Driftboat anchor

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by andrew, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. andrew Active Member

    Posts: 1,110
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    I have a 30 pound lead pyramid anchor and it does not seem to hold my 16' boat for crap...even when two guys are in it. What do others have? I've seen chains but I have always thought that those are used for sandy river bottoms. I have also seen what appears to be a section of round steel pipe 4" dia. that has 1" rod stubs welded to the outside randomly, and I presume the inside of the pipe is filled with lead.

    I mostly drift the Skagit...
  2. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,722
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +660 / 5
    What kind of driftboat do you have and how wide is it? Odd that a 30# anchor doesn't hold. Are you letting enough line out by chance? I wouldn't use chains. They will stop you, but you will drag them a bit more. At least with a standard pyramid or cleat anchor, it'll stop fast doing minimal damage. The one you're talking about is called an alaskan anchor I believe (not 100% sure on that one). They work quite well actually. They are filled with lead in fact. They are usually a steel cylinder with spikes going around the ends of the cylinder. Filled with lead of course. Sits well in most bottoms. Just more expensive to make.

    Let me know what size boat you have. I do believe I have a 35# on my 16' now. But know my old alumaweld had a 30# (was a 16x48) and never had a problem at all anchoring about anywhere.
  3. ray helaers New Member

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    30 pounds is not enough for a 16' boat around here. I have a 35 pound pyramid that I rarely use any more (I carry it for a spare and use it in lakes or the salt). Most of the time I use a 45# chain anchor that I made myself and it seems to work well on most bottoms; usually sticks and I haven't lost it yet. And depending on the spot, it is not even always enough on the Yak during full summertime flows when I'm trying to get the boat to stick on a dime to cover some risers. I've seen guys using chain anchors that look to me to be pushing 60#.

    Those pronged anchors look pretty sticky but I'd be worried about losing it on bouldery bottoms. I know people use them on driftboats, but I think they're designed for jet boats that can climb back on top of them if need be.

    One thing you need to do when using anchors over 30# or so: hook a pully to the anchor and run the line through it and back up to the anchor bracket. Through the miracle of primitive physics, you'll only be effectively pulling half the weight when you're trying to haul the anchor in.
  4. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,722
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +660 / 5
    Where are you fishing ray and what type of boat do you have? My buddy is using a 35# on his 18' willie DB, and has no problem anchoring on the solduc or any other Olypen stream. Heck, my 16' cataraft that Trevor has now held quite well with a 35# anchor (and they take more weight to stop them compared to a driftboat). I'd prefer a 40# on that boat, only because on heavier flows it'll take a bit more to stop it. But DB's run so much slower, so takes less to stop them. Chain anchors are a different beast, so I could see where you'd need a heavier anchor. That's the law of physics on that as well. You have weight distributed over a greater area. Makes for less stopping power then the same weight in a denser area.

    Yes, that rear pulley works great. Tried one on a friends boat who bought the kit from Hyde I think it was. But simple to make on your own though.
  5. ray helaers New Member

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    I think the point of the chains is that with the pulley you can use a really big anchor (a 60# comes back with the same effort as a 30#), and it's still pretty hard to hang one up so bad you'd have to cut the rope. I'm also talking about the Yak where summertime flows are pretty roaring, and like I say you're often trying to stop on a dime to set up on some risers. On the west side, where I rarely fish from the boat, it's not such a big deal; in fact I rarely drop the hook in the water, just pull over and carry the anchor up the bank.

    Of course I should have mentioned that my boat is a pretty big tub, an old Lavro oufitters dory, 17' feet I think and either 52" or 54" beam. Damned heavy too. I don't know, but I was never very happy with that 35#.
  6. andrew Active Member

    Posts: 1,110
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    I have a 16' lavro, I believe the beam is 50"...not sure.

    So put a single pulley on the anchor itself rather than tying the line directly to the eyelet?

    Last year on the Hoh I was approaching Willowby takeout and noticed the water was moving pretty fast and to boot some guys had left there boat in the prime location where I could row out of the current and beach. So I dropped my anchor 30-40 feet before the beach thinking that at least I could get out and tug the boat to shore. Damn thing didn't hold and we ended up 'flying' by the takout and just before the point of no return my buddy jumped out and grabed the bow. My luck the people who left there boat showed up in time to watch my stupidity in action! At first I thought it was handling error but the more I thought about it...that damn anchor should have held!

    I just wish that people would move their boats out of the way at a take-out...I love when they keep their boats right in the middle offering you a bid of an obstacle to deal with! :mad:
  7. Jason Trout Bum

    Posts: 666
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Cabela's calls those Offset Anchors, this one is made for pontoons.
  8. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,722
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +660 / 5
    The system I saw they had the line attached to the anchor bracket. Then a carabiner with a pulley attached hooked to the anchor. The line went through the pulley on the anchor then up through the rear pulley of the anchor bracket. I know I tested it out, and sure was smooth. Like a tack/block system pulling up anything. You will need a bit more rope though, depending on where you're anchoring up. Since the system I saw, to drop your anchor down/back say 20', you'll need 40' of anchor line to achieve it just at the rear drop (not included what runs through the pulleys to your front release if applicable).
  9. andrew Active Member

    Posts: 1,110
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    So something like the attached picture?

    Attached Files:

  10. Jason Trout Bum

    Posts: 666
    Edmonds, WA
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    Just like that. I have basically the same set up to store my pontoon on my ceiling.
  11. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,722
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +660 / 5
    Yep, that's the way I saw it rigged.
  12. James Boldman Wood Nymph

    Posts: 32
    Duvall, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    this is a great thread! i'm just completing my project of a montana boat builders freestone 15 guide db from plans and i was just doing my research for an anchor. i've been under the same mental debate of chain vs torpedo or other. i'll be fishing the stilly, sky, yakama and possibly a few others so i've come to the realization that i need some advice. i know many ppl on the yak use chain so thats what i'm inclinded to get; however, what about the sky and stilly? will this do? also, what size chain should i get? how do you "configure" the chain to act as a suitable anchor?

    also, for rode i currently have 30' of 1/2" - is this enough? i also have 55' of 3/8" gold-n-braid - is 3/8 suitable for times where i need a longer rode?

    any/all advice would be appreciated!
  13. Angie Banned or Parked

    Posts: 10
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    If your boat isn't holding with your 30 pound anchor you are doing two things wrong... anchoring in wayyyyyy too fast of water or not getting the right angle where it will actually hold. As for dragging a chain as an anchor that is sooooo unenvironmental of you to think about. Is unenvironmental a word folks? Do you know that you could destroy spawning habitat if it is the wrong time of year? But you probably aren't since the water is so fast.

    I like to dredge my smallest anchor while plugging, boon dogging, or dry fly fishing when I know for a fact that NO FISH is spawning and I'm in a super fast travel lane. That is the only time I do it.

    The problem with fly fishing is, if ya can't cast very well, you try to get as close as possible to the "Sweet Water", just anchor wayyyyyy above it and cast upstream and then strip the hell out your line so the seam sucks it down. You know like them "conventional gear guys" do while plugging.

    If you're not stopping on a dime just get a big anchor and row like a itch till it catches at that sweet angle. Chains aren't recommended by any one that is environmentally conscious or SAFE imagine getting stuck on a log in glacial till water. That would suck...
  14. ssickle1 Slow and Low

    Posts: 171
    Hood River, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I know I am repeating others but 30# is enough to stop your boat. If not you are in an area that is not safe to anchor in. There is a reason they come with 25 and 30# anchors. The number one reason for Drift boat accidents involves the anchor.
    You may need 5 to 7 times the river depth to hold your anchor. You also may want to hit the oars hard to slow the boat down.
    As for the pully system for the anchor, I saw it in new products by Hyde in STS not sure which issue.
  15. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Hmmm, I actually have gone to using a 25# with a pulley--holds just fine, just gotta get enough scope like Jerry said.I have old wood 15' Birchcraft --similar to an Eastside.

    Running the pulley is the way to go though, I just have a pretty standard stainless pulley with an eyelet hooked to a carbiner.Rope attaches to a loop on the back of the boat with the other end up thru my Quicklok. I use 80' of 3/8 braid.(40' usable)


    Seems to me if someone is not getting a 30 or 35 to hold then they may be trying to anchor in "too" heavy of water.AND if it does catch and hold in that heavy of water-chances are they are not getting that anchor back. --hey, I've done this a few times myself including this past winter.I knew when it stuck I wasn't getting it back.LOL

    But what do I know. Just felt like commenting.

    Davy
  16. Guy Gregory Active Member

    Posts: 452
    Spokane, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    Jeez, guys, where are you anchoring? I've a homemade prong thing, 12 inches of 4 inch steel casing with 15 pounds of lead inside, 8 4 inch prongs on the ends, weighs maybe 20 pounds. I anchor in the Clark Fork and the Kootenai a lot, though not in the middle of the rapids. I drag a bit on bouldery bottoms, but so what? When I need to stop, I row out of the current.

    I also have a floating rope without a knot in the end so the rope can run free if I get drug down. My boat is an old eastside 16 footer, 15 1/2 down the centerline.

    My prong thing replaced a homemade lead thing, about 25 pounds, that the former owner near Centralia called his "brake". I try not to put lead in streams.

    The chain thing comes from the Adirondacks...where guides would drag chain and slow (not stop) their guideboats in streams. Put the chain in a bicycle inner tube and it doesn't get hung up. Best for sandy, gravelly bottoms, will hang in rocky bottoms right away. And yeah, there's this cloud of sediment downstream from your boat...a boaters San Juan shuffle.

    guyg
  17. ray helaers New Member

    Posts: 1,088
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    I don't think anyone here is talking about "dragging" anchors, chain or otherwise. I think you're refering to a practice of dragging a length of chain to slow the boat through fishy water, or to keep the bow pointed downstream if you're trying to fish from a moving boat without benefit of an oarsman. You're right, a very bad practice. We're talking here about fashioning an actual anchor out of chain bunched back on itself, tied up with cable or some kind of bracket, a chain mop if you will. Mine is 45#, about 14" from the top of the pulley to the dangling chain-ends, and sticks pretty well on most bottoms. I never drag it intentionally, and I don't know anyone else who does, whether fish are spawning or not.

    As far as technique goes, I don't know; I'm perfectly willing to admit that after ten years I still don't know what I'm doing. I've been fishing for 37 years, fly fishing for 18, and I'm still fair to middling at best. But the 45# works for me, comes back easy with the pulley set-up, never hangs up (yet), and I see no good reason to try to figure out what the "minimum" I need is.

    On the environmentally-friendly front, the point about lead in streams is a good one. I have to note that by the time I switched to steel chain, my 35# lead pyramid had probably been whittled down to about 33-1/2#. In 18 years I doubt I've left that much split shot in the water.
  18. ssickle1 Slow and Low

    Posts: 171
    Hood River, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    If anyone is interested Hyde sells the anchor pully system ready to go. See their website.
  19. Joshw Tamer of Trouts

    Posts: 432
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    James,

    How is your montana boat builders boat turning out? When I was going to school in Bozeman I got to know one of the guys there that builds boats pretty well. They are some of the most beautiful boats out there! You will have to put up some pictures when it is all said and done! :beer2:

    Josh
  20. James Boldman Wood Nymph

    Posts: 32
    Duvall, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The boat is coming along very well. I am truely impressed with MBB plans since I am (was) fairly new to wood working and I was able to build one of his boat designs which are very beautiful! If all goes will with time, this weekend I can complete it. All I have to do now is buff the sides out a little bit more and spray the bottom with polyureathane. I'll get some pics up this next week.

    James