Ive seen many different methods of storing anchor line on the kayak ranging from expensive divers reels to line being wrapped around a plank of wood! I decided to have a go at making my own anchor reel that would allow me to easily wind on anchor line when needed. I decided on a reel mounted onto a plastic pipe that would fit into the scupper holes on my Teksport 330 - it will also fit in most flush mounted rod holders too so could potentially be used on any kayak.....
To ensure a tight fit into the scupper hole i put a few wraps of gaffa tape around the pipe. I managed to get an empty plastic reel used to sell cord on from the local chandlers for free as it was destined for the bin! I made a small handle on its side using a bolt/nut, a couple of washers and a small piece of plastic tube. The reel was then mounted onto a 'wall storage hook' found at the local hardware store. This is bolted to the plastic pipe as shown in the photos.
The spool is loaded with 5mm braided cord with a small carbine tied onto the end. This then passes through the stainless steel ring on the anchor trolley. The carbine then can be clipped onto the anchor chain. I use a 1m length of 6mm chain which is then attached to the bottom of a 1.5kg folding grapnel anchor using a small shackle. The chain helps to increase the anchors holding ability and helps to buffer any movement between the anchor and the kayak. A 1.5kg anchor has held my kayak in all conditions i have anchored in and has even been used to anchor two kayaks in a reasonable tidal run with a fair ground swell rolling past. When the anchor reaches bottom and enough line has been let out to securely anchor the kayak the line is held in position using the zig zag cleat - there is now no pressure on the anchor reel.
A buoy is clipped onto the anchor line so that it is free running. This allows the anchor reel to float should i need to unanchor at speed thus allowing me to come back and retrieve when possible. All i need to do is unclip the stainless steel ring from the carbine on the anchor trolley and throw the whole anchor reel overboard! To stop the reel unwinding a couple of lashing loops are tied around the small peg on the metal wall hook.
There are several ways in which to make your anchor 'trip' when snagged - a bridle, trip link or weak link. All work by allowing a snagged anchor to be pulled backwards out from a snag (hopefully!). I use a weak link system by attaching the anchor chain to the top of the anchor with a small cable tie. In theory, when at anchor there is little or no strain on the cable tie but if you become snagged you can paddle uptide against the anchor, shifting the pressure onto the cable tie, and with a sharp pull the cable tie will snap out allowing the anchor to be pulled out of the snag backwards. It takes a bit of trial and error to find the size of cable tie you can break out - i use 1 or 2 small cable ties and find these easy enough to break when the anchor is snagged - you can always cut a small nick in the tie to make it easier to snap.
When pulling the anchor back to the kayak put all the slack line on the opposite side of the kayak - the tide should take it away in a loop preventing any tangles. Once the anchor is onboard the anchor can be unclipped and stored away and the line wound back onto the anchor reel. The photos below show how the anchor system can be set up on the Hobie Outfitter with the anchor reel in different positions with the anchor line leaving the kayak at the stern and the bow.
So thats how i set up the anchoring system on my Teksport Xplore 330 and Hobie Outfitter. Im yet to test it out on the Hobie but it works well on the Teksport. It costs a bit to set up an anchor system, this set up cost me around £50-60, but the benefits it brings to your fishing outweigh the costs. Fishing static will allow you to target species such as Rays, Conger, Bull Huss and Wrasse more effectively.
Over the past few years i have been tinkering with my anchoring method. I no longer use a buoy and my quick release system now involves me slicing the anchor line with a knife (always on my PFD) if i need to un-anchor at speed. This way i will lose an anchor but that will not be a priority if i am needing to un-anchor quickly! No buoy means less gear to take too. I am also no longer using a large carabiner to pass the anchor line through - instead i have opted for a smaller 60mm carabiner. This seems to keep the anchor line closer to the stern when at anchor. A full run through of my latest anchoring set up can be found on the following link: Rigging the RTM Rytmo Angler for Kayak Fishing.
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