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Safety question - PFD #14126824 09/11/21 11:03 PM
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Wylie Jeff Online Content OP
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I’ve been watching a bunch of YouTube kayak fishing videos. I noticed that a majority of kayak anglers wear a standard type pfd. I have co2 charged ripcord type pfd’s. Am I missing something? Which is better vs comfortable to wear all day long? I’ll be fishing Lady Lavon first, then venture to the inshore salt water fishing. Is it just personal choice, or a factor I don’t know about?

Thanks

Jeff


Keep looking forward. That’s why windshields are larger than rear view mirrors.
Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14126846 09/11/21 11:27 PM
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The inflatable PFD has mechanical parts that can fail. The standard PFD works all the time.
The inflatable PFD needs to be reset after discharging the CO2 canister. The standard PFD requires no maintenance.
The inflatable PFD can be punctured by fish hooks. The standard PFD is not affected by fish hooks.
The inflatable PFD can be more difficult to swim in especially in a self rescue, flip your kayak back over and climb aboard situation.
The one knock against standard PFDs is they are not comfortable. I use a standard white water PFD which is super comfortable and allows more freedom of movement.

Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14126915 09/12/21 12:31 AM
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personally - agree with all of what powerlizard said and I never would use an inflatable pfd in a kayak. Even without any issues listed - dry kayaks are 100% wetter than almost any kind of boat and you are asking for a situation where your PFD either accidentally inflates, contributes to a dangerous situation, or similar.

I recommend either a pfd specifically designed for kayaking OR a neoprene covered ski/active pfd (NOT canvas) - the neoprene is a LOT nicer on the skin - and the ski/active type PFD's are designed to chafe a bit less. I've personally paddled w/o issue in a ski PFD for 8+ hours.

All of that said - I know a few guys that use them and swear by them for kayaking - specifically due to comfort.

Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14127223 09/12/21 05:35 AM
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porta Online Content
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Lots of videos show commercial fisherman using inflatable PFDs, probably because it makes their work a lot more comfortable, while allowing a greater range of motion.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fishing/pfds.html


Standard pfds are safer if they are actually worn 100% of the time (as is mandated for inflatables), but there is no legal requirement that standard PFDs have to be worn, AFAIK. If you find a standard that can be worn as comfortably and continuously over the many very hot and humid days of summer in Texas, go for it! Whatever kind you get make sure to test that the flotation is such that it turns you face up, if you are unconscious, some with around the back flotation do not. If you are concerned about rain or splashing setting the PFD mechanism off accidentally, there are inflatable versions that are triggered by hydrostatic pressure instead of wetness (Or they can be inflated by mouth tube and worn in deployed mode, with the auto function turned off).

It is possible to use an inflatable on your kayak in the deployed mode by turning off the auto inflate and calibrating just the right amount of air to blow into the bladder to float and propel your particular body weight comfortably, which can't be done with the standard. That is sometimes done for dangerous situations like white water rafting, if someone is worried about the mechanism operating property. The deployed inflatable is usually more comfortable than a standard PFD even when on a kayak, because the deployed bladders move around to some degree, and let air circulate. An inflatable PFD excels in some situations like in shallow snorkeling, or shallow diving to recover something lost overboard.. When used in the manual pull mode, an inflatable PFD allows underwater swimming while holding your breath, with only a simple pull needed to get you to the surface quickly. Inflatable PFD are more compact to pack in to remote fishing spots, or when traveling by Air Line with your own inflatable boat.

Last edited by porta; 09/12/21 01:19 PM. Reason: Corrections for clarity
Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14127291 09/12/21 01:03 PM
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Power lizard is 100% correct. The standard pfds are reliable all the time, they are made comfortable enough to not be an issue. Who says when you need it the most you will be able to pull the cord?


Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14129559 09/14/21 04:46 PM
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Another advantage of the “old fashioned” PFD is that you can buy one in blaze orange or similar color and increase your visibility front and back. I prefer to stand and fish and one time I had a bass boat cruise by and one of the guys said that he thought I was a warning buoy before they realized I was a kayaker.

Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14129630 09/14/21 06:09 PM
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To add to what PowerLizard touched on the inflatable PFD's are basically the same thing as the cheapo orange life vests that go around your neck after they inflate. You don't need a PFD until you're no longer in your kayak. Getting back in some kayaks even with a traditional fishing PFD can be a challenge especially during bad conditions. Doing this while fighting an inflatable PFD that wants to force you to lay on your back can be dangerous. This is the reason I don't wear one.


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Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14129757 09/14/21 08:23 PM
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I agree that the the standard solid type are more reliable, as I wrote in the post above. But already deployed Inflatable pfds have some additional options as well for getting back in a kayak. Assuming you are strong enough to get back in a kayak after being in the water, you can push the mouth tube valve to quickly release as much of the bladder buoyancy as needed to swim and scramble back aboard (almost like wearing a small or no, PFD). If you get weak and can't get back on the kayak or get separated from the kayak, air can be blown back into the mouth tube to resume the flotation function. That may be easier than having to take a standard PFD off and then put it back on, if someone is having trouble re-boarding, because of a PFD. Inflatable PFDs just happen to work better for me, but are definitely not for everyone!

Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: porta] #14129906 09/14/21 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by porta
I agree that the the standard solid type are more reliable, as I wrote in the post above. But already deployed Inflatable pfds have some additional options as well for getting back in a kayak. Assuming you are strong enough to get back in a kayak after being in the water, you can push the mouth tube valve to quickly release as much of the bladder buoyancy as needed to swim and scramble back aboard (almost like wearing a small or no, PFD). If you get weak and can't get back on the kayak or get separated from the kayak, air can be blown back into the mouth tube to resume the flotation function. That may be easier than having to take a standard PFD off and then put it back on, if someone is having trouble re-boarding, because of a PFD. Inflatable PFDs just happen to work better for me, but are definitely not for everyone!

Learning how to get back in a kayak with a pfd on would help. There are many methods that work with pfd on.


Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14134953 09/19/21 07:28 PM
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+1 for standard pfd. When you need it, you truly need it and can't afford to have any kind of failure.


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Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Uncle Zeek] #14136165 09/20/21 10:48 PM
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Great inputs folks! Did my sea trials with an old std pfd. Another item for my widgets an gadgets list. The old one just went in the trash bin. I have another that’s way to bulky.

So, I’ve been pricing, comparing and stuff:

Let’s have it, what’s the best brand, most comfortable life jacket. I’ll go to $100 for my needs. Needs pockets and versatility for fishing also.

Give it up!

Thanks and have a great day!

Jeff the noob…


Keep looking forward. That’s why windshields are larger than rear view mirrors.
Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14136282 09/21/21 01:08 AM
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Go to NRS.com and look at Low Profile Lifejackets. Don’t bother with Fishing Lifejackets as that just means add bulky pockets.
Also go to REI.com.

Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14136573 09/21/21 12:43 PM
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I have 3 PFD's that I spent way too much on (north of $100 each) and most of the time I always turn to a simple one I bought at Academy for around 20 bucks similar to this. It's not bulky, it's light and not as hot as the more bulky expensive ones and will still serve me well if needed. If I'm going offshore than I'll wear my Stohlquist Keeper but inshore I'm in the Academy cheapo.

Last edited by Jerry713; 09/21/21 12:45 PM.

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Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14148813 10/03/21 03:16 AM
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I find that my Stohlquist does its job extremely well. When I took my safety course one thing was to get back in my yack from the water.

Well the Stohlquist keeps you on your back so you don't drown to the point you cant get your feet under you to get back in. Then I tried to swim normally to pull the yack to shore but it was a struggle so I just rolled over on my back to do it.


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Re: Safety question - PFD [Re: Wylie Jeff] #14149915 10/04/21 11:18 AM
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There are techniques that make getting back in the yak while wearing your pfd easy. Imo it's best to know several. When coastal I usually enter from the front or rear of the yak letting the waves help push me up as I push the yak down. Lakes I usually get back in from the side, I use my paddle almost as a foot hold. It helps to learn as much about safety and rescue as we do about fishing.


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