Kayaking allows you to get in touch with the water and your natural surroundings in a way that larger watercraft don’t. Since a kayak is lightweight, you can use it in deep as well as shallow bodies of water. Most people go kayaking while they are fishing or camping.
There is also a wide range of specialized kayaks that can handle specific conditions like racing or white-water courses. Because kayaking is such a versatile water sport, people from all walks of life can enjoy it.
As with any other sport, you need specific kayaking gear. Essential gear consists of a kayak, a paddle, and a life jacket. Many people also opt for a waterproof bag when they are camping or fishing to carry any important personal items. You might also want to consider investing in a kayak anchor.
Table of Contents
- Why You Need an Anchor
- Considerations When Choosing an Anchor
- Other Accessories You’ll Need
- Kayak Anchor Reviews
- Summary on the Best Kayak Anchor Guide
Why You Need an Anchor
Depending on the specific kayaking activity, you also may want to remain stationary at times. Kayaks are light, and the wind can turn you or the current can grab you, which can be annoying, especially if you found the perfect fishing alcove.
Finding a sand barge to keep your kayak in place is not always possible. Your second option is to throw an anchor overboard. A kayak anchor works in the same way as an anchor for a regular boat, but it weighs less and is much easier to handle.
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Before you set out to buy an anchor for your kayak, however, there are many considerations that you should keep in mind. There are many different types of kayak anchors, and you should take some time to ensure that you buy one that meets your specific needs.
In this buyers’ guide, we are going to take an in-depth look at kayak anchors, the accessories you need to have a fully functioning anchor, and the different considerations that you should take into account before deciding on a specific model. Finally, we will be reviewing some of the most popular kayak anchors available online.
Considerations When Choosing an Anchor
Weight and Size
If you are a beginner in the world of kayaking, you may be forgiven for thinking that the heavier the anchor is, the better. Weight is not, however, the determining factor. In fact, if you have a heavy anchor, it will be less effective in keeping your kayak stationery.
Heavy and bulky anchors tend to drag along the bottom of the water body without rooting your kayak, allowing it to drift around. The ideal weight for a kayak anchor is anything from 1.5 lbs. to 3 lbs.
Instead, always try to go for a hook anchor that has large wings that can easily grab onto rocks, plant debris, or silt at the bottom of the river or lake. Some models have foldable flukes to make the anchor more compact and portable.
The scope is the ratio of the water’s depth to the length of the line between the vessel and the anchor. According to some experienced kayakers, a 7:1 ratio is the sweet spot. For example, if the water is 10 feet deep, you need an anchor line that is 70 feet long.
Seventy feet may seem too long, but sufficient line length will be sufficient to allow the kayak anchor to change position to its side and dig into the ground.
There are, in essence, two types of boat anchors: mushroom anchors and grappling hook anchors.
A mushroom anchor’s rooting ability lies in its heavy weight. Because they are heavy and bulky, they require a roller on the bow of the boat to allow for easy deployment and retrieval. Since kayaks are typically lightweight boats, a mushroom anchor isn’t suitable.
Grappling Hook Anchor
A grappling hook anchor has four hooks that can be foldable to make it more compact and allow for easy storage. Since grappling hooks don’t have to be heavy to root a boat to the bottom of a lake or river, they are ideal for kayaking.
Other Accessories You’ll Need
In addition to your kayak anchor, you may need gear to stabilize your kayak or change its anchoring point between the bow and stern. Tying the line to any place on your kayak and throwing the anchor overboard is not always ideal, as kayaks are built to approach waves head-on.
If the anchor pulls the kayak sideways, you may run the risk of capsizing. Controlling the anchor point on your kayak can reduce wind drag and ensure that waves reach it at the correct angle.
Accessories that you need to control the anchor point on your kayak and make the anchor easier to use include an anchor trolley, mounting plates, padded storage bags, and a buoy. You may also need a stakeout pole, a drift chute, and additional safety gear.
To install some kayak anchor models, you may have to add a mounting plate to your boat. Fixing a mounting plate is, in most cases, very simple, and you will be able to do it yourself. It’s also sometimes necessary to ensure that the anchor trolley is securely fastened to the kayak and fully functional.
An anchor trolley allows you to switch the anchoring point on your kayak from the bow to the stern or vice versa without getting out of the boat. The anchor trolley is a piece of equipment that runs the length of the kayak on the one side.
You use the anchor trolley by running the anchor line through a ring in the rigging. As you move the ring via the rigging, you will change the placement of the anchor and, therefore, the anchoring position of your kayak.
Stake Out Pole
A stake out pole is hooked to the anchor trolley and stuck into the bottom to keep your kayak in place. You can also use a stake out pole through your kayak’s scupper holes.
The most significant benefit of using a stake out pole is convenience. Anchoring your kayak this way takes seconds. A stake out pole is useless in deep water, however.
Like a stake out pole, a drift chute is an alternative to a kayak anchor, but only in specific circumstances. A drift chute is a deployable bag that allows for some movement, but it slows your kayak down when it fills with water and creates drag. Drift chutes are ideal for tarpon anglers.
Kayak Anchor Reviews
Now that we’ve taken a look at all the buying considerations, additional accessories, and alternatives to kayak anchors, let’s take a look at the best kayak anchors you can buy today.
1) Airhead Folding Grapnel
This anchor from Airhead weighs 3 1/3 lbs. and has four teeth that are designed to grab onto any materials, including mud and sand. Since the anchor is foldable, it is incredibly compact and will fit into any personal watercraft (PWC) storage compartment or underneath a boat seat.
The anchor comes with a 25-foot long marine-grade rope and has an added protective coat to shield it from corrosion and harsh underwater conditions.
2) Advanced Elements Kayak Anchor
This 3-lb. anchor from Advanced Elements comes complete with a 60-foot rope, carabiner, and line float. One of the best features of this anchor is its sliding collar that locks the flukes open after they deploy.
Since this anchor is on the heavier side, it is suitable for fishing in most environments. The long 60-foot rope means that you can anchor your kayak in water as deep as 8.5 feet.
3) Yak Gear Grapnel Anchor Kit
If you like paddling or fishing in shallow water, the Yak Gear Grapnel may be the perfect anchor for you. It weighs 1.5 lbs. and has four foldable flukes that are each 6 inches long to allow for easy carry and storage.
Included in the kit is a 30-foot rope, which is sufficient for anchorage in a depth of about 5 feet. Since this is a light anchor, consider attaching it to three feet of chain to help the anchor tip over to its side.
4) OceanMotion Kayak Anchor
The OceanMotion kayak anchor weighs 3.5 lbs. and comes with a 40-foot, high-quality braided nylon rope, which is sufficient for a depth of about 5.5-5.7 feet.
The anchor is made from galvanized iron, which means that it is entirely rust-resistant and able to withstand underwater conditions. Since the rope comes with reflective traces, the OceanMotion anchor is suitable for use with low-light fishing.
5) Seattle Sports Kayak Anchor Kits
The Seattle Sports kayak anchor is available in two sizes: 1.5 lbs. and 3.25 lbs. Included with this anchor are a 50-foot line and one deployment and anchorage ring. Since you get a longer rope, you will be able to root your kayak in water as deep as 7 feet.
While the 1.5-lb. option may be suitable for fishing in calm water, you will be better off with the 3.25-lb. anchor if you have a heavier boat or if you are kayaking in lakes or rivers with sandy bottoms.
6) Extreme Max 3006.6548 BoatTector Grapnel Kayak Anchor Kit
This anchor weighs 3.5 lbs. and has four shanks that are designed to grab onto coral or rocky water body bottoms. With the anchor, you receive a 25-foot rope that is long enough for anchoring your kayak in water that is about 3-4 feet deep.
The Extreme Max is perfect for anchoring in shallow ocean water with a lot of movement and windy conditions. If you replace the rope with a longer one and a few feet of chain, you have a versatile anchor.
7) Deep Water Folding Grapnel
The Folding Grapnel anchor from Deep Water is galvanized and completely rust-resistant. It weighs 1.5 lbs. and is suitable for lightweight kayaks and personal watercrafts. The flukes can grab onto any lake bottom surface and fold into a compact unit that is easy to store.
8) BEST Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor
This anchor is similar in size to the model from OceanMotion. The anchor has a folded size of 12” x 3” and weighs 3.5 lbs. It is galvanized and resistant to corrosion. A unique feature of this anchor is a quick disconnect feature, which means you can disconnect the anchor and come back later to find the floating buoy and anchor line.
Included with the anchor is a 40-foot marine rope that you can replace with a longer one if you’d like to paddle into deeper water. When considering the quality and price of this anchor, it becomes clear that this may be your best option for all your kayaking endeavors.
Summary on the Best Kayak Anchor Guide
Hopefully, these reviews have given you some guidance in choosing a kayak anchor. Balancing budget with quality can be tricky, but you can’t go wrong picking anything on this list.