My buddy Aaron going out on his first night trip.


In the last post, I mentioned a few different traditional kayak anchors and how you can quickly clip and unclip your floating anchor if you haven’t installed an anchor trolley. In this post, I would like to show you how to install a trolley and the advantages of having one on your kayak.

First, you’ll need a quality anchor system that includes stainless steel hardware, stainless steel or heavy duty plastic o-ring, strong rivets, and quality cord. Just because it’s a quality anchor kit, doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. I’ve seen kits starting at $40. One option is to buy a kit from an online retailer. I am familiar with  Settles Bridge Supply House and they have one kit for under $20.

This anchor trolley kit retails for under $20.


First, what I did (great suggestion from Florida Sportsman Editor Jeff Weakley) was drop my kayak in my pool and found out where my water line went to. If you don’t have a pool, keep note of where the waterline is the next time you’re out on the water. You won’t want to drill holes and do the install below your water line. Also, don’t drill close to areas where you get lots splashes from the water while paddling or pedaling.

Next, the instructions say to install your pad-eyes 12 to 18 inches from your kayak end. Measure out and mark where you are to drill.

Using a 3/16-inch drill bit, or a bit slightly smaller than your hardware to ensure a water tight fit. Drill two of your holes on each end of the kayak where the pad-eyes are to go.

Install the pad-eyes with a rivet gun if you don’t have an accessible place. If you can reach behind and into the kayak, it is preferable to use the screws and nuts that are included in the package.

Clip on your stainless steel carabiner with your pulley.

I attached one end of the rope to the ring with a simple uni knot.

What I did (some people do, some don’t) is run the other end of the line back through the ring. This enables the two parts of the rope that run parallel to your boat not to separate so that one end goes into the water. They are always connected together with help via the ring.

Take the other end of the rope and do another uni knot to secure the anchor trolley. Make sure you tighten enough so that there is not a lot of slack in the line. If there is slack, under heavy current, your anchor trolley will wobble, possibly making noise against your kayak. Too tight and it may snag on different things on your kayak, especially since it has no room to drop over the edge. With the knots, you can always undo and retighten.

The final step is finding a good place to mount your zig zag cleat or any other type of cleat of your preference. I put it close to me so that I don’t have to reach far for it, and it’s easily accessible incase I need to undo the line quickly. Make sure you leave enough slack in the line when you are making your final knot onto your ring to be able to secure in your cleat.

Once completed, take it out for a test run. Play with moving the anchor line to the bow or stern of the boat. You will see how your position changes in correlation to where your anchor is positioned.

Hopefully, this will help you get in the correct position to make that cast that will help you land the big one.

Also, here is a video showing you the install for this particular anchor trolley.

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