Fishing success depends on your method of slowing or stopping your kayak. There are many techniques and different ways to control your drift or stop your kayak in an optimal spot to present baits to unsuspecting fish. There are many contributing factors that play out in what the best way to slow or stop your kayak. Below I'll discuss some ways in which kayak anglers slow or anchor their yaks.
The Anchor: Used by boaters since forever, the anchor is the universal device that yak anglers use to stop and position their kayaks. These anchors can be danforth style, grapnel, mushroom, claw, lead balls, or a dumbbell tied to some rope. Typical weights range from 1lb. to 10lbs. Anglers adjust the length of line they use to the typical areas that they fish. A normal low end length is 25 ft. and some use anchor lines as long as 75 ft.
The lines are usually 3/8" polymer rope that is typically found in hardware or boating stores. Some use 4 or 5 mm braided line for it's strength and compact features. The anchor is the preferred method when fishing in waters over 7 ft. deep.
The Stake Out Pole: Just what the name says, a pole that you stake out to stop your kayak. These poles made a profound acceptance in the kayak fishing world approximately about 10 years ago and have grown into a specialized piece of gear. Yak anglers use many items to make DIY (do it yourself) SOP's (stake out poles) like: dowel rods, brooms, PVC, metal conduit, fiberglass rods, tent poles, etc. There are many companies that make a specialized SOP that incorporate versatility for the angler. YakAttack's Park N' Pole can be used as a stake out pole, push pole, camera mount, or for lure retrieval. One paddle company even has a paddle that converts into a SOP. The SOP is a very effective way of anchoring/ stopping your kayak for ease of use and it's inherent stealth capabilities. Best used in soft sand and muddy type bottoms, can be moderatly difficult to secure effectively in sand.
Drift Chute: aka - drift sock. A drift chute is made from varying material in the shape of a cone that, when deployed, slows down your drift rate by causing resistance to your kayaks speed. Drift chutes are effective when fishing while drifting. If the wind is strong and you drift too fast to fish productively, you deploy the drift chute and it will slow your drift speed.
Drag Chain: Yep, it's a chain that you drag behind your kayak to cause it to slow down. This method is used mainly by river kayak anglers. The size and length of your chain and your kayak weight will dictate your rate of drift with the river/ creek flow. Many drift chain users have the drift chain coated with plastic material to dampen the sounds that it may make when it drags across rocks. Some anglers opt to drag a window sash weight (or something similar) in lieu of a chain. The drag chain is controlled by attaching a retractable dog leash for ease of deployment and retrieval.
Many anglers have specialized techniques that work for them and their conditions. Use different methods that will allow you to control and stop your kayak for your conditions to better enhance your kayak fishing experience.