Can You Anchor a Kayak?

Can You Anchor a Kayak

Kayaking has changed a lot over time. A decade ago, kayaking mostly meant lazily paddling across a serene lake and mainly was an activity among family and friends. Today, kayaks are lighter, faster, and versatile, allowing enthusiasts to engage in a variety of different adventurous activities. Due to these numerous possibilities, kayak has become very popular for fishing.

Can you anchor a kayak? 

Anchoring a kayak has become extremely popular for fishermen.  Anchors ranging from 1.5 to 7 pounds, Grapnel, Bruce Claw, and Mushroom anchors are perfect for attaching to the end of the kayak to keep it steady in a current.

Time to dive into the anchors and how to attach them to your kayak.

Kayak Anchor

Anchoring might sound a little counter-productive as a kayak is meant to cut through the water as smooth and fast as possible. But when you go kayak fishing or if you just want to take rest from paddling, you need to use an anchor.

A typical kayak anchor consists of different parts that include the anchor, line (based on the depth of the water), and afloat. The float will allow you to retrieve it if the anchor ever gets separated.

The ideal kayak anchors have to be light enough to help the kayak move quickly across the water but also heavy enough to hold it in place when needed. It must also fit in the cockpit or mount of the kayak.

Types of Kayak Anchors

There are many different types of kayak anchors and even a few great alternatives. Here are some of them:

Grapnel Anchor

This is one of the most common types of anchors used by kayaking enthusiasts, as it’s highly versatile. It has what you’d call “wings” or “tines” which can be opened up or closed as per your needs. When you close it, it becomes more compact, allowing you to store it more easily. When it’s opened up, it can firmly dig into the floor and hold on to branches at the bottom.

This anchor, however, is better suited for sandy bottoms than rocky ones. You can get either the 1.5lb option or the 3lbs one. The 1.5lb one is useful when kayaking in normal conditions, whereas the 3lbs is required for more extreme conditions.

Check out the pricing on Amazon


Bruce Claw Anchor

This one utilizes a “claw” to dig into the soft sandy floor. It’s handy for lakes with plenty of sand at the bottom, but it’s pretty useless for rocky ones. It can handle strong currents and ferocious winds, which give it a bit of versatility but not as much as grapnel anchors. If you are on a lake with lots of sand at the bottom, go for this one! It’s also perfect for coastal use.

Check out the pricing on Amazon


Mushroom Anchor

True to its name, this one looks like an upside-down mushroom. It seems that way for a functional purpose. The design allows it to be bottom heavy and therefore hold the kayak in place without the need to sink into the floor or get lodged at the bottom.

Hence the chance of a mushroom anchor getting stuck is very rare. Mushroom anchors are also heavier than Grapnel and Bruce claw anchors. However, they are better suited for kayaking only when wind conditions are slow, and currents are mild.

Check out the pricing on Amazon


Alternatives to Kayak Anchors

Here are some alternatives to kayak anchors:

Anchor Pole

This one probably looks the weirdest as it’s a pole sticking out of the kayak. A long pole is attached to your kayak, which helps to anchor it properly in shallow waters. It is mostly useful only in shallow water.

Drift Chute

This isn’t technically an anchor as it doesn’t stop your kayak, but it does slow it down a lot. Think of it as small water parachutes that you deploy into the water creating enough resistance to the current to slow down your kayak. This is extremely useful for covering a large amount of area when fishing.

Brush Anchor

This is a clip used to secure the kayak to reeds, bushes, mangroves, etc. You have to clip it to whatever is available for mooring and then connect it to your kayak using a line or a rope. It’s excellent to anchor your kayak on the fly and helps significantly in windy conditions. This anchoring system can be made more effective by using an anchor pole as well.

Wreck Anchor

Similar to wreck anchors on ships, this one is a smaller version where the tines are made up of thick gauge wire. You use it to connect to wrecks or submerged structures. This is useful if you have to remain in one place for a long time as it cannot be retrieved quickly. So if you are planning to spend a few hours fishing at the same spot, then a wreck anchor might be of help. It’s not commonly used, though, so don’t be so hasty to buy it unless you require it.


Tips for Anchoring a Kayak

  • Remember never to throw the anchor to the side, especially if there is a significant current underneath.
  • Anchoring from the bow and stern are the wiser choices though they both come with their advantages and disadvantages.
  • It’s always smarter to install a shuttle system, which includes pulleys attached via a looped line at opposite ends of the kayak. This way, you can move the line between the bow and the stern, depending on your needs.
  • Always pull the anchor line and see if it’s lodged adequately into the silt.
  • Always double and triple check the anchor line before kayaking.
  • One of the golden rules of Anchoring is never to use a small anchor line to hold the kayak. It’s always better to pack some extra lines.

Kayak Anchor Summary

There are many aspects to consider before getting a kayak anchor. The most important ones are shape and size. Large anchors have more space to hold on to, and if it has large wings or teeth, it will be able to get lodged into the silt at the bottom properly.

In a kayak, you don’t have a lot of space, so getting an anchor that can be closed and opened is the wisest and most practical choice to go for. Of course, this may change depending on your specific needs, but as a general rule, most people use a customizable grapnel anchor. Make sure you research before buying one, and you can be on your way to having a safe and fun kayaking experience.

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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