A life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), is an essential piece of safety equipment for any angler, especially if you are fishing in open water or in hazardous conditions.
Choosing the right life jacket can make a big difference in your safety and comfort while fishing, so it is important to take the time to find the right one.
In this article, we will provide tips and guidelines for choosing a life jacket for fishing, including considerations such as fit, buoyancy, certification, size, style, and additional features.
How to choose a life jacket for fishing | Selection Tips
A life jacket, also known as a personal flotation device (PFD), is an essential piece of safety equipment for any angler, especially if you are fishing in open water or in hazardous conditions. Here are a few tips to help you choose a life jacket for fishing:
Consider your needs
Think about the type of fishing you will be doing and the conditions you will be fishing in. Do you need a life jacket for cold water, rough water, or overnight trips? Choose a life jacket that is suitable for the type of fishing you will be doing.
Check the fit
A life jacket should fit snugly and comfortably, but not be too tight. It should also allow for a full range of motion. Try on different sizes and styles to find the one that fits best.
Check the buoyancy
A life jacket should have enough buoyancy to keep you afloat in the water. Look for a life jacket that is rated for the weight and size of the user.
Check the features
Look for a life jacket with features that are suitable for your needs, such as reflective tape, a whistle, a hydration pocket, or a built-in radio pocket.
A life jacket for fishing is a necessary attribute of any experienced fisherman. Many beginners mistakenly believe that fishing is an active, interesting pastime that does not carry any threat.
But situations on the water can be different, the possibility of a boat puncture cannot be ruled out, and sometimes fishermen fall into the water while fishing for large fish. If a person is wearing a safety vest, in any case, he will be able to stay afloat for some time and swim to the shore. How to choose a life jacket for fishing and is it possible to make it yourself?
The difference between a life jacket for fishing
Today in specialized stores you can find not only life jackets but also safety ones. But despite the fact that each of these means helps to keep a person buoyant for a long time, few people know how they differ and what is better to choose. Experts say that life jackets have many additional functions, including protecting a person from impacts in the water
The main differences between such products:
- The buoyancy of a safety-type product is ensured thanks to a special filling – they are stuffed with sheets of flexible and light foam (the thickness of one sheet is about 4 mm). Such material is characterized by increased elasticity and convenience, but after a while it will still begin to absorb water. That is why it is better to stock up on such vests for people who can swim well;
- For life jackets, a slightly different material is used. The thickness of the foam sheets in this case will be at least 8 mm, in the web itself there will be special recesses in which air accumulates. Such products are also quite elastic, but at the same time dense, so that they can withstand a little pressure, thereby increasing buoyancy.
Experts warn that if a person goes fishing for a long time, it is better to play it safe and give preference to a life jacket (especially if fishing will be carried out in a large reservoir).
Life Jacket for Fishing Selection Tips
In order for a life jacket for fishing to be chosen correctly, you need to know what points you should pay attention to before buying. So many anglers are interested in whether inflatables are reliable.
Although these products are foldable and easier to transport, they can also be damaged and are not as durable. Floating vests stuffed with special sheets are still more practical and provide maximum safety, so it is wiser not to risk it and give preference to them.
When buying a product, it is important to pay attention to the following points:
- Product volume. A fishing vest (floating) should not be large in size. If the product is too large, it can hinder the movement of the fisherman and prevent him from climbing onto the boat. But acquiring too small a size is also not worth it, in this case, there is a risk that the device will not cope with its intended purpose and will not keep a person on the water. As practice shows, the optimal volume of fishing vests is about 20-25 liters.
- You need to select the product strictly according to size. The two most important criteria are the person’s weight and chest volume.
- If a person fishing often sails far from the shore, it is better to purchase products of bright colors, as they will quickly attract attention.
- Before buying, you need to make sure that the product is made properly. All seams of the vest must be securely stitched, and the fabric itself must be distinguished by increased strength and strength.
- If the product is equipped with a large number of belts, it can be almost perfectly adjusted to your size.
- A quality life-saving product should have at least a minimal layer of thermal insulation.
- The presence of reflective stripes. Even if fishing is most often carried out during the day, it should still be sewn onto the product.
Before purchasing, the product must be measured, it must fit snugly, not spin or crawl on clothes.
Self-made vest Fishing Life Jacket
Many anglers do not use floating life jackets because such products are quite expensive. But this is not a reason to risk your life, because you can make such a life-saving tool with your own hands. Of course, a hand-made product will not be attractive, but it will definitely be able to keep a person afloat.
What you need to make this vest:
- Strong fabric, poorly absorbing moisture. It can be purchased at any sewing store, but you can also use an old jacket as a base. Raincoats and windbreakers are also distinguished by increased strength, if you tear off the sleeves from them, you get an excellent base;
- Layers of foam (you can just pieces). Some also recommend using plastic bottles instead of styrofoam, but they are less reliable and can be easily damaged;
- Tape made of synthetic material;
- Several carabiners and buckles.
The simplest life jacket has the shape of a bib; it will not be difficult to build it. To begin with, you need to cut out 4 rectangles from the fabric (according to the width of the chest) and sew 2 pockets out of them. Then the resulting pockets are fastened with synthetic tape (it is necessary to ensure that everything is very securely stitched).
When the cutting is ready, you need to do the filler. It is best to use foam and break it into small pieces (8-10 cm each). Next, the material is placed in pockets and everything is sewn up. Scraps of excess fabric are trimmed with scissors.
In order for the product to function correctly and be able to withstand a person, the foam must be stuffed tightly enough. Even if the material collapses, it will not lose its buoyancy.
In conclusion, choosing the right life jacket for fishing is an important decision that can impact your safety and comfort while on the water.
By considering factors such as fit, buoyancy, certification, size, style, and additional features, you can find a life jacket that is suitable for your needs and the type of fishing you will be doing. It is also important to try on the life jacket and adjust the straps to ensure a proper fit.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links.