If anchoring in sandy or soft bottom then I use a 5.5lb grapple style anchor. I secure the main anchor rope to the bottom of the anchor and tie 20lb monofilament to the top, holding the rope in place. That way, if the anchor gets lodge under something, I can lift up on the rope, break the monofilament and bring the anchor up by the bottom. Otherwise it would be impossible to dislodge the anchor.
I also cut the rope and tied on a heavy duty swivel so I can detach the rope easily if I want to switch out anchors. Also, the swivel helps reduce rope twists since the anchor likes to spin when pulling it up through the water.
My main is 100 feet since there are times I anchor fairly deep (30'-50'). I attached a heavy duty off-shore swivel/clip to easily attach the right anchor for the situation.
There are other styles of anchors that work well (ie: Bruce anchors), but I have not tried them yet since the grapple style has worked well for me.
I also have a small grapple style anchor that I use more to drag. It helps slow down my drift if current and/or wind is pushing my kayak too fast through the target area.
If I'm on a flat where it's less than 4 feet deep, I'll bring my stake-out pole instead of an anchor. I won one made by Hobie in last year's TKAA tourney. It's easier to handle. No rope. Just put it through your anchor trolley and stick it in the ground. Done deal.
If anchoring in rocks or an area with a lot of structure, I use a mini wreck anchor. Instead of rebar, like on the large wreck anchor for big boats, these have thin flexible stainless steel rods. For those that are in the Tidewater, VA area, they are available at Ocean's East 2. The guy that introduced me to these awesome anchors works there. Ask Kayak Kevin about the "piling huggers" special set up.
They may look small and perhaps too thin to hold in fast current, but I was very surprised to find that they held well and they were very easy to recover also.
like to have my rope coiled under my leg so it's easy to disperse. I used to keep it wrapped around something but it took up room, became cumbersome, and this was just easier. When I recover the anchor, the rope ends up in a coil there anyway.
I always send my anchor rope to one end of the kayak or the other. I rarely anchor up to the side. It can quickly become disastrous in fast current. Also I like to attach a buoy (piece of a fat pool noodle) outside the anchor trolley clip, so just in case I need to release my anchor line because of emergency or to chase an epic fish, it's quick and easy. For more information about how I rigged my anchor trolley and cleats visit Rigging an Ocean Kayak Trident 13.
I hope this helps. Tight lines and be safe!
About the Author: Rob Choi is an avid kayak angler from the Chesapeake Bay area in Virginia and a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com. He has earned a reputation among the locals as the fish junkie with reckless abandon to logic, time, and societal norms in his pursuit for the "tug that is the drug". He shares his love of the sport through his blog www.angling-addict.com.