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#12358259 - 07/25/17 07:59 PM High Visibility I have been Looking...
HOGON Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 827
Loc: McKinney, Texas
I don't want this post to be received wrong.

It is simply meant to be an informative post about what I believe to be a good deal that I found online.

I want my fellow TFF Family and Friends when they are on the water to be safe and I encourage you all to wear your Life Jacket "At All Times" while on the water.

I know that some believe that as long as the Life Jacket is in the boat that is good enough. Until it isn't.

OR

It only needs to be worn while running. All great until it isn't.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this subject.
I have made my opinion known already in that I believe a Life Jacket should be worn "At All Times" while on the water with no exceptions.

When it comes to buying a Life Jacket it is just like anything else in the retail fishing world from poles, fishing line, baits, reels, and so forth.
There is something to pick from the vast online catalog that can fit everyone's budget and/or needs.

When I started Crappie Fishing on a regular basis I had your standard Life Jacket that was bulky and hot to wear, but hey at least I had a Life Jacket.

Then I eventually graduated to a brand called ONYX that I got at Bass Pro and it was the light weight inflatable life jacket that you had to manually pull the tab to have the jacket inflate. They were around $100 give or take a little. Comfortable and light to the point you forgot you were wearing the Life Jacket. We got them in Red.

Then Dad read an article where some fisherman got tossed in the water on accident and got knocked out when they hit the water.
I don't remember all the details, but my Dad went down to Bass Pro and picked up a couple more ONYX brand at Bass Pro that "Automatically Inflate" should you hit the water.
He picked up a couple Dark Blue ones. I think they were $125 give or take a little.

Prices might have even come down since we bought them or possibly went up.

Our ONYX jackets are great and I have nothing negative to say about them. They serve their purpose.

I watched awhile back, but sometime in the last year an episode of the "Shark Tank" where entrepreneurs come on the show and try to get one of the Shark's to sponsor a product they are selling and they are trying to go big with whatever their product is. There was a gentleman that had some sort of neon streamer he was selling that if your boat sank in the ocean you would deploy this streamer that floated. He showed a stranded boater in the ocean and took a picture of them from a helicopter. You could easily miss the stranded boater because they blended right into the ocean. The stranded boater looked like a pepper flake on a black plate while in the ocean.
Then he took a picture of the stranded boater with this 12 foot neon streamer and the stranded boater jumped out in the ocean like a strobe light in the water. Wow!

We fish lakes and it is not quite as critical as being out in the vast ocean should your boat sink.
Usually other boat traffic on the water etc.

But that episode got me thinking about "What If" something did happen and we were ejected from the boat and into the water unexpectedly.

Would other boaters be able to see me in the water? In good daylight probably. If another boater saw us go in probably.

But what if it was right at sun up or sun down or even at night?
How would I look in the water in a darker light situation?

My Dark Blue Life Jacket on me while in the water in a darker light situation I would be nothing more than a speed bump in the water.

It really got me thinking about being "Seen" should I end up in the water unexpectedly in an accident.

You can get your Life Jacket in Blue, Red, Black, Camouflage, and so forth. Just about any color that you could think of is available in the market.

I wanted something "High Visibility" like something First Responders wear while on an accident scene.

I have been on the lookout for quite sometime for an upgrade to our current ONYX Life jackets.

It needed to be High Visibility though and that really was the main reason for the search for an upgrade to my current ONYX Life Jackets.

I just have not been able to find the right life jacket that I envisioned wearing until just a few days ago.

I was looking for something that was "Top of the Line".
I knew that when I found the right Life Jacket it was going to cost me some $$.

Something that was well made, light, comfortable to wear.
Above all it need to be a High Visibility Life Jacket!

A Life Jacket that should I ever have to use it would make me be seen by others while in the water.
Especially in a darker light situation.

If anyone is interested I finally found the perfect High Visibility jacket that I have been looking for.

A company called Mustang Survival makes the jacket. They have been in business since 1967.
If you go to their web site you will find the jacket under Inflatable PFD's and under "For Professionals".

It is the Mustang MD3183 T3 High Visibility Jacket. They do not sell directly you have to find a vendor.

The cheapest place that I could find was www.hodgesmarine.com out of Florida. $268.21 plus $4.95 Shipping for 1-6 business days

https://www.hodgesmarine.com/Mustant-Md3183-T3-High-Visibility-Inflatable-Pfd-W-p/musmd3183-t3.htm

The price for the jacket ranged from $271 to $650 online. It was really all over the place and the few vendors that were close to Hodges Marine wanted up to $25 shipping.

I know it is not a cheap life jacket by any means, but if it saves my life someday should I have to use it then I figure it will have more than paid for itself.

The jacket arrived today and it is no doubt a very well made Life Jacket.
It has an indicator that shows it in the Green and Tells me it is in good working order.
I can pull a manual pull tab to inflate. It has a blow tube to inflate.
It will automatically inflate if submerged in 4 inches of water. That way rain, spray, etc. don't cause it to inflate.
The entire neckline is neoprene.

Has a D-Ring for you to hook up your kill switch.
It has a way for you to attach a strobe and a whistle should you want too.

I have to say overall that I am very impressed with Hodges Marine and my new Life Jacket.

If you are in the market for a new Life Jacket thought I would let you know where I found a good deal online. I wanted to share why I upgraded.

Not saying you have to get one like mine, but thought if anyone was looking to upgrade then you might possibly be interested in the Mustang MD3183 T3 High Visibility Jacket.

I got the neon yellow/green and they have an orange as well.

I just want everyone to be safe and return home Day or Night to their families after their time on the water.

I hope I never have to use the jacket in the water.

Thanks for letting me share.

Tight Lines! fish

There was a recall notice for the jackets made in 2014. Mine was made in 2017 and the recall does not affect the new jackets.

Possibly Shut Up and Fish or Tommy Ezell with Thumpers might be able to become a vendor for Mustang and offer some good prices to TFF.
I don't know if that is a possibility or if they are even interested, but those are two vendors I will use here in the DFW area for Crappie supplies when I am looking.


Edited by HOGON (07/25/17 08:09 PM)

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#12358285 - 07/25/17 08:12 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
Lollygagger Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 141
Loc: East Texas
Thanks for the info! I went to the website and am considering getting one.
_________________________
"But God demonstrates His own for love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

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#12358376 - 07/25/17 08:51 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
MilesHunter Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/17/13
Posts: 792
Loc: Mansfield, TX
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think all the inflatable life vests are hi-vis yellow when they inflate. The outer shell is just for looks. It is the bright yellow inflatable part that you see when it inflates. I thought they were all that way, but I haven't inflated mine to find out.
_________________________
Miles

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#12358383 - 07/25/17 08:54 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
Slewfoot Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 2557
Loc: E Texas
I wear one whenever the big motors going! My wife said heck with me but if I get tossed out the boat and die little mans gonna be sitting there in the boat wondering where his fishing buddy went and get sunburnt!!! And she would see I had heck to put if that happened!! violin

Honestly I want an inflatable one to wear all the time. I was in a pretty bad wreck a few years ago and for a while I would nearly pass out fishing. Bad enough I wore a life jacket all day and would curl up on the deck at times in pain. Duck hunting I remember treading water as a kid watching the boat do circles around me and I got lucky and got the motor killed without getting run over but it could have went either way. By the time most folks figure out they need the life jacket and kill switch hooked up its too late.

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#12358412 - 07/25/17 09:04 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
Gamblinman Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 2620
Loc: Yantis, TX
_________________________
Texas Crappie Posse

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#12358439 - 07/25/17 09:21 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
HOGON Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 827
Loc: McKinney, Texas
Miles I think the life vest is more of a canary yellow.
Like you I've never inflated mine and what you say may be 100% correct.
The shell may be just a shell.

Gamblinman amazing how Amazon changes by the day. When I looked on Amazon a mere few days ago the best price they had was $307 plus shipping. It was not Prime Eligible.

I paid $268.21 plus $4.95 shipping. Still pretty good deal.

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#12358492 - 07/25/17 09:46 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
Gamblinman Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 2620
Loc: Yantis, TX
HOGON... you have to be careful with Amazon and do a little searching...sometimes the first thing that pops up isn't the best deal. Prices do vary quickly at Amazon.

You did well with your price for a Mustang jacket.
_________________________
Texas Crappie Posse

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#12358563 - 07/25/17 10:33 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
Ken Gaby Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/08/07
Posts: 2637
Loc: Belton, TX
I think T-Dub or Stucky knows what color they are inflated. roflmao
Anyone still got that pic? Bobcat?
_________________________
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http://www.crazyanglertackle.com Premium crappie baits and jig tying accessories
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#12358641 - 07/26/17 04:18 AM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
BlueTuna Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1372
Loc: Rockwall, TX
Cleaning out the boat a few days ago at my slip. I handed my son my jacket and asked him to clean the fish gunk off for me. He did, by swirling it around in the water. Yes, mine is close to if not canary yellow on the inside. He had no idea, I'm often absentminded and sometimes a dork. Although only one side popped out. I imagine it may have been different if it had been wrapped around a body.


Edited by BlueTuna (07/26/17 04:19 AM)
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#12358695 - 07/26/17 06:18 AM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
DFW-fisherman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 1336
Loc: DFW
Thanks for the write up on the Mustang PFDs. They are top of the line, and I have owned two of them for a while; one for me, and one for the wife! We wear them all the time on the boat! Only take them off when we are getting out of the boat in the slip.

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#12358707 - 07/26/17 06:28 AM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: Ken Gaby]
Bobcat1 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 18393
Loc: Sanger,Texas
Originally Posted By: Ken Gaby
I think T-Dub or Stucky knows what color they are inflated. roflmao
Anyone still got that pic? Bobcat?


T-Dub, Ken made me do it. roflmao Gave me a great chuckle thinking about that day.



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#12358729 - 07/26/17 06:50 AM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
Gamblinman Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 2620
Loc: Yantis, TX
Now ya went and done it. Be he!! to pay now
_________________________
Texas Crappie Posse

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#12359173 - 07/26/17 11:09 AM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
UJC Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 1964
Loc: Plano, TX
Good post and reminder in general.

I've had a camo Mustang (not survival) for a long time. The inside is an orange/yellow color, not neon that will be on display if in the water. I keep mine in the truck when not on the boat. These PFDs can and will inflate if too much moisture accumulates. I use to keep mine in the 'dry' box on the boat. But on two different boats, after heavy rains with the boat under a cover the PDF inflated. I found the 'dry' box lid partially pried open. Yet, I've been awash in heavy spray on rough water and rain with no inflate incident. This has been my experience. Maybe newer models perform better with air moisture.

One thing you've left out when using an auto PDF, is that the auto must be 'armed' with CO2. If expired, and checked by a game warden, a ticket can be issued. The replacements cost generally is in the $25 range as I recall. Maybe more or less as it has been awhile since I've purchased a replacement. I carry a regular life jacket in the boat tucked away but where it can be easily available in the event I get checked and don't pass the warden's check. And also if I forget and leave it in the truck. I prefer the auto, which still has the manual option available, because if knocked unconscious, it will inflate automatically; not so if manual.

And on a similar subject, don't forget to check the boat's fire extinguisher.
_________________________
LIVE PURPLE LOVE GOLD
Jimmy

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#12359241 - 07/26/17 11:39 AM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
BrazosRiverTom Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Mineral Wells, TX
Slewfoot, hope you are doing much better than what you described after the accident. I am 70 and I fish alone constantly, I have made it habit to wear my life jacket as soon as I get out of the truck before I prepare to launch the boat, and I don't take it off till the boat is out of the water. Once in a great while if I am parked and tied up crappie fishing and it is hot, I might take it off till I get ready to move again. I try to keep the laynard for the kill switch around my wrist when motoring. Reason I put life jacket on so soon as a few years ago, a man in his 60's at Palo Pinto Lake drowned when is boat got away from him at the ramp and it is believed it might of tried to swim for it, no life jacket. My jacket is an auto inflate and I keep extra stuff to reload it incase it ever goes off. Sometimes though I will put on the older foam model if I am walking around the boat in water, so if I slip my I don't have to worry about the auto life jacket going off.

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#12359378 - 07/26/17 12:38 PM Re: High Visibility I have been Looking... [Re: HOGON]
PMV Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 05/01/17
Posts: 3
I like UJC have had humidity set off the jackets and have taken to removing them after a outing to dry in the garage. I also keep two repair kits for the jackets on the boat in a plastic bag.

Recent experiences fishing under a bridge have caused me to keep the life jacket on all the time. For some reason these pleasure boaters and jet skiers don't want slow down when passing under the bridges and cause these huge wakes. I have not been thrown out of the boat yet but I want to safe and not sorry. Those pilings could put a hurtin on you if you hit one.

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