How To Use An Anchor On A Raft

There are a myriad of accessories, tools, and gear you can add to a fishing raft to make it as efficient as possible while on the river. Different frame set ups, options for seats, dry boxes, rod storage, even cup holders are available. There are so many options and ways to customize your raft. Today, we’ll talk about anchors and how to use them while anchoring a raft.

Photo: Calvin Connor

Why would you need an anchor on a raft? Rafts are easily enough to pull over to the side of the river and then pull up on the bank. This system works, but none too well. The raft could easily work loose from the bank and float away. If you’re a fisherman, anchoring a raft makes a lot of sense. You can stop the boat when and where you want it in the river. This is perfect for working a pod of fish or a juicy looking run.

There’s a couple of things to keep in mind when anchoring a raft.


Anchoring a raft (or any boat for that matter) in fast water is never a good idea. When the boat stops in deep, fast water the back can dig down with the anchor rope, causing water to flood in and the boat to capsize. While this isn’t a huge deal with a self bailing raft, it’s still never a situation you want to be in.

Never anchor a raft in fast, deep water. It’s also much more difficult to pull the anchor back up in those conditions.


Most raft anchor system are integrated into the frame. This allows the anchor to hang off the midline of the raft, and you won’t swing side to side when you’re anchored. The anchor is controlled by a pull rope that runs along the frame to the rower’s seat. Often, a cleat is used to secure the rope and keep the anchor up.

Always make sure the anchor rope is secure before heading into rapids or rough water. If it’s not secure and locked in place the rope could slip with a jolt, a misplaced foot or other gear and drop anchor when you least want it. It’s not a bad idea to place the anchor in the raft if you know rougher water is ahead.


When anchoring a raft, the best method is to row over to the shore, and drop anchor in relatively shallow, slow-moving water. This lets your anchor grab, and the slow water won’t produce much drag once your anchor is set.

When you’re fishing and looking to work a pod of rising trout or hit a good run, just keep an eye out for easy places to pull over. While rowing always be looking downstream and looking ahead to see what’s coming. Keep an eye out for easy and safe places to anchor up.


When you do drop anchor, give a couple powerful backstrokes. This slows the raft down and allows the anchor the set. Sometimes if the current is strong enough it can take a couple moments to stop, and back rowing can help speed things along.

When you’re ready to cast off again, keep your oars close and ready for action. Pull the anchor up as quickly as you can, since once it’s up and off the bottom the raft will start moving. You need to get it up, secure the anchor, and get back on the oars as quickly as possible.

All of our raft rentals are set up for fishing, and have an anchor system with them. We think being able to anchor a raft is an essential part of the fishing experience. Book one for your summer trip today!


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