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Old 08-02-2010   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
Fishing Raft/Drift Boat anchors

Wondering what style of anchor people think works best. I've seen the lead and steel pyramid anchors, the barrel anchors with the posts on the ends, and even the budles of chain. Anchors should be used responsibly to avoid damage to river bottoms, but they are a necessary tool when fishing. I like the idea of the chain anchors in that they are less prone to hanging up, but may increase stream bed disturbance. Anyone have any input on these?

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Old 08-02-2010   #2
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
Paddling Since: wen?
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 285
dont use lead. your anchor will get smaller and smaller, leaving pounds of toxic lead on the bottoms of your favorite rivers. Have a welding shop make you one out of steel. Mine is a 6in tube(1.25in thick walls) about 8in long, with a 1in thick 10in diameter round piece of steel welded to the bottom. Weighs about 45lbs. because its round it wont hurt your boat and is less prone to getting stuck on the bottom, although sometimes it will roll to one side or the other on the bottom

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Old 08-02-2010   #3
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 84
Those molded steel ones with the little arms hanging off of them suck. I can show you one that has all of 2 arms left on it. They break off making your anchor lighter and lighter. I like a pyramid, either lead or steel filled with lead. I saw a guy using a handheld dumbbell weight the other day, it was working fine. Also saw a guy using a bit head for deep natural gas well drilling, that was probably the most interesting anchor I've ever seen. Chains work, but they're going to cost you as much as lead unless you can find some old chains. It's just dead weight, I don't think the shape matters all that much.
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Old 08-02-2010   #4
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Posts: 683
I think it comes down to personal preference too. I have the Hyde spike anchor (pretty sure those are different than the ones Marco mentioned cause I've seen those too) and been perfectly happy with it. never really heard anyone complain about pyramids either for river use. I think most of the better companies are making everything out of steel anymore instead of lead anyway. at least for drift boat/raft sizes. i've only really seen chain used as a drag anchor on certain rivers, no idea on those. I think most drift boats/rafts you see have a spike or pyramid on them so probably can't go wrong with either.

using the multiplier pulley is pretty nice too. just get a cheap climbing pulley and biner from REI instead of the setup the drift boat companies sell, costs about 30% of what they are asking.
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Old 08-03-2010   #5
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AK, Alaska
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 22
It depends on where you fish and how fast the water is. I would avoid anchors with spikes as they can damage the raft.

Pyramid anchors tend to hold the best, but don't use them on basalt or similar river bottoms or you will lose anchors, and they are expensive.

Chain anchors will rarely (if ever) get stuck, but they tend to drag on the bottom a little before stopping the boat and in faster water won't stop at all (unless they are 45+ lbs and who wants to haul that heavy of an anchor all day?).

I have used all of the above on a 14' raft with fishing frame and I have ditched them all to go with my new favorite anchor: three ten pound plate weights held together by an eye bolt. I like this anchor for a number of reasons. It is compact, about 10" round by 6" tall. It is modular, weight can easily be added or removed based on river conditions. It is a nice compromise in holding power between the chain and the pyramid. It tends to bite quickly similar to a pyramid and I have yet to get it hung on anything. It's round so when it hits the boat there are no edges to damage the rubber. And best of all it's cheap!!! You can find old weights at any goodwill or savers store for next to nothing... mine were free.
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Old 08-03-2010   #6
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
Johnny Cash - you got a picture of this setup?
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Old 08-03-2010   #7
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 134
Drop the Rock!

I came up with the idea of using a river rock for an anchor about two years ago. They are easy to make, affordable, and come in all sizes.

Take a river rock (preferably granite) and drill a hole through the rock itself. I drill 5/8" holes with a hammer drill. Get a stainless steel 1/2" eye bolt with nut and washers that is long enough to go through the rock. Install the eyebolt with a washer on either end and grind off the excess bolt to lock the nut in place or use two nuts to lock them together.

For less than $10 you will have a great anchor that will last a long time and does not hang up in the river bottom like pyramid anchors.

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Old 08-03-2010   #8
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
how bout filling a large coffee can with concrete and inserting an eye bolt in the top, through which you would run your rope/attachment system? ghetto i know but i've seen this work many times.

i ditched my anchor a couple of years ago. a lot of places i float/fish are private so you can't anchor or you'll get ticketed, or if i'm on public and want to wade fish, i beach the boat and get out to wade. i don't like anchoring in even moderately fast water. heard of too many sinking their rigs because of that. for camps, i just tie a rope to the nearest tree or large rock and call it good.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 08-03-2010   #9
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
I agree with dude on that. Don't bother with the anchor in CO, I break mine out when floating bigger rivers in ID etc. I think they are more handy when fishing the wide water with braids and gravel bars etc. When you want to hop out in the middle. Our water is just too narrow and small for the anchor to help access places much, one less thing to deal with then. I beach or just tie off around here too.
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Old 08-03-2010   #10
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Barnard(Marshall), North Carolina
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the rock idea sounds great but I think it would crack in half eventually from dropping on rocks or dragging downstream and smacking into a rock. Not a big deal unless you are guiding and now have no anchor for the rest of the day, although I have witnessed my boss tying a rope around a rock to make an anchor because he forgot his.

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