?using sea anchor to straighten drift

Has anyone successfully used a sea-anchor type arrangement behind an alpacka to straighten its drift in a river whilst fly fishing? I know that there’s been some discussion about tracking, but nothing in there beyond using a bucket. I have no experience with using sea-anchors for anything else. My understanding is that in filling with water, and only allowing some through, they drift more slowly than the boat, and would keep it pointed downstream.

We tried dragging the paddle at the weekend, but it just drifted along at the same speed, and didn’t do much to keep the boat in one direction. There was some potential to use it as a rudder, by tying it midshaft to the back loop as pivot point, however little room to move it from side to side.

Sea anchor sounds easy, if it would work, and could be made from silinylon, with quick release clip/knot if it got stuck. Inflation bag could easily be modified to work, but would be rather unhelpful to get it hung up on something and ripped or lost.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Andrew, I have used sea anchors in my tinny and my canoe and they work well at slowing the drift and keeping the boat at the right angle to the bank etc. I always attach a float above the sea anchore to stop it sinking which elliminates the problem of snagging the anchor. I have not tried one in the raft yet but will be trying it in the next few weeks as I have a few trips planned to a location that is often wind affected. I am not sure what would happen with a sea anchor when a decent fish is hooked? the last decent bream I got in the raft towed me in circles, out to the mid river and back again, hooks straghtened as it made a last dive for a large tree snag, all this would have been fun with a sea anchor in tow… :frowning: I have watched greatly amused as Gus (Lizardboy) was towed backwards in his raft into a log jam by a fish also.

I’ll let you know how the anchor goes, better on the bigger estuarys and lakes I would think.

Do you fish a shorterflyrod rod out of the raft?? I find I can’t get a decent strike wih a regular 9 foot rod, better on my 7 1/2 foot twig.



I made a light weight sea anchor and gave it a go whilst fishing in rather windy conditions last week.I simply tied it to the frame point on my Unrigged Explorer. It works very well at slowing the drift (roughly halves the drift rate). The other added bonus is that it stops the raft to ‘spinning’. To make the sea anchor I basically an adapted a cheap sleeping bag cram-sack, I joined the 4 straps (melted them together) and cut out the bottom, used the drawstring to form the base cone (can vary the amount of water passing through) and to also suspend a float to prevent snagging. Th float also makes retrieval a bit easier. Total cost was about $15. I intend to make a lighter weight one (Mk 2) over the christmas break when I have access to a commercial sewing machine.


Great job!

One question: Does the drawstring do the job or does the cone get bigger and bigger?

The draw string has a spring loaded stopper on it, it seems to hold when the anchor is fully loaded so far… I will do away with this on Mk 2 and sow the bag into a cone shape (like a proper sea anchor).