Let’s think for a minute about health-I agree, it’s not almost as fun as learning about kayaking or fish… Yet care of your fishing life jacket-also known as a personal flotation device (or PFD) is important. Life jackets are a must for all water sports. It’s a mistake to think that just fishing is smooth water or just wading, because you may be a good swimmer, that you don’t need one for kayak fishing. The properly chosen and installed fishing vest might however keep you from becoming bait yourself. We get a lot of questions from friends and fellow kayakers wondering which fishing vest is the correct one and what to think while buying a vest used for kayaking fishing. The various ranking systems and things can be challenging-so what’s really required and what’s the safest? There are several different types of flotation devices which come with different classifications of the US Coast Guard (USCG). They mention some of the items to remember when considering a fishing vest which is appropriate for your personal use.
- Make sure the United States Coast Guard certifies your life jacket or any marine life belt.
- Check the specification of the life-jacket. Life vests-like kayak fishing vests, are marked as Class I, II, or III a. Type I: are called life jackets off shore and provide the best buoyancy available. These are designed to turn most unconscious wearers in the water into a face up position.
- Form II: known as Near Shore Buoyancy Jackets c. Type III: known as flotation aids-they give the same minimal buoyancy as Type II but are more comfortable to wear as they are not designed to tip the user over in the bath.
- Focus your range of fishing vests on the kind of kayak you will be fishing with. When you think you’re going to be further from the sea, facing rough seas or challenging conditions, then you’re going to want the Type I. If you’re trying to be near to the coast and in calmer water than a Type II or III might be enough. The fishing vests that we have tested as preference for kayak fishing are in the latter class and planned for kayak fishing. If more extreme conditions are to be found, we prefer a waistcoat graded as Type I, which can be obtained in better sports shops.
- Choose the best vest for your height and weight-most vendors offer the recommended weight range for their vest styles. Pick a life jacket that fits you best and securely, with braces and riggings. You will wear the clothes you foresee wearing with the vest before adjusting the jacket-whether it’s a lightweight coat or a swim suit. The jacket will fit snuggly when you’re in motion and shouldn’t move freely or chafe. If you’re bringing the fishing kayak out in different seasons, make sure you’re readjusting the design to match the clothes you’ll carry.
- Decide which extra features in a life jacket are essential to you. We suggest those whose materials are designed to prevent growth in molds. Tasks…
- Check the vest out in shallow water or a pond to insure that it is properly fitted and in proper working order. The jacket should provide you with the buoyancy you need without riding up, falling over your head or becoming bulky when you need arm movements. Just make sure you have your own properly fitted fishing vest or flotation device for every person in your band.
Having reviewed a variety of fishing vests for kayak fishing, here are the ones that received the highest rating from our readers and respondents: Extrasport Osprey Canoe / Kayak Rafting Fishing Personal Flotation Device / Life Jacket User Rating: 4:5 A stylish PFD you won’t even know it is on. The thin lower back portion is especially designed for kayak seat backrests that keep it from riding up when fishing and paddling. Each model is easily adjusted by flexible mesh shoulder straps to ensure secure and comfortable fit. Equipped with 7 expandable pockets housing equipment for those things you want close to hand and the shell casing holder and camouflage design making this a great option for duck hunting too.
NRS Chinook Mesh Back Fishing PFD User Rating: 5:5 Excellent user scores for this Fishing PFD. Nylon and mesh back make it possible to sit comfortably in a kayak without any bulkiness or jacket. The 8-point change device accommodates the incredibly varied types. Most reviewers (especially those who said they were a bit heavier) said this was the most convenient and easily adjusted vest on the market. The 8 pockets allow you to keep all of your equipment at hand. Our first user poll was handed down by the NRS Chinook Mesh Back Fishing PFD.
Winning Edge Premium Fishing Life Vest User Rating: 4.6:5 Although you are shipped by the retailer by chest size rather than height and weight, which caused some confusion and had some readers buy the wrong size. But all readers thought this was a great jacket, and is a pioneer in this segment for the size. The modifications were adequate to oblige most and the pocket system was a favorite among anglers.
Stearns Hybrid Fishing / Paddle Vest Reader Rating: 4.7:5 The fold-down flybank and the job tray make this a favored style for respondents. The accessible shoulder surfaces allow a wide range of movement when flycasting. The modifications require the uniform fitting to suit most and the back makes it possible to sit comfortably in a kayak without the vest riding up.