I fish solo a lot. 20’ Thunderjet in the Lower Columbia in current that requires up to 24 oz of lead to keep a simple wobbler on the bottom in depths 35-65’. The bottom is mostly sand but there’s some hard pan in a couple Kalama spots I Regularly fish. The fault of many rocker anchors is their tines are too skinny and drag easily.
I like the 1/2” anchor rope. It’s not uncommon for me to drop and pull anchor 3+ times during a Tide, especially during the heart of the season and I’m the first one there in the dark and am trying to drop exactly In The right spot (and establish the hogline for the day). Sometimes it’s three -four pulls in the course of 30 minutes if my initial aim is off or the current is incoming in the dark and rain. Skinny ropes are strong enough, but they’re harder to pull and they’re much harder to un-knot — which screws up its ability to pass through most anchor pullers.
I have a heavy 8’ length of chain that sits unused in a bucket in the garage. I haven’t haven’t needed that in almost 20 years since I switched away from the popular rocker-style anchor to the much better Bruce type design.
It’s the design of the anchor that determines its holding ability. Increased weight mainly serves to tire out whoever is pulling it, making everything more dangerous with each pull. The chain mainly serves to mar up your bow and drag more gunk Into your boat & scratch feet, legs and diamond plate. If I was anchoring in a bay in Puget sound for overnight or several consecutive days with barnacle rocks below, I could see using a chain; no need in the Columbia River.
I might have 220’ of rope. I rarely use it all. No one that has their game on uses 350’ of rope at the mouths of the Lewis, Kalama or Cowlitz to hold in 50’ of water. If they do they hear about it from the neighboring boats because it takes up so much real estate and blocks others from fishing above you or requires you to block in other fishermen, restricting their egress out into the channel to fight a large fish when they release from anchor. Don’t be the guy whose anchor is so whimpy you can’t fish effectively, courteously and safely around others. You will not be welcome back there. In competitive anchor fishing with lots of congestion (late August-Sept in the better anchoring places) the goal should be to not slip back, to reduce your footprint, and manage it all quickly and easily.
The more anchor line you have out, the more trollers will snag your line, lose lures, and tell you their dissatisfaction. Also, the hogline that anchors above you will drop reasonably high enough to keep their gear out of proper anchor lines. If yours is the LONG one that goes way up under their boats, when you go to pull it, you get to come right up behind or through them to get your stuff back. They may have to pull their gear to accommodate your inadequate set up. Not a way to make friends! You will hear about it for days afterwards and or they’ll pull hogline maneuver tricks to exclude your access next time.
My anchor is 15 kg (33 lbs). It is way overkill for my current boat. It was just right for my previous, larger and heavier boat. My friends with similar boats get by fine with a 10 kg version (22 lbs.). I use a 7.5 kg version as a stern anchor.
Use a large enough ball to pull it, not a dinky volleyball sized puller that submerges as you pull it. You (and boaters around you) need to see and know where your stuff is in relation to theirs.