It’s challenging to anchor a kayak without a trolley system. Without it, you would have to find a way to attach the anchor rope to an object in your boat. If you’re thinking about tying the rope to the watercraft’s seat, expect the kayak to tip over while you’re still in it.
Thus, it’s paramount to choose the best kayak anchor trolley. The right kayak anchor trolley kit provides easy anchoring to either side of the watercraft. Furthermore, it should significantly reduce the likelihood of the kayak tipping over.
Still, it can be a daunting task to search for the best anchor trolley kit for kayak if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully, you’re here right now as I show you the top-rated kayak anchor trolley systems on today’s market.
Table of Contents
Best Kayak Anchor Trolley Reviews
1. H2O Kayaks Anchor Trolley Kit
Opening this list of the best anchor trolleys for fishing kayaks is this model from H2O Kayaks. This kit comes with everything needed to build the system. It has aluminum tri-fold rivets, stainless steel screws, marine-grade loc nuts, and a zig zag cleat, to name a few of the items in the set.
At first, I planned on using this trolley kit with a conventional grapnel kayak anchor. But, I also tested it with a drift chute, and its performance didn’t drop.
The whole system is easy to use. I would even go as far as to say that even complete beginners in the kayaking world will have no problem using this product. Even the installation is fairly easy. Plus, it comes with detailed instructions, which is always a welcoming gesture.
The kit’s design also makes room for customizations. For instance, I found that I can introduce a bungee in the fitting if and when I decide to install that piece. But for now, I can make use of the trolley’s cord, which offers a relatively straightforward tensioning process.
Once the kayak is in the water, I didn’t find any significant issues with this trolley kit. Angling the watercraft in relatively any direction I wished was an easy experience, which allowed me to set up the perfect position for catching fish.
2. YakGear AK1 Deluxe Anchor Trolley Kit
This deluxe anchor trolley kit provides more than the average level of value for its users. For one thing, its performance exceeds expectations as adjusting the kayak as per wind and current directions is a straightforward endeavor.
This model involves a stainless steel pulley system. The different components, including the zig zag cleat, are made from this material. Hence, I can expect to use this system for several weeks, thanks to its superior durability.
Furthermore, stainless steel doesn’t rust. Hence, I won’t worry about this issue from the excess moisture it contracts from many kayaking expeditions.
As with other great kayak anchor trolley kits, this model is both easy to install and use. Slight modifications are also available to users who wish to enhance their overall experiences with this kit. As for me, I decided to add an aluminum cam jam to make tension adjustments quicker and easier.
Maintenance is also a breath of fresh air for this system. When I’m not using it, tightening it up is easy. This level of flexibility promotes improved longevity, which means I get more value from the money I spent to own this trolley system.
3. YakAttack AMS-1003 Anchor Trolley
It’s safe to say that kayakers fear losing their anchors and trolley systems while they’re out in open waters, and I’m one of those folks. Thankfully, I can now have peace of mind, thanks to the optimal security brought by this deluxe anchor trolley system.
The highlight of this kit is the LeverLoc line clamp. With it, the trolley line locks in place with a flip of a switch. This component takes advantage of a PadHook design, which, as its name implies, combines a hook and pad eye to keep the trolley secure.
When not in use, this system’s trolley ring snaps into the line clamp. Thus, both the anchor and kayak stay secure until redeployment.
As for its design, this model makes it possible for relatively any anchor, stake, or drift chute to use. It also means that there are virtually no compatibility issues with this kit.
Moving forward, this kit has 35 ft. of paracord, which is slightly lengthier than what other systems have to offer. In contrast, other competing models only have 30 ft. of rope length.
The pulleys also allow the paracord to smoothly glide, reducing friction and fraying issues. The convenience they offer is also top-notch as I didn’t have to break a sweat in trying to re-angle my anchor to a better position.
4. YYST Anchor Trolley System
It might seem that a high quality anchor trolley kit could not exist in the budget-friendly price category. Yet, here’s this complete system from YYST.
As mentioned above, this anchor trolley system is a must-have for tight budgets. But, the brand does not skimp on the necessities as it has every necessary component to create a smooth anchor trolley mechanism for kayaks.
Further, this kayak and canoe anchor trolley system has been made with fishing in mind. Remember, kayak fishing requires the vessel to remain steady, which means that watercraft shouldn’t move too much.
Thankfully, relatively every procedure from the installation to its use is easy. Keep in mind I wasn’t expecting it to excellently perform after seeing its price tag. But, those woes were destroyed by the magnificent performance as shifting anchor positions is a breeze.
The convenience this kit brings is even above and beyond as I can now keep my anchor line in the water while keeping both hands away from the paddle. Thus, I can now use my free hands to operate the kayak without fidgeting all over the vessel.
Additionally, the pulleys come with durable stainless steel constructions, promoting excellent lifespans. These components also have nylon sheaves to improve their durability aspects further.
5. Hobie 72020073 Anchor Trolley Kit
At first, I wondered why many kayakers would want to get their hands on this trolley kit. After experiencing it first-hand, I found great pleasure in using this system, primarily because of the versatility it offers.
Installation of this trolley kit is possible from either side of the water vessel. Once installed, it does a superb job in keeping the watercraft stable all the time, especially when paired with a top-notch anchor.
In contrast, most trolley kits on the market would only allow anchor deployments on the kayak’s stern or bow. But, this model allows anchor deployment in the middle of the vessel. So, I can fine-tune the anchor’s position to spread the stress across different locations on my kayak.
This kit’s design also makes it possible to fit almost all kayak models. However, it’s not compatible with inflatable ones.
As for the rope’s length, it is reasonably long. It was just enough to fit the kayak end-to-end.
Kindly note that this is a “No Holes” model, which means there’s no drilling involved in the installation process. Still, the entire kit holds well and keeps all connected parts secure.
6. Vibe Kayaks Anchor Trolley Kit
Kayak fishing at night became easier and safer with this anchor trolley kit. This model separates itself from the rest of the market by using reflective materials on its rope. The high visibility it brings promotes safety while catching fish in the dark.
The system also holds well in different current and wind scenarios. My kayak anchor’s line held strong while tied to the kit’s zig zag cleat. I’m even surprised by how the vessel remained stable during a fairly windy fishing trip.
As for the pulleys, these are made with hard plastic. I would prefer them to have aluminum, steel, or stainless steel constructions. But, the material is reasonably durable and didn’t introduce frays to the rope.
Then, there’s the installation process, which is one of the easiest I encountered as far as anchor trolley systems go. The package also comes with detailed instructions. Plus, all the necessary hardware is included. Although, I find the screws to be a little suspect as they seem quite fragile. I decided to replace them with sturdier models instead.
7. YakAttack LeverLoc Anchor Trolley
This trolley system is one of the best, if not the best kit to adjust a kayak anchor’s position, regardless of the current weather condition.
Although I don’t recommend kayak fishing in harsh weather, I can rely on this HD anchor trolley system to keep my anchor and water vessel secure. Its performance is beyond my expectations. Its straightforward design with the LeverLoc system provides ease of use and reduced risks of issues.
Moreover, this system performed well with different anchor types. I tested it with a grapnel anchor, stake-out pole, and drift chute, and the results were nothing short of superior.
Keep in mind that I ran these tests while fishing in 15 to 20 mph winds in marshy waters. Despite these fairly strong winds, the anchor steadily held onto the kayak and anchor.
Moving forward, I wasn’t a fan of the plastic components. But, in this model’s case, I had no complaints. This choice of material allowed the kit to stay reasonably lightweight. Also, I found the plastic material to be quite useful in preventing long-term degradation.
8. FAYUE Kayak Anchor Trolley Kit
This anchor trolley kit joins the ranks of the best of its kind because of its superb versatility. Unlike most kayak anchor trolleys, this model from FAYUE doubles as a dock line. The trolley line can be removed from the ring. Then, I can use it to dock the kayak onto a dock cleat.
This “two for one” system also comes at a surprisingly reasonable price point. Its list of components, plus its unique kayak docking ability, allows this product to be a definite must-have for any interested kayaker.
But, this interchangeable system isn’t this kit’s only trick. Its seamless design is a breath of fresh air, especially after seeing countless convoluted systems on the market.
This seamless approach reflects upon its installation. The pulleys are flush against my kayak as opposed to being loosely attached with a carabiner and pad eye. Further, this design choice offers the best of both worlds regarding form and function as it keeps the line tight against the watercraft.
Additionally, the stainless steel hardware and high density paracord promote superior durability better than most competing products. Also, the rope has a reflective tracer, perfect for safe kayak fishing at night.
9. Redneck Convent Kayak Anchor Trolley
This anchor trolley kit is a great choice for kayakers that don’t want to spend too much money on a trustworthy anchoring system. At its price point, this product is even less expensive than most reasonably-priced options on the market. But, don’t think for a second that this kit can’t outdo its more expensive competitors.
First, it’s built to last. The hard-wearing stainless steel hardware has a black nylon and corrosion resistant finish for maximum durability and strength. Relatively each stainless steel component toughed out the tests that I used against it, which included exposure to harsh elements, corrosive compounds, and frequent use.
Its durability-focused features don’t stop there as the paracord has a maximum breaking strength of 550 lbs. The rope can even be used to anchor a canoe on a dock.
Furthermore, the hardware meets ISO 9001:2008 standards. Please note that these guidelines state that the tool should consistently provide a customer’s needs while following statutory and regulatory requirements.
Also, this anchor trolley kit isn’t only durable but also fully functional. The pulleys have blocks featuring rotating cylinder heads. These components provide fast and smooth actions whenever I want to change the direction of the kayak’s anchor. Once I have my desired position, the zig zag cleat securely locks everything in place.
10. OceanMotion Anchor Trolley Kit
This trolley kit advertises itself as capable of effectively combat virtually any weather condition while kayaking. For the most part, those aren’t tall claims.
The hardware included in the set is hard-wearing. Further, my kayak stayed anchored despite being met with strong currents and winds. The ultra-strong paracord did its job well in supporting the weight of the anchor and water vessel. It even has a reflective tracer that promotes extra visibility in the dark.
While still on the subject of the kit’s rope, it can also double as a dock line. Therefore, I can use it to tie my kayak onto a dock cleat without needing to use an anchor line for this purpose.
I also like its flush-mounted design which negates the use of a pad eye and carabiner, unlike other models on the market.
The installation was also quite easy. I didn’t run into significant issues during the install process, partly because the manual has detailed pictures.
The manufacturer is even kind enough to include a 1-year quality guarantee. So, if my expectations were not met with this product, I wouldn’t have to worry too much.
11. Wilderness Systems Anchor Trolley
Kayaking trips are less fun when I have to take more time installing trolley systems than doing any water-related activity. Thankfully, those days are gone once I started using this trolley kit.
Wilderness Systems made it possible to produce a kayak anchor trolley that doesn’t require too much effort to install. Putting together each piece of hardware for this system to work only took me about 30 minutes to complete.
The install process has also been made easier with the help of a highly detailed instruction manual. Each step of the process even has detailed pictures that even complete beginners won’t find challenging to understand.
Another excellent touch regarding the kit’s installation is the self-sealing nuts. These components give me peace of mind, knowing that they’re flush in the holes. Hence, there’s no chance that water can leak through the hull. Plus, these nuts do not need sealant for a complete seal.
There’s also an orange reflective cord included in the package. With it, kayak fishing at night is safer.
12. Dioche Anchor Trolley Kit
Ending this list with a solid option for many kayakers is this trolley kit from Dioche. Despite it being the last item on this list, don’t think that this model is inferior to other products.
To start, it has a lightweight yet sturdy pad eye that offers excellent flexibility. I can use this component on different applications, such as securing deck lines and running shock bungee cords.
The included rope is also slightly longer than other models. Its 32-ft. length might not win awards, but the extra 2 ft. is useful for certain kayaks. Always remember that a longer rope is better than a shorter one.
Next, most of the hardware in the package has a stainless steel construction. These include the pulleys, screws, snap hook, and connecting ring. All of these components are corrosion and rust resistant. Plus, they feel hefty and durable in the hand.
Installing the kit is a fairly basic experience. In fact, I found that this entire kayak anchor trolley promotes an industry-standard design. In other words, this system is the first image that pops into my head when I’m thinking about an anchor trolley.
What to Look for When Buying Kayak Anchor Trolley
Using a kayak anchor with trolley is critical to reducing the chances of incidents while kayaking. But, don’t forget to consider the essential factors before taking money out of your wallet to purchase a particular model.
Here are the things you need to think about when shopping for an ideal kayak anchor kit:
The best trolleys should be compatible with many anchor systems for kayaks. Otherwise, you’re going to run into issues if the two systems don’t match.
Ensure that your preferred trolley fits your water vessel and anchor appropriately. If not, you can consider doing DIY changes on the kayak or trolley. If you bought the wrong model, consider researching or asking around the community to avoid getting buyer’s remorse.
Anchor Tie-Off Cleat
Consider the tie-off cleat that might be included as part of an anchor trolley kit. This component allows you to tie the anchor rope into it when docking your watercraft. Choose the correct type of cleat as it will enhance the entire kayaking experience.
Tie-off cleats come in different sizes, shapes, and styles. Many trolley kits come with cleats made of galvanized steel. This material is quite durable and can present optimal longevity as it’s generally corrosion resistant.
However, if you have the extra cash, invest in a high-grade, weather resistant cleat. That way, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your kayak will always be secure when anchored or docked.
A kayak anchor pulley system lets you switch the anchor from the stern to bow (or vice versa) without needing to disembark the water vehicle.
You can buy trolleys with plastic pulley systems if you’re on a tight budget. But, these plastic variants aren’t as sturdy as their metal or stainless steel siblings. So, consider spending the extra cash (if you can) and invest in these more durable variants for enhanced durability and peace of mind.
Also called paracords, these kayak anchor trolley parts are usually 25 to 35 ft. in length. Aside from the ropes’ lengths, don’t forget to take note of their materials. Moreover, check online reviews to see if the ropes fray from a few uses. If they do, think about having spares ready in case your trolley system’s current paracord gives out.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Aside from the essential factors mentioned above, there are other things you should consider while buying a kayak anchor trolley. These are:
Ease of Installation
Is the kayak anchor trolley install process easy? Will it give you a rough time? If it’s the former, you’re one step closer to purchasing that model. Otherwise, if it’s the latter, think about choosing another trolley system.
The trolley system you choose should have a relatively straightforward installation. Some kits have detailed instructions to help guide users in completing the procedure. But, some models don’t have manuals, which means you may have to rely on instinct or the Internet. Further, kits that don’t have instruction manuals are generally more difficult to install than those with guides.
Consider your level of expertise before choosing a specific trolley system. If you think you can handle installing a kit without a manual, then, by all means, proceed with that purchase. On the other hand, read the product’s description first to ensure you’re getting a manual from the kit.
Most trolley kits on the market come with complete sets of accessories. But, some trolley systems may lack a few items, which can result in separate purchases. Avoid this issue by ensuring that your kit comes with all the necessary items from the start.
For many shoppers, the price of the product is a large determining factor if they would proceed with the purchase or not.
You can definitely find kayak anchor trolleys in the budget-friendly price range. But, don’t forget to consider other essential factors during your decision-making process. Always remember that price isn’t a clear determinant for quality as some reasonably-priced kits may outperform their more expensive counterparts.
Also, don’t overspend; it might be tempting to purchase the most expensive trolley system on the market. However, you may not have enough extra money for other important kayaking gear.
Once you consider these factors, you should arrive at a decision to purchase the correct kayak anchor trolley that offers the best value for your hard-earned cash.
What is a Kayak Anchor Trolley?
A trolley system allows kayakers to move the anchor from bow to stern or vice versa. This process may require the watercraft to be docked, especially in strong currents. It’s possible to use a kayak anchor trolley DIY. But, consider using a system made by a reliable brand to experience optimal safety during kayaking trips.
How Does it Work?
A kayak’s anchor trolley has, in general, three main parts: the rope, ring, and two pulleys. The rope goes through the pulleys, whereas the ring connects to the rope.
Once these items are in place, it’s now possible to attach the anchor to the trolley. Specifically, the anchor rope will be tied to the ring. Then, using the rope, the anchor will slide forward and back to the preferred side of the kayak. The result is an adjustment to the anchoring point.
Aside from that conventional way of using an anchor trolley, some people use the system beyond its ordinary means. For example, the anchor trolley helps the kayak stay in one place. But, the watercraft can be more stable by attaching a carabiner clip to the anchor rope. Then, attach the rope to the trolley’s ring. So, if the rope snags into something and is difficult to retrieve, you can detach the anchor rope to free your water vessel.
What are the Different Types of Kayak Anchor Trolleys?
Generally, kayak anchor trolleys follow industry-standard designs. This means that most trolley systems should be compatible with different kayaks.
But, some unique models exist on the market. If you happen to stumble upon one, don’t forget to check the owner’s manual to know the proper installation process.
However, you need to check the compatibility between the anchor and the trolley. The common types of anchors compatible with standard trolley systems are grapnel folding, river, and claw anchors.
Why do You Need Anchor Trolley Kit for Kayak? (Benefits)
Kayaking, for the most part, requires a comfortable, relevant, and sustainable anchored position. To achieve this objective, you need the ideal weather condition, reasonably stable tide movements, and an anchor trolley.
But, you might still be wondering why you should need this system. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t use your kayak anchor without trolley:
- Say Goodbye to Multiple Anchor Cleats
Some kayakers, particularly beginners, may think that having one anchor cleat is ideal to bring more stability to the watercraft. However, adding more cleats is necessary to offer significant stability, especially if you aren’t using an anchor trolley.
Although multiple anchor cleats may still deliver extra stability, albeit only up to a certain degree, one reliable anchor trolley system should be all you need to experience the desired results.
- Offers Positioning Flexibility
Kayak anchor trolleys provide kayakers with anchor positioning flexibility. Without this system, you would have to dock the water vessel, change the anchor’s position by removing and reinstalling it, before you can go back to your expedition. As you might have guessed, the entirety of that process wastes valuable time and effort.
Instead, a good trolley kit allows you to change the anchor’s position on-the-fly. This is crucial in certain situations, such as abrupt changes in currents and wind directions.
- Superior Compatibility
Most industry-standard trolley kits are compatible with most anchors. Therefore, compatibility tends to be a non-issue when pairing trolleys with anchors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Most Trusted Kayak Anchor Trolley Brands?
Several trustworthy kayak anchor trolley brands exist on the market. But, what companies stand above the rest?
One brand worthy of being part of the best of the best is H2O. Also called H2O Kayaks, this recreational paddle sports equipment company has been offering high quality products for over a decade.
Another example is YakGear. For this company, it prides itself in following certain rules that inspire the business’ workforce to continue providing top-notch products to customers. Some of these rules include “trust the experts,” “put your best face forward,” and “live in the moment.”
Next, there’s YakAttack, LLC. It is with humble beginnings, perseverance, and a lot of dedication that this company grew from selling kayak fishing gear from a garage to a well-known business in the industry.
Then there’s Hobie, which is a business offering unique yet quality lifestyle-based water products since 1950. Headquartered in California, the Hobie Cat Company supplies water enthusiasts with first-rate items like pedalboards, fishing boats, kayaks, and kayak accessories.
Other superb companies to watch out for are Vibe, Redneck Convent, and Wilderness Systems. Kindly note that some trusted kayak anchor trolley brands are not on this list. Still, you can find more credible companies in the water activity sector.
How Do You Anchor a Trolley on a Kayak?
Although it might look complicated to attach an anchor to a kayak trolley, it does not require one to be a rocket scientist to complete the installation. For most trolley systems, you only need to feed the line of the anchor’s side through the cleat. The anchor tether should hang next to the cleat. Then, all that’s left to do is to attach the anchor.
What Side Does the Anchor Trolley Go On?
The answer to that question is, “it depends.” Ask yourself the following question before installing your kayak anchor trolley: Which side do I find comfortable?
The general rule of thumb is that you should feel comfortable on the ideal side when handling your anchor line. Also, consider if you’re right- or left-handed, as this factor will help enhance your overall kayaking experience.
How Do You Install Anchor Trolley?
Before proceeding with the installation, make sure to check your owner’s manual. See if there are special instructions you need to follow to complete the install process properly.
With that out of the way, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you install a kayak anchor trolley:
Step 1: Gather the right tools, which should include a drill (with the appropriate bits), a Philips head screwdriver, and waterproof silicone.
Step 2: Place the kayak anchor pulley system on the kayak. Mark the location of the trolley system and ensure that it’s above the waterline and it is 10 inch from the watercraft’s front.
Step 3: Apply a small amount of waterproof silicone to the pulley’s hole. Then, lightly screw the first screw into the hole.
Step 4: Use the first screw to rotate the pulley. Drill a second hole afterwards.
Step 5: Apply another dab of silicone to the screw before inserting it into the new hole.
Step 6: Repeat steps 2 to 4 on the kayak’s rear, ensuring that the pulleys are still in a line.
Step 7: Mount the cleat or lever loc in a convenient location on the kayak. Drill holes with the cleat as a guide and apply silicone to the screws before screwing these components in place.
Step 8: Thread the cordage and make sure it’s through the pulleys’ top. Tie one end of the cord using an overhand knot and place it on the ring.
Step 9: Tightly pull the other end of the cord. Lock it in place with another overhand knot.
Step 10: Place the pad eye on both the front and rear ends of the kayak. Split the distance between the two pulleys afterward. Use a bit of silicone to seal all the screws.
Step 11: Do a final check to see if every part of the trolley system moves freely. Also, make sure that you can lock the anchor in place with the cleat.
How to Care and Maintain?
There are numerous ways to ensure that your kayak anchor trolley is working at peak performance. Here are some tips you should consider following to care and maintain for the system:
- Replace the rope once it starts fraying. The loose threads can cause more frays, which can become precursors to more issues.
- Reapply waterproof silicone to the screws if they feel loose.
- Cover the trolley system after each use so it doesn’t attract wear and tear from UV rays.
- Remove debris on the kit while the kit is docked. Things like saltwater and seaweed can deteriorate the structural integrity of some trolley components over time.
Where to Buy?
You can either purchase an anchor trolley kit from a physical store or an online shop. Either way, you need to consider some factors before making your ultimate decision.
If you’re purchasing from a physical establishment, ensure that the store’s salespeople have the necessary expertise to help you with your purchase. The last thing you would want is for a salesperson to recommend the wrong item.
Further, don’t forget to check the quality of the items in the kit before finalizing the purchase. Feel the contents; make sure that they feel sufficiently sturdy to warrant excellent longevity.
However, if you’re going to buy the kit online, read the product’s description first. Then, search for online reviews on that product. Make sure that you’re going to gain value from the upcoming purchase. You don’t want to make the mistake of buying the wrong trolley system for your fishing kayak.
Remember, a little research can go a long way. Also, follow the adage, “haste makes waste.” If you don’t do proper research or are too hasty with your decisions, you will most likely experience issues with the product.
By now, you should have a better idea as to which anchor trolley system for fishing kayaks to purchase.
Remember, choose only the best kayak anchor trolley according to your preferences and requirements. Use a kit that falls short in providing excellent features, and you’re likely to experience issues with the product.
But, if you want to follow my suggestion, I recommend the FAYUE or Redneck Convent’s model. The kayak anchor trolleys offered by these brands promote top-notch designs, constructions, and functionalities that beat many of their competitors.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.