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October 26, 2001

Clear the Decks

Capt. Bob Rodgers uses this system to prevent the anchor of his small skiff from getting in the way.

Storing the gear necessary for anchoring a small skiff or flats boat is a necessary evil. Not only is storage space for a good-size anchor hard to find; cluttering up my decks with a lot of extra anchor line is not an option either. My flats boat has to have clean decks to allow for fly fishing; it doesn't even have a bow cleat. On top of this, because I'm pursuing large fish with light lines, I need a release float ready in case I have to chase a fish. To facilitate anchoring my skiff, whether from the bow or stern, in varying wind conditions or water depths, I've broken down my entire anchor system into component parts.
Attach your anchor and chain to a 30-foot section of half-inch anchor line with a standard shackle and splice a loop and a snap into the other end. Attach your release float to a 30-inch piece of half-inch nylon with a loop spliced into one end large enough for the float to pass through. The float is then looped into the snap end of the anchor line. To deploy the anchor, just attach the snap to your stern or bow ring. For deeper areas or when I encounter rough weather, I use an additional 40-foot section of half-inch line with a small loop spliced onto one end and a snap and loop spliced into the other. If I need the entire system to hold ground, all I need to do is unloop the release float from the short anchor line, snap the short anchor line into the loop of the long anchor line, reattach the float to the end of the long anchor line and snap the line to the bow of the boat.
By modifying the lengths of line used you can customize your own system to fit the water depths you fish most often - and always have clean decks.
Capt. Bob Rodgers
Tavernier, Florida