Tornado Anchor: The Anchor Revolution

Photo from Sean Visintainer - Silver Bow Fly Shop

A few months ago, I saw this grey and black cube hanging behind a guide’s drift boat that sparked my interest. It wasn’t the normal lead anchor I was used to seeing trailing behind the drift boats I see on the rivers here in the Northeast. I asked the guide what kind of anchor he was running and he replied “It’s a Tornado Anchor!” I immediately looked up the company and instantly knew I needed to get in touch. I picked up one up to give it a test on the Flylords Flycraft and immediately noticed a difference.

To be fair, I am relatively new to rowing, with only a handful of years and trips under my drift boating belt. That being said, one of the hardest aspects of rowing for me to master was getting my anchor to stick the first time I dropped it. The anchor I was running before I  tended to roll and drag in the current, which resulted in lots of yelling from the bow and frustration as I tried to anchor my boat and net a fish. As soon as I took my Tornado out, I noticed that my anchoring woes were behind me, this thing held my boat with ease and dragging anchor seemed to be a thing of the past thanks to the Tornado‘s innovative rotating design.

Colby Crossland Tornado Anchor
Photo courtesy of Colby Crossland

Revolutionary Design

“What I needed to figure out was how to more effectively use the weight of an anchor. My traditional pyramid anchor only effectively used one edge to grab. My design idea was to create an anchor with more edges so that the anchor had more opportunity to grab the river bottom. This theory led to an anchor design of a series of stacked plates. The concept is that it would create a ribbed surface and more exposed edges. The anchor evolved quickly with the realization that these stacked plates could also be allowed to rotate independently. This rotation created an anchor that was able to react to its environment and create the maximum amount of drag. The Tornado Anchor was born.” – Keith Webster – Inventor and Owner of Tornado Anchors

Lead-Free Construction

Constructed from rotating steel plates, Tornado Anchor aimed to create an anchor that was a hard-stopper that leaves no trace metals behind, unlike traditional lead anchors. When I spoke with Keith Webster, the inventor of the Tornado anchor, he told me a story about a guide’s reaction to their new anchor. The guide was shocked that his 45 lb Tornado Anchor seemed to be heavier than the lead 45 lb one he was replacing. It turns out, that during the lifetime of that lead anchor, it had shed a few pounds and was nearly 7 lbs lighter than it should have been. This was a result of the soft lead being worn down over years of bouncing over rocks, and that lead was now in the water and streambed.

If you’re eco-conscious, leaving behind any amount of lead in a waterway is too much.  Thankfully the Tornado Anchor eliminates that possibility.

Made In USA

Every Tornado Anchor is hand-built in the USA, from powder-coated, galvanized steel designed to be more durable and longer-lasting than any lead anchor on the market.


We spoke with a group of Tornado Anchor early adopters to ask them about their experiences with the game-changing design:

Colby Crossland – Spinner Fall Guide Service, Utah

Photo courtesy of Colby Crossland

“When first seeing the Tornado Anchor the concept seemed solid, but I was skeptical that it would be enough to matter in real-world situations. Having an anchor with no lead was important enough for me to try it out, and any extra performance would be a bonus. I feel like it does what they say. I’ve yet to have it pin itself in rocks, and it holds my Stealthcraft where I want it, only after everyone on the ramp has a chance to comment on it.”

John Way – Madison Tackle Shop

Tornado Anchor 25 pound

“The [Tornado Anchor] is just amazing, you know, it performs better than any other anchor I’ve ever used. I guide on the Madison River where it’s extremely quick and it’s extremely shallow. Anchoring is almost impossible because we have a downstream wind all the time, which pushes on your boat along with the current that’s three to five miles an hour, and this anchor is just flat out sticky. It just finds a way to stick in the rocks.

You know, I was kinda skeptical when they first came out, so I ordered one and I was like, ‘Let me just try this before we spend a bunch of money and bring them into the store.’

And, you know, I took it out and rode with it for a few trips in April, and I thought, ‘You know what, there’s something to this thing.’ And, so we put them in the store and all my guides are running them now.”

Sean Visintainer – Silver Bow Fly Shop, Spokane Valley, WA 

“The Tornado does exactly what is intended to do… STOP! More edges mean more places to catch the river bottom. I love how it has performed on our northwest rivers where you can have anything from big boulders to gravel, cobblestone, ledge rock, fast currents, and everything in between. It performs well on all!”

Shop Tornado Anchors!

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