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Hate them!!

I am at least one person on this forum that has been called out for not donning mine. I feel like the Pillsbury dough boy sitting in the seat of my yak. It also reminds me of the mobility I had 5 years ago when I was carrying 50 extra pounds around. I am already not very limber. Mine even has the cutout in the back for the seat.

I was thinking about the inflatables. Anyone have any info on those? I am sure I would hate it anyway ;-) but maybe not as much?

mikeski
 

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I like living so I wear PFDs. In the warmer months I wear a vest while running on plane with kill switch cord attached, anyone that rides with me wears one if they expect to go anywhere. In the colder months when I am wearing layers of clothes and time in the water can be crucial, I wear my inflatable PFD from the time I get in the truck to launch the boat to the time I am in the parking lot putting the straps on. Never know when you might lose your balance or slip on icy or frosty dock. I took an unexpected swim in 45 degree water at High Rock Lake a few years back dressed for a full day in sub 40 degree weather, luckily I was at the ramp about to take out and there was help around. Swimming with all those clothes wasnt easy, if I had been alone in a secluded area would I have been able to swim back to the boat and climb back in it? That was an eye opener about keeping the PFD on in the winter.

I have a Bass Pro Shops brand inflatable that I no longer use, it wasnt real comfortable to me. I found a SOSpenders brand inflatable floating at Harris one morning and that is what I use now.
 

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Red X Angler
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Smile Fisherman Sky Fish Fishing


This blue inflatable one is what I wear now. It's not too cumbersome; certainly not compared to a regular PFD.
 

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Red X Angler
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I don't find the self-inflating kind to be particularly problematic to wear. Got in the way a little of my rod handle when working a jerk bait, but it didn't take long to get used to it. Considering they fished a couple bodies out of the lake I fish this past season, I figure it's a small price to pay to help make sure I come home to my family.
 

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Storage can be an issue with the inflatables. I've had to replace the cartridge and repackage the bladder a few times when I had them. They just went off by themselves.


To fish is human!
 
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Ask yourself this question. Is it worth dying for being a little uncomfortable? I wear a pfd anytime big motor is running, no matter if I'm driving or riding. It is a requirement in tournaments, but I wear it all the time. Even if you are a good swimmer, you never know what may happen if you take a dip, especially in cold weather.
 

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Storage can be an issue with the inflatables. I've had to replace the cartridge and repackage the bladder a few times when I had them. They just went off by themselves.


To fish is human!
I found out not to store them in a hot humid place. Leave them in the boat or trunk they will go off. The other option is to spend double and get the hydrostatic inflating kind. Those have to submerge just getting them wet won't do anything.
 

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That's my point, though. I spent $120 on the vest and then another $75 to rearm it three times within a year. Unfortunately, the conditions aren't always perfect for those things. If i could have one that wouldn't go off until needed, then I wouldn't mind getting one...I think overall, they are a good idea but needs some better application...at least for me...
 

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I love my inflatable. If I am alone I leave it on all the time especially in cold weather. Ive had to re-arm mine twice due to dampness in my boat compartment. I bought a camping dry bag and no more problems.
 

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That's my point, though. I spent $120 on the vest and then another $75 to rearm it three times within a year. Unfortunately, the conditions aren't always perfect for those things. If i could have one that wouldn't go off until needed, then I wouldn't mind getting one...I think overall, they are a good idea but needs some better application...at least for me...
Check this out. Costs about what you spent on the cheaper vest and rearm kits. Has to be submerged 4" to activate and doesn't need to be rearmed for 5 years. When my current vest needs replaced, I'm going to upgrade to this kind.

http://www.mustangsurvival.com/recreational/md3183?country=25
 

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My inflatable has the ability to be made manual release only or auto and manual. I wear mine in the manual only manner in the kayak. It's not going off unless I pull the string. If I was using it for a vest in my boat, I would have the auto cylinder installed in case I was to fall unconscious, but I'm not worried about that in the kayak.

As for accidentally pulling the cord, I keep it laid over the top of the cylinder. To fire the cylinder, I have to pull up, left, and then down on the cord to inflate the vest. The same way I wear my float coat when I am on an aircraft carrier.
 

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Red X Angler
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To avoid temp extremes I just bring mine inside and hang it like I hang a coat on the hook in my garage. Garage is not climate controlled directly but it doesn't get boiling hot in summer and doesn't usually get freezing cold in winter.
 
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I usually keep mine in my truck along with all my other fishing clothes. I did have one go off in the boat once, I have never had one go off fishing or riding in the rain.
 

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I always wear my inflatable when out alone or if things are rough. I have Sospenders, Cabelas and BPS inflatables and the BPS is more comfortable for me. The Sospenders is even better but its manual inflation only so I don't wear it much. I've never had one spontaneously inflate but I always store mine in the house between trips. I like the idea of that Mustang unit that only goes off its under 4" of water. I've been waiting for one of mine to inflate when I am rinsing the salt off with a hose.
 

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I always wear mine as it gives me and the wife peace of mind. But the main reason I wear it is because I have my phone in my left pfd pocket and wallet and keys in the right one. Also had one of those sweet snip things that cuts braid attached but it broke and I will be replacing it soon.
 
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