Anchoring a Watermaster

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by JesseC, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    Watermaster owners: What's been your experience with anchoring your boat in a current? No, I'm not talking about a fast current, but there's plenty of spots I wish I could drop an anchor to make a couple more passes by. Usually I can hold a pretty good position with fins, but has anyone had much luck safely anchoring their boat in moving water?

    I'm thinking about using a "bag o rocks" and keeping a knife handy to cut myself out of a total fiasco. One thing I've thought about is.... how the hell am I going to get the bag of rocks back up? With a drift boat it's a piece of cake to cleat the rope back in. With a watermaster, I could see this being a real pain in the ass and a potential hazard.

    Anyhow. I know someone's tried it. What's been your experience?
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Jesse, you can do the bag of rocks, but be reasonable and make it a bag of rocks weighing only a few pounds. Run a rope through the D rings on the boat, won't make pulling it that easy but better than not using them. Get a single pulley and put it forward of your seating postion (also on a d ring), attach with a 'biener or locking quick link. You can put a rope grabber on your WM seat platform if you wish. Keep that knife handy if you go all crazy. I have anchored with a 4 pound round ball in very soft current and it has let me drift a dry terrestrial through a very fishy slot a number of times before moving along.

    If you see it as a PITA and a potential hazard, it is and that is your safety sense telling you not to do it. Just because I've tried it does not make it the right, reasonable or realistic thing to do. I am not a role model.
  3. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    Jesse - I hope this post doesn't fall into the "meaningless garbage" category for you. I've had my WM's for coming up on 10 years and have never anchored them in moving water. When I want to stop, I move into the shallows and stand up. Simple and effective.
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    I'm mostly a fan of Troutpocket's approach. When that isn't an option, I've used the following: a 5# iron window weight that is my canoe anchor on parachute cord, a few 2' lengths of 90# gillnet lead line that drags on the bottom, slowing me down enough to make a few extra casts, and a piece of scrap RR steel picked up off the tracks that weighed between 5 and 6# on the Yakima that could be sacrificed if I needed to cut the anchor line.

  5. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    From my one-time experience on the WM, the water I was on was so skinny that there was no need to anchor. Standing and casting was the best method - you're using a small craft like that for a reason.

    Jesse - I was drifting when I caught that nice bow on the last trip... :)
  6. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    I went ahead and shelled for the OEM anchor system when I pre-ordered my boat and got 20% off. I use it to hold in current not faster than I can hold in with oars. I also keep a sheathed river knife on my Type III PFD chest gear attachment point that's soley dedicated to cutting the anchor rope in an emergency. I agree with Ed, there is risk, and you must be prepared to assume it, and deal with it if things go awry.

    The WM anchor system consists of a 3-piece stanchion that fits nicely into the pack. You assemble the stanchion sliding the 3 pieces through each other at the appropriate places, then tightening some allen set screws. The rear pulley arm/base positions the pulley about 8" aft and centered. The front pulley arm routes the rope to the side where the rope goes forward to a small jam cleat that is silicone glued and screwed to the seat deck. The system includes two additional D rings to secure the stanchion. I also clip a clam net with the top held open into the mesh pocket D ring for rope storage/management. I like the fact that the system is designed so the weight of the anchor is not placed on any of the D rings, and the pull is centered aft.

    When raising the anchor you have to pull the rope upward against the jam cleat "frame" to clear the cleat. The screws are small and not very long so I don't think they they would take a lot of stress. I've used a 12 lb pyramid anchor but I think you should use the lightest anchor possible and settled on an 8 lb pyramid that I found holds OK in current where I would want to deploy.
  7. Don Barton

    Don Barton Member

    A wise man who taught me a river safety class (and you too if I am not mistaken) said it is unsafe to anchor in any moving water where you can not stand up. If you choose to follow his advice (and I do) it follows that in a watermaster one should never need to anchor.
  8. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Wise words. I did take Dave McCoy's class, and had the anchor system rigged. He did emphasize not anchoring in fast water. I will further heed the "able to stand" rule. Thanks!
  9. Denny

    Denny Active Member

    Detailed description, but I'm having a tough time visualizing it . . . next time it's put together, would you mind taking a picture of it and posting it here for us to see? It sounds pretty interesting.
  10. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    These are high res enough for you to see the anchor mount. There is a jam cleat screwed to the hard seat. The mess of stowed rope is now eliminated by stuffing it into a Danielson Clam Net clipped into a D ring in front of the seat as I raise the anchor.
  11. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

    Nice setup.