Where Do You Put The Anchor On A Kayak? (Which Side & How to Attach)

There are many situations where anchoring a kayak might be a must. For example, you might simply want to stop the kayak to cruise or enjoy the views, take some fantastic photos of the water and surrounding structures, and the kayak’s speed won’t help. Some anglers also choose to install an anchor and use it to stabilize their yaks while targeting fish. But where do you put the anchor on a kayak?

So Where Do You Put The Kayak On A Kayak?

In short, you want to cast and secure the anchor from the bow or stern. It’s the safest way and will protect both you and your kayak. 

Keep reading to find out why and other tips such as; What is the best way to attach it securely, and which side should it go on? 

After reading this article, you’ll better understand how to use an anchor with a kayak. 

Where do you put the anchor on a kayak?

Regardless of the type of anchor, you’re using to secure your kayak. You should follow some rules while putting the anchor on your kayak. The best spot to secure your anchor and cast it is from the bow or stern on the kayak, but never from the sides. 

This safer position allows you to cast your anchor safely, even if it’s heavyweight. However, casting the anchor from the yak’s side can increase the risk of flipping it over. 

Which position is safer for putting your anchor?

The most common position to secure your anchor is to attach it to the boat’s stern. This position provides maximum stability when the yak is facing downwind. However, most anglers put the anchor at the back of the yak because it allows them to cast it and retrieve it without affecting the boat’s stability. 

Some kayakers also choose to attach the anchor to the bow. This location works if you’re planning to deal with up-wind, and it will stabilize your boat when there are more waves and stronger currents. 

However, attaching the anchor to the side of the kayak is never recommended. Even if the wind isn’t strong, it can cause the kayak to flip. 

How do you attach the anchor to your kayak?

You have several options for picking an anchor for your kayak. A folding anchor has a rope that can be clipped from the rope to the kayak’s handle or boat cleat. This setup works for recreational kayakers and anglers who will only use the yak for a short period or don’t use it very often. 

If you use your kayak more often, you’ll need an anchor trolley system. This is a mechanical system that allows you to move the anchor’s position from the front to the back of your kayak without taking it out of the water. 

It also allows you to cast it from one of the sides without risking your yak flipping or falling out of the kayak.

A trolley has a lot of benefits because it’s straightforward to install and allows you to move the anchoring point along the kayak’s body without risking its stability. 

You can easily cast your anchor from the kayak’s bow and move it to the stern or any point in between using the pulley to control the anchor’s movement. 

Here’s an explanation of how to attach an anchor with and without a trolley for various purposes. 

DIY method without a trolley system

Although a trolley system can make your life easier, you don’t need one if you don’t take your kayaks on frequent trips or you only use it in shallow waters with weak currents. 

In this case, you can install an anchor without a kit and only with the help of a few tools that you can get from the hardware store. Here is what you need to attach your anchor correctly. 


  • A well-made heavy-duty split ring. 
  • Two pulleys. 
  • Fifty feet of marine rope. 

Steps for Installing An Anchor Without A Trolley System

  1. Cut 1 foot of the marine rope and use a lighter to burn the end to prevent it from fraying. Repeat the process, so you’ll end up with two feet of rope. 
  2. Thread one of these sections through one of the pulleys. 
  3. Put the rope through the hole where your front handle is attached, and then repeat the whole process. You’ll have two loops attached with a pulley; one is located at the front of your kayak, while the other is located at the back. 
  4. Use a steady knot like the Trilene knot to attach the split ring to your marine rope. 
  5. Take the end of the rope that isn’t attached to the ring and run it through one of the pulleys and then through the other one. 
  6. Tie the loose end of the rope to the split ring and make sure that the knot is tight. Use the lighter to burn the rope’s end to prevent it from fraying. 

Using a trolley system

You need to swing your anchor down current without a trolley if you’re dropping it from the kayak’s end. But with a trolley system, you’ll have more options. All you have to do is adjust the anchor line, and you’ll be able to cast it in whichever direction you’re facing. 

Some kayaks are alread equipped to accept a trolley system, but installing a system will usually be straightforward. Your best bet is to check the kayak’s manual or manually examine the trolley system to decide the right point to attach it to your yak. 

Most trolley kits come with clear installation instructions that explain where and how to attach the kit for the best results. 

Some kits come with all the tools needed for installation, but in some cases, you’ll have to head to the hardware store to get all the pieces of equipment that allow you to install your kit correctly. 

With an anchor trolley system, you can mount the kit to the side instead of sticking it to the bow or stern. This is because the kit gives you more control while casting and retrieving the anchor, and you can also move it along the yak’s body. 

There are several kits on the market, and some of them are pretty affordable. But you need to make sure that your kit is made of high-quality pieces and comes with an easy-to-understand manual, as this will allow you to install it correctly. 

How can you protect your kayak from tipping over?

Kayaks don’t tip over easily, but some factors can make your kayak less balanced. For example, a thin kayak is less stable and might easily tip over. 

Moreover, positioning, casting, and retrieving your anchor in the wrong way can also subject it to the risk of tipping over. 

Here are steps to guarantee that your kayak will stay stable. 

  • Make sure that everything you have in the kayak is distributed evenly. If you’re carrying an anchor near the bow, keep most of your stuff near the stern. 
  • Practice sitting correctly in your kayak. The lower you sit, the more stable you’ll feel. 
  • Allow the kayak to level when you put it into the water. 
  • Stay away from bigger yachts and boats that might throw your yak off balance. 


There are different types of anchors that you can use to stabilize your kayak, and the safest positions to secure an anchor would be at the kayak’s bow or stern. 

In these two positions, your kayak will be more balanced, so you can control its safety. 

You can also attach an anchor using a trolley system. Trolley systems give you more control and allow you to reposition your anchor without getting it out of the water. 

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