What’s The Best Kind of Anchor For You?

Whether you paddle a kayak or like to fish out of a bass boat, choosing the right anchor is essential to ensure your craft doesn’t drift. Here’s how to choose the right anchor for all sorts of small craft

man leaning on boat anchor
Make sure you pick the right size anchor for the kind of boat you use.Lucas Favre/Unsplash

Being on the water is always a blast, but when the breeze blows and your kayak or boat begins to drift, it can be a hassle, particularly if you’re right on top of where the fish are biting. One answer, obviously, is an anchor of some kind, but how do you know which anchor to buy and how much does it need to weigh?

For Kayaks, Canoes and Paddleboards

Extreme Max anchor
This kit contains a 3 ½-pound anchor—perfect for holding smaller craft like jet skis and canoes.Extreme Max

Craft this size don't need a very heavy anchor, but you want a design that's going to hold tight and not drag along the bottom. Grapple designs are a good choice for weedy or coral bottoms as they hold well and the flukes fold down for easy stowage. Anchors in the 3-pound range should do the trick for paddleboards, jet skis and kayaks. Having a marker buoy on the end of the anchor line is a nice option as you can leave your anchor behind, knowing that it will be right there (and easy to find) when you return.

For 15-Foot Boats

Silver anchor
The slip-ring shank on this anchor makes disengaging your anchor from the bottom a lot easier when it comes time to change locations.Amazon

Larger bass or flats boats in the 15- to 19-foot range will need an anchor that weighs 10 to 15 pounds depending on the anchor's design. You'll also want to shop for anchors with flukes as they hold well in a wider variety of bottom types. Add 5 to 10 feet of chain and 7/16-inch nylon rope with lots of scope, and you won't need to worry about your boat drifting.

For Larger Boats

Marine Now Anchor
When chain and at least 100-feet of rope are added, anchors like this in the 13-pound range are perfect for boats up to 20 feet.Amazon

Larger craft, like pontoon boats in the 19- to 20-foot range, generally have more super structure (and canopies) above the waterline that can really catch the wind. Here you'll want to consider a much larger anchor (this one weighs 13 pounds) as well as at least 6 feet of chain and 100 feet of nylon rope, so you have plenty of scope. Kits like this are handy to buy because you get everything in one tidy package.