How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley


As a kayak fisherman, you never know how long you need to maintain your position on the flowing water. In such a scenario, you should know how to install a kayak anchor trolley – it will be of tremendous help to you and your level of success on the water! Not familiar with anchor trolleys? Check out our kayak anchor trolley ultimate guide!

In this guide, I’ll tell you how to use a kayak anchoring system to hold your position even in the swiftest of currents and strongest of winds! Oh, and don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with kayak anchors – we have ranked The 5 Best Kayak Anchors for you!

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley – Overview:

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My overall objective here is to keep the information concise and make this post a one-stop-shop for you for everything you could possibly want to know about buying and installing a kayak anchor trolley. 

I have divided this entire post into a series of small subsections for your convenience and so you can reach your desired information without wasting time! The quicker you get to the info you are looking for – the quicker you are on the water!

In the sections below, you’ll get to learn the basics associated with the use of an anchor trolley – What is it? What is it used for? How does it work? And so on. After this section, there is an instructional checklist that will walk you through the exact steps required to learn how to install a kayak anchor trolley!

After that, you’ll find a list of important features that you must keep in mind when buying a kayak trolley. This list will transform you into a knowledgable buyer and you’ll be able to separate the “best” from the “rest” in no time flat!

To assist you further, I’ve included a link to what I feel is the best kayak anchor trolley on today’s market. By no means is this the ONLY high quality model of kayak trolley – but it is clearly one of the best of the best and has suited me very well – perhaps it could be a good fit for you too! 

In the next section, titled “My Experience”, I’ll review this particular kayak anchor trolley and will list down some of its pros and cons. I like learning from “pro” and “con” lists, I hope you don’t think its too cheesy!

Parts of a Kayak Anchor

Parts of a Kayak Anchor

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley – Basics:

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Shortcut to the Best Kayak Anchor Trolley Review

A good quality kayak anchor trolley allows you to move your anchor freely from the stern towards the bow and back. It is important to anchor your kayak from one specific point depending on the water current as well as the wind direction – the anchor trolley allows you to do just that! 

Also, in instances of high wind or swift currents, you will benefit from using one of the 5 best kayak outriggers to keep your balance. Not sure how to use a kayak outrigger? We have a thorough guide in this exact topic, here!

A good quality kayak anchor trolley system will enable you to release/retrieve your anchor without an issue. No special tools or or length “connect” or “disconnect” process required! It will also allow you to make an anchor point from the bow or stern of your kayak.

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

It’s a crucial tool for kayak fishermen because, regardless of level of skill or experience, because it allows them to stabilize their position in moving waters and winds. Just anchor yourself on the water and focus your energy on that big catch – the trolley system will do the rest!

The best anchor trolley system should be effortless to install. And the package needs to come with all the parts that go into the installation process. You do not, repeat DO NOT, need to waste your time with an overly complicated kayak anchor trolley system – in fact, we’ve learned that the simpler systems actually perform much better (they are also less expensive)! A true “win win” scenario!

Maintenance of your kayak anchor trolley system shouldn’t be too big of a headache either. You need to make sure that the system remains free from any mildew or mold – but that’s truthfully about all there is to it. Just clean it with warm soapy water and allow it to air dry. And the trolley system will remain functional for many years to come! Now, if only my dog was so low maintenance…

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley?

Regardless of the design of your kayak anchor trolley system, here are the primary steps that you need to follow when installing your anchor trolley.

Please remember, each kayak anchor trolley is going to be slightly different than the next – however, the general principles are the same and our checklist guide should still hold. Of course, when in doubt, be sure to consult your user’s manual!

  • Open the packing and take your anchor trolley out, including all the parts.
  • Identify all the parts in the package. 
  • Do not lose any parts! They can be quite small and you’ll want to keep track of each and every one!
  • There will be a ring along with a rope, and some eye loops.
  • Find the instructions manual and go through the important points mentioned in it.
  • Take the eye loops and connect them directly to the hull of your kayak. 
  • They need to go near the edges of the kayak where the loops are present.
  • Take the rope and pass it through the ring and the loops; confirm that all the hooks and loops are in place. 
  • Keep the rope in a free movement to avoid issues in adjusting your anchor’s position.
  • Use all your deck loops along with the keeper hooks to make sure the rope doesn’t have a lot of tension or weight.
  • To further ease the system and its working, you can add the pulley right at your kayak’s stern. 
  • This pulley will absorb vibrations and shocks in a pretty significant way.
  • Don’t forget to connect your anchor line with the kayak’s cleat!
  • Also, take this line through the ring to keep it secure.
  • Now move your trolley line and check to see if something is breaking the free flow of the movement. 
  • Move it back and forth, and this movement needs to be smooth. 
  • With too much friction, the rope or any other parts may become damaged.
  • You must loosen this movement before you take your kayak out on the water.

Side Note: Some kayak fishermen, usually the older ones, like to paddle to maintain their position on the water – instead of using a kayak anchor trolley. For those fishermen, we suggest that you look into getting a top of the line kayak paddle for adults – it will make the paddling much easier! Also, update your kayak fishing skills by learning How to Use a Kayak Paddle Leash!

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley- Important Features:

Each kayak trolley system is designed differently, and you might need some assistance from the instructions manual that comes with your purchase.

However, the process itself remains similar, and the difference will likely only be in the aesthetics and designs. A properly designed anchor trolley system shouldn’t take much time to install, but you still need to pay attention to what you are doing!

Here are some important features that you need to consider before buying a kayak anchor trolley that you’ll want to be happy with for many fishing seasons to come!

Easy-to-Use Design

The design of the kayak anchor trolley system should be straightforward. You don’t need anything fancy here. Just like a kayak paddle holder, the simplest designs are often best!

Of course, with experience, you can look for those more advanced designs too, but it is better to keep things simple. It is because a simple design isn’t going to take much time to set up and, at the end of the day, is going to perform just as well!


As you are going to use this trolley system on your kayak, it will be exposed to external elements (water, temperature swings, UV light, etc).

Therefore, it needs to be made of materials that can withstand these exposures involving water and sunlight. Just make sure that the trolley system is very easy to clean and maintain. Standing up to the elements and relative ease of maintenance = two very important factors!

Positioning Flexibility

One of the most important features of a kayak anchor trolley system is its positioning flexibility. You should be able to change your positions and easily maintain them as well.

If you know the wind and water are going to flow in the same direction, then you might not need much positioning flexibility. However, the longer your are on the water, the more likely it is that conditions will change on you and you’ll need to be able to adapt with ease!

Anchor Compatibility

This is sometimes overlooked, but the kayak anchor trolley system needs to be compatible with the anchor too, of course.

Most of the trolley systems in this range are compatible with silicone or rubber anchors. Depending upon the weight and size of your fishing kayak, you can also go with metal anchors. Just choose the right type accordingly.

Stern Design Compatibility

The compatibility of your anchor trolley system with your stern design is critical too.

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

Now, various kayaks have ranging stern designs, and trolley systems differ in their respective ways. It’s all about reducing the tension in the rope for excellent support and flexibility.

Buy the Best Kayak Anchor Trolley

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If you are looking for the best kayak anchor trolley, then you don’t need to look any further – at least in my educated and experienced opinion!

The kayak anchor trolley that we’ve showcased above is the right choice! It has all the features that I have discussed above, and I’ll highlight them in the following text as well just for your skeptics out there!

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

The pulleys (which you can see in the image above) are built by a high quality third party manufacturer. These are the best pulleys when we talk about durability and performance – that’s why the designer of this system incorporated them into their engineering!

Just keep in mind the bow of your kayak. Do you see how you can easily navigate it into the current according to your requirements? The pulleys and cleats are key features that work together to allow for this!

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

There are zig-zag cleats in this system (also shown in the image above), and they are critical in helping you maintain a stable position according to the water current and/or wind direction.

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

Don’t worry – you can also go through the instructions manual if you need any guidance. We found the instructions to be very easy to follow and, frankly, between them and the checklist that we provided above, you won’t have any installation problems at all.

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

The package also includes a 30-foot long rope. You can use the rope on kayaks of different lengths but, just in case you need a replacement rope, you shouldn’t worry because it will be easy to find on the market.

How to Install a Kayak Anchor Trolley

The showcased model is a good quality trolley system that you can use with silicone and rubber kayak anchors. I would suggest that you NOT use a heavy metal kayak anchor – but, truthfully, the performance of the anchor trolley will be more of a function of anchor weight than anchor composition (its just that metal anchors are typically heavier)!

My Experience

I have had an excellent experience with this particular kayak anchor trolley, as I have found it very useful. Frankly, I should have bought one much sooner, but I let fears of a difficult installation get in the way! It is, however, by far the most useful anchor trolley because it is very easy to install! And trust me, I am not a handy man! 

This trolley system has VERY high quality pulleys, and these pulleys are good to handle a variety of different and challenging elements. Your package will also include a nylon rope, which is also very durable.

The triangle ring of this trolley system (a somewhat unique and specialized feature) can hold the rope (30 feet in length) in place making this system suitable for kayaks of many different weights and lengths. This trolley system is designed to be very stable, and it can absorb shocks as well.


  • There are specialized pulleys on this system, and they are very resilient.
  • When you install it properly, the system works very smoothly.
  • The zig-zag cleat keeps the rope in place.
  • There is a triangle ring to keep the line in place.
  • The instructions given in the manual are easy to follow.
  • It comes with a 30-foot long rope.
  • The mounted pulleys are raised, and they won’t scratch the surface of your kayak (which is really great if you have a customized paint job like I do).


  • This trolley system is designed for the lightweight anchor systems.
  • If you have a very heavy anchor, you probably ought to look elsewhere…


I hope my guide on how to install a kayak anchor trolley has lived up to your expectation. I have included everything you should know to ensure that you buy the right kind of anchor trolley system! If you are looking to get the best value out of your investment, then the model that I have showcased for you above – doing so will allow you to skip the research and get out on the water sooner!

This kayak anchor trolley system is the best when it comes to performance and resilience. It works very well to keep your fishing kayak in place in the flowing water, regardless of how swift the current or strong the wind! And the best part? This anchor trolley system is straightforward to install!


Were you even familiar with the kayak anchor trolley concept before you read this article? Perhaps you were, but you didn’t know how to install it? I don’t know about you, but I am seeing more and more of these AWESOME pieces of kayak fishing gear on the market recently! What about you? Please make sure to comment below and share your thoughts and experience with us! We read and reply to every comment and love interacting with the kayak fishing community!

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