What is the Best Inflatable PFD For Fishing

Fishing is one of the most amazing experiences. When you go out to waterways, you know the thrill of catching a fish, and moving on. There are a lot of different tools that you will need to have to make this easier. If you’re going to go out on any trip for fishing, whether on a boat or in a kayak, make sure that you consider picking up a good life jacket. Breaking down the best inflatable PFD for fishing will be a little tough at first.

fishing kayak

What To Consider First

There are two major types of vests to consider for fishing. Consider whether or not you want something that is attached at the waist, or something that is going to come over the shoulders with suspenders. There are pros and cons to each solution, even if both options are in face easy to use and work with.

Aside from the fit, and type, you will need to consider the way that they work. Amidst the best inflatable PFD fishing, you will find they work differently. The purpose is the same, however, but getting the proper system in place is different. Some utilize what is known as a hydrostatic device that creates pressure to keep you afloat. The others use manual inflation to fill with air so that you can get buoyancy.

PFD options are made for fishing in several categories. There are some meant for the ocean, some meant for lakes, and some made for rivers. Each pose different requirements, although, the purpose is the same, to keep you afloat.

Which Is Better: Belt or Suspenders

Inflatable PFD solutions as stated above, come with either a belt or a suspender element. The suspenders are exactly what you’d expect them to be, while belts are the same. But which is better? That’s a matter of focus on what you want out of your vest.

The reason why many people prefer suspenders is because of the way that they let you move freely. They give you buoyancy through the shoulders, and you get a more “natural” floating progression. They are low profile, and are strong overall. The downside on this, however, is that you may not get a full range of motion with your rods. That’s something that you can’t really change when you use this type. Since the suspenders run through the shoulders, your range of motion could change slightly. This may lead to an uncomfortable movement.

Focusing on the hip belt option, you’ll find that this gives you a little more freedom to move. There is more buoyancy with these in many cases. You can also store more items on these, since they are made like utility belts.

Preference is a matter of what you would prefer. There is no “better” option, even though belts may have a slight edge for fishing.

The Inflation Method Options

If you’re going fishing you should know how your vest works. Inflation types are different overall. The popular solutions are those that use hydrostatic devices. These send out compressed air into the vest if submersed in water. This is a great option if you want something that you don’t have to think about. If you fall off your boat, if you’re knocked out, or anything serious, this will save you without a second thought. The CO2 inflates, and you just float. In the case that your vest fails, you can pull a tab to ensure that you’re able to move forward with inflation in case the automation element doesn’t work well.

Another option you may want to consider is an option that uses a simple tablet that fills the vest with CO2. Humidity can cause this to inflate, however. It’s an easy option to use, as water hits the tablet and the air inflates things fast.

For those that aren’t sure about automation, don’t panic. They have manual settings, and there are manual PFD options to consider as well. It’s all a matter of preference at this stage.

The Best Inflatable PFD For Fishing

Suspenders Option

Mustang Survival Corp M.I.T. 100 Auto Activation PFD

The best option for suspender types is the Mustang M.I.T. 100 Auto. This is an option that has been made to withstand a lot. It’s made tough, durable, and made for fishing and adventure alike.

Overall, it’s a simple solution that will let you have full mobility. You will be able to swim, cast fish, and all with ease. The company does have a few requirements however, that being that you should be 16 years or older, and you should know how to swim. Using this in high speed water activities is not recommended with this one, but for fishing, it’s a tough solution.

The option has a yellow activation handle that you can pull if you need to inflate it. Deflating it is easy to use, and it all attaches with ease over the shoulders. The fabric of the vest is 500D Cordura, and is puncture-proof. Mustang has done a great deal to create a simple inflation vest that lets comfort and mobility become paramount.

Quick Mustang M.I.T. Specifications

  • Automatic Inflation
  • Manual Inflation Element
  • 500D Cordura Fabric
  • Inflatable Tech Cell
  • Easy Access Flap
  • 26-pound Buoyancy
  • Easy To Use

The Best Inflatable PFD For Fishing

Hip Belt Option

Mustang Survival PFD Inflatable Belt Pack

For those that prefer a belt option, the Mustang Survival PFD Inflatable Belt Pack is the best to consider. This has been designed for easy fit and use. It stays put, and lets you have storage elements that can help you while fishing.

The design is made to conform to your hips, and also comes with a manual inflation element. It can inflate upwards of 35 LBs of buoyancy. This is double the flotation that other options may have.

The best part about this belt option is that it stays away from your arms and chest. It lets you cast, reel fish in, and move around with relative ease. Flotation with versatility, and design elements all make for a great option here. It’s not recommended for those that don’t know how to swim at all. Coast Guard graded, and easy to use, this is a great option to keep you afloat if you’re off your kayak and in the water.

Quick Mustang Survival PFD Inflatable Belt Pack Specifications

  • Coast Guard Rated Type III
  • Easy To Use
  • Simple To Wear
  • One Size Fits All
  • 35 pounds of buoyancy
  • Versatile
  • Will Not Interfere with fishing

Things To Remember When Selecting a Good PFD

Flotation – the first thing that you should always look for is flotation. If you can’t float with it, then it’s not going to work. Buoyancy matters a great deal, and that’s the focus of what you should look for. Look to see what the buoyancy is, and whether or not it’s rated by the United States Coast Guard. There are several types in this arena.

The Fit – how a PFD fits will usually dictate whether or not you’ll use. Look for something that fits right, and doesn’t interfere with what you’re doing.

Manual vs. Auto Inflation – make sure that you decide what you want in terms of how the PFD inflates. There are manual and automated solutions. If you go with an automated option, make sure that there is a manual second option, just in case it fails for any reason. You need to also make sure that you have a way to release some of the air if something goes wrong and things are too tight. Familiarize with the elements of the vest that you want to purchase and you’ll be able to move forward with an option that is going to help you get moving forward.

The Cost of Upkeep – how long do you want to keep your PFD? If you are going to keep it for a long time, you should consider upkeep. There are slight maintenance costs when it comes to these solutions. You need to know how to fix simple things if need be. If you get something complex, you may find that it’s tough to keep things together, and fix things. Cost depends on complexity sometimes.

The Cost Up Front – The cost of your vest matters, obviously. Some brands do charge more, but at the end of the day, you need to break down the tips mentioned here to ensure you get the right option. Look at reviews, see what people are saying, and whether or not it’s manual or automatic. A little research can go a long way.

The Most Important Takeaways

Lastly, you should look into using your vest and trying to go through the movements you would normally go when you cast, reel, and more. Keep your vest up to date, replacing different elements if they can be updated. Some of these options can fail, and upkeep may be needed. Read the owner’s manual of your item.

Always double check your PFD to ensure that it works well and is safe. Sometimes, you may find that your vest can fail, and can be worn. Take care of them after every trip, clean them up, and make sure that you don’t let them sit in storage for a great deal of time without use. A little research, as stated above, goes a long way.

Steven Conte

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