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Anchor Trolley System for Kayaking - Do I Need One?

Posted by 
April 21, 2018
Published in News & Tips > Boating > Kayaking
30424   Comment

Why would I need a kayak anchor trolley? I hear that question quite a bit. Many people are confused on exactly what an anchor trolley does and how it can benefit them when fishing. For the record, an anchor trolley is a way for anglers fishing from a kayak to gain control and flexibility of their boat in situations where the weather or water could prevent them from catching fish. 

In this article, you'll find a kayak anchor trolley functional diagram plus ways to use them in a second diagram that is showing a few wind or water current challenges a kayak fishermen may encounter and how an anchor trolley can help. Hey, from my point of view, having an anchor trolley on board is a no brainier.

ascend bannerWhat are the Benefits of a Kayak Anchor Trolley System?

1. An anchor trolley is a way to not just stay in one place but to be able to stay in one place and face the direction that you want to face.

2. An anchor trolley is used so that you can fish into the wind, cross current with the wind or with the wind at your back.

3. An anchor trolley makes it much easier pulling the anchor up and allows total control for the user when anchoring in any type of water.

4. Use a kayak anchor trolley system to turn your boat around without having to take your anchor out. Click to see kayak anchor trolley system wind or water current diagram

1 arrow pointTip: 3 Kayak Accessories That Make Fishing Easier


anchor trolly kit2
Kayak AnchorTrolley Kit

How is an Anchor Trolley Constructed? 

An anchor trolley has in essence, three main parts. It has two pulleys, a rope, and a ring. The ring is attached to the rope and the rope runs through the pulleys. Once in place, you are able to attach an anchor or more specifically, the anchor rope to the ring and use the rope to slide it forward and back along the side of the kayak to adjust your anchoring point. This is especially important when you are fishing on larger bodies of water or water that has current.

Trolly system diagram
diagram by


Cool Ways People Use an Anchor Trolley

anchor robe BPS
Bass Pro Shops Twisted Nylon Anchor Line

There are some people who even utilize an anchor trolley on both sides of a kayak to pin an anchor in the front and pin and anchor in the back, which holds them virtually in one single place. If you're fishing in shallow water, you can replace your anchor with what's called a stake out pole. Many times these are long garden spikes or push poles with a pointed end that you can drive into the lake bottom to hold you in place.

An anchor trolley allows you to stay in one specific spot but also it allows you to be safer when you're on the water by using a carabiner clip to attach your anchor rope to the ring on the anchor trolley. If for some reason your anchor rope gets stuck, you can detach the anchor rope.

Another cool thing that a lot of people do is put a float on the end of their anchor rope near the carabiner, which if you get into a bad spot and have to detach your anchor rope, you don't lose your rope and all of your anchor, it allows you to detach it, the float floats the end of the rope, you can move around to a different angle, pick up the anchor rope by hand and then try to wedge the anchor if for some reason, it gets stuck.

1 arrow pointTip: How to Get Your Kayak Fishing Ready


Waterways to Use or Not Use a Kayak Anchor Trolley

One of the only places I don't really recommend using anchors all that often is in rivers with swift moving current. There are too many places that you can get hung up and flip a boat and bad things can happen. There are certain types of anchors that are very specific for river fishing and I would encourage you to look into those. For general lake kayak fishing, small current situations, or windy situations, an anchor with a detachable rope is a pretty good bet. If you've ever wanted to fish in one particular spot and the wind was bothering you, an anchor trolley could definitely be the answer to less stressful times on the water.

Kayak anchor trolley system.

anchor trolley diagram3


Tagged under Read 30424 times Last modified on May 3, 2019
Chris Payne

Chris Payne has been kayak fishing since 2003 and has made just about every kayak angling mistake in the book. He uses his company Crooked Creek Media to share knowledge (and his mistakes) through several different avenues including Kayak Bass Fishing Magazine, a free online digital magazine and the Kayak Fishing Blog, a website dedicated to unbiased reviews, how –tos and adventures in kayaks.

You can find Chris most often doing seminars at Bass Pro Shops, on the water at demo days or fishing with family and friends. He loves freshwater, saltwater, fly and conventional fishing as long as the fish love to fight. He’s available for questions via email at

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