Born and raised in Alaska and have been commercial fishing for 20 + years, I recently started hand trolling. A friend of mine Robert Jahnke started corresponding with Bruce about adapting an Anchor Wizard into a hand gurdy. After testing the product in at his store TRAPLINE SUPPLIES, in Ketchikan. I was impressed with the smoothness, solid one piece aluminum construction and ease of use with one hand operation of the brake. The assembly is simple and trouble free.
I troll 30 lb lead all day long with very little effort, giving me more energy for fishing rather than cranking. I also used the gurdy as a downrigger for sport fishing which my wife enjoyed the easy cranking. Simply the best gurdy I have ever used.
The best Hand Gurdy Ever!
Mark E. Lundamo
I would like to take this time to thank you for your service and the quality of your product. I received it two days after the order, however my daughter thought it would be cool to try to give it to me for Fathers Days, she did not get away with it. After I got it I discovered that the workmanship on this is incredible, 1st class!! I have been shopping for a long period of time looking for the "just the right one" well I found it.
I had it installed on my boat in no time flat, it looks great and works even better.
Another plus is it's Michigan made!!!
Thank you very much,
The Anchor Wizard was exactly what we needed to land several spring Steelhead on the Big Manistee. This anchor system allows for great maneuverability; it put us right where we needed to be. No more cranking by hand, getting wet, and sore back muscles. This anchor system allows for easy stop and start flow on the river. It is a must purchase for anglers!!!
The Story of My New Anchor Wizard
OK..so where has this thing been all my 50 years of boat/fishing? I am not a mechanical kind of person, but I had the Anchor Wizard Jr., a pulley, and the tower mounted to my aluminum boat in 15 minutes. Most of that time was looking for simple tools. All it took was a drill and anything that can turn a screw or bolt depending on how you mount it. I got the clamp on Jr. which grabbed my double tube gunwale solidly with only hand turning the knobs (took 1 minute). I rolled up almost 100ft. of 124lb. work load braided rope onto the spool then headed to Bass Pro for an anchor. I can see where my Danforth anchor could fit the tower, but I wanted to try out a black coated river anchor with four blades.
I took the Anchor Wizard tower in Bass Pro with me just to make sure the river anchor I chose would fit. There was no need to, it did but it was really fun showing the tower to the young sales people and comparing it with the very small ones sold with anchor systems there. Even the greeter marveled at the tower commenting, "That is one serious piece of equipment." I tied on the 12lb anchor, reeled it up tight so it snuggled into the tower and took off for launching. While driving, the anchor was secure and all line was neatly spooled on the Jr. spool.
My first test was in the Blakely River that empties into Mobile bay. For the first drop of the anchor I went to the bow and pushed the anchor free of the tower then went back to the console, gave a slight turn to the crank and the anchor dropped slowly. I turned a little more and to the bottom it went with no backlash. The depth was 20ft. so I let all the anchor rode play out then wound it up but this time did not tighten it enough to fully grip into the tower. The anchor had set but it took very little effort to wind the boat to the anchor then pull it just by cranking the spool. It was covered in mud so I just let it drop once more a few feet into the water, reeled it up and mud was gone. I held the line, gave a little more turn and I was good to go for the next test. While running the anchor did not bang against anything.
I ran to a channel between two marsh islands that are notorious for not being an easy place to anchor. The currents and wind will either land you into the marsh or out in the channel that is the entrance to a yacht club. I was able to anchor with ease any place I wanted and it was at that time it got comical. This device is so easy to use, works so well, it feels like you are cheating. I can now do all needed done to boat and fish from behind my steering wheel or scoot over to a fishing chair. My boat is unstable and me with a bad back, wobbly legs, and told too feeble to boat any more, but the Anchor Wizard has me back in the nautical saddle. I really had gotten to the point where I could not anchor or tie up to pilings anymore but now I can anchor without even going to the bow. I don't even have to stand.
My last test was a stealth mode thing. I cut the engine, used my transom mounted trolling motor and moved near pilings that once were a pier. We have many many of those here in the southeast due to hurricanes. Instead of spooking the fish that hang around this structure I anchored up wind from it, turned off the trolling motor and allowed the Anchor Wizard to play out the line as I got closer to the target. The water around the pilings was very shallow but it was no problem for the boat because when I was ready to leave I just moved the boat back to deeper water by easily cranking the spool.
Back at the dock the tower and spool were no problem any more than anything else is in docking. I docked starboard where the Wizard is mounted, put out a fender and no problem. The gear stayed away from the dock even though I have my spool cocked over a bit to give plenty of clearance from the clamp bolts.
As I told a fishing buddy at the dock, "This is too easy." He said I was just getting lazy. I said, "You got that right!" Seriously, anchoring in my part of the fishing world is a dangerous hassle. From broken legs in anchor wells, people falling overboard, banging up boats with anchors, skippers mad because you did not drop the anchor right where they wanted...it goes on and on, I find the Anchor Wizard so useful it should be stock equipment on boats. The quality of the materials and construction are about as good as it gets made by professional hands on machinists and metal workers, not some machine that stamps out thin steel to make a part. It is so easy to use I would not even consider an electric mass produced anchor system because our salty environment simply eats electronics in no time, but I'm sure if your application needs a motorized Anchor Wizard it will be heavy duty, not flimsy.
The cost of the Anchor Wizard is actually extremely reasonable for what you get. It just does not compare to others I've seen in the retail stores which I think would be rusted out very soon. If I still had my bigger Gulf boat I would be trying to figure out a way to have a bigger Anchor Wizard model mounted to it. Anchoring in rough seas, or any seas in the Gulf of Mexico is not an enjoyable part of boating but this device would take the hassle and pain (probably one reason I have a bad back) out of getting that anchor in and out of 100ft. of water, or more, while the waves are trying to throw you overboard.
Pleased customer in the deep South.
Hi Bruce -
I'm finally getting around to sending you some information about things up North - Ontario.
I left the demonstrator with Camille and he was impressed with it from the demonstration from the one on my boat.
We'll see what plays out.
Also, a couple of pamphlets for places to go fishing, camping, etc. I'll be around to see you sometime. I truly like my new Anchor Wizard - Good Job.
I know I have not been responsive in doing my part of our deal and for that I apologize. Life has been crazy and whenever I get one of my video skilled friends to commit to taping the use of your product something has come up last minute. Anyway, I have enclosed a disk that is unedited with some footage of using the Anchor wizard duck hunting. It is an excellent product and would be very useful to any duck hunter that hunts with long lines or “mother” lines from a boat.
I thought this raw footage might be useful for you to see how we use it and maybe you have some one that could use it to edit a 30 second clip for the sport shows. After using the Wizard a few times I would recommend that you need either a swivel base or a strong guide like the Anchor Wizard tower so that the line feeds on to the spool at various angles. The prototype you gave me holds five long lines which is enough for 8 dozen~decoys in water of 15 feet deep or less.
I will still try to get a professional video clip for you but 2010 is sneaking away quickly and I am on the road most of the fall and early winter. Good luck and happy thanksgiving.
Capt David Baker
“The response from over 200 folks is over whelming. The control it provides me while fishing is unsurpassed. I can control the speed of the anchor so it doesn't slam into the bottom of the lake hard. It’s by far more comfortable to use then trying to release an anchor by hand. There is no product on the market today that provides the rope capacity and product features of the Anchor Wizard.”
Bruce VanScoyoc – Manufacturer/Developer
"I have been steelhead & salmon fishing since 1986. The Anchor Wizard has truly made my fishing trips alot easier and more precise. By dropping the anchor quickly the Wizard allows me to get very tight behind log jams. It instantly gets my chain to bottom which allows me to fish more of the hole or run. It also allows me to pin point the runs.
The Anchor Wizard holds over 300 feet of 1/4 inch rope, allowing me to fish long runs without stirring up the bottom by sliding the anchor. This is really important to prevent spooking your fish. It retrieves rope much faster than an electric winch. It takes up about 3 feet per wrap, so when you're ready to move it is a snap to pick up and move to a new spot. For years my fishing partners have had to hand over hand the anchor rope and lift the anchor in and out of the boat, which gets real unpleasant in cold weather. The Anchor Wizard has changed all that. Thanks."
Using the Anchor Wizard this winter has been great. The advantage of being able to drop and anchor instantly with out having to hold your boat in the current far out weighs any draw back from having to crank the system by hand. We fished the river in 0 degree weather also the anchor wizard continued to release and retrieve smoothly with out any worry of freeze up.
Stephen E. Emery
Full of Hope Charter Service
"Bruce VanScoyoc has been a fishing partner of mine for several years. When Bruce shared his anchor wizard with me I was truly amazed. This device has enabled me to fish more stealthily as you can let out extra rope and not worry about the retrieve as it has excellent gear ratio that makes anchor retrieving a breeze!
Bruce has been a pioneer in creating an anchor that will save you time and will last a lifetime. It fits the widest variety of fishing boats from small to large with any variety of anchor weight. This anchor enables you to keep your hands totally dry during adverse weather conditions. I have used other types of manual anchors and this is by far, the best I have ever used. If you would like to chat with me personally about this product, I can be reached at
Doug Allan, Michigan
Anchor Wizard for Kayaks
While looking for an anchor system for my kayak I While speaking to someone about deer mineral and attractant the conversation switched and I said I had been looking for a good anchoring system for my kayak without breaking the bank. Steve the gentlemen I was speaking to advised me a friend of his made a great kayak anchoring system and I should check them out. He forwarded me the info and when I got home began to research about the Anchor Wizard.
The Anchor Wizard is American made and home based in the farm community of Evart, Michigan. The Anchor Wizard contains 60 feet of 1/8” anchor line and the container comes in red, green, black and yellow. Basically able to match up to most any kayak colors. So, let’s say you just came across what seems to be a great fishing spot but you just can’t stay in one area either the wind or current keeps moving you around. Simply turn the handle counter clockwise half turn and the anchor drops and sinks to the bottom but you have the ability to regulate the speed of the drop by "feathering" the handle back and forth. Now anchored and finding out this was a great spot to stop but, in a short time you limit out and you’re ready to head in. You simply turn the handle on the Anchor Wizard clockwise till the anchor comes up and sets itself in the shoot. The line automatically locks so that the anchor does not fall back in. Now even while you are anchored you can let line out to re position yourself or reel yourself back some. The anchor is made of Precision Cast 319 Aluminum. So, it is okay to use in either fresh or saltwater.
My experience with the Anchor Wizard has been nothing but positive and I find it does what it is advertised to do. It does not come with an anchor therefore you will need to supply your own. Dropping the anchor and reeling it has not been an issue what so ever and has secured me on very windy days. There will be times that your anchor may get wedged and you are not able to pull up on your anchor with either tipping over or having to cut your line but if you do one thing when tying your anchor to the Anchor Wizard it will save you some aggravation later. Instead of tying off to the top of your anchor tie off to the bottom then run your line up the anchor and zip tie it to the top. This serves as a break away and allows you to pull from the bottom of your anchor allowing you to save your anchor or pulling yourself over.
Installation was quick and easy. I took the anchor tube and positioned it so that the anchor would have clearance to drop and marked my three holes. Using the supplied stainless steel screws I mounted it to the top of the kayak in the rear. Remember to use some kind of marine silicone to seal the holes. I then used the track mounts to mount the Anchor Wizard spool to my FeelFree track system. There are additional screws and bolts to mount to your kayak should you not have a track system. The Anchor Wizard is even endorsed by Chad Hoover a pioneer in kayak fishing. That was it 20 minute installation time from out of box to onto kayak.
The cost for the Anchor Wizard is $149.99 and can be ordered off the site or found in several states at kayak and outdoor stores. See the website for more detailed information. Anchor Wizard also makes anchor systems for drift boats, canoes, pontoons, deep v’s, standard v, and more. So, if you are struggling for a dependable anchoring system check Anchor Wizard out.