All About Anchor Rope & Rode

What is rode?

Every anchor needs to be attached to the boat, it’s meant to secure it in some form or fashion. Rode simply refers to the line that connects the anchor to your boat.

Ideally, the rode for any anchor setup should consist of both chain and rope. The chain should be on the end with the anchor. Why use both chain and rope? First, it keeps the nylon rode from wearing away by rubbing on the bottom of the sea-floor as the boat swings. Second, because the chain is heavy, it holds the rode to the bottom so the pull on the anchor is horizontal.

How much rope?

When selecting rope, nylon rope is the clear favorite because of its strength, elasticity, and inexpensive cost. There's two rule of thumbs when deciding how much and what type of rope:

  1. You should have 8 feet of rope for every 1 foot of water you will be anchoring in.
  2. Your rope should have 1/8" of rope diameter for every 9' of boat.

How much chain?

Along with the rope, you should also have a smaller amount of chain between the rope and the anchor. For most boaters, 10 to 20 feet of chain will suffice. For boaters anchoring in extreme conditions for extended periods of time, you will want about 1 foot of chain for every 6 feet of rope as this will create the optimal angle between the rode and the seabed.

For more information on choosing the right chain, please refer to our definitive guide for different chain types.

How to attach the chain and the rode

There's essentially three ways you can attach the rope to the chain: the effortless way, the easy way, and the difficult way. The effortless way is to simply buy a prepackaged rope/chain package (available from our store). The easy way is to buy a quantity of rope that already has an 'eye' (a.k.a. a loop) spliced on the end that you can then connect to a quantity of chain using a shackle. The hard way is to manually splice the rope into the chain (or you can also Google “Rope to Chain splice"). But remember, if you’re using a Windlass, your rope must be spliced to the chain (you cannot use a shackle).