3 Best Kayak Anchor Systems For Fishing

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best kayak anchor systems for fishing. Recently I wrote a post about some tips for kayak fishing and discussed the fact that there is a nice little section on the estuary where we fish that always seems to provide some catching pleasure for us. The trouble is, that with the currents in the area, we tend to spend more time paddling across the hole to drift back over than we do actually fishing. So I took my own advice and went out and bought myself an anchor.

To say I love it is an understatement. I can now paddle to where I want to fish, drop anchor and drift my bait across the hole with the current rather than my whole kayak going as well. So, what type did I buy? Well I will get to that, but my research outlined a number of variants to consider so as usual, I have a few options for you. So grab yourself a nice cold beverage and a snack and let’s see if we can get you setup with a good anchor for your kayak…

My 3 recommended kayak anchor systems

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:

02/18/2024 08:26 pm GMT Lasso Brag

What are kayak anchors?

I am guessing that this is fairly obvious however as with a boat, a kayak anchor is designed to keep your craft in the one spot. In short, they can provide the following advantages for kayak fishing:

  • Allows you to stay over fishing waters without the need to constantly paddle.
  • Provide the ability to become stationary in the case of lost items overboard.
  • Keep the kayak stationary when not in use if banking or beaching is not possible.
  • Allow for slower drifting in stronger currents (drift chute anchors)

Types of kayak anchors

In terms of fishing kayaks, there are three main types that you may be interested in looking at. These are:

1. Folding ‘Claw’ Anchors

These are the traditional type anchors that use foldable ‘claws’ to dig into the bottom of the waterway to stop the vessel from moving. Often referred to as grapnel anchors, these are the most commonly utilized option for a kayak as they can be used in a number of underwater environments such as rock, coral, plants, mud and sand.

These are great for fishing as they are generally able to hold the kayak in the one spot without any worry about drift or the constant need to move.

anchors for kayaks - Grapnel anchor

2. Stake out Pole

As the name suggests, these anchor types consist of a single long pole that is either inserted through one of the draining holes of the kayak or attached to an anchor trolley (see below) and pushed into the bottom to hold it in place. The advantage here is that practically anything can be used here (I have seen a guy use a golf club shaft) however they generally only work in sandy locations with low currents.

They are however a good cheap option if you are only looking to use in a particular area.

3. Drift Chutes

These are the kayak version of a sea anchor used in fishing boats where a canvas parachute is set loose behind the vessel. The bag then fills with water and provides resistance to the current to provide a slow drift. They can also be used in tandem with a more traditional anchor to keep the kayak facing a certain way to allow for easier casting into a smaller hole or under mangroves etc.

What should you be looking for?

Ok, so when it comes to the use of an anchor on a kayak, the main things to consider are:


As with almost everything to do with kayak fishing, location is the main influence on whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. So as you start to look into the type of anchor you would be looking to purchase, the first thing to consider is where you will be using them. Think about:

  • Water type – Will you be on a lake, in an estuary or on the open sea? Check the recommended usage locations for any model that you are thinking about.
  • Bottom terrain – This is probably an obvious one but some anchors work well for sand but not coral. Check that your chosen option is suitable for the type of water environment that you will anchor in. Water depth can be a factor here as well.
  • Current – Estuaries generally are susceptible to tidal currents – if these are strong then a heavier or stronger anchor may be required to work effectively.
  • Hazards – Some water locations (especially lakes) contain hazards such as rocks and fallen trees etc. which simply provide for more annoying tangle opportunities. This will affect the way that the anchor is attached to the kayak more than the anchor itself (unless you go for the pole option) but you will need to ensure that it is compatible.

There is more to this but from the point of view of fishing from a kayak, as long as none of the above are too extreme, then you should be ok with most models. At the end of the day, you need something that is lightweight but strong enough to handle the type of waterway you will be anchor in.


Luckily for us, unlike most other fishing requirements for a kayak, there is not much more to consider for an anchor. However, there are some other influences to consider in regards to how we attach the anchor to the kayak itself. These include:

  • Rope – In most cases, the anchor is attached to the vessel via a long water resistant rope (such as nylon etc.). One end ties to the boat (I use a shackle as my rope has an eyelet at the end) and that other to the anchor itself. The trick here is to make sure that the rope is long enough for the depth of water. I have found a common ratio in my research of 7:1. This means that you will need 7 feet of rope for every foot of water you are going to anchor in.
  • Trolley – If you are chasing bigger fish or working in a waterway which is windy or moves around a bit, then an anchor trolley might work better for you. Rope anchors as above attached to either the stern or the bow and must be untied and changed as needed (which is not easy on longer models). A trolley however is a rope or wire driven device that runs down the side of the kayak with the anchor attached to a ring on it. This means that the anchor can be moved easily from the bow to stern (or vice versa) with ease.
anchors for kayaks - Stripe 1

What do I use?

Ok, the details of my anchor are as follows:

  • Anchor type: Grapnel
  • Weight: 3.5lb
  • Number of claws/flukes: 4
  • Rope length: 40ft
  • Good for: Mud, sand, gravel and rock

If I am being honest here, I chose this one as it was the only one in the shop that I went to. I did check that it would work well in sand as that is the main environment that I am working in and that the rope was long enough to handle the water depth there as well. I have since found that the metal loops at the ends of the rope make it so easy to attach via shackles.

I generally tie it to the bow of my kayak so that I am facing forward against the tide and I cast to either side depending on where I am in relation to the hole. The only thing I might change in future is to go to a slightly heavier model as it has struggled in the sand a little when the tidal current gets up.


How long should a kayak anchor line be?

This will obviously depend on where you are using it however in most areas, a length of around 40 – 50ft will usually suffice. If the line is too short however you may not be able to effectively catch the bottom and hold the kayak in place.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above, and my own research, I recommend the following options:

1. Complete Grapnel Anchor System

For the price, this first one would work very well in most kayaks being used in lakes, estuaries or even calm ocean settings close to shore. It is a good one for those who are looking to use in a number of settings and heavy enough to handle medium currents as well. Specifications as follows:

  • Weight: 3.33 and 5.5 lb options
  • Number of claws/flukes: 4
  • Rope length: 25ft/50ft
  • Good for: Mud, sand, gravel and rock

Other inclusions:

  • Flukes fold in for easy storage
  • Durable nylon storage case
  • Floating buoy attached to rope

Why have I chosen it?

I like this one purely for its versatility and inclusions for the price. It will fit in the dry cavities of most kayaks and great for those fishing in a number of areas. The main anchor is also coated to reduce rust problems in salt water environments.

2. Watercraft 3.5lb Folding Anchor

This next one is good for those looking to use in waterways containing a few more tangling type hazards. It has an abrasion resistant finish and an anchor shackle that makes it easy to attach the line to the fluke or as a breakaway to increase anchor retrieval from water hazards. Its specs include:

  • Weight: 3.5lb
  • Number of claws/flukes: 4
  • Rope length: 40ft
  • Good for: Mud, sand, gravel, coral, weed and rock

Other inclusions:

  • Flukes fold in for easy storage
  • Rot resistant Polyethylene rope
  • Floating buoy attached to rope
  • Rope thimble that adds protection for the anchor line loop

Why have I chosen it?

I like this for the benefits to those using within more hazardous environments and its ability to attach to the kayak via a number of options. It is also suitable for those heading out a little further into the ocean that the first option listed here.

3. JAWS Grapnel Type Folding Anchor Kit

The third option I have chosen is a little more expensive however for those who venture far and wide in their kayak fishing exploits, it has everything you could possibly need to be successful in both salt and fresh water. Its “intelligent design” is suited to all environments via its ability to grab hold and sink into the ground. Specifications as follows:

  • Weight: Under 4lbs
  • Number of claws: 4
  • Rope length: ‘Bungee’ line stretches 25 – 28ft
  • Good for: Mud, sand, gravel, coral, weed and rock

Other inclusions:

  • Flukes fold in for easy storage
  • Designed & formulated from all leading small anchors using the best qualities & capabilities
  • Floating buoy attached to rope
  • Easy anchor retrieval-capable system

Why have I chosen it?

This is a great one for those looking for a little quality over price with specifications that make it a very versatile option for most conditions and needs in both inland and ocean settings.

02/18/2024 08:26 pm GMT Lasso Brag


As mentioned earlier, for those who are looking for a little more versatility for their anchors, there are a few attachment options as well. For those looking to install a trolley etc., I have included some options below:

ISURE MARINE Kayak Canoe Anchor Trolley Kit Eyes Wellnuts Screws Kayak Accessories Zig Zag Cleat Rigging Ring Pulleys DIY Boat 30 Feet Rope
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 12:10 pm GMT
CANYON Sea Anchor - 36-inches
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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/19/2024 11:59 am GMT


And there it is – my 3 best anchors for kayaks. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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2 thoughts on “3 Best Kayak Anchor Systems For Fishing”

  1. This is an awesome kayak fishing accessory that must have when fishing on moving water. Adding this anchor trolley made it even better.


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.