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Picture Of The Month

Rockfish on the fly with Drifter2007

Submitted by Zee

A forum thread discussing this article is here.

I'd tried drifting a few rivers this fall and I quickly realized that without a properly rigged drift anchor things could be dangerous very quickly. So based on a few other friend's designs I decided to make a drift anchor rig for my Malibu X-Factor.

To finish this project you only really need some basic tools. If you use steel of course you'll need some special ones so that's why I've chosen aluminum. It's strong enough for the job but still easy enough to fabricate with tools most of us have.

Shopping list:

1 Bar of metal (aircraft aluminum, steel, or other non-corrosive metal)

1 Lead Block (pulley)

2-4 Fairleads (guides for anchor rope)

2 Stainless steel eye screws

1 Cam/jam cleat (secures anchor line to yak)

Set of stainless nuts & bolts for all hardware

First you've got your block of raw metal (12" X 3" X 3/8") that has some sharp edges that need to be taken care of. I used a dremel with a grinder attachment and ground the edges down smooth. After it was all smoothed out I went all around the entire block again with some sandpaper to give it a nice finish. I next placed the block on the kayak and measured out where I needed to drill holes to attach it. One thing to watch out for here is to hold your drift anchor where it would hang and make sure it's not pressed against the hull and also that it's not going to be dragging in the water.

I next counter sunk into the bar to make room for the washers. This isn't a necessary step but I wanted to keep it all smooth and make it look cool too. Grin I think the bit I used is originally intended to be used for wood but the aluminum was soft enough so worked out ok. Next I drilled all the holes in the opposite end to attach the anchor pulley and hole for the anchor line. I counter sunk the hole for the anchor line so that there wouldn't be any sharp edges that might frey the line. Finally I gave the bar a few coats of flat black spray paint. Most aircraft aluminum has about 4-5% copper in it so it's probably a good idea to protect it. And why flat black? Because it's rock n' roll! Evil

Then attach your fairleads and cam/jam cleat to the yak and you're all done!

Before you do get on the river make sure that you understand some basics of river dynamics and where & where not to anchor.

Material for this project were purchased from the following sources:.

Pulley, Fairleads, and Jam Cleat: www.seattlemarine.net & www.westmarine.com

Metal: www.onlinemetals.com

Nuts & bolts: www.ballardhardware.com