Setting Up a Grapnel Anchor
for Kayak Fishing

Setting up a grapnel anchor for kayak fishing is a very important step. Grapnel anchors have a stem with two or more arms on a hinge that move from closed to open. 

When the anchor is out of the water is can be stored in the closed position. It stays closed with a collar that slides down and locks around the arms. These are one of the finest anchoring systems and can hold your kayak in currents or winds. But you need to set it up properly. Improperly set up can cause problems for you. 


Setting Up a Grapnel Anchor

With little wind, the weight of the grapnel anchor dragging the bottom is enough many times to keep you in one place. In currents or winds, grapnel anchors work when the arms dig into the bottom or catch on debris on the bottom. The biggest fear is that it may actually get so stuck that you may have to cut the rope. Here is a solution to that. 

How to Set It Up

Step 1. Setting up a grapnel anchor is easy.

First, notice in the photo at the top, a grapnel anchor has two eyes, one on the end of the shaft and one below the arms. Never use the eye at the end of the shaft opposite of the arms.

Instead you will need to tie the rope at the bottom of the shaft below the arms as show in the photo to the right. Make sure the knot will not come loose if you have to pull hard or you will lose you anchor. You can use an anchor hitch or any type of strong knot. 


Step 2. Securing the line to the shaft.

The next step in setting up a grapnel anchor is securing the line to the shaft of the anchor. 

Important: You will need a zip tie. It needs to be strong enough t handle the weight of the anchor and some moderate tugging without breaking.

How It Works: If you get stuck and the anchor won't release, a good strong tug on the rope breaks the zip tie and the anchor is pulled up from the business end of the anchor. The arms fold up and it is easily pulled up out of the water.

Important Tips in Setting up a Grapnel Anchor

  • After tying the rope to the head of the anchor, draw the line up the shaft making sure it is not in the way of the anchor arms. The arms need to move freely. 
  • Do not run the line through the top eye of the anchor at any time. For the anchor to work correctly if it gets stuck, the top eye needs to be avoided completely. 
  • If you are using your own rope, never tie the rope directly to the kayak. Try using an zig zag cleat and loop the rope around the cleat. Pulling up on the rope is all that is needed to remove the rope from the kayak. If securely anchored, this will make sure the rope can be released easily in an emergency. Safety should always be the number one consideration on the water. 

Setting up a Grapnel Anchor Using an Anchor Trolley

You can set up your anchor on an anchor trolley. We sell anchor trolleys on this website. An anchor trolley allows the kayak to be repositioned without pulling up the anchor. You can move your kayak 180 degrees to adjust to currents or winds or casting angle without moving the anchor. 

The anchor trolley kit comes with everything you need to set it up and has instructions included. For visual instructions in setting up an anchor trolley kit please check out the video below. 


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