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Discussion Starter #1
I've gotten the lead out of my flies, but noticed the other day that my pontoon anchor has gotten pretty beaten up, and is probably putting its share of lead in the river. I don't even want to think about what happens if I have to cut the rope some day and leave the whole thing in my favorite stream. (More lead in our rivers, and we won't be thinking about much of anything.)

So I was wondering what the alternatives are. I've seen the steel anchors that you can fill up with lead shot, and also the coated ones that Cabela's sells. Anyone have a good alternative to lead anchors in the 20 lb. range? (I know this might as easily fit in the boating category of WFF, but I thought this might get more viewers).

debarb
 

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my wife's purse would work!:hehe: ,,i don't see a problem here,relax!,you're making me nervous!,like a westfly deal:razz: maybe dip your anchor in `plasti-dip',,oooh baby!,,,,,,welll,,,,,you can buy the product at almost any hardware store,,,comes in several colors,it's air dry,so you won't be contributeing to several other environmental issues,,,,,,there,can i sleep safeley now that you're not polluting the waters?:tsk_tsk:
 

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Wouldn't worry

debarb - I wouldn't worry about the anchor. Little Goose Dam on the Snake has a spot where plunkers use several pound lead to hold their lure. Every time they get a strike they lose the lead ball. There have to be thousands of those on the bottom.
 

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Repeating myself here.

Just take a section of old inner-tube; punch holes in the bottom and 'lash closed' with some nylon line. Roll over the top (think pants cuffs), a few more holes (better if you put some rings in here to secure), a tad bit more of nylon line to close up...

Fill the thing with beach rocks and you're good to go. No new idea, the above was the 'original' drift boat anchors before they 'cast lead' ones became available.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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The "point" section of the Cowlitz below Blue Creek must have literally 365,000 pounds of lead on the bottom from drift fishermen if this assumption is true:

1/2 pound of lead lost per angler per day
50 anglers per day
over 40 years

Of course the river has been fished for well over 40 years, and some people lose a 1/2 pound in one back-bouncing rig, and some days there are 200 anglers, so it's a general estimation.

This has got to be a problem.

I would image the Salmon River in NY is not far behind albeit not nearly as concentrated an area as Blue Creek - but greater throughout the river as the river gets more pressure than the Cowlitz.

The use of lead as a weight IMHO should be eliminated from such areas.

As far as the anchor, I would think that those that are coated with rubber / plastic would be fine.
 

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simple cheap anchor

Fill a coffee can with cement and an eye bolt. A $3.00 bag gives you several. A one pound can full of cement should hold your pontoon.
 

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Debarb,

The big problem with lead is with pieces that can be ingested by wildlife. Split-shot and shot from shotgun shells are the worst offenders. As far as your anchor is concerned, I think the only creatures that could ingest that are on the board with us. If you are still worried, however, I think the coffee can idea Skilly came up with is great.

Charlie
 

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EAT IT!!!
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A gentleman named Doug Edgerton in West Yellowstone makes steel anchors for both drift boats and pontoons. He has ready made sizes, and can easily do customs. His anchors are used by a LOT of the the guides on the Madison, and I have used one on an inflatable pontoon. They work well, and get the lead out. PM me for contact info.
 

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just say no to bait
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Debarb,
I agree with on the issue of lead in the rivers and it's good to see someone post on the subject.

Iv,e used the same solution as Fred. A heavy duty nylon sack filled with rocks

N I
 

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PiscatorNonSolumPiscatur
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Juro
Was just fishing Cowlitz Sunday quite a ways down from Blue Creek. The river was a bit lower and in just a short stretch I picked up a whole handful of lead. If I was actually out looking I could pick up many pounds.
I often wonder about the long-term affects of this lead.
 

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the long term effects

of mankind ; the burning of fossel fuels,all the `acrylic' plastics that are produced from oil,,,,the runoff from roads,parking lots, STUPID people dumping there motor oil on the ground,,,, the rusty drainege filtering thru the riverbanks from septic systems,,,wanna see?,,,,,fertilizers,,,any metal pipes,screens etc,used in irrigation ,cities,dams,,it all contributes something,and there are sometimes certain metals present in certain areas,like so.ore. has a natural mercury content for instance,,then once the water gets `salty' there's the old metal ships rusting away,etc.,etc...,ever read about how `heavy metals collect in the lateral lines of certain fish' or,`do not eat more than///////' of any `resident' fish in the ? lower?,,,columbia;;Sturgeon,,,,what about the recomendations for tuna concerning prego woemen,,,nope,,,mankind HAS prevailed,,we've won,,,,,,,or have we!?:( :tsk_tsk:
 

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PiscatorNonSolumPiscatur
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The sad thing is that we know we are taking things beyond the point of no return and still continue to do so. It seems to me this culture enjoys it's materiality so much and has so much faith that technology will solve the problems that we still go on almost blindly. Almost as if caught in a vicious circle of thought that has no way out.
Greed and ignorance and laziness.
How's this for ignorance: I have a copy of"Professional Fly Tying, Spinning and Tackle Making" by George Leoonard Herter (original copyright 1941) In Chapter 1 the author reccommends a solution of DDT in carbontetrachloride to spray on feathers or hair for preservation. No one knew any better in those days.
Today how many things do we all do that we know are harmful but continue to do so? Is it possible to live in today's world and not contribute in some way to it's degredation?
 

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Will that be regular or unleaded?

There's no reason why lead has to be used for anchors. The world is full of suitable substitutes. Even a float-tuber can do with a reasonably compact non-lead alternative.
I've used junked car starters (they all have holes for bolt mounting); bricks, sashweights (ditto for holes), a plastic jug filled with gravel. Last year, my old polypro boat rope finally gave up the ghost, leaving my anchor on the bottom, and me on the far side of a wind-swept lake. I have several plastic mesh produce bags that I keep in my tackle bag for trash collection. I filled one with rocks from the lake shore, knotted the neck, tied on the anchor rope, and got through the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What got me thinking about this was taking my looking at my infant daughter's lead levels in her bloodwork--those with kids, or grandkids (or maybe just blood), know of what I speak. Anyway, well within the "acceptable" range, but a recent study in the NY Times says that _any_ lead in the body diminishes brain function and development. Two days later I was banging up my 20 lb. anchor in the Sandy. With brain function like that, I wonder what my lead levels are.:chuckle:

Anyway, thanks for the many good suggestions. Dr. Swing, you've got a private message. And I wonder if we couldn't ask some of our sponsors who sell anchors to offer some of the lead-free ones. No pressure, mind you, but it looks like there's a demand for them.
 

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Chain

We have been using about 10' of 1/2 " chain cut into 2' sections as an anchor for our pontoon boats. Mainly used to anchor boat when we pull over to fish.
Leroy...............
 

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Yeah - chain was the old stand-by!

At least, that's what we used to use with our canoes. I don't know what the limits on boat size/current speed are, though.

BobK
 
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