An anchor trolley is a very useful piece of kit to have installed on your kayak. If you intend to do any type of static fishing then it is essential.
The benefit of having an anchor trolley system stems from safety. With no anchor trolley in place, when anchoring the anchor is dropped from where the angler is seated. This results in the kayak being held stationary while side on to the moving tide or river current. In all but the most gentle of flows, this type of arrangement is incredibly dangerous and will result in your kayak becoming ‘swamped’ with water, ending with the angler getting dumped into the water.
An anchor trolley is a pulley system that facilitates the movement of the anchoring point to the bow or stern of your kayak. Having this option and utilising it will allow your kayak to swing under tension and sit with its bow or stern facing into the flow which is far safer. An article that I put together for the Irish Angler’s Digest explains the concept in more detail; Staying Put.
An anchor trolley is easy to assemble and mount onto a kayak and can be done with a couple of tools and materials. For the anchor trolley itself you will need a couple of stainless pulleys, some bungee, some rope for the trolley, a stainless carabiner and a 2 inch solid plastic ring. Most good retailers should be able to provide these pieces as part of a kit.
1 – Firstly, on the same side of your kayak, attach a pad eye close to the bow and close to the stern of your kayak. These should be placed above the waterline and while they should not be placed at the extreme ends of the kayak, they should be no more than a few inches from the end. See Fitting a Pad Eye for instructions on how to do this if needed.
2 – At the bow end, thread a short length of bungee through the pad eye. Before making a knot to form a loop in the bungee, add one of the pulleys. If you cut the bungee make sure to melt the end with a lighter or matches to stop fraying.
3 – Repeat step 2 at the stern.
4 – Thread the anchor trolley rope through the pulley at the bow and attach the carabiner. Run the anchor trolley rope down the length of the kayak, through the second pulley at the stern and back up towards the carabiner. Cut the rope to the appropriate length for your kayak.
5 – At the loose end of the anchor trolley rope attach your 2 inch plastic ring. This then clips into the carabiner to complete the anchor trolley setup.
The trolley can now be used to position your anchoring point at the bow or stern of your craft. When I am fishing in deeper water I just simply pass the anchor line through the carabiner. If I am fishing shallows like reed beds, I use the solid plastic ring and push a stake out pole through it into the bottom substrate.
Anchor trolley kits are available in Ireland through the Canoe Centre.