re kayaking in more shallow waters. The rule of thumb is 1ft of water equals 7ft of line.
While there are multiple methods for attaching the line to the anchor, the anchor hitch knot is by far the most efficient and popular.
Check out this video to learn the perfect hitch knot.
Step Three: Add a Float
This is an optional step that is merely included to save you money and trouble. In the event you have to quickly ditch the anchor, a brightly colored float makes finding it again incredibly easy. If you like the idea but aren’t looking to purchase one, see if you have an old pool noodle around the house and cut 1ft’s worth of a pool noodle to thread the line through, and there you have your own quick DIY float.
Step Four: Head Out Into the Water and Pick Your Spot
You’ve prepared yourself. Now it is time to head out into open waters. Once you’ve found the perfect location to anchor down, adjust yourself carefully to the exact spot you want to situate your kayak. Allow your anchor some time, start somewhat up-current from your specific area.
Step Five: Anchors Away
Release the anchor into the water, hold the anchor line and allow it to slowly descend to the bottom. When the reeling of the line stops, the anchor has likely touched down.
Please note that if you’re using an anchor which features a folding style, you need to unfold the anchors’ prongs before releasing it into the water.
Step Six: Tie Off Anchor Line
With the anchor settled, it’s time to tie off the anchor line to your kayak. However, don’t just think that you can tie it wherever. Where to tie off your anchor line requires some strategic thinking.
When determining which side to secure your anchor line, the current and wind direction should be taken into consideration. These two factors will likely swing the kayak in their path. So you need to figure out if you’re in a better position to tie the anchor line to the stern or bow of your kayak.
If you’re equipped with a cleat on your kayak, consider the cleat hitch. If your kayak is without a cleat, we recommend purchasing and installing one as they’re inexpensive, quick to install, and highly beneficial.
This video explains how to cleat a line.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
What is an Anchor Trolly?
Anchor trolleys are essentially adjustable anchor cleats. Like the wind/current direction changes, so can you adjust your cleat and anchor angle.
Besides Nylon, what other rope can I use?
Besides nylon, another rope frequently used is polyester clothesline. This rope can do a few things that make it an excellent rope choice;
- Less water resistant
- Won’t tangle easy
- Strong knots
- Can hold kayak without stretching.
If you’re not so interested in nylon, this may be the way to go.
There you have it. Now you know more about the different types of anchors for kayaks as well as when, where, and how to use them. Importantly, you know how to attach an anchor to a kayak. Be sure to leave us a comment and tell us how it went. Or, if you have more questions, don’t be afraid to ask.
Have fun out on the water, and good luck!