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Fitting an anchor trolley

The solution to anchoring a kayak lies in a device known as an anchor trolley. Put simply, this is a loop of line running between two pulleys, one at the bow and one at the stern. The two ends of the loop are joined to a carabineer. The way the system works is that your anchor rope can be fitted through the karabiner while it’s at your side, and then the loop moved around until the carabineer is at the bow or stern, and the kayak will then be anchored from the bow or stern and be relatively stable to fish from.  Most people find it best to anchor a kayak from the stern, and then fish sitting facing the right way, or perhaps side sit side saddle.

The key to fitting an anchor trolley is to get the point of attachment as close to the stern and bow as possible, as the closer they are, the better the kayak will sit at anchor. Some kayaks come pre-fitted with inserts to fit a rudder, and these are often right at the back and make excellent attachment points for the rear pulley, at the front you may get lucky and find a suitable insert, else you’ll either have to use a rivet or nut and bolt to attach a plate to which you attach a small pulley. Seal any holes you have to drill with a blob of Sikaflex sealant to ensure they are watertight. Some people use a small length of bungee cord to attach the pulley to the anchor plates, as this gives a little bit of give in the system, I’ve used this methods on both the Tarpon 140 and the Elite, but for the Tarpon 120 I attached I didn’t bother with any shock cord, and that still worked fine. With the 140, I did find that the cord stretched over time, so I had to shorten the trolley to stop is riding under the hull of the boat.

Again thoughts vary as to the diameter of the cord, with some using cord as thick as 10mm, but I favour a thinner cord, on the theory that if you get in trouble and have to cut it, then the thinner it is the easier it is to cut.

A slight upgrade to the standard anchor trolley is rather than tying off both ends of the cord to the carabineer; tie the rear end to a stainless steel ring, and the other end to the carabineer, then clip the carabineer to the ring. If you do it this way, you can unclip the carabineer from the ring, the ring will go back to the rear pulley and you will have a kayak’s length of rope out front which can be handy for towing the kayak behind you in shallow water.

Recommended book


Discover Kayak Fishing
by Andy Benham

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