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What's a good one for around 100 to 150 bucks? It definitely needs to have good range of motion and comfort.

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I started with a Stohlquist Fisherman PFD and was pleased for the first four-five years, but it started to wear out.  I recently switched over to the Astral Ronny Fisher PFD and am very pleased with the overall comfort and storage capabilities.  It is a little pricey ($159 at ARC) given that it is new, but a PFD is not something you want to try and "settle" for something.

 

I prefer not to carry to many items in my PFD, so my needs may vary from yours.  I like the large openings for your arms/arm movement/rotation.  The full vented back is a nice feature that many PFDS do not have.  I basically carry a safety whistle clipped to the front and an NRS River Knife attached to the front pouch.

 

Inside the right hand storage pocket, I have three items - my fishing license in a sealed Ziploc storage bag, a pair of pliers and a Boomerang SNIP tool for cutting leader and braid.

 

The left hand storage pocket is for my phone.

 

Simple and functional.  It also is the high-vis green version with the rain hood/safety hood.

 

There are plenty of lower end models to try - BPS, Dick's SG, West Marine, etc all have some version of a type III PFD.  The only way to know if you'll like it is to try it on and walk around with it - perhaps even sitting in a kayak seat and mimicking the casting motion.  Only then will you be able to render a true opinion on whether the PFD will fit and will be comfortable in your kayak seat and during your fishing outings.  I'm on the water for 6-10 hours at a time, so it has to be comfortable for me.

 

Hope that helps you some.

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I use an Auto inflatable pfd.  I an not swimming and have not had it go off accidentally  from rain or splashing.

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I started with a Stohlquist Fisherman PFD and was pleased for the first four-five years, but it started to wear out. I recently switched over to the Astral Ronny Fisher PFD and am very pleased with the overall comfort and storage capabilities. It is a little pricey ($159 at ARC) given that it is new, but a PFD is not something you want to try and "settle" for something.

I prefer not to carry to many items in my PFD, so my needs may vary from yours. I like the large openings for your arms/arm movement/rotation. The full vented back is a nice feature that many PFDS do not have. I basically carry a safety whistle clipped to the front and an NRS River Knife attached to the front pouch.

Inside the right hand storage pocket, I have three items - my fishing license in a sealed Ziploc storage bag, a pair of pliers and a Boomerang SNIP tool for cutting leader and braid.

The left hand storage pocket is for my phone.

Simple and functional. It also is the high-vis green version with the rain hood/safety hood.

There are plenty of lower end models to try - BPS, Dick's SG, West Marine, etc all have some version of a type III PFD. The only way to know if you'll like it is to try it on and walk around with it - perhaps even sitting in a kayak seat and mimicking the casting motion. Only then will you be able to render a true opinion on whether the PFD will fit and will be comfortable in your kayak seat and during your fishing outings. I'm on the water for 6-10 hours at a time, so it has to be comfortable for me.

Hope that helps you some.

I have been looking at that Stolqvist, and it has the features I'm looking for. I'll take a peek at the other one you mentioned also. Thanks.

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Also to mention this will be worn in a SOT yak.

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there are two back styles for a kayak, some are full length in back and others are half length with only the top having floatation, so this goes to seat comfort, a bulge in your back or not

 

the other thing is front pockets and gear in them. If the pockets are too large and you fill them up, it makes you physically thicker and may lead to a harder re-entry after falling off the yak. They snag and hold your body out further as you climb back in.

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The nrs chinook is very comfortable in a kayak. The floatation on the back is set high to not interfere with comfort while sitting. The pad actually sits on top of the seat. Unless you have a really high back seat this will work great for around $110 from ACK. Can get it cheaper if you use the discount code

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I own the NRS chinook. It has all sorts of pockets and is around 100 bucks. It has awesome reviews.  I would look at that.

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Why skimp on a life vest? This is the most important thing in the vessel to protect your life. That being said I prefer horse collar auto inflates. I put mine on before I launch and most of the time wear it home. Not that I forget its there, just no bother and I hang it up to dry for my next trip

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I use the Stohlquist Fisherman also.  It's a great vest.  I got mine at backcountry.com for a great price a couple years ago but Austin Kayak sells them for $99.99. 

 

I was going to get a cheaper one, but I wanted one with storage compartments for my phone (in a dry bag of course) and other small items and this one fit the bill, plus my excuse I told my wife for buying this more expensive one was that my life is worth the extra $50 I'm going to spend on this life jacket.

 

The auto inflate ones are nice, but I'd really hate for that thing to not go off if I fall overboard and I hit my head on something and can't pull the cord to inflate it...

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If you have a place near you that has kayak rentals look for a used pfd. I just picked up a stolquist for 15$. It's not the fisherman specific one but it has a high back.

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I have been using the BPS Ascend fishing kayak PFD

for several years now. I "skimped" on price, but to be 

very honest, it is NOT a skimpy PFD. It is quite good

and I wear it all the time.

 

Now, it is showing signs of wear, and in need of replacing

in the next year or two, in which time I'll be faced with 

the decision to replace it...

 

But realize it may be less expensive than the Stohlq... but it

will keep you afloat just as well.

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